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.
Donald J. Patti
Group Leader, Save Colossus!
firstname.lastname@example.org / 866-478-8080
CC: Bonnie Rabjohn, Six Flags Magic Mountain Park President; Sue Carpenter, Six Flags Magic Mountain Public Relations Director