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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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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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  • 2 months later...
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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  • 1 month later...

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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  • 2 weeks later...

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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  • 1 month later...

Just got a member email today, Adirondack Outlaw will be opening to the public on July 3rd, and is having member only previews from open-2pm the 1st and 2nd. 

So glad to see them get this open, I can't wait to try it out and it's another solid flat ride addition to this park. Now if they could just add a new coaster, anything would be nice at this point. Even just replacing the Bobsled would be a welcome change seeing how it barely ever runs.

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I just wanted to give a really brief TR from my quick visit on Sunday. The best thing was that I got to ride Alpine Bobsled with a ten-minute wait. The bad thing that kind of ruined this park for me was Comet. I was expecting a ride with a decent amount of airtime, and I got about as much air as SFA's Roar gives. For comparison, I was not expecting much out of Canobie's Yankee Cannonball (which I rode today) like I was from Comet, but that coaster turned out to be many times more fun than Comet. Maybe I caught it on the wrong day or rode in the wrong train, but it was just not good, and that's too bad because this coaster could be another Phoenix. Overall, I think this park has loads of untapped potential and charm, and it's a shame that Six Flags has operated it for as long as they have.

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  • 1 month later...

Considering a run for the first time in like 20 years, a couple questions for anyone who has been very recently:

-Has the Bobsled run consistently lately (Aug/July 2021)?  Does it have a rule of thumb/schedule when it typically operates?

-Since this park is kind of off the beaten path and in a resort area; does it buck the trend of being concentrated busy on weekends vs. weekdays?  Or it a really bad idea to go on an Aug. Sat/Sunday?

Thanks.

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^The park is never busy. We went for about 2 hours the week before last and it was *so* busy that we had to park in the overflow lot, yet the Comet was about a 2-3 train wait (although takes about 25 minutes still because operations at this park are dismal), Steamin Demon was only filling 2/3 of the train, and Canyon Blaster and a few of the newer, but a few years old, flats such as the Extreme Supernova up by the Comet were closed. The main thing you'll have to wait for is, as it's a Six Flags park, if someone has an exit pass, is too large to ride, or the smallest slightly unusual inconvenience appears, all operators at that given ride will take several minutes to figure out what is going on, call a superviosr, halt all operations etc until they figure out what is going on.

Alpine Bobsled was open all day and we genuinely wanted to ride it, but the park was only running 2 trains and only loading the first 2 rows of them...meaning the total max capacity of the ride at any given time was 8 people. The park owns a total of 6 trains and I didn't see any in the transfer track area (in the past there's always been 1-2 sitting there), so I have to genuinely wonder about the state of the ride's maintenance. There has to be a maintenance/weight-related reason why they'd only load 2 rows out of 4. The track is also very rusty and the back of it is bubbling horribly in a number of places. I know that rumors of it's demise have been around for years but I can't help but think that it's being run into the ground and they just haven't received the funds to remove it yet.

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Thank you... I feared as much with the Bobsled. 

It is such a storied (and journeyed) ride in the SF franchise.  Vestige of the Warner 80s ride rotation.  Maybe a bit of Olympic inspiration too, but as only one of two Intamin bobsleds left standing,  I would like to get on that one...Plus reacquaint with the Comet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking at what the great escape could add in the future I’ve come up with a list of what I think could work well at the park

5.Gravity group family coaster

with the great escape being a family park I think a small,compact and fun ride would work. And give the park a good woodie to go along side comet 

4.a sky rocket

i think it would be easlily a top 2 or #1 coaster at the park and would give the park a launch and a more intense coaster. And a coaster for older kids and would give them a reason to come here

3. A spinning coaster (such as serria sidewinder)

a coaster that could appeal to family’s and older kids as well. As serria sidewinder is from what I heard somewhat intense.  You could also say a Mauer spinner. or pre-2013, you could say a Gerstlauer spinner, but who knows if they will ever get along.

2. Rmc raptor or s&s freespin 

both companies are frequently used by six flags for there coasters. Wilth both coasters being small,cheap, and good options for coasters. With a raptor packing strong ejection airtime and the freespin giving fun out of control spinning action for the park.

1. Chance rides hyper gtx

I feel like this would proubly be the best option for the park. As it’s cheap and packs a lot or airtime and excitement. And I feel like this would be the best ride to replace steamin demon when it bites the dust. And give it a skinny out in back layout. But hopefully taller longer,faster, then demon.

I don’t know if this would count. But with all the love the water park gets, and the draw it is. I feel like a water coaster could be a good fit. As when the hurricane harbor retheming and small expansion gave the park record attendance. And a ride like that could create some buzz and a large crowd.

 

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Well let’s be honest. It’s the great escape. Seems like the only thing they care about is the water park. Even in the late 90s and early 2000s, great escape we’re just getting hand me down coasters while others were getting b&m’s and clones. 
But hey a man can dream. 

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