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Finding old Friends... Where's Waldo? Find your old friends here

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  #11  
Old December 8th, 2008, 05:49 AM
Typhoontommy Typhoontommy is offline
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Well thats a bummer to hear, but business is a weird thing.. You would think Houston, one of the biggest cities in the USA would support something like that, but I agree it seemed even when I was there that they didn't really want to invest in astroworld.

Well here is from our Batman Water Stunt show,

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  #12  
Old December 8th, 2008, 10:53 AM
Thomas McPhail Thomas McPhail is offline
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Default Astroworld's last season

I went to Astroworld 2 months before it closed for good. The real reason it closed is something you won't hear. Company media reps are good at not telling the truth and down playing things. I worked at Six Flags Over Texas but grew up in Houston going to Astroworld. It used to be a great place!!!

People I know stopped going there because they did not fill safe taking or dropping their kids off at the park. The park started being run by thug kid employees instead of management. Employees had there pants sagging below their diapers (underwear), cussing loudly as they were working, throwing gang signs, and basically doing what they want. My kids were riding the Serpent (their version of Mini Mine train) and the single operator walked behind a fence talking to a girl and then came back 2 minutes later. A lot of employees that were doing their job quit because of the mess they had to deal with. Management lost control of the park.

The park was empty all day. I found out later why. I remember in the late 70's and early 80's the park was run well. Mrs. Baird's used to make homemade hot mini loaves of bread right there in the park where you could watch them being made. Now that was awesome!!!

My friends in Katy (north Houston) say that Disney is buying up land near there for a new Disney World. That would be great.
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  #13  
Old December 8th, 2008, 01:45 PM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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With all due respect ..

Management doesn't have much of a choice in who they hire when, demographically, the "thugs" you describe were all there was to hire. The guest demographic was not much different either. If the park was chosen for closure because of the "thug" element, then there's at least 3 other parks in the Six Flags chain alone that should have closed right along with it.

Please don't think that management just let them get away with it; these are the same people who found themselves without a job after working in that park for as many years back as you'd been a visitor, and who saw that park right through the grueling last operating hour with half of nearly EVERYTHING closed because seasonal people just stopped working upon facing the prospect of being without a job. They had to get used to accepting what they were given, and that's not just meaning the employment prospects. Even still, there were plenty of dedicated and hard-working seasonal folks there, right along with those who couldn't have cared less.

And Disney.. just about every town and city in every state has Disney "purchasing land" nearby to open the next Disney World. If Disney is buying land in Katy, it's not going to be for a park. Disney has all the parks it wants in the US, stategically placed on each coast. They are in the process of building parks overseas, because Disney is destination, not regional like Six Flags. Even Hawaii, easily considered a "destination" all it's own, has Disney just now breaking ground on a resort there, but no park. (Maybe in the future, but why not now?) Now there is something afoot in Montgomery County, a project called "Earth Quest Adventures" or something like that, that is planned at this time to include a theme park. But there's not many updates made about it, and who knows where it stands now with the faltering economy.

Last edited by Krista 96-02; December 8th, 2008 at 02:08 PM.
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  #14  
Old December 8th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Yeah, anytime someone buys a large parcel of land, the local rumors that it must be Disney start to flourish. The only true potential Disney investment in Texas for entertainment was for an entertainment district in Austin similiar to Pleasure Island (around late '80's or early '90's?), but it never panned out. Or for Disney Stores in most malls, but they even sold those off to The Childrens' Place a few years back.
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  #15  
Old December 8th, 2008, 06:15 PM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krista 96-02 View Post
Kieran Burke, CEO of SF, Inc. at the time, claimed the land was worth more than the park. Also claimed the park was not making any money, which tends to happen when you don't provide enough budget for general upgrades or new attractions .. (When a few rides get a new coat of paint and people are happy to see improvements being made, THAT'S a huge problem, no?) Told the media he expected the land to fetch $145 mil, but when it finally sold, it was for $77 mil, and then MINUS about $23 mil from that figure for park demolition and transportation (for relocated rides) costs. The purchaser at the time claimed to have "big plans", but once the sale was final, admitted that they really had nothing in mind for it. Apparently they still don't.


The purchaser of the land almost got fined by the City of Houston in the weeks after buying for failure to keep the property clean and manageable. When they got around to mowing, they had to use tractors.

I don't know about the use of parking for Reliant, but the only major event to have happened since the park's demolition was the Rock the Bayou concert that took place this past Labor Day weekend.

www.sixflagshouston.com - forum member since 2002. Most of us there are those disappointed people you speak of. AstroWorld was my escape during the summers of the early and mid 90s.
Thanks for the info!...but it still makes you wonder why they closed a park in such a large market and at the very least did not choose to rebuild out towards Katy??

Last edited by pyrotechnic thunder; December 8th, 2008 at 07:26 PM.
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  #16  
Old December 8th, 2008, 06:19 PM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krista 96-02 View Post
With all due respect ..

Management doesn't have much of a choice in who they hire when, demographically, the "thugs" you describe were all there was to hire. The guest demographic was not much different either. If the park was chosen for closure because of the "thug" element, then there's at least 3 other parks in the Six Flags chain alone that should have closed right along with it.

Please don't think that management just let them get away with it; these are the same people who found themselves without a job after working in that park for as many years back as you'd been a visitor, and who saw that park right through the grueling last operating hour with half of nearly EVERYTHING closed because seasonal people just stopped working upon facing the prospect of being without a job. They had to get used to accepting what they were given, and that's not just meaning the employment prospects. Even still, there were plenty of dedicated and hard-working seasonal folks there, right along with those who couldn't have cared less.

And Disney.. just about every town and city in every state has Disney "purchasing land" nearby to open the next Disney World. If Disney is buying land in Katy, it's not going to be for a park. Disney has all the parks it wants in the US, stategically placed on each coast. They are in the process of building parks overseas, because Disney is destination, not regional like Six Flags. Even Hawaii, easily considered a "destination" all it's own, has Disney just now breaking ground on a resort there, but no park. (Maybe in the future, but why not now?) Now there is something afoot in Montgomery County, a project called "Earth Quest Adventures" or something like that, that is planned at this time to include a theme park. But there's not many updates made about it, and who knows where it stands now with the faltering economy.
Are you sure your not secretly working for Six Flags??...you sure seem to know alot about everything they do...or are you just a die hard Six Flags fanatic with entirely too much free time??

Last edited by pyrotechnic thunder; December 8th, 2008 at 07:20 PM.
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  #17  
Old December 8th, 2008, 06:36 PM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas McPhail View Post
I went to Astroworld 2 months before it closed for good. The real reason it closed is something you won't hear. Company media reps are good at not telling the truth and down playing things. I worked at Six Flags Over Texas but grew up in Houston going to Astroworld. It used to be a great place!!!

People I know stopped going there because they did not fill safe taking or dropping their kids off at the park. The park started being run by thug kid employees instead of management. Employees had there pants sagging below their diapers (underwear), cussing loudly as they were working, throwing gang signs, and basically doing what they want. My kids were riding the Serpent (their version of Mini Mine train) and the single operator walked behind a fence talking to a girl and then came back 2 minutes later. A lot of employees that were doing their job quit because of the mess they had to deal with. Management lost control of the park.

The park was empty all day. I found out later why. I remember in the late 70's and early 80's the park was run well. Mrs. Baird's used to make homemade hot mini loaves of bread right there in the park where you could watch them being made. Now that was awesome!!!

My friends in Katy (north Houston) say that Disney is buying up land near there for a new Disney World. That would be great.
I remember making the trip down to Astroworld several times...and I could see what you were talking about...lets just say there were many wardrobe violations that I saw...and one of our cars got broken into in the employee parking lot. Perhaps they needed to do what SFOT did or was implementing the last few years I was there...which was much tighter screening at the front gate. Had APD gang unit officers in plain clothes in the park...had to pass through metal detectors...and anything that could be considered gang related had to be taken off and stored in a locker at the front gate just to name a few. I remember that as it caused an outcry from some people that tried to enter the park and were refusing to remove what they were asked to remove and where denied access to the park. No matter what your point of view is...you have to respect their attempt to keep the park safe for everyone to enjoy! I am sure Astroworld had something along these lines in place...how effective it was...who knows...I am sure that there are some former Astroworld employees that can make a better evaluation than I can.
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  #18  
Old December 8th, 2008, 07:26 PM
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Giant12 Giant12 is offline
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I remember making a few road trips to Astroworld, with SFOT rides people, back in the day. I think we walked around the park documenting all of the safety violations and wardrobe problems we noticed. There were a lot! One I remember particularly was on one of the coasters, maybe the viper? The operators were checking the lap bars by standing at the end of the dock and leaning over while the train was being dispatched that way they could stand at one spot and just reach over with out walking back and forth on the dock! I guess it might have been an ok park at one time, but it always seemed pretty poor to me on my visits. Most of the employees looked miserable. My uncle was a ride Foreman out there in the early 70's and his stories are what made me want to work for Six Flags, so I'm glad it did exist! They did have some cool stuff at first like the River of No Return and the Alpine Sleigh Ride, but like SFOT the classics were slowly removed. I think there was just not enough space there and the money had not been spent to keep it up. I also remember hearing about hundreds of people who were displaced by Katrina, who were living across the street at the Astrodome, kept jumping the fences and causing lots of problem. I don't think that helped the situation much at the end.

Last edited by Giant12; December 8th, 2008 at 07:40 PM.
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  #19  
Old December 8th, 2008, 07:38 PM
pyrotechnic thunder pyrotechnic thunder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giant12 View Post
I remember making a few road trips to Astroworld, with SFOT rides people, back in the day. I think we walked around the park documenting all of the safety violations and wardrobe problems we noticed. There were a lot! I guess it might have been an ok park at one time, but it always seemed pretty poor to me on my visits. My uncle was a ride Foreman out there in the early 70's and his stories are what made me want to work for Six Flags, so I'm glad it did exist! I think there was just not enough space there and the money had not been spent to keep it up. I also remember hearing about hundreds of people who were displaced by Katrina, who were living across the street at the Astrodome, kept jumping the fences and causing lots of problem. I don't think that helped the situation much at the end.
I think we might have made one of those trips together and I remember that we all noticed all the differences...yes...the safety issues as well as the wardrobe problems. I also recall the park seemed to be dirtier than any of the other parks I had visited...the flowerbeds seemed to be full of trash. Oh yea, the Katrina evacuees...lets just say that could be the topic of a new thread...I better not say anything here!!
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  #20  
Old December 8th, 2008, 10:53 PM
Krista 96-02 Krista 96-02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pyrotechnic thunder View Post
Are you sure your not secretly working for Six Flags??...you sure seem to know alot about everything they do...or are you just a die hard Six Flags fanatic with entirely too much free time??
Well I'm certainly not working for Six Flags at any capacity, but I still talk to plenty of folks that do, as well as to people that were in the "higher-ups" at AstroWorld, folks who saw the demise and had to live through the closure like nothing was wrong. Still talk to a few of them today.

I'm an amusement park fanatic; not just Six Flags, and I work it into my free time every day. Mainly though, AstroWorld's closure struck me personally, having gotten to know that park as a kid. And the fact that too many things Burke did NOT say about the closure added up better than the things he DID say.
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