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The Great Escape (TGE) Discussion Thread


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^There's a HUGE difference between Norovirus and E. Coli. E. Coli is life threatening for several demographics of the population and MUCH more serious. Norovirus is like getting the 24 Hour Stomach Flu.

 

And yes, I'm sure this will hurt them a bit, but not too terrible...Everyone still cruises and every week there's some major news story about hundreds getting sick on a ship!

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^ Yeah some kid went in one of the kiddie pools or the wave pool ( ugh, the thought of something floating up to you in the water), I remember it being on the news and every thing. One of the most stupid things people can sue over, but all six flags need to do is show the sign at the front of the park and maybe the ph levels for the day. Though I would think any sane minded judge will throw the case out/dismiss it, or something.

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I just have to play devil's advocate for a second, although I agree that the lawsuits are pretty stupid.

 

I've worked the City of Gainesville's aquatic facilities for three years, and that include three pools, all of which have diving boards and two of which have water slides. If so many people contracted the virus then the Ph levels probably weren't high enough. At our pools we check the chemical levels in our pools every hour, and if they are outside of a certain level we have to close. If someone gets sick or deficates in the pool we have to close and do a "backwash" which (in a nutshell) involves draining the pumps, climbing down in them and cleaning all of the filters, and having all of the water circulate through the pumps before we can reopen (on newer pumps it's a lot easier, I would guess that they wouldn't have to manually backwash there, but instead just push some buttons). It's a pretty lengthy process which usually causes a pool to remain closed for a good portion of the day. I really can't believe that the Ph levels were where they were supposed to be OR someone might have gotten sick in the pool and nobody noticed and took the proper steps to keep it from spreading.

 

As for the SFOG incident that happened a long time ago, if I recall correctly it involved someone pooping in a kids area. In that case it really was negligent that the proper steps weren't taken to keep it from spreading, but I was a kid at the time so I don't really remember the details.

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^^I see your point, but I worked at Hurricane Harbor and as soon as someone 'did something' in a pool, yes we immediately closed it and did the filtration thing which took a while.

 

Those indoor waterparks have quite the nooks and crannys so something might not have been noticed, they also have to be more careful with chemical levels since the indoor nature of the park can cause bad air.

 

Also, let's not entirely blame this on a child. On the cruise ships it's old people and adults spreading it around! Children and parents are used to washing hands and bodies better!

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There's a waterpark right next to my house called Magic Waters in Cherry Valley, IL and I was there when an incident happened where someone was bleeding kind of bad (not like death bleeding) and they shut down the giant wave pool for the rest of the day and it happened around 11:00 near when the park opened.

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^yeah, it would take a while to backwash/recirculate something that big

 

^^I think that's a good point about indoor facilities, those are a lot harder to maintain as far as chemical levels are concerned. The weird thing is that indoor facilities (in general) have higher Ph levels than outdoor facilities because of the reduced circulation and whatnot.

 

As for the "nooks and crannys" I would imagine that they would have that worked out. I'm both Red Cross and Ellis certified as a lifeguard (although I run summer camps now) and I would guess that this facility is Ellis because water parks get big insurance breaks for being Ellis (I think like 99% of water parks are Ellis because of this). Ellis sends people undercover to the facilities it certifies on a regular basis to check for problems like places the lifeguards can't see and to surprise test the guards on their skills and scanning. If you worked at Magic Mountain as a guard you'd probably be familiar with being in-serviced.

 

I think the lawsuit is stupid, but I would just like to know more about how so many people came into contact with this, even if it is a fairly mild illness.

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Yeah I'm pretty sure Six Flags uses Ellis for all of their water properties.

 

Have you been to an indoor facility? I'm not talking about deep water, so much as the little streams that run in and out of caves and stuff. Also there's lower lighting. Not saying this is what it was for sure, but I could see it being missed much more easily at an indoor facility than an outdoor.

 

And I loved the audits. Nothing like freaking out a lifeguard by throwing in a dummy!

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I went (snuck) into Magic Water's indoor water pump facility thingy with my uncle. It was really cool! It felt like my arm was going to get chopped off at one point (not going to say why) but other then that it was neat! A guy with a pink shirt and flipflops walked in there caught us but only smiled then I get scared and took off! Me and my unlce still laugh about that day. Anyways the indoor pumps looked really cool!

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^^Yeah I've been to TONS of facilities as a competitive swimmer, and I've been to a couple of indoor water parks as well. I don't have any experience running an indoor pool or park though, I've only worked outside. When I see a lot of the indoor parks with so much stuff crammed into such a small place I would think that it would be a nightmare from a lifeguard's point of view, it would be really hard to keep an eye on all of that stuff.

 

 

Hopefully we'll find out more about what caused this. If the lawsuits actually go forward I'm sure there will be a lot of scrutiny on the place.

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Reality Check - Norovirus is EVERYWHERE...it sucks, but isn't too bad! Robb got it on one of our cruises, schools are always getting it, etc. I can't believe that they're suing Six Flags over this! Oh wait, yes, I can believe it, I just hate it! Find the nasty sick people that pooped in the water or didn't bother washing their hands and sue them!

 

It is, of course, possible that they just didn't properly chlorinate the pool.

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17076938?ordinalpos=3&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

 

Outbreak of norovirus illness associated with a swimming pool.

Podewils LJ, Zanardi Blevins L, Hagenbuch M, Itani D, Burns A, Otto C, Blanton L, Adams S, Monroe SS, Beach MJ, Widdowson M.

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA. lpp8@cdc.gov

 

On 3 February 2004, the Vermont Department of Health received reports of acute gastroenteritis in persons who had recently visited a swimming facility. A retrospective cohort study was conducted among persons attending the facility between 30 January and 2 February. Fifty-three of 189 (28%) persons interviewed developed vomiting or diarrhoea within 72 h after visiting the facility. Five specimens tested positive for norovirus and three specimen sequences were identical. Entering the smaller of the two pools at the facility was significantly associated with illness (RR 5.67, 95% CI 1.5-22.0, P=0.012). The investigation identified several maintenance system failures: chlorine equipment failure, poorly trained operators, inadequate maintenance checks, failure to alert management, and insufficient record keeping. This study demonstrates the vulnerability of recreational water to norovirus contamination, even in the absence of any obvious vomiting or faecal accident. Our findings also suggest that norovirus is not as resistant to chlorine as previously reported in experimental studies. Appropriate regulations and enforcement, with adequate staff training, are necessary to ensure recreational water safety.

 

PMID: 17076938 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

It sounds like this sort of thing is inevitable, but it will be interesting to see what the investigation finds.

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I do think it is rather silly that a few of the families are suing. Some people will sue for ANYTHING, and that is just absurd. I mean, sh*t happens sometimes and there isn't anything can do about it. These families just need to point the finger of blame at someone and that is so annoying. They won't win their lawsuits that's for sure.

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I agree it is ridiculous that people are suing because they caught norovirus. I mean its not pleasant but isn't it just a few days of being ill? IF there is fault at the swimming pool and this is proven then I would agree in fining the facility under health and safety grounds, but to try and sue is completely pathetic.

 

Just out of interest how much would you even receive for being ill for a few days with no permanent effects?

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I don't know how to react to this. If their filters were working inproperly, and they knew that, then I would be able to see their point of view. If they just cought Norovirus, and are suing the company, that's just stupid. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

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This study demonstrates the vulnerability of recreational water to norovirus contamination, even in the absence of any obvious vomiting or faecal accident. Our findings also suggest that norovirus is not as resistant to chlorine as previously reported in experimental studies. Appropriate regulations and enforcement, with adequate staff training, are necessary to ensure recreational water safety.

 

PMID: 17076938 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

 

That's really interesting, I really want to know how this will turn out. Is it resistant to the point were 400 people can get sick at one time? Because that is a huge number! I would bet that the facility did something wrong with that many people getting sick at once, but I guess there's some argument to the contrary.

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When it first mentioned norovirus I assumed it was an illness that could make some critically ill. Then reading on when I discovered that it had only flu like symptoms I was shocked that people are suing. I get food poisoning half the time I eat at a janky McDonald's or Taco Bell and I continue to eat there. I kind of feel like sicknesses like this (24 hour stomach virus) are a risk assumed whenever swimming in a public pool or in this case - a waterpark. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

 

Also, if the families suing win, does that mean that all 380+ families will get awarded some sort of monetary value as well?

 

Half the time? Man those are some dirty fast food restaurants in your area.

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  • 3 months later...

http://www.poststar.com/articles/2008/07/09/news/local/13728357.txt

 

QUEENSBURY - Great Escape will offer thrills -- and chills -- next year, as the amusement park adds both a new ride and a winter event.

 

"We're going to put a major, what I would an iconic ride into this park -- one that's stunning from a thrill standpoint, one that's stunning visually," said Mark Shapiro, chief executive officer of Six Flags, which owns the Queensbury amusement park.

 

Shapiro, who spent part of Tuesday touring the park, wouldn't give any other details, but he said Six Flags will continue to invest in the Great Escape.

 

"This is one of our best-rated parks in the system -- highest guest service scores, ranging from cleanliness to speed and safety," he said. "You will not go a year here where we're not launching a new ride or attraction."

 

Historically, Shapiro said, decisions about larger rides are made in August or September, when staff can see what is working.

 

When asked if the new ride might be the Serial Thriller, Shapiro said "no comment." The Serial Thriller is a suspended, looping, roller-coaster, which came from the now-defunct Six Flags AstroWorld Theme Park in Houston. The coaster has been stored in pieces on the Great Escape property, visible from Route 9, since late 2005. In a previous interview with Scott Maupin, former president of the Great Escape properties, Maupin said an ongoing power infrastructure upgrade would allow for the coaster to be installed in the future.

 

"We're making a significant investment in the power system to be able to grow in 2008 and beyond," Maupin said last year.

 

Two additions in the past two years in Splashwater Kingdom, the water park portion of the theme park, have been great successes, Shapiro said. Two years ago, the Tornado was added, and this year, the Mega Wedgie has opened to help lure water park enthusiasts. Wiggles World, a children's attracted, debuted this year.

 

The Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark, located across Route 9 from the outdoor amusement park, is a blueprint for what Shapiro said he'd like to do in the future. The indoor water park is the only one of its kind within the Six Flags family, he said.

 

Speaking to the rising cost of gas and a dragging economy, Shapiro said Six Flags has positioned itself to be a "value alternative." Six Flags, in general, is hopeful that customers will stay close to home because of the cost of flights and the hassles of flying, he said.

 

"We're very conscious of the economic climate and that's why we're focused on the value," Shapiro said. "We need to be empathetic to what's going on."

 

In recent years, prices at Great Flags have remained consistent while hours and days of operation have been lengthened, he said.

 

To add to the value, Shapiro said Great Escape will be the first Six Flags park on the East Coast to host a "Holiday in the Park" event, a celebration of the different winter holidays that will include a "monstrous Christmas tree" and several shows, Shapiro said.

 

A ride package will be available to patrons, as well as holiday cuisine and storytelling.

 

"It lends itself with all of the storytelling here," Shapiro said. "It lends itself like no other park to an event of that nature."

 

Shapiro said Johnny Rockets, the classic diner-style fast-food restaurant that replaced Trapper's Adirondack Grille, has been an immediate success.

 

"It's erased any memories of that restaurant," Shapiro said.

 

He also spoke about the norovirus strain that affected patrons of the indoor water park in the spring, and the efforts that were made by staff to prevent the spread of the stomach virus, including the installation of hand-sanitizing stations.

 

"It didn't have a negative impact on our business, for the most part," Shapiro said. "Fortunately, I think most of our patrons recognize that it did not originate in the lodge."

 

The state Department of Health, after investigating the indoor park, never determined the site of origin.

 

Within the Six Flags park system, a 17-year-old boy was killed in late June when a roller coaster struck him after he climbed over two fences at Six Flags Over Georgia theme park in Atlanta. Shapiro said he sends out thoughts and prayers to the boy's family, but he reiterated that the teenager did not follow signs warning patrons not to enter the area. The accident had no impact, one way or another, on Six Flags' business, he said.

 

Shapiro, a former ESPN executive who has been CEO of Six Flags for 2-1/2 years, is staying at the indoor water park with his family.

 

He said he will spend part of the day today enjoying some of Great Escape's attractions.

 

It is probably just Serial Thrill from Astroworld. What do you think?

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Yeah, I have to imagine that's probably it. I understand "no comment" is probably the most professional answer even if Serial Thriller isn't what is being installed, but I can't help but figure that's what it is, given his response. Let's just hope that he decides to purchase the newly designed SLC trains instead of keeping the present ones.

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^ If they put on the new SLC trains I would seriously consider going out there to give them a try.

 

Nice to see that they're still very willing to invest in this small market park. I couldn't help but notice multiple errors in that article though. Their editor deserves a serious finger wagging.

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It's probably gonna be Serial Thriller. They sorely need SOMETHING though. One decent coaster and a collection of crap is just not enough. I'd prefer a hyper or at least a baby hyper, but whatcha gonna do.

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Nothing worth a visit? The walk through kiddie attractions are really cool, plus, they have a decent assortment of other rides... the Mine Train is pretty good and they have a nice waterpark.

 

I would go back.

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