Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Cathy Lee Gifford Appointed Visionland GM

This past week, the theme park world was thrown into turmoil with the announcement that Visionland General Manager Terry Lee Mackey had been arrested, and was later fined, for child labor law violations. Cited for forcing child employees to work past 9PM and to work 14-hour shifts, both Alabama state violations, Mackey was sent to the “Time-Out Chair” by Visionland and relieved of duty by Park Superintendent William Chalmers. There was previous speculation that Mackey would be disciplined for giving paddlings and for making employees wash his blackboards, but these charges were eventually dropped by the state.

In a hastily called press conference, Chalmers announced that the park had seen the error of its ways. “We have seen the error of our ways,” he stated. “We know that our previous manager would run his child labor force into the ground, driving them before him like sweaty, broken animals. The very sight of these poor, flea-bitten, glazed youngsters carting rocks up and down a quarry filled me with weepy sadness. So, in order to rectify our now-sullied image, we are making a bold hiring decision that will demonstrate to the world just how much we care about children and fair labor practices involving them. May I introduce our new general manager, Cathy Lee Gifford!”

Gifford declined to comment to reporters, as she was already busy converting Visionland to a dank, mosquito-infested sweatshop. “Churn those shoes out, you little f%*ker!” she was heard to scream at an eight-year-old Montgomery native, Benjamin Wilkins. Cruelly lashing her bullwhip across the buttocks of several ride attendants who weren’t working fast enough for her satisfaction, Gifford was heard to yell, “My precious Cody needs a Rolls Royce, his own Six Flags park, and mountains of beautiful designer gravy, and I’ll flog anyone who stands in his way!”

Alabama chief labor inspector Wolfgang Trammel told ARN&R that he was “somewhat concerned” about Visionland’s commitment to protecting its child labor force, but that his department would “take a wait-and-see approach” to the situation.

Six Flags Announces Park Rotation Program for 2004

The Six Flags Corporation unveiled plans today for their new "Theme Park Rotation" program scheduled to begin in early 2004. The exciting new program is reminiscent of the chain's existing and enormously popular roller coaster rotation program, in which the company moves many of their roller coasters from park to park throughout the country every few years in order to keep a park's coaster line-up fresh and ever-changing.

The new program will not only involve rotating the coasters from park to park, it will actually entail moving entire Six Flags theme parks from one location to another. Everything right down to the bare ground will be taken apart and loaded onto flatbed tractor-trailers to be trucked to another Six Flags property elsewhere in the country and then everything will be reassembled exactly as it was at its previous location.

Six Flags COO, Gary Story, had this to say about the new theme park rotation program:

"Our extensive consumer research has indicated to us that our guests are, quite frankly, sick and tired of visiting the same old local Six Flags theme parks year after year. I mean, how many times can you actually make yourself believe that you really did have a good time at Six Flags America, especially when you realize that there are nineteen other Six Flags owned theme parks scattered throughout the country, any one of which might be far better than that piece of crap? Furthermore, since people have been hesitant to travel too far from home lately, we thought that we would bring the parks to the people instead. After all, at Six Flags, guest satisfaction is our number one priority. Finally, we believe that the program makes a great deal of economic sense. We can move underperforming Six Flags parks to an area where no one knows yet how appalling that particular gawd-awful park is. Of course, people will flock to the transplanted parks initially because they will be new and fresh and exciting. By the time people figure out how much the relocated park -- say, Frontier City -- truly sucks, it'll have already moved on to another state and a whole new population of suckers... er, I mean guests. We are completely convinced that this park rotation program will turn the Six Flags Corporation around and get us back on the track to profitability."

According to information ascertained from official company documents, Six Flags plans to start the rotation program slowly at first moving only two parks in 2004 when Six Flags America will switch places with Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. By 2010, however, every Six Flags park will have moved from its current location to another site somewhere else in the country. Six Flags anticipates that the parks will return to their original locations approximately once every seventeen years, which will give people plenty of time to forget how much they hated a particular Six Flags park the last time it was in town.

If the rotation program is successful in the United States, Six Flags will incorporate their international properties into the mix starting in 2010.