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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread

p. 550 - Hallowfest trip report!

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Having multiple registers open or having multiple expeditors is always the plan. But when nearly 100 culinary service employees call in on a Saturday with 27,700 people in the park that is hard to do. They try and pull as many people from other departments as they can to help but they can only rob from one department to fill another so much. Funnel Cakes on Saturday had the Director of IPS, an entertainment supervisor, an HR supervisor, and 2 crowd control (lifegaurds) in there helping out. And they were the fastest ones in there. The actual culinary employees in the front is what slowed down the process.

 

 

Wow. That really sucks, but after 24 years of teaching in a middle school I cannot say I'm really surprised. I guess the only thing that might help is higher wages, bringing in (theoretically) higher caliber workers, but I assume that would have to be a corporate decision and obviously negatively affects the bottom line. Do you know if this is a problem across the boards at most Six Flags parks or is it unique to our area?

 

We were at Great Adventure in July and they didn't seem to have as big an issue with too few employees in any venue but don't know if that is always the case or we just hit a good day with low attendance. It was a Tuesday when we were there.

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Having multiple registers open or having multiple expeditors is always the plan. But when nearly 100 culinary service employees call in on a Saturday with 27,700 people in the park that is hard to do. They try and pull as many people from other departments as they can to help but they can only rob from one department to fill another so much. Funnel Cakes on Saturday had the Director of IPS, an entertainment supervisor, an HR supervisor, and 2 crowd control (lifegaurds) in there helping out. And they were the fastest ones in there. The actual culinary employees in the front is what slowed down the process.

 

 

Wow. That really sucks, but after 24 years of teaching in a middle school I cannot say I'm really surprised. I guess the only thing that might help is higher wages, bringing in (theoretically) higher caliber workers, but I assume that would have to be a corporate decision and obviously negatively affects the bottom line. Do you know if this is a problem across the boards at most Six Flags parks or is it unique to our area?

 

We were at Great Adventure in July and they didn't seem to have as big an issue with too few employees in any venue but don't know if that is always the case or we just hit a good day with low attendance. It was a Tuesday when we were there.

I'm not sure about all of the parks, but Chicago and STL both use boosters during FF to try and help fill in some of the gaps, but this too comes with problems as you are not going to have a very knowledgeable "employee" if they get trained and do their one and only shift all in the same day. As for the caliber of employees you are spot on about the wages.

First off Eureka doesn't have that many teenagers wanting to work there, and those that do generally flock to the Aquatics and Entertainment departments, which are the highest paying for seasonal workers generally. The Rides, Games, and Retail also get quite a few of the "locals". The main problem is retention of the Culinary department which seems to be primarily teenagers bused in from north St. Louis. Of the over 700 hired throughout the season they have around 200-250 left roughly and will get around 50+ callins on some days, and if they do show up some of them try to get off as soon as possible without even finishing their shifts. A higher wage would definitely attract a higher caliber of employee and in the end would probably save them money as they wouldn't have to hold a new training class (Discovery) every couple of days.

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Having multiple registers open or having multiple expeditors is always the plan. But when nearly 100 culinary service employees call in on a Saturday with 27,700 people in the park that is hard to do. They try and pull as many people from other departments as they can to help but they can only rob from one department to fill another so much. Funnel Cakes on Saturday had the Director of IPS, an entertainment supervisor, an HR supervisor, and 2 crowd control (lifegaurds) in there helping out. And they were the fastest ones in there. The actual culinary employees in the front is what slowed down the process.

 

 

Wow. That really sucks, but after 24 years of teaching in a middle school I cannot say I'm really surprised. I guess the only thing that might help is higher wages, bringing in (theoretically) higher caliber workers, but I assume that would have to be a corporate decision and obviously negatively affects the bottom line. Do you know if this is a problem across the boards at most Six Flags parks or is it unique to our area?

 

We were at Great Adventure in July and they didn't seem to have as big an issue with too few employees in any venue but don't know if that is always the case or we just hit a good day with low attendance. It was a Tuesday when we were there.

I'm not sure about all of the parks, but Chicago and STL both use boosters during FF to try and help fill in some of the gaps, but this too comes with problems as you are not going to have a very knowledgeable "employee" if they get trained and do their one and only shift all in the same day. As for the caliber of employees you are spot on about the wages.

First off Eureka doesn't have that many teenagers wanting to work there, and those that do generally flock to the Aquatics and Entertainment departments, which are the highest paying for seasonal workers generally. The Rides, Games, and Retail also get quite a few of the "locals". The main problem is retention of the Culinary department which seems to be primarily teenagers bused in from north St. Louis. Of the over 700 hired throughout the season they have around 200-250 left roughly and will get around 50+ callins on some days, and if they do show up some of them try to get off as soon as possible without even finishing their shifts. A higher wage would definitely attract a higher caliber of employee and in the end would probably save them money as they wouldn't have to hold a new training class (Discovery) every couple of days.

 

There are too many incentives to not work. Take this for example. My Brother runs a logistics outfit in Memphis, they need 3,000 seasonal workers to place in DCs in the Memphis area. These seasonal jobs will pay 12 bucks an hour for fairly low skill tasks, The DCs involved are huge brand names, Disney, Williams Sonoma, ATT, Nike, on and on. He is not alone, several others are looking for thousands of seasonal employees including Fed Ex, which predicting a record breaking year through it's Memphis Mega Hub. They can't find workers. Now if you have been in the Memphis area recently, you know folks need work but they will not do it. They are content on gaming the system and living at the level they are living at. The announced unemployment rate is a joke as so many have been without jobs for so long they considered out of the work force and not counted. Typically if you are worth something as a seasonal employee, they find a way to keep you full time and pay you more. This is another example, a contract brewer is having a dickens of a time staffing it's plant in Memphis. This was a Coors facility but they pulled out when merged with Miller, these folks bought it and brew a little of everything for all kinds of customers. They only run one side of the massive facility and would like to open the other side but:

 

The brewery employed 277 people on Dec. 31. More would be employed there, but the company is having a difficult time finding and keeping skilled workers, Parke said. Instead, Blues City is paying a lot of overtime to the workers it does have.

 

"So we work a lot of 12-hour shifts,'' Parke said. As a result, workers are averaging annual income of about $55,000 instead of the expected $41,000, he said.

 

 

So, let's not moan about wages, 55,000 in Memphis is a very good living. Let's do some reflection on why so many aren't movitated to work period.

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A) The national U-6 unemployment rate is about 2 points higher than the lows of 2006/2007 but still dropping. That's the "real unemployment rate."

 

B) Does your brother place people with felony convictions at any of these places? If the answer is "no", then are they sitting around "gaming the system" or are they unable to work?

 

C) Paying overtime is always cheaper than hiring and training new people. Overtime pay doesn't require health benefits or 401K matching funds. The issue then becomes of productivity, which typically begins to fall off after a certain point. But you knew that, because you have an educated opinion on the internet. Also, you knew that if they did the hiring, those people currently making $55,000K/year wouldn't, since that pay is reliant on them working in excess of 40 hours a week.

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We all know the unsolvable issues which effect the industry. There's no need to discuss it. There are no easy fixes, if there are fixes at all, and it dips into political conversations that most of us are not interested in having on these boards. If I want to be force fed an opinion I'll turn on any channel of my television. (pretending I still have cable)

 

The way I see it, you have a few options now that we all know what to expect:

You can go to the park with realistic expectations and try to have a good time despite very large crowds.

 

You can attend on less crowded operating days and skip out on crowded events. (see you next year!)

 

You can go and expect to have your food in 20 minutes and station waits for Batman. After the park fails to meet your unrealistic expectations, you can go on the internet and b**** about the experience you knew you were going to have in the back of your mind.

 

We all have unrealistic expectations based on some of the amazing park experiences we've had, but you have to try to turn those off. To some extent, I think all enthusiasts piece together all of the good things that we've experienced on exceptional visits and hold these experiences as the benchmark standards. We always aim for June'ish Wednesday afternoon station waits, Disney'ish quality food that comes within 5 minutes, and Dolly'ish friendly staff. Anything less than this will knock a few pegs off of our happy meter. The rides are not dynamic on a daily basis, so if you come expecting I305 experiences, you're just an idiot. Take Mr. Freeze, Batman, and American Thunder, or leave it. Go somewhere else. Don't complain just because the options you knew the park has didn't blow your socks off.

 

Meanwhile, last Saturday night I was at Carowinds. I saw people enjoying their mediocre luke warm pizza after thirty minute waits. I saw families walking out of the exit of the Carolina Cyclone, after waiting way too long for their head banging experience, let alone the three hour wait for Fury that still put smiles on faces of people with full bladders. When I stopped and looked around at all of the people who are exceptionally pumped to be in a place they visit maybe once every couple of years, it quieted my crying about waiting a whole 10-20 minutes in the fast-lane lines. I didn't whine about not being surrounded in a circle jerk of scare actors after my 45 waits for mediocre haunts.

 

My point is, be thankful for the experiences you have, or just don't go. I don't cry like I used to about SFSTL, because I don't go. I know what to expect and throughout the past few years I don't waste my time. I'm not taking a dig at the park, but it just hasn't offered anything worth the time, lately. However, when I finally return for HITP in December, I'm not going to expect 5 star service with station waits. I'm going to expect a crowded park on minimum staffing, while I wait for an hour to ride a Batman clone. I'm going in with those expectations which I've already weighed as *worth it* for this event and I'll probably leave thankful that I visited. If you routinely visit this park you should know what to expect. As adults, I anticipated to see a lot more reviews of "Went to the park Saturday night - It was very crowded - Knew that going in - Still had a good time." This area in general is as by majority a sh** hole and it's really no wonder why we can't have anything nice. Even when we do have things like haunt events, it attracts a park full of people who complain about the crowds and every aspect of the event.

 

Focus on the good things and try to enjoy yourself. If you do this and it's still not working for you then take a couple years off. Go elsewhere or do something else in the area.

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We all know the unsolvable issues which effect the industry. There's no need to discuss it. There are no easy fixes, if there are fixes at all, and it dips into political conversations that most of us are not interested in having on these boards. If I want to be force fed an opinion I'll turn on any channel of my television. (pretending I still have cable)

 

The way I see it, you have a few options now that we all know what to expect:

You can go to the park with realistic expectations and try to have a good time despite very large crowds.

 

You can attend on less crowded operating days and skip out on crowded events. (see you next year!)

 

You can go and expect to have your food in 20 minutes and station waits for Batman. After the park fails to meet your unrealistic expectations, you can go on the internet and b**** about the experience you knew you were going to have in the back of your mind.

 

We all have unrealistic expectations based on some of the amazing park experiences we've had, but you have to try to turn those off. To some extent, I think all enthusiasts piece together all of the good things that we've experienced on exceptional visits and hold these experiences as the benchmark standards. We always aim for June'ish Wednesday afternoon station waits, Disney'ish quality food that comes within 5 minutes, and Dolly'ish friendly staff. Anything less than this will knock a few pegs off of our happy meter. The rides are not dynamic on a daily basis, so if you come expecting I305 experiences, you're just an idiot. Take Mr. Freeze, Batman, and American Thunder, or leave it. Go somewhere else. Don't complain just because the options you knew the park has didn't blow your socks off.

 

Meanwhile, last Saturday night I was at Carowinds. I saw people enjoying their mediocre luke warm pizza after thirty minute waits. I saw families walking out of the exit of the Carolina Cyclone, after waiting way too long for their head banging experience, let alone the three hour wait for Fury that still put smiles on faces of people with full bladders. When I stopped and looked around at all of the people who are exceptionally pumped to be in a place they visit maybe once every couple of years, it quieted my crying about waiting a whole 10-20 minutes in the fast-lane lines. I didn't whine about not being surrounded in a circle jerk of scare actors after my 45 waits for mediocre haunts.

 

My point is, be thankful for the experiences you have, or just don't go. I don't cry like I used to about SFSTL, because I don't go. I know what to expect and throughout the past few years I don't waste my time. I'm not taking a dig at the park, but it just hasn't offered anything worth the time, lately. However, when I finally return for HITP in December, I'm not going to expect 5 star service with station waits. I'm going to expect a crowded park on minimum staffing, while I wait for an hour to ride a Batman clone. I'm going in with those expectations which I've already weighed as *worth it* for this event and I'll probably leave thankful that I visited. If you routinely visit this park you should know what to expect. As adults, I anticipated to see a lot more reviews of "Went to the park Saturday night - It was very crowded - Knew that going in - Still had a good time." This area in general is as by majority a sh** hole and it's really no wonder why we can't have anything nice. Even when we do have things like haunt events, it attracts a park full of people who complain about the crowds and every aspect of the event.

 

Focus on the good things and try to enjoy yourself. If you do this and it's still not working for you then take a couple years off. Go elsewhere or do something else in the area.

 

Too funny. I thought this was a discussion board. Perhaps I was wrong. And to take YOUR advice after reading you slam the parks year after year after year? Yeah...that falls on deaf ears to me. I've been a pass holder since the 80's at SFSTL so I've been a huge supporter for a long time. I've seen it all...good and bad. Am I supposed to not care that their event doesn't meet my expectations?

 

I gave feedback on an event that SFSTL charges extra for. It did not meet my particular expectations and I gave my review. I posted on a discussion board. Should we not do that? I took the Survey I was sent by SFSTL afterwards and gave them my feedback about their event "lacking" Should we just go back to slamming Fireball and Spinsanity for the carnival rides they are? This particular section of the board will be a joyous place once the big steel gets built. Here's to still hoping/wishing/dreaming.

 

Edit - I do agree with you about the politics part of it.

Edited by Mad Hatter
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^prozach might not always be the most positive, upbeat poster ever (which is actually really refreshing sometimes, "OMG Six flegs is da best I spend 6 days a week at the park and it's 12/10 amazing"), but he often has some really good insight and thoughtful posts that although you might not appreciate, I do. And he actually does follow his own advice--he said have realistic expectations or don't go, which if you've read his posts is exactly what he does.

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We all know the unsolvable issues which effect the industry. There's no need to discuss it. There are no easy fixes, if there are fixes at all, and it dips into political conversations that most of us are not interested in having on these boards. If I want to be force fed an opinion I'll turn on any channel of my television. (pretending I still have cable)

 

The way I see it, you have a few options now that we all know what to expect:

You can go to the park with realistic expectations and try to have a good time despite very large crowds.

 

You can attend on less crowded operating days and skip out on crowded events. (see you next year!)

 

You can go and expect to have your food in 20 minutes and station waits for Batman. After the park fails to meet your unrealistic expectations, you can go on the internet and b**** about the experience you knew you were going to have in the back of your mind.

 

We all have unrealistic expectations based on some of the amazing park experiences we've had, but you have to try to turn those off. To some extent, I think all enthusiasts piece together all of the good things that we've experienced on exceptional visits and hold these experiences as the benchmark standards. We always aim for June'ish Wednesday afternoon station waits, Disney'ish quality food that comes within 5 minutes, and Dolly'ish friendly staff. Anything less than this will knock a few pegs off of our happy meter. The rides are not dynamic on a daily basis, so if you come expecting I305 experiences, you're just an idiot. Take Mr. Freeze, Batman, and American Thunder, or leave it. Go somewhere else. Don't complain just because the options you knew the park has didn't blow your socks off.

 

Meanwhile, last Saturday night I was at Carowinds. I saw people enjoying their mediocre luke warm pizza after thirty minute waits. I saw families walking out of the exit of the Carolina Cyclone, after waiting way too long for their head banging experience, let alone the three hour wait for Fury that still put smiles on faces of people with full bladders. When I stopped and looked around at all of the people who are exceptionally pumped to be in a place they visit maybe once every couple of years, it quieted my crying about waiting a whole 10-20 minutes in the fast-lane lines. I didn't whine about not being surrounded in a circle jerk of scare actors after my 45 waits for mediocre haunts.

 

My point is, be thankful for the experiences you have, or just don't go. I don't cry like I used to about SFSTL, because I don't go. I know what to expect and throughout the past few years I don't waste my time. I'm not taking a dig at the park, but it just hasn't offered anything worth the time, lately. However, when I finally return for HITP in December, I'm not going to expect 5 star service with station waits. I'm going to expect a crowded park on minimum staffing, while I wait for an hour to ride a Batman clone. I'm going in with those expectations which I've already weighed as *worth it* for this event and I'll probably leave thankful that I visited. If you routinely visit this park you should know what to expect. As adults, I anticipated to see a lot more reviews of "Went to the park Saturday night - It was very crowded - Knew that going in - Still had a good time." This area in general is as by majority a sh** hole and it's really no wonder why we can't have anything nice. Even when we do have things like haunt events, it attracts a park full of people who complain about the crowds and every aspect of the event.

 

Focus on the good things and try to enjoy yourself. If you do this and it's still not working for you then take a couple years off. Go elsewhere or do something else in the area.

 

 

I have often thought the proliferation of Halloween season and now Christmas seasons was to keep a core work force employed year round. St. Louis is open the first weekend of November sans the Frightfest or Christmas stuff. One reason it is so crowded at these parks is the fact that they are open on Fri, Sat and Sun only. You get the locals and the folks like me a few hours off at the same time. I noticed that many ride ops folks were younger and likely in school, so they can't work past certain hours on weekdays regardless of their wages and that is a prohibitive burden on opening during school weeks when this season takes place. I'm sure a lot of those that called in are of the school aged variety and wages had little to do with it and it being more of a cramping their social agenda issue. This isn't Disney with full time castmembers at a park open 365.

 

I knew the park was going to be slammed just like discount armband nite for the spin and pukes at the county fair is. I'm just amazed at the lines for certain things not rides. The line was shorter on the Star Flyer than for Turkey Legs at one point

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Too funny. I thought this was a discussion board. Perhaps I was wrong. And to take YOUR advice after reading you slam the parks year after year after year? Yeah...that falls on deaf ears to me. I've been a pass holder since the 80's at SFSTL so I've been a huge supporter for a long time. I've seen it all...good and bad. Am I supposed to not care that their event doesn't meet my expectations?

 

Personally I think his post was mostly focused on his approach to the whole thing (which he acknowledged has changed over time), I don't think it was meant to lecture you on what your approach should be. I'm not really involved in this but that's my two cents. Why does everyone take everything as a personal insult lately? I really don't think that was the intention.

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Too funny. I thought this was a discussion board. Perhaps I was wrong. And to take YOUR advice after reading you slam the parks year after year after year? Yeah...that falls on deaf ears to me. I've been a pass holder since the 80's at SFSTL so I've been a huge supporter for a long time. I've seen it all...good and bad. Am I supposed to not care that their event doesn't meet my expectations?

 

Personally I think his post was mostly focused on his approach to the whole thing (which he acknowledged has changed over time), I don't think it was meant to lecture you on what your approach should be. I'm not really involved in this but that's my two cents. Why does everyone take everything as a personal insult lately? I really don't think that was the intention.

 

Sorry, I disagree.

 

"I didn't whine about not being surrounded in a circle jerk of scare actors after my 45 waits for mediocre haunts."

 

But it's fine. He has his opinion and is welcomed and entitled to share it. Moving along...Go, Cleveland Indians!

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You can be butt hurt if you want. You might be surprised to hear that I wasn't pointing a finger directly at you. I was simply saying for one of my main points that guests can have a better time at the park if they adjust their expectations closer to reality. If that doesn't work for you then go elsewhere. Feel free to explode on me with another barrage of typed words if that makes you feel at ease.

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You can be butt hurt if you want. You might be surprised to hear that I wasn't pointing a finger directly at you. I was simply saying for one of my main points that guests can have a better time at the park if they adjust their expectations closer to reality. If that doesn't work for you then go elsewhere. Feel free to explode on me with another barrage of typed words if that makes you feel at ease.

 

Barrage of typed words?

 

I understand now. In the future I will lower my expectations for an upcharge event. Makes perfect sense to me. I will also try to be less sanctimonious.

 

Again....Go, Cleveland!

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Go Cleveland??? Go Blues!!!!!

 

Go Blues, without a doubt!! It's hard to route for the Cubs to win the World Series, though. I'm not really a Cleveland fan....it's more of not being remotely interested in hearing Cubs fans if they win.

 

I hope the Blues start playing better than their last couple of games. Elliot stoned us the other night!

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I'm rooting for the Cubs, if only for some of the endless repeated corny cubs jokes to end. That's how you can tell I'm not a baseball guy... It's still early for the Blues. I don't pay much attention until it gets to the playoffs, anymore. Although I anticipate a Stanley Cup like I anticipate a Hyper in St. Louis. I gave up on both years ago.

 

Does anyone on here play any hockey?

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They started out the gate great, however they are stumbling now. Perron's hat trick was awesome. As stated it is early though. Zack... with the Cubs and Indians in the World Series then St Louis winning the Cup is not that far fetched, or new Steel finally gracing Eureka's Skyline for that matter. hahaha

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You're right, Steve. Maybe this is the turn around we've been waiting for? If the Cubs win, I'm going to start speculating over our 2018 Hyper

 

 

 

Words I never thought I'd hear you say Prozach lol!

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To those coming this weekend, more HIP décor has gone up this week, the lights have been up since august and more going up every day, but they now have Jonny Rockets covered in gold garland. This is going to be a very fast turn around from FF to HIP!

I'm still hoping for action at American Thunder.

 

Just love it so much. It opens the first aid. And we know Flyers have been run in cold.

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To those coming this weekend, more HIP décor has gone up this week, the lights have been up since august and more going up every day, but they now have Jonny Rockets covered in gold garland. This is going to be a very fast turn around from FF to HIP!

 

I'm going on Sunday with my cousin and he loves Christmas! He's going to be very excited to see some HIP decor.

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Went last night, but it was too busy and shouldve closed at 10. What's with people cutting in lines? I went on Boss and after waiting 30 minutes, a few people went through the line to get next to their friends. Same thing happened to Mr.Freeze, but karma struck when they opened the other side and and me and my friends were the first to go, while the people that cut were the last on the other side. They weren't very happy about that haha.

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