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The Great Escape (TGE) Discussion Thread


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15 hours ago, abovethesink said:

I can't imagine this would stop them from driving attendance if they really thought they could do it. That is the whole point.

I have heard and read about it as well.  From what I took it isn't a small upgrade but a very large cost factor.  I would think they would have to really be pushing for a major attendance jump in order to make it worth it and I doubt one new coaster would be it.  SF's would have to focus on strong growth for this park and being it's an easy draw for what it is by location I'd be surprised to see that happen.  Limited operations calendar and located in more of a summer vacation destination kind of hurts those chances IMO.

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I’ve had a few drinks but this is the scenario as I imagine it. I’m at least 0.001% sure this is what happened but in my head it’s 100% what happened because that’s what I choose to believe. The

So they went to that area of the park with the perpetually-broken-since-forever-low-capacity-that-has-to-close-early-if-it-actually-opens Alpine Bobsleds and the Ferris Wheel looking for something to

The businessman in me agrees, but the coaster nerd in me would much rather preserve one of two Intamin bobsleds remaining in the world.

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23 hours ago, Canobie Coaster said:

One other issue with Great Escape possibly getting a big ride in the future is that the town of Queensbury has Great Escape on the hook to build new traffic signals and Route 9 infrastructure upgrades if traffic on the road increases by (as of 2019) ~500 cars during the morning hours.  So if they add something that really draws crowds, they'll be paying for that ride plus the road upgrades.  Post Star has published a few articles about this.

Judging by how quickly Las Vegas is adding new lights in my area, I'm gonna guess that a few new lights and asphalt aren't super expensive and wouldn't be a deterrent,

Seriously there's been two four-way stops and one two-way stop that have been eliminated in lieu of full traffic lights within a mile of my front door.  It now takes me at least double the time to make it to the highway than it used to with stop signs.

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5 hours ago, KBrylczyk said:

Judging by how quickly Las Vegas is adding new lights in my area, I'm gonna guess that a few new lights and asphalt aren't super expensive and wouldn't be a deterrent,

Seriously there's been two four-way stops and one two-way stop that have been eliminated in lieu of full traffic lights within a mile of my front door.  It now takes me at least double the time to make it to the highway than it used to with stop signs.

I mean comparing Las Vegas funds to a single park in upstate NY is kind of apples and oranges but I get your point. Doing a quick search here’s a little more info but I’m sure there’s more to it.

“But the agreement between the town and Great Escape is clear: If the traffic threshold is met, the company must build the southern portion of its ring road, not just a stub.

The southern part of the ring road would connect to the existing road that leads to Great Escape’s parking lots. It would become a second entrance to the parking system, which means Great Escape would have to staff it to collect parking fees.”

https://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2019/08/great-escape-seeing-customer-boom/

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On 11/19/2020 at 3:46 PM, Charles Wagor III said:

I mean comparing Las Vegas funds to a single park in upstate NY is kind of apples and oranges but I get your point. Doing a quick search here’s a little more info but I’m sure there’s more to it.

“But the agreement between the town and Great Escape is clear: If the traffic threshold is met, the company must build the southern portion of its ring road, not just a stub.

The southern part of the ring road would connect to the existing road that leads to Great Escape’s parking lots. It would become a second entrance to the parking system, which means Great Escape would have to staff it to collect parking fees.”

https://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2019/08/great-escape-seeing-customer-boom/

If you read archived planning board documents on the Queensbury Town Board website, they go pretty in-depth into what the different traffic level thresholds are, and what the "consequences" are for hitting them. In addition to what you mentioned above, another "consequence" that was mentioned in those documents is that Exit 20 of the Northway would potentially need to be extended/expanded to handle an increased car count. I don't remember if GE would have to contribute to that cost, but it's still an undertaking (and, well, this is the US where we only touch roads when they're literally causing harm to vehicles/people).

If I'm ever bored enough to search through the documents again, I'll link them (not that anyone actually cares). But lets be real, if the park can get away with charging $20+ to park, $15 for chicken tenders & fries, etc. and still maintain a decent attendance level with inexpensive additions, then more power to them. 

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22 hours ago, jconsolmagno said:

Going to do my first trip out there this summer. Should be fun.

It's not what you would consider a typical SF's park.  Very family focused but still a nice park to visit.  Comet has a great history and is still a lot of fun.  They tend to keep good care of it.

21 hours ago, Canobie Coaster said:

I'm glad they got a reopening date.  It's nice being able to pop into this park to ride Comet when I'm up in Lake George for a weekend.

Totally agree.  For all parks in NY it's great news.  I'm sure Legoland is also relieved to see this news.  The Lake George area in general is great location in the Adirondack's to visit so a stop at TGE is just icing on the cake.

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^Oh god, that's horrible!!!  I really hope they can get enough staff. It seems like it will be a big problem at nearly all parks this summer. 

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Oof. 

That said thanks for the thread bump. I am visiting some friends in Vermont this summer and seeing made me think, I should stop here either on the way there or back! 

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Managed to snag reservations and go with the family to opening day; here's my report.

-Entry processes have changed; you fill out a paperwork with your information for COVID contract tracing purposes; they give this to you at the tollbooth and you fill it out at your vehicle and hand it in at the ticket booth.

-Security is far more efficient now; you walk through a camera which can see inside any bags being brought in, and security can selectively choose who to search based on what the camera shows. Most people now just pass right through. Temperature checks are done as well. Masks are required but a lot of people had them on improperly and not much seemed to be done to enforce the rules.

As for the day itself: the park was pretty crowded for opening day; mostly locals, people were pretty excited to get to the park for the first time in 18 months. Six Flags seems to be desperate to get people to the park... season passes are being sold for just $49.99, and the all season drink sports bottles are being sold for just $28 (they were nearly $60 in 2019). Granted they say "2020" on them; clearly last year's stock they never got to use that they're trying to get rid of!

While the entry procedures and COVID protocols seemed to run pretty smoothly, staffing and most ride ops were anything but. You could tell it was the first day on the job for many people, some probably having literally just been hired with in the past week... one of the guys running the pizza stand, for example, was particularly incompetent and didn't understand the concept of how the meal plan works. Finally had to get the manager over to take care of it.  With one exception which I'll get to, the ride ops were generally pretty slow... sending trains and rides half full really slowed down the lines, especially on rides which were capacity nightmares to begin with. We waited over an hour to get on the Storytown Train, a combination of only filling every other car and the pitifully slow operator... and having to stop and sanitize the entire train in between cycles. At one point the train sat still while full of people, almost as if it was waiting for something... more than likely it was because Flashback broke down and needed to have the line mass exit (more on this soon).

My sister and niece were literally about to get on Flashback when the ride broke down. It looks like the cable lift that pulls the train backwards up the first lift hill broke at first, but it was some pin loose or something. They had to exit the entire line as soon as they closed the ride; it was down for about an hour or so.

Ghost Town is a mess. The only portion accessible is the pathway between the bumper cars and Canyon Blaster... everything else is tarped off. Construction is underway for Adirondack Outlaw and the new entrance for Steamin' Demon, which is down until Outlaw opens. Condor was still standing, but its cars have been removed and were laying on the ground... it looks like some work may have been done to them. Canyon Blaster was the usual one train ops, but the ladies operating the ride were by far the single most competent and fastest pair going in the entire park... they were enthusiastic, and cycling those trains efficiently so the line moved extremely quickly. I didn't time them but I'd guess the dispatches were around a minute or less.

All in all, not a bad day at the park.

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Bobsled was not open; no surprise, it snowed and rained the night before. Never made it to Comet unfortunately; hopefully next time (we had young children with us so we couldn't use my usual strategy of "run to Bobsled, see if its open and get on it, then go to Comet right away" because they wanted to ride the small rides).

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My family and I visited today and had a similar experience. Although ride opa weren't great they were adequate on most rides, this biggest issue we had was the constant stopping to clean rides and then run them empty. Also the reduced rise capacities didn't help many rides. Comet was running two trains so capacity wasn't too bad, and it seems to be running well. I did notice that the hill after the second turn around going up into the double dip drop seems to be more trimmed than in the past and killed the momentum until the final turn around. Otherwise it was solid as ever.

 

Flashback was on and off but we did get a ride on it and it wasn't to bad, a little rough but still one of the better boomerangs out there. Most flats were operating with the exception of the water rides, condor and supernova was closed. Bobsleds were closed as usual, at this point they should scrap it for something new, as much as I like the rise it's just never open anymore. 

 

My biggest issue on the day was the atrocious food service. In typical six flags fashion lines were long, many locations were closed and nobody knew how to operate a cash register. While we got our food fairly quickly, paying took much longer. I understand it's opening weekend and staffing is an issue, but it's become all to common with six flags parks to be inefficient. 

 

We will be returning for Memorial day weekend and hopefully some kinks will be worked out and ghost town will be finished being worked on, I can't wait to try Outlaw, of course if it's open I feel like it's a first thing type of ride with it's already low capacity.

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