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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread

p. 550 - Hallowfest trip report!

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On 10/19/2022 at 8:33 AM, coasterbill said:

Honestly, I have a Great Adventure pass only for HITP. 😂

Ok, if you say so. I don't really get it and find it hard to believe you would have gone only maybe one other time outside of HITP but to each their own. I guess I assumed the weather was more of a factor for most people. I have no idea how many rides they are able to run in the New Jersey winter, maybe more than I think.

 

On 10/20/2022 at 12:00 PM, Danrarbc said:

I just don't see how the event could have been unprofitable. Sure, not as profitable as Fright Fest but it did drive crowds. Given the reduced ride count you had a smaller staff too.

And they really haven't had to close that many days for it - in the 6 seasons it operated I can only see announced closures for 5 or 6 days. Total.

If they kill or probably even increase the cost of my existing memberships I'm out. I even still usually spend money in the park every visit even though we have dining plans. 

Well as far as the profitability I truly believe almost all of the attendees for HITP were passholders, I mean many of you have stated that's why you had them, so they already had food, parking, etc included and weren't spending a lot of extra money.  Whereas FF draws in people that don't normally do a lot of amusement parks and are willing to pay a lot for the experience. As far as closures my son worked 3 seasons of HITP and I know there were at least a couple days each year they closed for weather (or closed early) but sometimes they would "open" without being fully open, for example I can remember going one year on Dec 30 (when he was younger and wasn't working there yet) and it was so bitterly cold that they couldn't even open mine train, it was just the shows, JL and a handful of kiddie rides which most people with little kids weren't there because it was so cold and then they made that the last night of the season even though it was supposed to be open through New Year's Day based on the forecast of super cold weather continuing. We walked around, looked at the lights, ate some soup (included on our pass), maybe watched one show and left after an hour or so. No extra money for the park, that was just the perspective I was thinking of. I mean yes lots of nights were busier but then those nights happened. And yes, reduce ride staff needed but more entertainment staff than on an average summer operating day. Also, I believe that last few years they were contracting out for all the lights to be put up, not doing it in house, that is expensive. 

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As far as the "is a pass worth it or not" that is obviously different for every individual/family based on price and what rides/events they like. I tend to think of passes not in terms of individual parks. We have SF and CF passes that are good for all the parks so we can go where we want, when we want. I realize that isn't financially feasible for everyone based on circumstances, time to travel, etc, etc but the offerings of one individual park aren't really a factor in my decision on what passes to have. We had passes for all the SW/BG parks for one year because we got a super good deal on an upgrade after a chance visit to SWSA and the fact that we knew we were going to be in Orlando and San Diego during the next calendar year, wasn't about individual offerings.

I'm bring this up not to say one perspective is better than another just to point out that there are different reasons people have for getting passes, just like some of you have it for HITP which would never be a motivator for me, 😉

The real question is what will a majority of people do? What price point are they willing to go up to? And, what experiences will be important and justify the expense for them? I'm not even going to speculate, I have no idea and I'm not sure anyone else does either, including the CEO who is gambling on what he THINKS will happen. The sampling on this forum MAY be an indicator but is hardly a large enough sample to know for sure.

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12 hours ago, teacherkim said:

Ok, if you say so. I don't really get it and find it hard to believe you would have gone only maybe one other time outside of HITP but to each their own. I guess I assumed the weather was more of a factor for most people. I have no idea how many rides they are able to run in the New Jersey winter, maybe more than I think.

They run 10 coasters and only the RMC has any type of temperature cutoff. Even that is extremely low.

We’ve been to the park (I think) twice this year so far. We’ll go to HITP more times than we’ve gone the entire rest of the year.

The park just feels different. It feels like a family park. The people who go there are nicer and friendlier. The people who work there are the same way because of it. The atmosphere is better. It’s all great. 
 

I really don’t like Six Flags in the summer. It’s totally not my vibe.

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On 10/22/2022 at 4:46 PM, teacherkim said:

Also, I believe that last few years they were contracting out for all the lights to be put up, not doing it in house, that is expensive. 

2016 was the only year that the lighting was completely contracted out for HIP, Oak Island Creative was the company and they worked with Six Flags staff to install the first year, then in 2017 they just provided some minor guidance and since 2018, Six Flags has done all HIP decor setup in house.

 

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23 hours ago, bert425 said:

^ During the Summer Six Flags parks (for the most part) are like Carnival Cruises without the Hairy Chest Contest

Clearly you've never been to Great Adventure in August.  The Brooklyn Italians like to, uh, show off.

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On 10/23/2022 at 4:47 AM, coasterbill said:

The park just feels different. It feels like a family park. The people who go there are nicer and friendlier. The people who work there are the same way because of it. The atmosphere is better. It’s all great.

Definitely agree. I liked this even before we had a family.

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On 10/24/2022 at 7:39 AM, castaway_kid said:

2016 was the only year that the lighting was completely contracted out for HIP, Oak Island Creative was the company and they worked with Six Flags staff to install the first year, then in 2017 they just provided some minor guidance and since 2018, Six Flags has done all HIP decor setup in house.

 

Thanks for the clarification, good to know. I can't remember for sure. Was 2016 the first year they did HITP? 6 years seems about right.

Look, we can argue about the worthiness of HITP and discuss whether passes are worth it or not......All. We. Want. It will not affect the outcome.  Will enough people stop buying passes to change that. Who knows? BUT (and as I used to tell my students this is a big but 🙂) whatever the reasons why, the parks that HITP was pulled from were clearly not making a profit or it wouldn't have been pulled. 

I will forever be a summer girl; I like Christmas stuff but not as much as FF stuff, SFGAdv may lose it crack den summer charm for a family Christmas vibe but I wouldn't travel there for it because it's not worth it to me due to weather, I will and do travel places for FF. How many feel like me? How many feel the opposite? How many don't give a damn? I guess that is what the CEO is gambling on..........I just hope in the end the parks survive the experiment and come out stronger in the end.

Now on a different subject. If you go to the job postings on the web site which is not yet updated for next year. They have Park President listed for SFSTL, SFOT, SFGAdv, SFOG, & SFA, which is probably due to some house rule about posting all jobs to get all possible candidates but I find funny since it is usually in house or poached from some other theme park. So tell anyone you know that is qualified and maybe they can climb the corporate ladder to knock Selim out of his job 😜

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12 hours ago, castaway_kid said:

Anyone that went to Fright Fest this year, what were your favorite parts? Anything standout or how it compared to years past.

They need to cough up the money and fix the lights on the Ferris wheel  so that the pumpkin is back. And of course the clock program for the normal season 

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On 11/4/2022 at 11:02 PM, SixFlagsOMA80 said:

They need to cough up the money and fix the lights on the Ferris wheel  so that the pumpkin is back. And of course the clock program for the normal season 

SFStL needs to set up a 'Go Fund Me' drive - Please help SFSTL fix all the broken stuff in our Park!  This includes Broken Lightning, Vacant Restaurant and Waterslide Removal, and Empty/Dry Water Features and more!  If we exceed our goal, our MIA Carousel will return for 2023 as a new Addition!!

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Remember when we all used to complain about not having a hyper? Then, we were thrown a couple bones. A small GCI here, a small spinning coaster there. We still longed for our hyper, but started to think about settling for a RMC I-box treatment, which was sure to come at any time.

Instead, we got Justice League, which I remember being told verbatim was "our hyper," because there wasn't any like it in the chain and it would be the best. Only to have one of the worst in the chain a few years later. But, we were all still so grateful to have it. "Think about some of the other parks and the lack of dark rides they had."

Then, we got smaller flats like Super Girl. But hey, at least Six Flags was getting a new attraction every year, right? Now, we've lost Tidal Wave and Superman, only to be replaced by something with a laughable capacity for a major theme park chain. Some were saying we should be thankful for that, while other areas in the park become more and more in disrepair.

We can't even refurbish a ride, but we should be so thankful the park is going to give us the very best finished product, which will open as the solo new attraction for that year. Meanwhile, they gave us planters and charged more money. People still kept coming.

Next year, they're offering less, while we just ask for railings to be painted and shit paper holders to be fixed. In two years, we'll all be so thankful when they give us an extra weekend and repaint Joker. The people who complain will be called ungrateful. The hopeful will cross their fingers for a small flat to end the ride drought. 

How far have we come from our wants for a Hyper, yet how normal does getting so little feel? If it wasn't such a parallel to American society, it would be funny. Six Flags is just yet another bubble from boiling the frog.

The icing on the cake was placing blame on a prior 'owner.'

Was this post ever about Six Flags?

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2 hours ago, prozach626 said:

Remember when we all used to complain about not having a hyper? Then, we were thrown a couple bones. A small GCI here, a small spinning coaster there. We still longed for our hyper, but started to think about settling for a RMC I-box treatment, which was sure to come at any time.

Instead, we got Justice League, which I remember being told verbatim was "our hyper," because there wasn't any like it in the chain and it would be the best. Only to have one of the worst in the chain a few years later. But, we were all still so grateful to have it. "Think about some of the other parks and the lack of dark rides they had."

Then, we got smaller flats like Super Girl. But hey, at least Six Flags was getting a new attraction every year, right? Now, we've lost Tidal Wave and Superman, only to be replaced by something with a laughable capacity for a major theme park chain. Some were saying we should be thankful for that, while other areas in the park become more and more in disrepair.

We can't even refurbish a ride, but we should be so thankful the park is going to give us the very best finished product, which will open as the solo new attraction for that year. Meanwhile, they gave us planters and charged more money. People still kept coming.

Next year, they're offering less, while we just ask for railings to be painted and shit paper holders to be fixed. In two years, we'll all be so thankful when they give us an extra weekend and repaint Joker. The people who complain will be called ungrateful. The hopeful will cross their fingers for a small flat to end the ride drought. 

How far have we come from our wants for a Hyper, yet how normal does getting so little feel? If it wasn't such a parallel to American society, it would be funny. Six Flags is just yet another bubble from boiling the frog.

The icing on the cake was placing blame on a prior 'owner.'

Was this post ever about Six Flags?

Powerful.

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21 hours ago, KBrylczyk said:

Hopefully a partnership with City Museum and guests will be allowed to climb anywhere.

Actually it's been the opposite.  Premier has been slowly and quietly downgrading the City Museum (in my opinion, at least).  Don't get me wrong, its still wonderful and amazing and literally one of my favorite places on earth.  But there have been slides closed for years now, and one of my favorite slides is definitely not coming back (the one on the first floor where you hang from a bar and drop into the basement).   The ball pits have been emptied.  And they put up a map. A MAP I tell you.  Bob is rolling in his grave.    They've definitely added some great stuff too, but it feels like every time I visit, some little feature I used to adore has been taken away.

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On 11/4/2022 at 10:05 AM, castaway_kid said:

Anyone that went to Fright Fest this year, what were your favorite parts? Anything standout or how it compared to years past.

I was there the last Saturday of FF. Some things same as always such as long lines for everything, it was packed to the point of parking went all the way to the grass area. We fastpassed the haunts and didn't worry about rides on this trip. Some things still feel not up to full steam such as the atmosphere wasn't quite like it used to be although I'm not sure I can pinpoint all the reasons why. One problem for sure was the scare zones were lacking scare actors, I mean from no one to just one or two staff. The 4 houses were fine but nothing awesome, definitely not as good as SFGAm (I mention that one because it was the only other SF FF I attended) I would be fine with only four houses if they were staffed better. Now I will say this the theming on the corn maze and slaughterhouse were in my opinion stepped up from years past. The Christmas gone bad themed one had the most potential, starting it in the catering grove and following the old antique car track was creative and it was quite long. But similarly to Camp Killamore they didn't execute it quite as well as they could have; it was fine but could have been so much better. Again staffing was a large part. The clown one was the weakest by a longshot.

However my husband who hung out with me that night because the boy was working Boss and he knows I have a weird love of haunted houses which belies my suburban mom seeming appearance didn't know enough to know it wasn't the best. Along with several people in line that I talked to from various nearby dinky towns that don't go to any other parks. I think they are a lot of the bread and butter of this particular park.

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While I realize everyone wants new rides. I really feel like the more immediate need to increase guest satisfaction at the moment is to solve our staffing issue. While it is clearly an issue at other parks and in other types of businesses, it is also seems worse at our park for some reason. I realize it is in the far out burbs but frankly so are most parks. I mean SFGAm is clearly in a larger metro area but half way between Milwaukee and Chicago so not exactly convenient to much of the populace as far as working there. So many of the things people end up complaining about like long lines and shortened hours could be solved if we simply had more staff. I mean they were never ever close to what is considered fully staffed for ride ops and the waterpark was massively short on life guards.

Not sure what the answer there is but would like to see the powerful high paid muckety mucks come up with some creative solutions. I mean at least try something new, traditional methods of getting staff are not working very well.

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18 minutes ago, teacherkim said:

While I realize everyone wants new rides. I really feel like the more immediate need to increase guest satisfaction at the moment is to solve our staffing issue. While it is clearly an issue at other parks and in other types of businesses, it is also seems worse at our park for some reason. I realize it is in the far out burbs but frankly so are most parks. I mean SFGAm is clearly in a larger metro area but half way between Milwaukee and Chicago so not exactly convenient to much of the populace as far as working there. So many of the things people end up complaining about like long lines and shortened hours could be solved if we simply had more staff. I mean they were never ever close to what is considered fully staffed for ride ops and the waterpark was massively short on life guards.

Not sure what the answer there is but would like to see the powerful high paid muckety mucks come up with some creative solutions. I mean at least try something new, traditional methods of getting staff are not working very well.

Does not seem like paying teens $15-$20 an hour helps either. I would loved to have been paid that much as a teenager. 

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1 hour ago, teacherkim said:

 I realize it is in the far out burbs but frankly so are most parks.

Was staffing an issue pre-covid?  I never heard of staffing issues until the last few years, so I doubt the location is the issue.

SFSTL is stale, run down, blah.... no excitement.  That doesn't seem like a great place to work, does it?  The park need a generous amount of capital for a well deserved Facelift.  

It gets no media attention (radio or TV), no commercials, no billboards.  The park is just there, like it has been for 50 plus years.   ...yawn...

It's like watching your favorite Movie over and over and over,  it's your favorite but eventually you have had enough.

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2 hours ago, SixFlagsOMA80 said:

Does not seem like paying teens $15-$20 an hour helps either. I would loved to have been paid that much as a teenager. 

1 hour ago, SteveStL said:

Was staffing an issue pre-covid?  I never heard of staffing issues until the last few years, so I doubt the location is the issue.

SFSTL is stale, run down, blah.... no excitement.  That doesn't seem like a great place to work, does it?  The park need a generous amount of capital for a well deserved Facelift.  

It gets no media attention (radio or TV), no commercials, no billboards.  The park is just there, like it has been for 50 plus years.   ...yawn...

It's like watching your favorite Movie over and over and over,  it's your favorite but eventually you have had enough.

I don't think it is just a wage issue or atmosphere/boring place issue. Yes, staffing was an issue pre-Covid but of course worse after. Not being able to recruit in schools or get foreign workers was an issue for a while afterwards. But I mean there are lots of dud places to work, like any fast food place or the hardware store. Your assessment may have merit but it affects the guest more than the worker.  I really really think in our particular market location coupled with so many less teens working at all is a problem. Most of the area around the park is pretty affluent and I cannot tell you how few of my son's friends had/have summer jobs in high school and/or college. Part of the reason their is such a huge lifeguard shortage. I mean I didn't grow up poor but everyone worked once they hit 15 or 16...........so many more kids doing summer classes and internships, to their detriment in this former teacher's opinion.

Plus I worked in a school district that had a LOT of kids that would work and could have desperately used the money and needed something to do in the summer. Problem is it is a solid 35-45 minutes away and they cannot get there. The park does have a bus (or did at one point) that goes from the North Hanley Metro Station to the park but you have to pay to use it, scheduling is difficult, it's a long way, etc. Seems like it might be worth the investment to have transportation from some key spots around town for the employees. Like have a pickup point at South county mall or other points closer to areas where the potential employees are. I mean HW has an old school bus that drives around to key pickup points to get employees that are all spread out on farms and such. And there may be a million reasons that won't work, just off the top of my head, but there has to be something they can try.

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