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Magic Mountain is not for sale

And cleans up with new codes of conduct

Posted: October 22, 2008 10:20 p.m.
Updated: December 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 

Six Flags Magic Mountain is cleaning up, shaping up and it's not for sale.

It's no secret locals recently viewed the theme park as more of a menace than a destination for family fun.
"My son tells me that I can't go there because that's where all the gangs hang out," said Susan Reynolds, a senior partner at Newmarket careers in Santa Clarita.

But Reynolds was one in a room full of local business executives who were surprised when park president Jay Thomas presented Magic Mountain's new direction at the Valley Industrial Association's luncheon Tuesday.

Now, one would be hard-pressed to find a cursing smoker waiting in line for Goliath, let alone a gang-banging trouble-maker.

With new leadership came a new code of conduct for Six Flags, Thomas said. The park is enforcing zero tolerance for smoking, profanity, bathing suits (not effective for Hurricane Harbor) and line-cutting.
Park officials expelled 4,500 people from the park in 2007, Thomas said.

Another aspect of Thomas' new business philosophy is treating different areas of the park as separate business units-making for a total of 300 individual business venues.

At each of those venues, employees are "going to do something to make you say, ‘Wow, this is Six Flags Magic Mountain? Way to go,'" he said.

Employees are placed in positions that fit their personalities. A shy teenager will no longer work an interactive games booth.

Alongside increased employee morale, comes a cleaner and more aesthetically appealing park, Thomas said.

Believe it or not, Thomas recently challenged employees with the "insurmountable task" of cleaning up the park's fallen leaves.

Leaves encourage trash, according to Thomas, and since the "no leaves" policy went into effect, Thomas is seeing more park visitors pick up their own trash.

Thomas and park officials are seeing these changes have a very direct and visible impact.

"We have worked diligently to make sure we are improving the park experience," Thomas said. "Guest compliments for the 2008 year to date have already exceeded 2005, 2006, and 2007's compliments combined."

Season pass upgrades are up by 74 percent.

"We are getting ourselves back in to the community," he said.

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