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Postby UnclePennybags on May 25th, 2020, 1:10 pm
JT2002 wrote:...they figured they'll need 3,000 people in the park to break even...

Wow, only 3,000 people? That's amazing. I would have thought 30,000 people, minimum.
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Postby DejaVu2001 on May 25th, 2020, 1:34 pm
^30,000 is a busy day (Not Fright Fest Saturday busy, but still). A typical nice weather summer crowd is around 20,000.
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Postby anewman35 on May 25th, 2020, 3:22 pm
JT2002 wrote:CEO came over to the park the other day. Had a meeting with management and they figured they'll need 3,000 people in the park to break even. Also they're working with the governor's office to figure out a plan to reopen. They'd probably need a month to get ready though. Not sure if they've made a final decision yet on the season.


Unless the governor's rules get overturned, the SOONEST the park could open would be phase 4 (which would start at soonest would very late June). But that's absolute best case scenario, since we might not hit phase 4 right away, and they might consider the park phase 5 (which probably isn't happening this year).
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Postby JT2002 on May 25th, 2020, 4:51 pm
anewman35 wrote:
JT2002 wrote:CEO came over to the park the other day. Had a meeting with management and they figured they'll need 3,000 people in the park to break even. Also they're working with the governor's office to figure out a plan to reopen. They'd probably need a month to get ready though. Not sure if they've made a final decision yet on the season.


Unless the governor's rules get overturned, the SOONEST the park could open would be phase 4 (which would start at soonest would very late June). But that's absolute best case scenario, since we might not hit phase 4 right away, and they might consider the park phase 5 (which probably isn't happening this year).

Yes but I heard they hired Lisa Madigan's consulting/lobbying crew to work with the governor on a plan to reopen sooner, similar to how the Illinois Restaurant Association got al fresco dining for restaurants in phase 3. Again, this is all from what I've heard from a few sources involved.
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Postby anewman35 on May 25th, 2020, 5:01 pm
Right, that's why phase 4 seems possible, despite the earlier indications it was probably phase 5. Any earlier than that would be a major backtrack though, since phase 3 is supposed to only allow gatherings of 10 people and I don't see how you possibly pull that off in a theme park.
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Postby B&MGuy35 on May 25th, 2020, 9:51 pm
anewman35 wrote:
JT2002 wrote:CEO came over to the park the other day. Had a meeting with management and they figured they'll need 3,000 people in the park to break even. Also they're working with the governor's office to figure out a plan to reopen. They'd probably need a month to get ready though. Not sure if they've made a final decision yet on the season.


Unless the governor's rules get overturned, the SOONEST the park could open would be phase 4 (which would start at soonest would very late June). But that's absolute best case scenario, since we might not hit phase 4 right away, and they might consider the park phase 5 (which probably isn't happening this year).
Phase 4 is only gatherings of 50 people or less. Governor said phase 5 won’t happen till there’s a treatment of vaccine. So basically 12-18 months when when this all started.


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Postby anewman35 on May 25th, 2020, 10:17 pm
B&MGuy35 wrote:
anewman35 wrote:
JT2002 wrote:CEO came over to the park the other day. Had a meeting with management and they figured they'll need 3,000 people in the park to break even. Also they're working with the governor's office to figure out a plan to reopen. They'd probably need a month to get ready though. Not sure if they've made a final decision yet on the season.


Unless the governor's rules get overturned, the SOONEST the park could open would be phase 4 (which would start at soonest would very late June). But that's absolute best case scenario, since we might not hit phase 4 right away, and they might consider the park phase 5 (which probably isn't happening this year).
Phase 4 is only gatherings of 50 people or less. Governor said phase 5 won’t happen till there’s a treatment of vaccine. So basically 12-18 months when when this all started.


I know. But as JT2002 says, the park may be lobbying to get to open earlier. It worked for the restaurant industry, who got to partially open in phase 3 instead of phase 4. We'll have to see what happens, obviously, but I think Illinois would be hard pressed to keep it closed if/when states like CA and NJ allow their parks to open.
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Postby DejaVu2001 on May 26th, 2020, 7:02 pm
Six Flags has announced Frontier City in Oklahoma will reopen on June 5th. With this announcement, they have provided a video detailing additional precautions and policies. This information is also provided in written form below the video.

https://www.sixflags.com/frontiercity/p ... -cCU2d4ujg

Additionally, CBS 2 Chicago aired a segment about SFGAm specifically featuring an interview with Park President Hank Salemi. This segment also includes some in park footage.

https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/05/26 ... er-reopen/
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Postby Dan The Coaster Man on May 26th, 2020, 7:49 pm
Does anyone know anything about these new metal detectors in the video? Is this similar to devices airport security uses? Virus aside, it seems like they can speed up the security line drastically for as long as they keep them after the pandemic. Is this similar to devices airport security uses?
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Postby Tardis1972 on May 27th, 2020, 12:48 am
Reservations are now available to made for Frontier City. Unfortunately I was unable to reserve a spot(I was just doing a trail run to see how it works). It just tells me reservations are not yet available for this group please try again later. But it looks like it’s not going to very difficult to do.

Edit: It’s working I can now reserve at Frontite City.
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Postby hook13 on May 27th, 2020, 3:10 pm
Anybody attempt to get a refund on 2020 season pass? I just don't see myself being able to use it this year (would likely purchase another one when we always renew over flash sale / labor day)...I'm not that interested in having our pass extended for the period of park closure or any applied benefits we won't be able to utilize-

Hopeful re-opening goes well across the brand, and those at low risk/want to go get a chance to enjoy the park this year at some point!
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Postby Falcon on May 27th, 2020, 4:06 pm
JT2002 wrote:3,000 people


I'm shocked that number is that low. Lets be very generous and say each person spends $50 a trip, I think this is reasonable given how many people is see with membership badges around the park. I would have expected a park this size would have way more than $150k a day of operating expenses. 12 hours of labor at the $8.25/hr minimum wage is about $100 bucks a head, so I'd think just your payroll to staff the park would eat through that income pretty quick. Heck, there's been years I've gone to the park a dozen times but never spent any money besides my season pass with free parking. Those weekday visits after work are enough to get my fix.

I wonder if 3000 people is the point where they are still losing money, but they're losing less money than if they where fully closed.
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Postby anewman35 on May 27th, 2020, 5:43 pm
hook13 wrote:Anybody attempt to get a refund on 2020 season pass? I just don't see myself being able to use it this year (would likely purchase another one when we always renew over flash sale / labor day)...I'm not that interested in having our pass extended for the period of park closure or any applied benefits we won't be able to utilize-

Hopeful re-opening goes well across the brand, and those at low risk/want to go get a chance to enjoy the park this year at some point!


If we're closed months, then this year's pass might end up covering much of next year without buying a new one. I.e., we open in August, then this year's pass should be good until NEXT August, so maybe only a short gap until next year's flash sale. So basically they'll probably give you a hassle over a refund, but depending on how long they're closed it might work about the same.
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Postby anewman35 on May 27th, 2020, 5:46 pm
Falcon wrote:
JT2002 wrote:3,000 people


I'm shocked that number is that low. Lets be very generous and say each person spends $50 a trip, I think this is reasonable given how many people is see with membership badges around the park. I would have expected a park this size would have way more than $150k a day of operating expenses. 12 hours of labor at the $8.25/hr minimum wage is about $100 bucks a head, so I'd think just your payroll to staff the park would eat through that income pretty quick. Heck, there's been years I've gone to the park a dozen times but never spent any money besides my season pass with free parking. Those weekday visits after work are enough to get my fix.

I wonder if 3000 people is the point where they are still losing money, but they're losing less money than if they where fully closed.


Yeah, that surprises me too, especially because as you imply I'm sure a LOT of people go and spend none or very little money, and with dining passes becoming more popular they actually cost money without providing any. And you'd have to assume that with the way they're doing the reservation thing they're going to be even MORE tilted towards passes/memberships instead of daily ticket people...
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Postby Carlo on May 27th, 2020, 6:05 pm
I think that 3000 minimum would only have basic operations running. I can see it running with only major rides, a few shops and a handful of food stands. Plus operating hours most likely would be 10:30 am to 6pm.

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Postby B&MGuy35 on May 27th, 2020, 6:15 pm
I also remember seeing somewhere that only a percentage of the amount allowed in would be designated to season pass and memberships. Then if regular ticket holders didn’t fill up all the spots they would allow more pass and members in for the day.


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Postby anewman35 on May 27th, 2020, 7:37 pm
B&MGuy35 wrote:I also remember seeing somewhere that only a percentage of the amount allowed in would be designated to season pass and memberships. Then if regular ticket holders didn’t fill up all the spots they would allow more pass and members in for the day.


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Maybe, but I can imagine some real pissed off members if they couldn't book a time but somebody off the street could...
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Postby UnclePennybags on June 4th, 2020, 6:14 pm
Surprised no one posted this yet, but Marcus Leshock had an interview with Hank Salemi where he discussed some topics having to to with the 2020 season at Six Flags Great America (SFGAm). I recommend viewing the entire video if you have 23.5 minutes to spare.

1) Marcus asked about the reservation system and Hank responded by providing the following information:

  • The number of people that will be allowed to make reservations on a given day will initially be capped at 25% of park capacity. This percentage could be lower until the park gets a good feel of how things are working out.
  • Six Flags is arguing the case that 25% capacity spread out over a 300 acre park leaves plenty of room for social distancing. The state of Illinois has already opened forestries and parks smaller than Great America, so a comparison is being made that might get the state to OK a SFGAm opening sooner than later.
This discussion happens between 4:38 and 5:36 in Marcus' video:

https://youtu.be/OjcBuZh9U04?t=278

2) Hank provided further details of the reservation system and how memberships and passes will be handled over the next year:

  • Reservations must be made to enter the park. First come, first serve.
  • You may not arrive at the gates before your designated time.
  • As people leave the park, reservation slots may open later in the day, but no details were given as to how the park will know if someone truly left or if they just went out to their car or a quick meal elsewhere.
  • Memberships and passes will be extended into next season by the same number of days that the park is closed this season.
  • Memberships that are not cancelled will receive an automatic upgrade to the next membership level.
This discussion happens between 6:08 and 7:42 in Marcus' video:

https://youtu.be/OjcBuZh9U04?t=368

3) The following details were provided for entry into the park, social distancing, and ride sanitization:

  • As guests pass through the front gates, the park will be utilizing Evolv screeners in place of the old metal detectors. The new screeners will provide a "touchless bag entry" system.
  • Hank mentioned that guest temperatures would also be scanned before entering the park.
  • Social distancing will be enforced for queues in restaurants and retail shops. Same for ride queues and for the rides themselves.
  • Rides will be wiped down often, but the exact frequency wasn't specified.
This discussion happens between 9:53 and 11:11 in Marcus' video:

https://youtu.be/OjcBuZh9U04?t=593

I did some Googling and found that the new security system being used by Six Flags is the Evolv Express, which is described as a touchless, free-flow firearm and bomb detection system, capable of screening 3,600 people per hour. I didn't see any mention of temperature screening for this system, so I'm not sure how the park will be doing this.

Here's the link specific to Six Flags' selection of the Evolv Express:

https://evolvtechnology.com/press-relea ... ion-system

Here's the link for the Evolv Express itself:

https://evolvtechnology.com/products/evolv-express

4) Hank discussed face masks:

  • All employees will be wearing face masks.
  • At present, it looks like guests will have to wear face masks, but this requirement may change depending on guidance from the CDC, the state of Illinois, and the local health department. However, as long as the state of Illinois requires masks in grocery stores, masks will probably be required at SFGAm.
This discussion happens between 12:37 and 13:36 in Marcus' video:

https://youtu.be/OjcBuZh9U04?t=758

5) Hank discussed ride distancing:

  • Groups of people (that know each other) can ride together.
  • It's still unclear how seats or rows of seats will be denied to guests. It depends on the ride.
This discussion happens between 14:18 and 14:34 in Marcus' video:

https://youtu.be/OjcBuZh9U04?t=858

6) Hank discussed virtual queues for rides:

  • It looks like virtual queuing will work similar to the reservation system at the front gates. You are given a time at which you should report to the ride queue.
  • Once in the ride queue, groups of people who know each other will be distanced from other groups in the same queue.
  • This is Six Flags' version of a virtual queue, but I don't think physical ride queues are going away. Six Flags is just controlling the number of people in the physical queues by only allowing people to enter the queues at specific times. In this manner, the actual number of people standing in the ride queues at any point in time can be minimized.
This discussion happens between 15:06 and 16:16 in Marcus' video:

https://youtu.be/OjcBuZh9U04?t=906

7) Hank discussed mobile food ordering:

  • Food is ordered through the Six Flags app and is picked up at the dining location's window.
  • No details on how food could be ordered without the app.
This discussion happens between 16:32 and 17:02 in Marcus' video:

https://youtu.be/OjcBuZh9U04?t=992

8) Hank discussed the earliest that SFGAm could open:

  • The state of Illinois has influence over when SFGAm employees can return to the park. After that happens, it would take 30 days to get the park up and running.
  • If the state of Illinois later gave their OK for the park to open, the park would not be able to do so if 30 days hadn't already elapsed from the time that employees were allowed back to work.
This discussion happens between 17:23 and 18:03 in Marcus' video:

https://youtu.be/OjcBuZh9U04?t=1043

9) Marcus summarized his discussion with Hank about Tsunami Surge:

  • Not ruling anything out, it would still be possible to open Tsunami Surge in 2020 if everything went right for the rest of this year.
  • Marcus thinks this would be a reach. I agree.
This discussion happens between 21:15 and 22:22 in Marcus' video:

https://youtu.be/OjcBuZh9U04?t=1275
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Postby Dan The Coaster Man on June 5th, 2020, 12:48 pm
Some overall thoughts I have between both of Marcus' videos (he did a second Facebook live video on the subject) and the above information:

- the new Evolv security scanners seem really cool and efficient. It is nice not having to check bags manually. However, I do not see it speeding up entry into the park much at busier times. Ultimately, the line will move as fast as they can scan season passes / tickets / memberships. There are some days where the area between the metal detectors and the ticket scanners is absolutely slammed and you are packed in like a can of sardines. Maybe after this pandemic they will no longer allow people to be packed in that closely in that area, but if it is, the Evolv 3,600 people per hour does not mean much. But it would be awesome going away from emptying pockets, checking strollers, taking off watches, going through bags, etc.

- I am all for virtual queuing. Hopefully it is here to stay. I think overall guest satisfaction goes up with the illusion they are not waiting in lines. Plus they will spend more money in the meantime playing games, eating food, and more. I think people will ride more rides too, and walk more around the park.I hope this goes over smoothly and is here for the long haul.

- mobile food ordering is great too. Again, the illusion of not waiting in line. It can feel more like a sit down service restaurant without the service. Or they can get on a ride while the food is made. I am not sure if this would speed up output of food but I think it would help with guest satisfaction. Nothing was more annoying than Fright Fest where the food line was one of the longest lines of the day you waited for, easily over an hour some days. During that time money can be spent playing games, or people riding more rides, or just walking around, which will make them happier and return more frequently and spend more money.

- in Marcus' second video, he talked about allowing new people in later in the day after some people went home for the day. This is intriguing, albeit it sounds complicated. This would be great for locals or other people who just want to spend the afternoon/evening there. I believe Marcus said that it's not set in stone they would allow this. How would the park go about this? It seems easiest to have people on "standby". Will the park ask guests leaving if they are done for the day? I think there is no official word on re-entry, but surely it will be allowed I believe. It would be nice to be able to go to the park in the evening after work, but do I have to check for availability every 15 minutes if the park is full?
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Postby JackGlass on June 5th, 2020, 3:34 pm
Agreed! Virtual queuing is the way to go. I would personally spend a lot more time and money elsewhere in the park, if I didn't have to wait in line
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on June 5th, 2020, 4:32 pm
^^ UnclePennyBags - Great write up with all the details! Thanks for providing that! You obviously put a lot of work into it.
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Postby Dan The Coaster Man on June 5th, 2020, 4:48 pm
CoasterRiderSC wrote:^^ UnclePennyBags - Great write up with all the details! Thanks for providing that! You obviously put a lot of work into it.


I agree. Well summarized and easily captured all necessary information. Thank you!
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Postby DejaVu2001 on June 9th, 2020, 9:44 am
Hank Salemi was on Fox 32 this morning discussing the park's potential reopening. They are still working with the Governor's office. Nothing really new at this time.
https://www.fox32chicago.com/video/6929 ... zLKeznQnCo

Several parks have recently announced their opening dates:
Six Flags St Louis
https://www.sixflags.com/stlouis/specia ... pening2020
NOTE This page contains an error. Should actually be June 26th for everyone

Six Flags Over Texas
https://www.sixflags.com/overtexas/spec ... pening2020

Six Flags Fiesta Texas
https://www.sixflags.com/fiestatexas/sp ... pening2020

Six Flags Over Georgia
https://www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia/sp ... pening2020

Worlds Of Fun
https://www.worldsoffun.com/welcoming-you-back

Kings Island
https://www.visitkingsisland.com/park-update

Cedar Point
https://www.cedarpoint.com/park-update
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Postby ilrider on June 9th, 2020, 9:00 pm
DejaVu2001 wrote:Hank Salemi was on Fox 32 this morning discussing the park's potential reopening. They are still working with the Governor's office. Nothing really new at this time.
https://www.fox32chicago.com/video/6929 ... zLKeznQnCo

Several parks have recently announced their opening dates:
Six Flags St Louis
https://www.sixflags.com/stlouis/specia ... pening2020
NOTE This page contains an error. Should actually be June 26th for everyone

Six Flags Over Texas
https://www.sixflags.com/overtexas/spec ... pening2020

Six Flags Fiesta Texas
https://www.sixflags.com/fiestatexas/sp ... pening2020

Six Flags Over Georgia
https://www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia/sp ... pening2020

Worlds Of Fun
https://www.worldsoffun.com/welcoming-you-back

Kings Island
https://www.visitkingsisland.com/park-update

Cedar Point
https://www.cedarpoint.com/park-update


So, in other words, we’re screwed. All those other states are almost fully reopen. Nothing in Pritzker’s phased reopening will allow for the numbers that will be in the park, even at reduced capacity. Right now groups of 10 are allowed. Phase 4 only allows groups of 50. And phase 5 is never happening. I honestly think the season is lost for our park, unless the courts rule against Pritzker, as was mentioned previously.
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Postby anewman35 on June 10th, 2020, 7:38 am
I'm going to try to not make this political, just facts - the common theme in ALL the above states? Republican Governers.

Illinois has been one of the most cautious states before doing anything. However, we've changed plans before (i.e., allowing outdoor dining in phase 3). I wouldn't be shocked if they allow theme parks to open in phase 4, but only after a lot more states (especially some of the other 'slow' states) do, and probably only after getting some data from those places.

Interestingly, Santa's Village said a few days ago they expect to open 'later in June or soon after'. Not sure what they've talking about there...
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