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Six Flags Great Adventure (SFGAdv) Discussion Thread

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Some more details on the hotel/sports complex coming.


Gigantic sports dome, hotel to open next to Great Adventure




By Steve Strunsky



Roller coaster fans would have a nearby place to stay, and athletes from New Jersey and beyond would have indoor fields and courts to compete on, under a plan to build a Hilton Garden Hotel and a huge sports "bubble" on a site next door to Six Flax Great Adventure in Jackson Township.


South Jersey developer Vito Cardinale will host a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for his Adventure Crossing project, to be built on a 150-acre site on Monmouth Road adjacent to Great Adventure, the vast amusement and safari park complex in Ocean County that -- while well known for its dozen twisting, spinning, plunging thrill rides -- still lacks much in the way of surrounding overnight accommodations.


"We're trying to create an opportunity for Jersey families to come over and stay," Cardinale said in an interview on Monday. Referring to the absence of a hotel near the Six Flags chain's New Jersey property, Cardinale added, "They couldn't get it to work with just (the) one-day mentality of the park."


What Cardinale envisions adding to the area's allure is a reinforced inflatable dome that will measure 300 feet wide by 400 feet long and 89 feet tall -- an area nearly 3 acres in size -- containing basketball and volleyball courts, including a "show court" with spectator seating, as well as four multi-purpose turf fields, and a laser-tag area. Cardiale said the hotel and sports dome could be completed by 2020.


The space would also include a 12,000-square-foot mezzanine structure overlooking the playing areas, where workout classes and related activities could take place. Cardinale, a sports enthusiast who played catcher on his high school and college baseball teams, said he has talked to people affiliated with the National Football League and National Basketball Association about operating sports camps inside the sports dome, which will be available year-round.


At the same time, Cardinale said he has a deal with Hilton to build one of the brand's extended stay Hilton Garden Hotels on the site, which would attract guests of Great Adventure, as well as participants in athletic tournaments and other gatherings at the Adventure Crossing complex.


Cardinale said the hotel would also include a 10,000-square-foot banquet hall for conferences, awards ceremonies and other uses.


Cardinale said he has all the necessary approvals for the project. The 11 a.m. groundbreaking will kick off the installation of water and sewer mains, being laid at a cost of $9 million. Cardinale said the hotel and sports bubble will cost another $50 million, and that there will be additional development of restaurants, retail establishments and other sports-related uses to follow.


The bubble itself will also include facilities to accommodate non-sports activities related to sporting events or gatherings there, including sports bar and food concession areas and an arcade.


Cardinale said Six Flags Great Adventure is not involved in the Adventure Crossing project, although some of the land involved would be acquired from the theme park's owners.


Not everyone is eager to see the project completed. The New Jersey Sierra Club's director, Jeff Tittel, said the deforestation resulting from such a large project in the environmentally sensitive Pinelands region could negate the benefits of a deal his group and others struck in January with Great Adventure, which avoids the clear-cutting of 90 acres of forest that the theme park's owners had proposed for a solar farm.


"This will totally destroy the benefits we got from the deal to avoid the clear-cutting," Tittel said.


Steve Strunsky may be reached at sstrunsky@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveStrunsky. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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The only piece of advice I can give you is that camps usually leave the park between 3&4. Coming from long island, over the past few years we would show up around 1 or 2, do the safari and then hang for the night for what seemed to be quiet crowds during the week.


However I do agree, crowds at great adventure make no sense. Ever.

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Would someone be able to share a list of the upcoming “Bring a Friend” dates for SFGAdv? I’m looking to make a trip there at some point over the next month or two, and hoping to avoid any days that may have extra crowds from people bringing free friends if possible. I know the bring a friend schedule might vary a bit by type of season pass/membership, but if anyone could share some info on it that would be awesome. Thanks!

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Never been back stage in first aid until today. It's a scorcher here, folks. One ride on the Bull and my buddy is down for the count. Just some heat exhaustion, but be careful and stay hydrated.

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^ This weather is crazy - they are saying that we could see near a 100 degree heat index here, which apparently hasn't happened in like 145 years.


I guess one positive would be that theme parks would likely not be crowded, but I would avoid water parks like the plague in the next week. Bet those are going to be a real cluster-f%ck.


Hope your buddy is doing much better. I always try to follow the 2-3 bottles of water rule in between beers so that I stay plenty hydrated when at parks in the heat.

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And we're on our way home. Not sure about HH but the dry park is dead. We literally got in at opening, went to Toro, rode once, buddy said he had to sit for a minute, the other two of us rode again (front row walk on) and came off to him pouring water on himself practically passed out. Called first aid, he had to be carted over. Put him in a bed in A/C, ice packs, water, pulse, bloodpressure check etc. Pretty scary for a minute but everyone, especially Frank, was great. Also witnessed a security guard come in also for heat exhaustion as well as a ride op having an asthma attack. Heat is no joke today. We decided to call it a day. Two bull rides, two hours in first aid, a very Six Flags day.

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Oh man, that's rough. Heat is nothing to f*ck around with. We have 100 degree heat indeces for a couple months straight every July and August, so we know how to deal with it, but we still have a couple of fatalities every summer. Glad they got y'all to first aid. Assuming it's air conditioned, that's the best place for you to be.

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Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are so weird, it's like altitude sickness, sometimes it's just a roll of the dice to see who will be affected. Everyone in a group can be equally healthy and hydrated and the next thing you know one person is red faced and feeling sick.


I've only experienced it one time, we were riding motorcycles in Moab. Got into a really tough sand section, fought like crazy to get through it (think Fred Flintstone-ing the bike in full riding gear). Got to the other side and decided to sit down, dropped the bike and sat next to it shivering. I thought I was cold and couldn't figure out why my buddies wanted to get me into the shade and pour water all over me. I was exceedingly annoyed at them for making me even colder! Had a hella headache too. Didn't actually realize how sick I was until we rode back to camp and I spent a few hours cooling off in the air-conditioned motorhome. Thank goodness for smart friends!

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Yeah it was crazy how it all happened so quickly. All three of us were hydrated, had breakfast, were not yet drinking, etc. The dude in question is not a coaster guy and we think that it was probably me really ripping the bandaid off with a back seat Bull ride first thing in the morning (he honestly looked like he saw a ghost when we hit the brakes) which just shot his adrenaline through the roof, and that combined with the intense heat brought up his body temp and sent his body into overdrive.


Few scary moments there tho - once again the Six Flags first aid/EMTs were great! As much sh*t as I talk about the park I have to say each and everyone we dealt with through the ordeal were the most excellent people. Especially Frank!!!


And I have to mention - both of my rides - one in the very back, one in the very front (both left side) were some of the best EVER. As we all know how well it runs in the heat, and it is just as smooth as ever. If we hadn't run into a snag I may have sat on that thing all afternoon. As we walked out I felt a tinge of sadness I couldn't take advantage of such an empty park. Hope some of yall did!

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When I worked on the security team for a music festival, I couldn't tell you how many festival goers and security members alike suffered from heat-related illnesses.


Last year, while operating Valleyfair's Mad Mouse, a girl collapsed in my queue from heat exhaustion. We were within a hundred yards of the first aid station and it still took EMTs 20 minutes to arrive.


You can never stress hydration enough when it gets that hot.


On a different note;

^ Yikes, that's not the one to be stuck on...nor Green Lantern with your balls in a sling.

I got stuck on SFGAm's Iron Wolf's Apocalypse's final break due to a power outage for over a half hour.

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^ I've been stuck on coasters twice - once on Nitro on the MCBR during HITP (which was hilarious and I recall fondly), the other was Superman:UF on the brake run in the flying position for 15-20 minutes because they couldn't dispatch the other train. Maintenance had shown up and brought out the little stool and we *almost* started evac'ing but then they got the other train out and we were able to advance. I laugh about it now but hanging there for almost 20 minutes was ridiculous.

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I am planning on visiting this park on Monday, July 9th. Any idea of how crowded (or not crowded) the park will be on a Monday? My last visit was in 2012 so I look forward to seeing all the additions since then!

It's no guarantee, but your best indicator will be park hours - the longer they are open, the busier the park believes they will be.

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Had a rad night at the park tonight. A few takeaways.


We arrived to potential thunderstorms and everything was shut down. We ate and hung out til it passed and we were surprised that at 8pm a mostly empty park came back to life and we took full advantage.


El Toro is running like a dream. I rode it again in the front, also the magic seat but seriously what is happening to me. I still love the back, but the front, guys. Amazing.


Fantastic sunset ride on Bizarro in the back with all effects working. I will punch you if you talk bad about this ride.


The girl running Nitro who was clearly over it and resorted to just saying "enjoyyournitrobye" at every dispatch was the greatest thing ever. We got a bunch of back seat night rides and it was absolutely hauling.


We got a ride just before park close on front row of Ka and as we pulled out on the launch track the fireworks started to our right. The ride itself was smooth as butter, first time ever Ka didn't hurt me. Best ride I've ever had on it, and the fireworks going off ad we twisted down the drop and flew over the airtime hill... incredible.


This f*cking foam party business after park close, oh my god.


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