Maintenance in the ParksSix Flags Great America: A lousy economy and lukewarm ticket sales means peeling paint, sprouting weeds and more poor upkeep at many parks. Wait a minute, many parks let stuff go to heck when the economy was great. Why can't companies take more pride in their parks' appearance?
From Mr. D. T.I'm writing a discussion examining on how well the parks are maintained. This focuses on subjects such as how the buidings/pavilions look both outside and inside, the landscape, and the condition of the streets both inside the park and on the parking lot.
Posted July 11, 2003 at 7:34 PM
Sadly, Six Flags Great America is starting to look depressing somewhat. The road which connects the parking lot with Rte. 132 with the main parking lot, as well as the main parking lot and employee parking lot, need a makeover SORELY! There are potholes, cracks, an warps all over them! And when it would rain, the warps on the pavement become deep puddles, some as deep as 3 inches.
The Shockwave coaster, as well as other rides in the park recently defunct, continue to rot in the rapidly-deteriorating employee parking lot. Give it a makeover anytime! In addition, there are weeds growing inside the cracks in the pavement. You might as well demolish the whole parking lot as they did with Chicago's Meigs Field and pave a new one.
Inside the park, deterioration does not look quite as bad, thank goodness. The American Eagle needs retracking and repainting ASAP! While some of the stores could use a repainting wherever necessary, what I'm really starting to complain about is the landscape in the Viper and Superman queues. Viper used to look nice 5 years ago, but is now full of full-grown weeds, and whatever attract mosquitoes (can you say West Nile Virus?). While Superman is new this year, its landscape does not look too improved. I thought it looked like a swamp, with the deep water, shallow grass, and thick weeds. And just because I went on the ride does *not* keep me from noticing a few scraps of paper on the landscape. It looks like this place needs paper-pickers AND weed-b-gone.
While the pavement is coated every winter before the park opens, it could use a little fix-up from time to time.
Deja Vu used to be a great ride in Great America, but it is currently not operating and likely will not operate this year and will be removed. If that's so, here's a word of advice, if possible: BRING BACK SKY WHIRL AND HAY BALER.
The bottom line is that while some of the areas in the park look okay, there are many sections of the park which need a lot of work. And as I explained a few minutes ago, Shockwave, which could be bought by another park, continues to rot in the rapidly-deteriorating parking lot. Get off your seats, people!
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Christopher AtkinsSix Flags in general is awful for upkeep...period! Six Flags America near Annapolis...the buildings look like they are ready to fall, paint? what paint? Not to mention the staff (another subject) This park has gone downhill quickly!! great Adventure in Jersey needs paint and upkeep. Gum and trash everywhere. It looks awful for $48 plus tax in the greater New York area plus.
Posted July 11, 2003 at 10:18 PM
Posted July 11, 2003 at 10:22 PM
I can certainly relate to this post. Our SF park here in St. Louis used to be spotless. In fact several seasons in a row they won an award for the cleaqnest park.
They used to have the cleanest restrooms to be found anywhere. Such is not the case now. I always looked forward to the Spring opening, new paint here and there, rotten wood replaced, etc.
The flowers they planted were beautiful. They are gradually beginning to return to their original beauty. Parking lots not to bad yet. Another thing I have noticed is that there are very few folks walking around with the small brooms and dust pans. Oh well, maybe things will get better. BTW-The "Screamin' Eagle" could use a new coat of paint.
Otherwise, its still a nice place to visit.
From Michael MossWith a company so far in the hole as Six Flags is, that is why alot of what you see at the parks are going downhill.
Posted July 11, 2003 at 11:29 PM
They have almost NO theming what-so-ever at most of the parks.
Not only is Deja VU SBNO at Great America, the paint is chipping badly and they have yet to even as so much to touch it up. Probably a sign of it's future.
The whole Six Flags Future is in jeopardy. If it wasn't for the holding company that they are operating under, they are so far in debt that they would probably end up closing all of the parks down.
From Mr. D. T.At least Landscape knows how to plant flowers. At the main entrance, I thought I saw a Bugs Bunny head made of different flowers. What creativity.
Posted July 12, 2003 at 5:22 AM
I'm not saying that every building in Great America needs paint. I'm just saying it needs better upkeep.
I never knew Six Flags was in debt, but I'm sure something will eventually happen.
From Derek PotterIm sure we all notice the common thread in our complaints....Six Flags, and its all valid.
Posted July 12, 2003 at 10:22 AM
If the economy affects park maintenance so much, then why was Paramounts Kings Island looking so immaculate when I went last week. The place was spotless, the grass was lush and green, the paint was fresh, and the landscaping was absolutely flawless...the best I had ever seen in the park. This goes also for Cedar Point and Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which are two other spotless parks. Make no mistake, the economy really doesnt have that much of an effect on park maintenance. I think that it is more of a management issue than a money issue, and I bet that the best kept parks that spend the money on maintenance have a better year than those who don't, regardless of the hot new ride that was put in amidst the cigarette butts, paint chips, overgrown grass, and overflowing trash cans.
From Carey Lynn HoltsclawI've never been to Kings Island, but Paramount serverly neglects my home Park, Carowinds.
Posted July 12, 2003 at 2:07 PM
We've become use to Bad Employees, Dirty Walkways, and peeling Paint.
Sure, the Park gets new rides, but that really does not Help when the Park itself is in Bad Shape.
Carowinds is in such bad shape that I would prefer to make a Three Hour drive to Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta. (Which oddly, is still managed very well compared to the other Six Flags Parks. Probably because Six Flags is a only a Part Owner there.)
From Robert OGroskyI havent been to SFGAM as often as i usually do this year but i havent noticed the park going to hell, anymore than any other year!!!!
Posted July 13, 2003 at 10:23 AM
I will agree the rotting rides in the employee parking lot are a eyesore!!
I know part of American Eagle was re-trakced over the winter(though i would perfer i new wooden coaster)and maybe the resat will be done next yeat(hopefully).
As for the viper que, i thoguht it was intentionally kept as a weed field for the theming(lol. As for Suiperman que i think they should have layed sod rather than grass see, thought it is better than the cement ground common on SF's coasters.
An i have never liked DeJaVue that much and wish they had kept SkyWhirl which was a nice family ride(one of the few in the park).
But sadly im used to this type of behavior at SF parks and IMHO since alot of their guests are teenagers they must feel they can have the parks look shabby because their main demographic isnt as concerned about the parks appearnce as much as i am and other people.
I was recently at BGW and it was a pure joy just to walk around the park and enjoy the atmosphere/appearance. And even PKD was looking better than most SF parks ive been too. I just think SF doesnt put a high priorty on their park's appearance/theming.
From Mr. D. T.Oh, the park actually DOES have theming: TEENS! lol
Posted July 13, 2003 at 2:44 PM
I didn't think Viper was a weed field because I didn't remember it looking like a weed field. There is a huge July 12, 1998 aerial of the entire park in the Human Resources main office, and from what I know, the Viper queue had little or no weeds; I grasped plain grass.
The Superman ride may be a good ride -- for it's loop; the rest is mere ho-hum at best. But I am somewhat gonna miss the Shock Wave.
As for the Superman queue, I did NOT find ANY fertilizer OR mulch on the soil. I don't know what Six Flags can afford now that they're in debt.
Ah, the torment of debt.....
From David AllenI just returned from a two week five park trip. No Six Flags parks were included.
Posted July 27, 2003 at 1:47 PM
Coney Island looked better than most Six Flags parks....
Cedar Point, Dorney Park and Hersheypark were generally spotless.
Knoebel's wasn't, but they never pretended to be anything than what they are. If you want polish, Knoebel's ain't the place. But I loved it anyway!
From Mr. D. T.Do you remember those potholes on Six Flags Parkway I complained to you about?
Posted August 1, 2003 at 9:20 PM
Most of them have been fixed.
Thank goodness for 'Road Construction Ahead' signs.
And, Deja Vu is up and running after I thought it would NEVER work.
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
Stories from a Theme Park Insider
What's it like to work in a theme park? Stories from a Theme Park Insider takes you inside the famous tunnels and backstage at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom for a look at how theme parks really work, sharing the funny moments and embarrassments that can happen when your job is someone else's vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive