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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread

p. 550 - Hallowfest trip report!

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On 12/16/2021 at 11:54 PM, Freezefan1971 said:

Hey guys make sure to get your next couple visits in for Holiday In The Park as it is getting cut for 2022 due to corporate budget cuts. :(

I would find this very difficult to believe given the push for membership and season pass sales.  The whole point of adding Holiday nearly chain-wide - as well as a few parks going to year round ops - is to give perceived value to having (and keeping) memberships and season passes.  

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Six Flags is sinking and sinking FAST, they REALLY just shot themselves in the foot this time. Major layoffs for fulltimes chain wide. Yes, this has happened in the past, consolidating of some departments heads, maybe too many managers in a department, but they have done this multiple times, leaving department managerial staffs running BEYOND thin... well now its horrific. This week, the director of Ops, the director of Food/ Games/ Retail, and Safety manager and a handful of others just got chopped, but yes, you read that right, they eliminated the director of Ops, the director of Food/ Games/ Retail, and Safety manager!!! Horrible horrible horrible move. There is now no 1 person in charge if the departments and the supes and lower managers report either straight to corporate or to the park president. That is exactly how to NOT do things, but they are doing it. Not to mention, the ops and retail directors have been with the chain for decades and were some of the more recognized in their position in the chain. I have stayed VERY silent the past few years on here as Six Flags is sinking faster and faster. They are hemorrhaging and it isnt going to stop any time soon. When corporate decided to start running all parks the same across the board 6 or 7 years ago, many people jumped ship then knowing what happening now was coming, hence why do you think Dave Roemer left when he did? Yes, Dave had retirement coming regardless, but he left whwn he did for a reason, and thats why many others followed him. I have always loved Six Flags, but at this point, theres not much to love, and I fear in the next few years, you will see parks closing or being sold off... its not so much a fear as a fate that is inevitable. The majority of Six Flags parks are nothing but permanent carnivals, and that is SAD, considering what this chain once was. I know there will be many of you that disagree with what I am saying, but Ive been told Im wrong before, and what Ive said in the past unfortunately always becomes a reality. I have been with this corporation FAR too long to just give what I "think" is going to happen.

I'll leave you with this, how come chains such as Cedar Fair do so well, but not Six Flags... up until 10-15 years, they were the same type of parks... Its because Six Flags corporate is absolute;y clueless.

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still not seeing any news (at all, not even on sites that track major company layoffs) saying there has been any layoff other than at Corporate Level the other week  - with analysis saying that now the individual Park Presidents will be direct reports up to the highest level folks.

so . . . not saying y'all are *incorrect*. . . but I will have to wait and see and will be more willing to believe it when I see news on it as to how these Corporate cuts are affecting individual parks.



(and yes, SFStL has been firing lower level employees whom have been commenting negatively online - but that seems restricted to those who are commenting about the company they work for.  Not saying that's right of Six Flags, but those are unique situations and not a mass layoff)


guess I just dont' really care what goes on behind the scenes, as long as it's invisible to the consumers, and I just don't really think the average consumers are going to notice these things that y'all seem convinced are going to tank/destroy/flush Six Flags.

they did great during the Pandemic years 2020-2021 (better than Cedar Fair). . and maybe I'm just spoiled in that the Texas parks are run so well?

but I just do NOT see any need to "panic" or go all "doom and gloom"

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22 minutes ago, parkjunkie said:

I have always loved Six Flags, but at this point, theres not much to love, and I fear in the next few years, you will see parks closing or being sold off...

[...]

I'll leave you with this, how come chains such as Cedar Fair do so well, but not Six Flags... up until 10-15 years, they were the same type of parks... Its because Six Flags corporate is absolute;y clueless.

I would not object to CF, SEAS, or even Herschend buying up any of the SF parks.  Even St. Louis...Mr. Freeze would fit right in at Michigan's Adventure.

To the second quoted point, I would argue that SF has been running circles around CF since around March of 2020.

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49 minutes ago, bert425 said:

still not seeing any news (at all, not even on sites that track major company layoffs) saying there has been any layoff other than at Corporate Level the other week  - with analysis saying that now the individual Park Presidents will be direct reports up to the highest level folks.

so . . . not saying y'all are *incorrect*. . . but I will have to wait and see and will be more willing to believe it when I see news on it as to how these Corporate cuts are affecting individual parks.



(and yes, SFStL has been firing lower level employees whom have been commenting negatively online - but that seems restricted to those who are commenting about the company they work for.  Not saying that's right of Six Flags, but those are unique situations and not a mass layoff)


guess I just dont' really care what goes on behind the scenes, as long as it's invisible to the consumers, and I just don't really think the average consumers are going to notice these things that y'all seem convinced are going to tank/destroy/flush Six Flags.

they did great during the Pandemic years 2020-2021 (better than Cedar Fair). . and maybe I'm just spoiled in that the Texas parks are run so well?

but I just do NOT see any need to "panic" or go all "doom and gloom"

LOL, its not major news to be made public, it RARELY is. But even when they do, its shared with the parks first before making headlines to the general public lol. But youre right, since someone who is part of that staff has no clue what they are talking about. Boy, I thought I'd get more push back about everything else other than the layoffs.

These decisions affect the general public in every way possible, without these heads on site for immediate decisions, decisions will be delayed, communication will be non existent. This is beyond bad

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my Boss is in Asia (I direct report to someone based in Singapore), and has been for over a decade.

when i have an issue that needs immediate attention?   I reach out via whatsapp and we get a decision right away.

you're insane if you think not having someone ON SITE for decision affects anything at all.


but I say again:  I'm willing to wait and see how it affects individual parks before I start reacting as if the sky is falling and the Six Flags Corporation is imploding.

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6 minutes ago, bert425 said:

but I say again:  I'm willing to wait and see how it affects individual parks before I start reacting as if the sky is falling and the Six Flags Corporation is imploding.

+1.  I think if we were seeing similar posts in other SF threads (hint: almost every park has employees on these forums), there might be cause for concern that something is going south at the Corporate level.

Also, consider that its quite a regular thing in the corporate world for a new boss to give the boot to all of the old people occupying key positions and bring in their own people.  Just because these individuals were fired, it doesn't necessarily mean their positions have been eliminated.

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5 hours ago, Mike240SX said:

+1.  I think if we were seeing similar posts in other SF threads (hint: almost every park has employees on these forums), there might be cause for concern that something is going south at the Corporate level.

Also, consider that its quite a regular thing in the corporate world for a new boss to give the boot to all of the old people occupying key positions and bring in their own people.  Just because these individuals were fired, it doesn't necessarily mean their positions have been eliminated.

Unfortunately it has nothing to do with bringing in new people, the positions are being eliminated altogether. Anyone who works in the industry will tell you is this not only a bad move, but almost suicidal. It may not seem like it to the regular Joe, but trust the rumors you are hearing... they arent rumors, its whats happening. Put it this way, departments that used to have 5,6,7 managers are down to 2 and 3, others with 3 and 4 are down to 1 and 2, and others are gone altogether. It was already next to impossible running these departments the past few years, well, it now just got worse. Why do you think Six Flags parks have been having the problems they were having the past few years precovid? Because of understaffed management. Understaffed management led to many other problems all the way down the staffing chain.

 

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Took my 4 year old to the park on Sunday.  He's RIGHT at 42", so we can really only do JL, BBNP, and Mine Train-type stuff.  Not sure if it's due to the new corporate cuts or what, but after JL I was talking to a ride ops and just saying the Joker wasn't moving, shooting "gas" and the fire didn't explode (all things my kid looks forward to and is "magical" in his eyes).  The ride ops apologized and said due to new corporate cost savings at the end of the year, they've turned that down/off - which was really sad to explain to my kiddo.

I'm a 35 year old who has lived local to STL all my life.  It's really sad to sift thru some of these comments and see the above type of cuts trickling down.  I remember the good ole days of the park as a youngster that fueled my passion for coasters, parks and such.  My son asks me to watch rollercoaster videos and such, which is so fun.  I hope they realize that the little things matter to the next generations.  I know they're not CF, Herschend, Disney, or Universal....but if little things were working and in place, it makes a world of difference.

Stepping off soap box :)

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"The ride ops apologized and said due to new corporate cost savings at the end of the year, they've turned that down/off"

 

ok. .that makes no sense.. the cost savings from that would be minuscule, and if they were trying to save, the ride would have just been down.

but in a strange coincidence, none of the fire effects on Daredevil Dive at SFFT were working yesterday.    So I wonder. .  I might just ask if that is the reason they weren't on.

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17 hours ago, bert425 said:

"The ride ops apologized and said due to new corporate cost savings at the end of the year, they've turned that down/off"

 

ok. .that makes no sense.. the cost savings from that would be minuscule, and if they were trying to save, the ride would have just been down.

but in a strange coincidence, none of the fire effects on Daredevil Dive at SFFT were working yesterday.    So I wonder. .  I might just ask if that is the reason they weren't on.

I agree that is doesn't make sense.  I'm just relaying what I heard and what the ride ops said.  She couldn't have been nicer and knew I wasn't attacking, but just notifying.  And she seemed to deliver it as it might be more the norm.  WHich, as I said, is sad to hear.

 

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4 Six Flags parks including St Louis have removed Holiday in the park as a perk on the season pass sales webpage.  Six Flags Great America, America, and New England also appear to be losing the event.  The other parks with the event this year still list it as a perk.

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I can see the chain removing HiTP where it is not performing well but I suspect these parks would still have a lights event (with no rides).  This could also apply to Darien Lake which never had the chance to add Holiday to their calendar, although they had a drive-through event.  I did find it odd this park initially advertised HiTP with only a few rides open, but then added most of the other rides similar to last year, which would suggest the new corporate management team had already been thinking about future plans.

If these four parks do indeed remove Holiday in the Park, it will be the first time since 1991 that any SF park had 'Holiday' and then had it taken away.  The last time this happened was at SF Over Georgia.  That park introduced HitP in 1989 and it lasted for two seasons.  Admittedly, the event only had three sections of the park open and a very short list of rides, plus a snow hill and a skating rink.  Mother Nature played a big role: 1989 was the coldest December in decades; the bitter cold kept attendance low.  1990 saw a record rainiest December, which also kept attendance down.  Finally, after two years, SF gave up on Georgia.  Twenty four years later, it returned.

Hopefully these parks will still have a lights event.

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Wow. Been out of town for a couple of weeks and just getting caught up on all the posts. First I've heard of any of this news. I can tell you that sometime last week the park made the decision to not open on Jan 1st and 2nd and make Dec 31st the last day of the season, but no reason why was given. I always thought Jan 2nd was kind of a dumb day to open anyway since it is after the holiday and school starts for most the next day. Interested (and a little worried) about how this plays out but will stay optimistic and hope it benefits operations in the long run.

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Ok I just got a seriously weird survey about possible new animal exhibits at SFDK despite the fact that I stated I had never been there and lived closest to SFSTL 🤔 On top of that it will not be accurate because they were asking opinions about exhibits without giving anywhere near enough info to accurately have an opinion, plus there were typos, plus they asked on one question to check all that apply but would only let you choose one, and when I answered on one thing that I had not been to a location since before 2018 they then on the very next question asked about my experience there in the last 3 years.............WTF!! 

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46 minutes ago, castaway_kid said:

What are things people are looking forward to or hoping to see in 2022 at the park?

Scream, the parking lot coaster, in MM is shipped over to us for the plot where Tidal Wave was.  At this point, an old B&M would be a jackpot add.  That, or we hear the Boss is getting redone (either RMC or Titan).  

Also, that HITP isn't scratched.  I love going there with my family.

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On 1/3/2022 at 9:59 AM, castaway_kid said:

What are things people are looking forward to or hoping to see in 2022 at the park?

I'm looking forward to trying to visit twice before I graduate. Once I graduate and move back home, SFStL will no longer be a home park for me. Sure, SFStL does not have the best ride collection, but I love the layout and setting, and I've had fun visiting the last 3.5 years, especially the last 1.5.

I'm most looking forward to riding Mr. Freeze, because I have been on it twice throughout my seven days spent at the park. I've also only been on Pandemonium twice and Xcalibur once, so at least one last ride on all 3 would really be nice

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Looks like everything ParkJunkie said would happen either already did or is now happening at other parks. Firing people that have knowledge of the park and company before Premier Parks screwed things up is not smart. 

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Six Flags STL hasnt been long for this world in nearly a decade. Six Flags is over due to sell off a lot of parks anyway. They should have never bought Premier Parks back in 1999 or so. 

STL is an amazing city but there is no money everyone is going to branson where the urbanites have a harder time getting to. You could take a cab from Florissant to SFSTL but can't take a cab to SDC. 

Scream from SFMM seems unbelievable SFMM isn't going to lose any attraction unless it's literally falling apart a-la Psyclone. 

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4 hours ago, rachelmadcow said:

Six Flags STL hasnt been long for this world in nearly a decade. Six Flags is over due to sell off a lot of parks anyway. They should have never bought Premier Parks back in 1999 or so. 

STL is an amazing city but there is no money everyone is going to branson where the urbanites have a harder time getting to. You could take a cab from Florissant to SFSTL but can't take a cab to SDC. 

Scream from SFMM seems unbelievable SFMM isn't going to lose any attraction unless it's literally falling apart a-la Psyclone. 

Huh? What are you talking about? I'm pretty sure that anyone in Florissant that doesn't have a car is NOT spending money on a cab to an amusement park and 99% of STL county has no trouble driving 3 1/2 hours to Branson. Am I reading you to literal? If that was a metaphor, you aren't making your point very well. 

Also,  just because there is "reorganizing" at the corporate and managerial level doesn't mean they are selling off parks. Quite the opposite in my opinion. That would be an indication that you want to keep parks and make them more profitable (whether everyone agrees that is the way to do it or not) if you are selling things off you let the new owners decide who to keep and deal with firing people. Besides SFSTL is one of the original ground up SF parks, your post makes it sound like you are saying that it was originally a Premier Park. 

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On 1/3/2022 at 9:59 AM, castaway_kid said:

What are things people are looking forward to or hoping to see in 2022 at the park?

New and improved area up around Eagle. I've HATED that janky hidden entrance to such a classic coaster for years now. And for God's sake please tell me they will put up a new sign with all the logistics of the coaster and get rid of the current one that is all faded and unreadable. 

Also, for everyone to wait and see how operations are before we declare the park is on the way out. Maybe the new CEO is making terrible choices or maybe thinning some positions at the top will smooth things out (if screamscape is right and food ops were under the retail dept that explains a lot) or maybe some things will work and some won't but we won't know what until the season starts. Which according to the calendar is the first weekend in April. A little later than the last few years but if that helps them have more ready for opening day, I'm fine with that.

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