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Six Flags St. Louis (SFStL) Discussion Thread

p. 550 - Hallowfest trip report!

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14 hours ago, Stlouisguy said:

Some of our, along with Great Americas Holiday In the Park Decorations is currently being rented by a water park in florida for their event. I don’t know how to feel about this, I am glad they are going to good use, but Will These Decorations stay the water parks?  I understand why they are renting these! Look how expensive just the sleigh is! Most of the decorations can be found on that or similar websites!

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Those prices aren't that bad for a commercial quality decoration that people literally sit in. Honestly the saddest part is knowing selling the decorations couldn't have actually made that much money (in comparison to an overall Six Flags-sized budget) now. Is that how low Selim's capex budget was this year? That this relatively small amount of additional income seemed significant and necessary?

Honestly Holiday Square, personally, just makes me sadder about losing the event than I was before. Seeing this makes me just want to go further in to the park.spacer.png

 

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The HIP decor was loaned to the Island H20 waterpark in Orlando as part of the Night of a Million lights, which is for the Give The Kids the World charity to help give seriously ill children and their families trips to Orlando. After the event is over, Six Flags will be getting their decorations back. Here is more info on the event itself, https://www.gktw.org/lights/

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6 hours ago, castaway_kid said:

The HIP decor was loaned to the Island H20 waterpark in Orlando as part of the Night of a Million lights, which is for the Give The Kids the World charity to help give seriously ill children and their families trips to Orlando. After the event is over, Six Flags will be getting their decorations back. Here is more info on the event itself, https://www.gktw.org/lights/

So Six Flags STL in fact did not sell their décor?

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11 minutes ago, castaway_kid said:

Nothing was sold, the few people that kept saying it was were former employees that had no actual information from what was going on within the park itself. 

How are you able to confirm this? Is it somewhere on their website? No matter what, I am glad these decorations are be used, and for a good cause.

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6 hours ago, Stlouisguy said:

How are you able to confirm this? Is it somewhere on their website?

How exactly does one prove a negative?

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7 hours ago, castaway_kid said:

Nothing was sold, the few people that kept saying it was were former employees that had no actual information from what was going on within the park itself. 

For SFStl sake, we hope this holds true.  In fact, it is entirely possible HitP could return to some parks that lost it.  One of the managers at SFoG told me there was already some upper level discussion about bringing HitP back in some way in the near future, although when and where is unclear.  With the heaps of backlash from guests and passholders, this would not surprise me.  One would think of all the SF parks that discontinued Holiday for 2022, STL would likely be first in line to get the event back.

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On 12/5/2022 at 11:27 PM, Lotologist492 said:

For SFStl sake, we hope this holds true.  In fact, it is entirely possible HitP could return to some parks that lost it.  One of the managers at SFoG told me there was already some upper level discussion about bringing HitP back in some way in the near future, although when and where is unclear.  With the heaps of backlash from guests and passholders, this would not surprise me.  One would think of all the SF parks that discontinued Holiday for 2022, STL would likely be first in line to get the event back.

Why do you think STL would be first in line? Not trying to be argumentative, I'm just curious why you think that. The ride op that lives in my house said that rides were not all that popular most nights  and they just didn't appear to be getting the crowds to make a profit. 

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On 12/5/2022 at 3:38 PM, castaway_kid said:

Nothing was sold, the few people that kept saying it was were former employees that had no actual information from what was going on within the park itself. 

For what it's worth she's correct

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9 hours ago, teacherkim said:

Why do you think STL would be first in line? Not trying to be argumentative, I'm just curious why you think that. The ride op that lives in my house said that rides were not all that popular most nights  and they just didn't appear to be getting the crowds to make a profit. 

Furthest south.  Plus remember, the event itself does not necessarily need to turn a profit.  The goal is to add perceived value to having a pass which benefits the park the rest of the year.

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44 minutes ago, Lotologist492 said:

Furthest south. Plus remember, the event itself does not necessarily need to turn a profit.  The goal is to add perceived value to having a pass which benefits the park the rest of the year.

Nevermind SFoG, any of the Texas parks, Mexico, or Magic Mountain.  Though if you meant "the farthest south park without HiTP," yeah you'd have a point.

I think turning a profit is absolutely the point, especially for a company in SF's financial shoes. 

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Well this has been all a joy to read. The slow realization that I was right all along has settled among you all. 

 

There was once a time our park was considered one of the greatest in the chain, the founder, having a vision of a park that would rival Disney world. That time has since passed. 

 

I give it 10 years before our park is closed.

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2 hours ago, liltrekkie said:

Well this has been all a joy to read. The slow realization that I was right all along has settled among you all. 

 

There was once a time our park was considered one of the greatest in the chain, the founder, having a vision of a park that would rival Disney world. That time has since passed. 

 

I give it 10 years before our park is closed.

What?! Our park isn’t going to close? Where are you getting that? Worlds of fun hadn’t gotten a ride since 2017, and no one thought they would close. Us not getting a 2023 addition isn’t the end of the world, in those “rival years” they’d go a bit without getting a ride. Holiday in the park was simply not profitable, they had it for 6 years, it’s not like they are taking away fright fest. They replaced most roofs last year, we just got a new ride if that means anything? We are still getting investments, they just aren’t as noticeable. Sorry but I don’t think our park is going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

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15 minutes ago, Stlouisguy said:

What?! Our park isn’t going to close? Where are you getting that? Worlds of fun hadn’t gotten a ride since 2017, and no one thought they would close. Us not getting a 2023 addition isn’t the end of the world, in those “rival years” they’d go a bit without getting a ride. Holiday in the park was simply not profitable, they had it for 6 years, it’s not like they are taking away fright fest. They replaced most roofs last year, we just got a new ride if that means anything? We are still getting investments, they just aren’t as noticeable. Sorry but I don’t think our park is going anywhere for the foreseeable future.

Aw, look at that optimism! It's so cute. 

 

New roofs don't get people into the park. Those are just necessary expenditures. You know what does get people into the park? Rides. We got nothing for two years, we get woman whip only this year, which hasn't exactly been open everyday when the park was open. And now, we get nothing for 2023. 

 

So tell me, what's new and exciting that will attract crowds and people in general? Sticking up a poster saying we got new roofs and paint doesn't do that. No one goes home and tells their neighbors they painted a building. No one except us anyway, because we are crazy like that. 

 

Six flags has closed parks before. Just look at Astroworld. Our parks death will come. And it will come sooner, rather than later.

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22 hours ago, AmyUD06 said:

Nevermind SFoG, any of the Texas parks, Mexico, or Magic Mountain.  Though if you meant "the farthest south park without HiTP," yeah you'd have a point.

I think turning a profit is absolutely the point, especially for a company in SF's financial shoes. 

Also - SFStl added HitP in 2016, before the event became essentially chain-wide.  For a couple years, SFGAM guests were traveling to STL to enjoy Holiday as their park did not yet have it.  Therefore I would suspect if the chain is going to bring back HitP to any parks that just canceled it (and if they are going to be selective as to which park), I would expect STL to be at or near first in line.  

My point about turning a profit is basically HitP itself may lose money on its own, (DITTO for year-round parks in the WINTER) but if it's existence drives season pass or membership sales, then it becomes profitable looking at the big picture.  Adding calendar dates, making Holiday nearly chain-wide, some parks going year-round - this was SF primary strategy for years, and it worked, although a little too well with the parks becoming impossibly crowded as season pass sales soared.  SF current leadership strategy of attendance reduction has way overperformed and now it appears they are having an about-face trying to get pass numbers back up, given the backlash from the public over the increased prices and loss of Holiday and shortened hours.  Given the fact SFStl did not sell off (but rather leased) their Christmas decorations syncs up with what I heard from someone other than the Dippin' Dots Guy (management at SFoG) regarding the possibility of Holiday returning to parks that lost it.  But - this being Six Flags, anything could or could not happen at this point.  

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4 hours ago, liltrekkie said:

Well this has been all a joy to read. The slow realization that I was right all along has settled among you all. 

 

There was once a time our park was considered one of the greatest in the chain, the founder, having a vision of a park that would rival Disney world. That time has since passed. 

 

I give it 10 years before our park is closed.

Corporate doesn't hate SFSTL. They just hate you.

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29 minutes ago, prozach626 said:

Corporate doesn't hate SFSTL. They just hate you.

I don't blame them, I have a legacy diamond elite VIP pass. They are losing a crap ton of money on me, considering I visited the place 3x a week basically for the year. 

 

I am the bane of all six flags everywhere.

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16 hours ago, liltrekkie said:

Aw, look at that optimism! It's so cute. 

 

New roofs don't get people into the park. Those are just necessary expenditures. You know what does get people into the park? Rides. We got nothing for two years, we get woman whip only this year, which hasn't exactly been open everyday when the park was open. And now, we get nothing for 2023. 

 

So tell me, what's new and exciting that will attract crowds and people in general? Sticking up a poster saying we got new roofs and paint doesn't do that. No one goes home and tells their neighbors they painted a building. No one except us anyway, because we are crazy like that. 

 

Six flags has closed parks before. Just look at Astroworld. Our parks death will come. And it will come sooner, rather than later.

I’m sorry I have optimism that our park is going to stay open. I just think it’s a pretty bold claim that our park is closing within the next years. We will get a new ride eventually, just be patient. Most theme parks don’t get new additions every year, our park is not a big park so it obviously won’t get a ride every year. Yeah I know they can’t advertise those, but I see it as Six flags improving our park so it is able to operate for many years to come. 

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People often assume that a lack of new additions mean that a park is going to close. It often means quite the opposite. It could mean that a park has no competition and has already saturated a market so they'd see a better return elsewhere. They can do nothing at Six Flags St. Louis and it would still turn a profit despite minimal investment because the area is not growing quickly and the nearest competition is 3.5-4 hours away. People have no other options. They can do nothing, throw open the gates every year, make money and repeat the process every year forever without ever having to do anything.

If you live in the St. Louis metro and you want to go to a theme park without getting a hotel and dedicating an entire weekend to it, you're going to Six Flags St. Louis. You have no other choice. They don't have to add much and they know that, so why would they?

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On 12/9/2022 at 11:30 PM, Lotologist492 said:

Furthest south.  Plus remember, the event itself does not necessarily need to turn a profit.  The goal is to add perceived value to having a pass which benefits the park the rest of the year.

I assume you're implying that means our weather is more cooperative? You do realize that weather is way more complicated than just how far north or south you are right? Jet stream dips, mountains, humidity, etc all have an affect. For example if you look at the weather forecast for Eureka, MO vs Jackson, NJ for the dates of 12/16,12/17,12/18,12/22, 12/23 (days SFSTL would almost certainly be open if having HITP) you will see that in STL it is predicted highs in the 30's lows in the 20's and the two days before Christmas highs in the 20's and lows around 10. Same dates in NJ are 10-15 degrees warmer. Plus the fact that NJ has the resources to add heaters to warm some of the trains and run more rides (at least that has been my understanding) to mitigate colder temps. I mean they just have more visitors and that makes it worthwhile.

Also it's hard to justify running an event that loses money for the possibility that it generates enough pass profit to overcome that deficit AND be profitable beyond that. While it might matter to some people it doesn't factor into my pass buying decisions and I can't believe I'm the only one. 

On 12/10/2022 at 10:00 PM, liltrekkie said:

Aw, look at that optimism! It's so cute. 

 

New roofs don't get people into the park. Those are just necessary expenditures. You know what does get people into the park? Rides. We got nothing for two years, we get woman whip only this year, which hasn't exactly been open everyday when the park was open. And now, we get nothing for 2023. 

 

So tell me, what's new and exciting that will attract crowds and people in general? Sticking up a poster saying we got new roofs and paint doesn't do that. No one goes home and tells their neighbors they painted a building. No one except us anyway, because we are crazy like that. 

 

Six flags has closed parks before. Just look at Astroworld. Our parks death will come. And it will come sooner, rather than later.

Putting money into infrastructure may not get people in the park BUT it does indicate an intention to keep the park in good operating order for years to come.

And your statement about them losing money on your legacy diamond elite VIP pass doesn't mean anything. You are one person. For everyone like you there is a legacy diamond elite VIP member like me that has it for convenience and because the perks for other parks make it worth the price to me. I used it maybe 4 or 5 times in the last two seasons at SFSTL, my home park, but visited at least 5 other SF parks in that same time frame so I'm not sure what that has to do with the discussion.

1 hour ago, coasterbill said:

People often assume that a lack of new additions mean that a park is going to close. It often means quite the opposite. It could mean that a park has no competition and has already saturated a market so they'd see a better return elsewhere. They can do nothing at Six Flags St. Louis and it would still turn a profit despite minimal investment because the area is not growing quickly and the nearest competition is 3.5-4 hours away. People have no other options. They can do nothing, throw open the gates every year, make money and repeat the process every year forever without ever having to do anything.

If you live in the St. Louis metro and you want to go to a theme park without getting a hotel and dedicating an entire weekend to it, you're going to Six Flags St. Louis. You have no other choice. They don't have to add much and they know that, so why would they?

THIS! There are a whole lot of people that just consider it a regular local thing to do and never ever go to parks outside the area. I can't tell you how many people in my daily life are just astounded that we take trips just to visit other theme parks, much less an event like CoasterCon. I'm lucky, I love to travel and have the ability at this point in my life to do theme park trips as well as travel to other destinations, but most people can only do a vacation once a year or so and with the exception of maybe the obligatory Disney trip once with their kids just aren't going to spend their limited time and money just going to theme parks, unless one they've heard of is in the location they are going to. To them if you want to go to a park SFSTL is right here.

 

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12 hours ago, teacherkim said:

I assume you're implying that means our weather is more cooperative? You do realize that weather is way more complicated than just how far north or south you are right? Jet stream dips, mountains, humidity, etc all have an affect. For example if you look at the weather forecast for Eureka, MO vs Jackson, NJ for the dates of 12/16,12/17,12/18,12/22, 12/23 (days SFSTL would almost certainly be open if having HITP) you will see that in STL it is predicted highs in the 30's lows in the 20's and the two days before Christmas highs in the 20's and lows around 10. Same dates in NJ are 10-15 degrees warmer. Plus the fact that NJ has the resources to add heaters to warm some of the trains and run more rides (at least that has been my understanding) to mitigate colder temps. I mean they just have more visitors and that makes it worthwhile.

Also it's hard to justify running an event that loses money for the possibility that it generates enough pass profit to overcome that deficit AND be profitable beyond that. While it might matter to some people it doesn't factor into my pass buying decisions and I can't believe I'm the only one. 

I was not comparing STL weather to New Jersey.  SFGadv still has HitP currently.  I was referring to SFGAM and SFNE - and now DL (although they have not yet hosted Holiday).  The STL area has no more unpredictable weather than the Atlanta area.  The only difference is that it rains much more in the south, versus cold, snow and ice. 

SFoG actually rolled out Holiday in the Park for the 1989 and 1990 seasons - incidentally becoming only the second park in the chain outside of Over Texas to host it.  The 1989 season featured record cold temps for the region, and the 1990 event was hampered by rain all December long.  Granted, HitP was much smaller in scale back then in that it only utilized about a third of the park and a list of about 12 rides, but in any event HitP was scrapped in GA and did not return there until 2014.  

And yes, it is very easy to justify an individual event that loses money on its own - if it drives pass and membership sales.  If this were not the case, SFFT and SFoT would not be open weekends in Jan-Feb.  And judging by the light crowds at Holiday in my home park, the event simply would not happen.  Perception is reality.  A well-rounded portfolio does sell passes, which in themselves are money in the bank for the park.  And for proof of this, one has to look no further than the staggering attendance and crowds in recent memory.  The strategy of adding events and days, as well as heavy discounting of passes worked.  Too well.  In walks Bassoul & company with a plan to reduce attendance by reducing demand.  They cut hours, events, dates, and raised prices.  The plan worked.  Too well.  Which brings us to today, and the crossroads SF corporate find themselves standing at.  Should they start discounting passes again?  How about extending operating days / hours?  Maybe bringing back Holiday in the Park?  What about more new rides and attractions?  While nothing is certain, it appears all options are on the table as they attempt to get pass holder and attendance numbers back up.  And while you personally are not a huge fan of HitP, and that event or lack thereof does not factor into your pass buying decision, and ditto for some others, there are more than enough GP that does care.  

Personally, I do not envy the powers-to-be at SF.

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55 minutes ago, Lotologist492 said:

I was not comparing STL weather to New Jersey.  SFGadv still has HitP currently.  I was referring to SFGAM and SFNE - and now DL (although they have not yet hosted Holiday).  The STL area has no more unpredictable weather than the Atlanta area.  The only difference is that it rains much more in the south, versus cold, snow and ice. 

SFoG actually rolled out Holiday in the Park for the 1989 and 1990 seasons - incidentally becoming only the second park in the chain outside of Over Texas to host it.  The 1989 season featured record cold temps for the region, and the 1990 event was hampered by rain all December long.  Granted, HitP was much smaller in scale back then in that it only utilized about a third of the park and a list of about 12 rides, but in any event HitP was scrapped in GA and did not return there until 2014.  

And yes, it is very easy to justify an individual event that loses money on its own - if it drives pass and membership sales.  If this were not the case, SFFT and SFoT would not be open weekends in Jan-Feb.  And judging by the light crowds at Holiday in my home park, the event simply would not happen.  Perception is reality.  A well-rounded portfolio does sell passes, which in themselves are money in the bank for the park.  And for proof of this, one has to look no further than the staggering attendance and crowds in recent memory.  The strategy of adding events and days, as well as heavy discounting of passes worked.  Too well.  In walks Bassoul & company with a plan to reduce attendance by reducing demand.  They cut hours, events, dates, and raised prices.  The plan worked.  Too well.  Which brings us to today, and the crossroads SF corporate find themselves standing at.  Should they start discounting passes again?  How about extending operating days / hours?  Maybe bringing back Holiday in the Park?  What about more new rides and attractions?  While nothing is certain, it appears all options are on the table as they attempt to get pass holder and attendance numbers back up.  And while you personally are not a huge fan of HitP, and that event or lack thereof does not factor into your pass buying decision, and ditto for some others, there are more than enough GP that does care.  

Personally, I do not envy the powers-to-be at SF.

Paying more is less of a problem if you're getting more. The Six Flags 2022 problem is they wanted people to pay more while receiving less. I'd try justifying the new price point. 

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