Season Pass Questions/Loose Articles Policy

Share your memories of working at Marriott's GREAT AMERICA in Gurnee
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Gulf Coaster
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:12 pm
Location: Antioch, IL

Season Pass Questions/Loose Articles Policy

Post by EagleMom » Wed May 28, 2008 4:04 pm

This is my second season in Guest Relations. I had the pleasure of talking with and later meeting a Guest who has had passes since the park opened in 1976. I was working the information line (telephones) and he said he and his wife brought their kids 41 times in one season alone!
Do any of you "old timers" remember anything about Season Passes back in the day? This gentleman told me that he upgraded to a Season Pass for $7 back in 1976- is this accurate?
I remember my husband and I purchasing Season Passes in 1990 or 1991 for $34.99 each- we were only dating then but I remember having pictures taken in the Guest Services Center, not PPC. I remember contemplating the high cost back then- which is a little more than what a child's ticket is now!
On another note, I am wondering what you all think of the Loose Articles Policy? Are you familiar with it? We are having a lot of dissatisfied Guests with this new policy.
I think the idea of having small lockers to lock up purses, cell phones, etc. is a good idea. I lost my $400 prescription sunglasses to theft last season (2007) and would have gladly paid $1 to still have them. However, the program is not being executed as well as it could be- any suggestions for those of you familiar with it?
Love this website and love all of the new photographs. I remember being 11 or 12 years old and not being able to sleep the night before going to Great America. Tickets were $10 back in 1980, and that was a splurge for families. I miss Hay Baler, Tidal Wave, and the Sky Whirl. Still LOVE the Whizzer, and enjoy The Viper, The American Eagle, and several flat rides.

Gulf Coaster
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:12 pm
Location: Antioch, IL

One last thing...

Post by EagleMom » Wed May 28, 2008 4:09 pm

When we use the internet in Guest Relations, we are not allowed to view web sites unless it has something to do with our work i.e. google maps,,, etc. However, we are allowed to read this web site, and last summer, one of my buddies and I worked the phones and looked through it all and had a ball reminiscing about the good 'ole days.
When Guests come in asking questions, I always give them the web address to this site. It is fantastic and really makes Guests happy!

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Yankee Clipper
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Location: Cudahy, WI

Post by GreatAmerica4ever » Wed May 28, 2008 7:01 pm

Eagle Mom,

I remember being at that age to where you couldn't sleep the night before you went to Great America. The excitement was worse than trying to sleep on Christmas Eve. I just remember how exhausted I was at the end of day at Marriott's....that car ride back to Milwaukee seemed so long. I am sure I fell asleep quickly!

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Tech Services 1
Willard's Whizzer
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Location: Wisconsin

Post by Tech Services 1 » Wed May 28, 2008 9:20 pm

Hmmmm . . .
According to my fuzzy memory, season passes weren't available until the early '80s. I can't remember exactly which year they were first introduced, but I do remember they were a bit of a controversial concept at the time.

Can anyone back me up on this one? :?

Technical Services technician
Gurnee park '81 - '86

Eegads, has it been that long?

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Site Admin
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Post by steven » Wed May 28, 2008 10:19 pm

Wow, EagleMom! That's great! Thanks so much for your support!

About the loose articles policy new at Gurnee (and other Six Flags parks) this year, I haven't experienced it yet. I have heard a lot of complaints about it so far from others. Might be better if you had all-day multiple-use locker privileges.

About season passes, I don't know what year that they started, but I'm sure that they did not have them as late as 1980 at Gurnee. I still have a letter I received from John Muffly in response to my request that they offer season passes. In his letter, he said that they had run a trial of offering season passes at Santa Clara and it wasn't successful, so they weren't planning to offer season passes at Gurnee at that time. Of course, later, that all changed. Somewhere around here I have an old commercial for Santa Clara advertising the 1982 season pass, I believe, for $29.95. I thought that I had posted it on the site before, but can't find it now.


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Willard's Whizzer
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Seasons Passes in Gurnee

Post by MGA1 » Sat May 31, 2008 3:14 pm

I worked in Guest Relations in Gurnee in 1980 and don't recall having Seasons Passes. However, I was an Admissions Services Supervisor for 1981 and we definitely did have Seasons Passes for sale in Gurnee. I don't remember what the price was but I know they weren't advertised on the ticket price signs on the ticket booths and we didn't sell very many Seasons Passes.

The process to purchase one was really weird. If a guest asked about a Seasons Pass at a ticket booth, they were directed to Guest Relations. Guest Relations would then sell the Seasons Pass voucher and the guest would be sent the Admissions Annex to have their ID picture taken. The Admissions Annex was a non-guest locked office area for Admissions Services...the Admissions Leads used the office for completing paperwork and also for auditing ticket takers and cashing out ticket sellers.

It was a very "old school" process where you took their photograph with a Polaroid camera, used a special paper punch to cut out just their head from the picture, glued their picture onto the Seasons Pass card, asked the guest to sign the card, and then you had to laminate the card. It took about 10 minutes to make just one Seasons Pass....and we only had one ID making machine. We also kept a written log book of who purchased a Seasons Pass (in case they lost it). I believe we sold less than 50 passes that entire season. It was weird bringing a guest into this area since it was kind of a messy office area with a bunch of admissions paper work all over the place. Admissions also kept the ticket bags full of used tickets (from the ticket takers) locked in here until Cash Control collected them over night.

The front gate area in Gurnee have changed since 1981. If you were standing outside the park at the entrance turnstiles (looking toward Columbia), the "office" immediately to the left of the turnstiles was Guest Relations (it was a Security Annex the last time I was in Gurnee). The office immediately to the right of the turnstiles was the Admissions Annex (it was originally known as Courtesy Corner in 1976)...this space was later combined with an adjacent gift shop to become the current Guest Relations office in Gurnee).
"...and enjoy the rest of your day here at Marriott's GRRRREAT America"

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