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Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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We were at KD yesterday, and unfortunately they were noticeably understaffed. There were people from maintenance, working as a ride ops at Volcano and Dominator; RY was only running one track (with long lines); and several food stands were closed, despite the high heat and large crowds.

I recognize that some of this problem probably stems from school starting, but yesterday had predictably high numbers of people, and I guess I would have expected them to have adjusted staffing to accommodate those crowds, if possible.

Regardless, my real concern is Haunt. I think everyone agrees that a house or scare zone can succeed or fail, depending on the number of actors. I sincerely hope that KD can hire enough people to man both the rides and Haunt adequately.

(I'm not trying to be a harbinger or doom; I'm just expressing a concern I have about a great event.)
 
Feb 7, 2012
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Funny, me and Evan were just talking about this. The park is horribly understaffed. This is terrible for the employees currently working in the park because they can end up overworked. HR and Marketing need to get it together for next season.

Haunt really isn't a concern. There's a large community of returning scaractors & a demand for the positions. They are having one final job fair this week, but last year they were fully staffed & I'm sure they will be again this year.
 

b.mac

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This sounds exactly like what's going on at other parks. The last 2-3 weeks, especially Labor Day weekend, are the WORST days for staffing because everyone's either in school, leaving for school, or occupied with something else. Once full-time ops end the staffing issues miraculously go away, even though more positions are occupied during the Fright Events.
 

Zimmy

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Nicole said:
(I'm not trying to be a harbinger or doom; I'm just expressing a concern I have about a great event.)

scary-cat.jpg


DOOOOOM
 
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Ben

Apr 12, 2012
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Well I've only gone twice the past couple years and while one was an empty summer weekday the other was a busy spring break day, maybe it was just down for maintenance that day or staffing was a concern.

Does it still go backwards?
 
Nov 1, 2012
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To me the whole staffing issue comes down to one former CEO who just had to have the 5 former Paramount Parks no matter the cost. Cedar Fair is still in so much debt, because of that transaction 8 years ago, that corporate has to watch financing down to the last penny.

With the financial collapse back at the end of 2007, in my opinion the park chain was "under water" with the loans they made to finance the purchase (the loan were more than what the parks are worth). Remember the old management was about to sell the chain off to a private equity firm before being thwarted by another majority shareholder firm.

With new management in place, Cedar Fair was able to re-finance the high interest loans or pay a few off completely. The chain still has a tremendous debt loan that is going to take another 10-15 years to pay down significantly.

Therefore, Cedar Fair keeps the parks on the razor's edge on things such as staffing and what food facilities are open, etc. This includes the Haunt Weekends as well. The park can get away with keeping food locations closed on Friday evenings for Haunt because of light crowds. But, it kills things on Saturdays when crowds are crazy. I am not sure how heavy the crowds are on Sunday evenings; I would imagine they are no where near as bad as Saturdays.

I just don't think the park feels it is worthwhile to keep everything open for 1 day per week. Plus, who wants the expense of traveling to the park to work one day per week? It would be nice if the park wanted try to bring in outside event food vendors to handle the weekend folks for Haunt. These could be like "fairground" vendors or even food trucks to come in and at least work the Saturdays during Haunt.

In any case, there will be limited food service and ride operations during Haunt.
 

Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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Ben said:
Well I've only gone twice the past couple years and while one was an empty summer weekday the other was a busy spring break day, maybe it was just down for maintenance that day or staffing was a concern.

Does it still go backwards?

Sadly, no.

But I do have a cool 40th Anniversary t-shirt, commemorating RY backwards. (I'd rather have the ride than the t-shirt, but I will take what I can get, I guess.)
 

netdvn

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Jan 12, 2012
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To be fair, Busch is pretty short-staffed this time of year too. I'm pretty sure it happens to every park in the country now that people are back in school. Come late September/October, the rides, shops, and restaurants should be staffed normally. Unless KD has the same staffing issue as BGW with their haunts, I don't see maze/scare zone staffing being a huge issue come late Sep/early Oct.
 
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Feb 7, 2012
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Richmond, VA
Kings Dominion definitely isn't keeping positions limited on purpose - it's been made loud and clear to me that they are in desperate need of employees. HR needs to offer higher wages & better benefits next year. From what I hear, the average crew at Kings Island or Cedar Point can consist of up to 30 or so people. Ride crews at Kings Dominion can be half of that. This is only because the park is having a hard time filling positions. I've heard of multiple people leaving simply due to the hours being too long.
 
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wombat96

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Sep 20, 2013
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Well KD is trying to staff the park this year by sending folks down from Carowinds up here. I noticed something was fishy when I saw a Fury 325 shirt checking the restraints of Volcano. It's really easy to find them as there uniform will say Carowinds on it. Right now the staff mainly consists of people from the international program and Carowinds. Hopefully the park will have more more people on staff this fall as operations yesterday were as slow as waiting for Christmas. But, there was no lines so I'm okay with that!
 
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Zimmy

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Do we have any concrete proof that the reason Caro people are here are due to staffing problems? Is it possible they are on some kind of employee exchange program?
 
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MAZ

Jan 30, 2014
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Fury was closed all weekend, and may still be closed for all I know. Maybe they let the Fury crew work elsewhere until it is back up, so that they can still get a paycheck and pay their bills.
 

wombat96

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It wasn't just Fury people, there were several other Caro employees around the park. I actually asked one over at the Tollway why they were working at KD and they said it was due to staffing.
 
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Nicole

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Jul 22, 2013
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I have no idea what is really going on, but we do know that they have had staffing issues in the late Summer and Fall in the past. This might be a smart way to address them.
 
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