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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread

p. 550 - Hallowfest trip report!

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ahh...gotcha! Maybe they could build a new restaurant or two in that area? Need some more selection like some of the other parks..fish...brats..maybe their own Chinese restaurant so that dining pass can be offered for Chinese food.

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SFSTL is definitely having a rough year, attendance is WAY down! Weather has played a small role in this, but not as much as you would think. It makes me SO SAD to see this park the way it sits now. Back in the late 70's thru the 80"s, SFSTL was one of the top parks in the country, not including the Disney chain. SFSTL was ranked top in cleanliness, most beautiful, and friendliness IN THE USA!!! Crowds then were 2,000,000+ a year.... think about that compared to now where the park sits around 1.3 million guests a year and its practically doubled in size Then, SFSTL had half of what it is now... half the coasters, half the rides and half of itself because there was no water park. In the mid 90's, the era of neglect hit this beautiful park, less TLC, less additions, less of everything while parks everywhere else started building bigger and started thinking outside the box. I just don't get how this all happened. Just think if 25 years ago, parks like SFGAM or KI would have been neglected like us. If SFSTL would have continued to add and grow... and I mean with ORIGINAL coasters, NOT CLONES, we would still be sitting pretty high, and having crowds that SFGAM or KI sees, if not more. If you look at SFOT and SFOG, the 2 other ORIGINAL Six Flags parks, do they look like they are in shambles..... NO, so why is SFSTL!!!???

 

 

You bring up some great points! I told my boss when I worked there, at the end of the year, that I feel there needs to be some tlc to the park and parking lot! This is what turns me away from the park. The lack of love. Why so much blacktop??

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I know they wouldn't do this..but maybe they could take a small area of the parking lot and add some picnic tables..it small things like that people would like to see. There's hardly any grassy areas to have a picnic. SFGAM has a small area in their parking lot with picnic tables.

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Its no rumor that the next year or 2 are going to mainly be park improvement years. The thing is though, how much improvement? Its going to take ALOT of money, labor and dedication to doing this. There are so many areas of the park that are dead grass/ dirt, deteriorating buildings, deteriorating pathways, unlandscaped areas, and so much more. There are SO MANY unused buildings too.... Calicos Restaurant, the small building across from it that used to be for J's vending, Character Cottage ( the building next to the entrance to BBNP, The old leather shop next to Antique Photo, Sound Stage Theater, and the small building between Calicos and Xcalibur. ALl these building except Sound Stage are in the same area, thats alot of dead space. To get SFSTL up to par and really looking good, its going to take a couple of million..... a couple of million, thats a small coaster or a few flat rides. As much as I and everyone else would love seeing a stand out steel coaster a great "THRILL" ride or 2, or an RMC Boss conversion, I would rather see the park get some MAJOR TLC!!!... and for them to keep it that way instead of fixing it all and then forget about it the following years. It drives me crazy because even though I know SFSTL is not Disney or Universal in ANY SENSE, those parks have paint and carpenter crews that work 365 days a year, as soon as those parks close at night they are keeping everything touched up.... what I'm getting at is that the Palace Theater probably hasn't been touched since the day the park opened 43 years ago. I want to see new facades, fresh paint throughout, all grass and no dirt, flowers, flowers, flowers and more flowers. I want to see more fencing and low chains around grass areas, repaved pathways, trimmed trees, more benches, and better landscape lighting, but I guess you need better landscape to have that. I want less clutter of games just randomly throughout the park, less clutter of signs in pathways, and just plain old less neglect.

 

Theres numerous reasons behind why you no longer see picnic tables. The first is because they were being vandalized and damaged. Then in recent years, they no longer want people BBQing which lessens how many people picnic, and last is because they want more people eating in the park.

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This type of maintenance work is what they do every year, and its not even close enough to what GENERAL landscaping should be. This year is actually the worst the park has been the past few years, its starting to look like iit did aout 10 years ago. Grass cutting doesn't count as landscaping, that is general maintenance and there are many areas where the grass doesn't get cut for weeks on end. A TON of painting can be done everyday. 90% of what needs to be painted cant be reached by a guests hands, only their eyes and thats what matters. They have been saying for 5 or 6 years now that an overhaul to the outside of Palace is going to happen, but every offseason comes and goes and nothing gets done. And on top of it, they cut down the trees around Palace a few seasons back, exposing more of the horrid rotting, granted the trees were dying, but at least they looked better than the facade. And on the topic of trees, they keep cutting more down. Back in 2006 when Shapiro came in, he cleaned up. I was at his SFSTL park meeting where he said "TULIPS ARE COMING BACK!, and over the next few seasons, the park started looking better and better, and then when he was booted, the TLC went with it. SFSTL had a large FULL TIME landscaping staff and an enormous part time staff YEAR ROUND back in the day, now they have one full time and about 8 part time, thats unacceptable. SFSTL is my home park, and I love it dearly, but when I walk around there, I feel like I'm in a run down dump that they try spit shining every once in a while. Instead of fixing a problem, they just try covering it up, only worsening the problem They need to drop about 5 million in landscaping and rehabbing the next offseason.

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They also need to do a better job at keeping their restaurants clean especially both of Primo's Pizza. I was in there the other day and it was absolutely disgusting. The trash was overflowing and the tables were nasty. I can only imagine what the kitchen looks like.And the park was fairly empty that day. That's why we eat at JB's Smokehouse and Sports Bar. Those employees keep that restaurant clean.

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This is clearly a situation where park management has a clear view of how they envision this parks future (which is probably the right vision because they're at the park everyday and understand what needs to be done) and the corporation that ultimately makes all of the decisions has a whole different outlook on how they're envisioning their parks future (which seems to be questionable at best). The corporate vision for Six Flags seems to be geared toward drawing in the teenage crowd, given their recent marketing ploys and ride naming choices, ext. Six Flags St. Louis really isn't set up to draw that type of crowd, IMO. It's geared more toward the family-style crowd (based on the feel I get from the park). Now I'm gonna throw this out there, but I think one of the major fails in attendance going down is the marketing SFStL is having to do. They're advertising themselves as the coaster capital of Missouri, intended to draw in the teenage crowd, but you're asking them to visit a family-style park. That's basically like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It just doesn't work. What I'm basically saying is that SFStL doesn't fit into the corporations vision of the future right now, which is why the parks has been getting the shaft the last few years or so on expansions. Corporate doesn't want to spend major money on a park that doesn't fit their vision, nor do they want to spend the money to make the park fit their vision.

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I find it funny that the Coaster Capital of Missouri doesn't even have a decent Kiddie coaster for the youngsters. I would have rather seen a custom Kid Coaster instead of Boomerang. I agree with your Family Park comments but where are the Family rides - Bumper Cars, Traditional Swings, etc. I can't imagine anyone riding the Moon Cars feeling satisfied when they step off the ride - Was that it!?

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My mother came along when we went Wednesday and we had a great conversation about what the park was like back in 71. I was only 4 so don't remember much about the first few couple of trips, but she said my grandparents were really impressed with how beautiful the park was with all the flowers. That certainly can't be said for it now. So I completely agree landscaping needs to be a top priority along with fixing all the dead fountains and waterfalls.

 

I noticed they drastically cut back all the landscaping at to he west beach on lazy river. I guess they needed to do it for security reasons but it really makes the area look bare. Some attention to HH landscaping would be helpful to make it more lush.

 

There is a big risk in this approach because without "real" capital improvements as well the park becomes more irrelevant as a destination. Nobody wants "crazy" expansion, but neglecting either the families or the thrill seekers is not a recipe for success, just decline and they will get labeled a "rust belt" park.

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True, us and Chicago are the worst. But for us i say its number 1 the worst because 5 of our 9 are clones.... thats more than half and absolutely ridiculous

 

I'm honestly sorry about 5 clones at your park. At Cedar Point, my home park, there are 0 clones!

 

I consider Wicked Twister a clone.... i know the height is a tad different than others, but still a clone IMO and TTD isnt far off but I wont say that it is....

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I find it funny that the Coaster Capital of Missouri doesn't even have a decent Kiddie coaster for the youngsters. I would have rather seen a custom Kid Coaster instead of Boomerang. I agree with your Family Park comments but where are the Family rides - Bumper Cars, Traditional Swings, etc. I can't imagine anyone riding the Moon Cars feeling satisfied when they step off the ride - Was that it!?

 

See it is lacking in some departments on the family ride front (especially the kiddie coaster), but to me, family rides qualify anywhere from the 36-48" inch mark. I don't necessarily count roller coasters that go upside down (especially Ninja and Boomerang). The park has a very strong front of rides that the family can ride together. A lot of the rides that are above 48" inches (not counting the roller coasters or drop tower) also have the option for kids who aren't tall enough to ride by themselves to ride with an adult as long as they meet a certain height requirement. This very much why this park as a family feel, which I think best suits them. But with the current advertisement plan targeting teenagers from Six Flags as a company, the families in the St. Louis region are being attracted to the parks like Holiday World and Silver Dollar City. These parks recognize their audience, and cater to that audience, by showing what they can offer to families, not how many roller coasters they have.

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I've often wondered why this park doesn't operate like SFoG. It is an even older park - but is maintained well and gets regular updates. Sure - it doesn't have an RMC, but it has 4 B&M's, DDD, two woodies, the standard mine train, a vekoma death machine, the best Schwartzkopf in the country (in my opinion ) and a kiddie.

 

Does it just pull in larger numbers each year?

 

Atlanta has more population to pull from.

 

I agree to an extent with you on that. What were Batman and Freeze though.... they were CLONES, this is where SFSTL started getting screwed. Now, I completely understand that almost EVERY Sis Flags park received a BATMAN at some point, but I have ALWAYS thought, that FREEZE was the biggest waste for Thunder Island, that island could have held something SOOOO much better than Freeze

 

I guess, but Freeze has always been pretty popular. I LOVED it before the conversion. It may be a clone, but there is only one duplicate. That's not bad. It was pretty cutting edge when it came to our park.

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^ American Thunder's clone is in Europe, so it's not like you can ride it everywhere either. That being said, I do wish this park had a big modern roller coaster designed just for SFStL.

 

An RMC conversion of "The Boss" seems your most likely scenario.

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I'm so glad to head the park is going to start doing some painting and TLC... aka crap which should have been done throughout the life of the park. Give Dave a big thumbs up on the TLC, but it really isn't going to do squat for attendance.

 

I just returned from another park that also had the strategy of major off-season improvements... King's Island. Except their improvements came with a record breaking steel roller coaster. Although the trip was a blast, it's really discouraging to see what our park will never compare to. Yes corporate has given SFSTL the shaft year after year, but why wouldn't they when the management of the park is OK with getting screwed over?

 

"No need for any large capital investments. We're fine with paint and a mediocre flat ride. If it's not too much trouble, can you send us any of your used terrible coasters on their way to the scrap yard?" It reminds me of the battered wife who lets her husband treat her like crap, because she doesn't have any self respect. I guess it's easy to be a victim of SF Corporate if you enable it. Good luck competing against Holiday World's new addition with new facades on the Palace and a snack shack added to the wharf area... maybe we'll get lucky and get another pepsi free style machine to dispense more type two diabetes and other diseases.

 

Back in 2006 when Shapiro came in, he cleaned up. I was at his SFSTL park meeting where he said "TULIPS ARE COMING BACK!, and over the next few seasons, the park started looking better and better, and then when he was booted, the TLC went with it.

 

I agree with you on this. The park looked great when Shapiro was with SF. It was in the height of the recession, but yet he still brought additions to our park WHILE taking the park from looking worse than it ever did to really polishing it up. Now people are supposed to be excited about making the park look nice like it's something that shouldn't already be expected?

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No, I haven't been to the park since 2010 but even then the park overall looked pretty good to me. It just has a few spots that need an influx of new attractions, the biggest one being where they eventually added Tsunami Soaker.

 

Out of curiosity but isn't SFStL the smallest of the Six Flags parks in terms of actual developed acreage and not total acreage of the entire site?

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