“Save Colossus!” to Six Flags, RMC – Nice Start: You can do Better

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Twisted Colossus Logo

Shortly after the release of plans for Colossus by Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), leaders of “Save Colossus!” have delivered their response: Thanks for saving the ride. As for the redesign, you can do even better.

“So disappointing. If they were going to do an RMC transition, it shouldn’t have looked so half-[baked],” said Colossus-fan Mike Brilhart.  “This is a lot like China’s hybrid wooden coaster,” echoed John Dymer, who was nonetheless happy to see the barrel roll added.

Matt Glumac of American Coaster Enthusiasts concurred.  “Make Colossus the longest coaster in the world, make it very exciting, but keep the classic look of the old ride. They have quite a few steel roller coasters at Magic Mountain, so they should keep Colossus unique.”

“We’re all very ecstatic to hear that Six Flags is keeping Colossus, and while many of us love the original, we’re also open to change,” added Donald Patti, one of the Save Colossus! leaders.  “An RMC redesign is okay by us.”

“But, many of us think RMC and Six Flags can do an even better job with the redesign.  The current plan to convert to I-box steel tracks, increase the drop angle and add a few high-banked turns is good progress, but not entirely living up to the spirit of Colossus, which was once the biggest, tallest and fastest.”  

“If you’re going to redesign,” he continued, “our members are saying ‘go big or go home’. How about lengthening the tracks and making the world’s longest coaster again? Or, what about making one track a radical barrel-roll, high-banking track and the other track a more classic ride in the tradition of the original Colossus? People could ride the new track on one side, then get right back in line and ride the classic.”

It’s not clear whether Six Flags and RMC will make any adjustments. They did not take a call providing feedback from the group.

Press Release – Letter to Six Flags CEO Urges Colossus Preservation, Restoration

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Six Flags Logo

In a final effort to persuade Six Flags Leadership to retain iconic Colossus roller coaster, leaders of Save Colossus! have contacted Six Flags park officials, including CEO James Reid-Anderson, urging them to keep the ride.

“We’ve been given off-the-record indications that Six Flags may not be demolishing Colossus outright, which is fantastic,” noted Donald Patti, a group leader of Save Colossus!, a group formed to persuade Six Flags to keep the rid.  “We expect to hear formal word about their decision on August 28th.  But, we think it’s important that any preservation and restoration effort keep the ride as a traditional wooden coaster while increasing the Colossus’ durability.  Our letter suggests some ways that Six Flags can do both.”

 

The text of this letter follows:

25 August 2014

Mr. James Reid-Anderson
Chief Executive Officer
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
924 Avenue J East
Grand Prairie, TX 75050

Dear Mr. Reid-Anderson:

Like many of the staff and park enthusiasts at Six Flags Magic Mountain, the 208 members of Save Colossus! were deeply saddened to see Colossus roller coaster closed on August 16th. Wishing to save the ride, over 700 people signed our petition at (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-colossus-roller-coaster-screemy-meemy) encouraging you and your organization to preserve this iconic coaster. (We encourage you to take a moment to review the petition results and read some of the comments by petition-signers).

As you and your staff turn your attention toward the future of Colossus, we would like to ask you to consider the following options that retain this unique and historic coaster:

1. Refurbish and restore the ride. While the ride certainly needs repainting, the tracks are showing wear, the wood structure that makes up the trestle and track bed appear to be stable and in good condition. Please consider restoring the ride, replacing the track with another laminated track and returning the ride to its original glory.

2. Qualify for and apply for tax credits. Because of Colossus’ historic status as the world’s largest, tallest, longest and fastest roller coaster in its day — as well as its role in television and film — Colossus is potentially eligible for historic landmark status and for corresponding tax credits that could amount to 20% of the total rehabilitation costs. We have already filed the nomination papers to make this possible, so Colossus may become eligible in a matter of months.

3. Choose Topper Track over I-box. If you have concerns about future durability, consider replacing the current laminated steel-and-wood track with RMC’s Topper Track product (http://www.rockymtnconstruction.com/topper-track.php). While we do believe this will change the traditional wooden-coaster feel of riding Colossus somewhat, our organization’s leadership can see the advantages Topper Tracks bring by increasing the ride’s overall life.

4. Avoid using RMC’s I-box track. While this track does have somewhat greater durability than the Topper Track and traditional laminated tracks, we at Save Colossus! believe this effectively turns Colossus into another steel coaster. While many of our members enjoy steel coasters, Six Flags Magic Mountain has 16 steel coasters and only one other wooden coaster — Apocalypse. We feel it is important to keep Colossus wooden so that it retains its classic look and feel.

5. Don’t demolish – sell or move. Before demolishing the ride, consider selling it and/or moving it to a more desirable location. There are many places in the western United States that could benefit from a unique attraction like Colossus. If you have any difficulties finding buyers, please contact our organization and we will help you find a new home.

As you can see, these options are not mutually exclusive. You could quite possibly choose a combination of these, allowing Six Flags to reap the benefits of many of them. But, the important factor in nearly all of them is that Six Flags keeps Colossus, largely in its current state.

In closing, we at Save Colossus! understand that, as the CEO and Chairman of Six Flags, you have a responsibility to your shareholders to maximize the value of Six Flags stock. Given its iconic status and history, a decision to keep Colossus IS a decision that benefits your shareholders. As Colossus ages and its reputation grows, its value increases – both in its surroundings at Six Flags Magic Mountain and as an asset for Six Flags.

However, we also encourage you and your staff to consider more than just shareholder value when you make your decision. It has become easy for Six Flags to stand up new roller coasters to compete for entertainment dollars and accolades, but it has become increasingly difficult to identify Six Flags’ soul. As CEO, you have the ability to shape and define that soul. After thoughtful consideration, we hope you agree that Six Flags’ soul is, in part, shaped by the on-going presence of revered rides like Colossus.

Sincerely,

Donald J. Patti
Group Leader, Save Colossus!
info@savecolossus.com / 866-478-8080

CC: Bonnie Rabjohn, Six Flags Magic Mountain Park President; Sue Carpenter, Six Flags Magic Mountain Public Relations Director

Save Colossus! Final Drive for Signatures

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Colossus Fans:

We are at a little over 530 signatures on the petition – that’s a 200 signature boost over this time last week. We plan on turning in the signatures, along with a letter to Six Flag CEO James Reid-Anderson, Magic Mountain Park President Bonnie Rabjohn, and Public Relations Director Sue Carpenter on Monday of next week (8/25/2014). The letter will be our final request asking them to retain the ride, which appears to be headed for the iron horse treatment.

Please ask your friends to sign before then and let’s see how close we can get to 1000: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-colossus-roller-coaster-screemy-meemy

Save Colossus! Rally Recap

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Colossus Fans: All in all, it was a great weekend for the Save Colossus! cause. It started with multiple news articles covering our rally and the planned shutdown, including the SCV Signal, the LA Daily News, KFI 640am radio, KHTS radio, the LA Times and the Inland Daily (Riverside/San Bernardino).

Then, KTLA 5 TV, KTTV Fox 11 and the SCV Signal came out for the rally, which included a dozen of our most dedicated members. KTLA’s Christina Pascucci conducted no fewer than 5 live interviews and teasers with our rally early birds between 7am and 9am. Then, KTTV and the Signal filmed and reported on the rally.

Just after the start, Six Flags Public Relations officer Sue Carpenter swung by to commend us for coming out and tell us “…you’ll [Save Colossus! Members] will be happy with our announcement on August 28th.” We’ll see what that means, but at minimum it looks like the ride will be coming back in some form or another.

Next, we hit the park sporting our Save Colossus! T-shirts, spoke with supporters, and bonded with fellow Save Colossus! leaders Matt Glumac (American Coaster Enthusiasts), Mike McDaniel and Ryan Osborne as well as dozens of loyalists including Dixie Tung, Kristen Wicca, Mike McDaniel and Dave Alstead.

Finally, we took one (okay it was really 2,3,4,5…10?) last ride on Colossus before they closed it to the public. While some of the paint was peeling in places, she took the thousands of riders like a charm, including us.

Given that we started our Save Colossus! effort with people telling us our work was a “long shot” and we should “give up now…”, I’d say we’ve come along way.

Colossus Painting

Colossus, Save Colossus! Story Goes Global

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It’s true.  Colossus’ closure and Save Colossus! received national and international coverage this weekend, helping to propel our cause.  Included in the news coverage were…

The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/last-scream-for-californias-colossus-coaster/2014/08/15/6a15e1a6-24ac-11e4-8b10-7db129976abb_story.html

Colossus on Yahoo UK

The San Jose Mercury News: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_26344312/its-been-scream-colossus-roller-coaster-closes

The Denver Post: http://www.denverpost.com/sitemap/ci_26343868/last-scream-californias-colossus-coaster

CNBC:  http://www.cnbc.com/id/101922917

Yahoo! United Kingdom: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/last-scream-californias-colossus-coaster-184421032.html

Jamaica, West Indies (as reported from Kingston).

Paris, France (as reported by petition signers from Paris).

We’ll keep searching for more articles, but it’s pretty clear this story went global.

Congrats!

Save Colossus! Rally Details

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Colossus Fans! Here are some more details about tomorrow’s (Saturday 8/16/2014) Save Colossus! rally:

  • Location: The rally is at the intersection of Magic Mountain Parkway and The Old Road in Valencia, CA, just west of I-5 and just before the park entrance. The map below shows where we are meeting.
  • Time:  There is an early-bird rally at 6AM, where KTLA television station will film our effort and conduct interviews.  If you want to be on TV, this is a great time to go.
  • Swag: We have Save Colossus! stickers, Save Colossus! car magnets, and Save Colossus! t-shirts.  In addition to the 10 t-shirts I’ve set aside for the first 10 supporters, we will also be raffling away another 10 over the course of the 2 1/2 hour rally.  Note: I have only made 31 of these t-shirts and these are becoming VERY popular with the news outlets.
  • Food and drinks.  Wendy’s has offered a 20% discount to our supporters. Just bring in a Save Colossus sticker, car magnet or t-shirt and get 20% off.  If you want a fancier sit-down meal, Marie Callenders has offered us a 15% discount. These discounts are tomorrow only.

This is a great time to show your support for Colossus. Please come out AND share with friends.

Save Colossus Rally Map

Save Colossus! Rally Mentioned in SCV Signal Article

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SCV Signal - MM Voted Number One

We’re not headlining, but there’s a great mention of our rally on Saturday by Santa Clarita Valley Signal writer Hector Gonzalez. Thanks, Signal!

http://www.signalscv.com/section/36/article/125946/

Don’t forget to attend the rally — 9AM, Saturday at intersection of The Old Road and Magic Mountain Parkway in Valencia – we need each and every one of you!

Colossus Petition Mentioned in LA Times Article

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We received a mention of our effort by Hugo Martin of the LA Times. What I love about this article is that Hugo describes the difference between wood and steel…

For many roller coaster fans, the thrill of riding Colossus is heightened by the peeling paint and the slight shake of the wooden frame as the ride vehicle rumbles along the tracks.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-colossus-closes-20140814-story.html

 

LA Times Colossus Article

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