Thursday, December 20, 2007

There's Trouble Brewing Here For Sure

I'm back from Chicago, and I'll post a summary of the trip tomorrow, but I heard this story on the radio on my way home from the airport this afternoon, and it was too funny not to blog right away: Six Flags Over Texas and its sister park, Hurricane Harbor, want to being selling beer next year:
Six Flags Inc., which owns the two parks, has applied to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for a license to sell alcohol at the parks. In accordance with state law, signs were posted in the park Monday, beginning a 60-day public comment period.

f the application is approved, the park may begin selling beer sometime in March, said John Bement, senior vice president of in-park services for Six Flags Over Texas.

The parks' New York-based parent company has lost money recently, but Mr. Bement said the decision was not financially motivated.

"Truthfully, revenue is not the driving force here," he said. "For some time now, many of our guests have requested beer as an option while enjoying a meal at the park, and it's really for that reason that we've taken these steps."

Some other Six Flags theme parks, including Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, already serve alcohol. Mr. Bement said the company would take strict measures to ensure that minors do not have access to alcohol at the park.
Of course, that's the first concern that many would raise upon hearing this news--keeping beer out of the hands of minors in a place that touts itself as a "family" park. But there's one other aspect of this that should raise concerns: they're mixing beer and rollercoasters...

You can see how this can be a problem, and I wonder if anyone thought this through. Are they going to have to issue plastic body coverings to keep people from being hurled upon while riding the Titan? Will there be signs saying "You must be this tall and this sober to ride the ride" at the entrance to each line? And will there have to be extra medical personnel on hand, since someone will inevitably try to substitute beer for an actual thirst-quenching drink on a hundred-degree afternoon?

The article notes that Six Flags has already done this at its Fiesta Texas park in San Antonio, so they must have already thought everything out. Still, it strikes me as a bad idea. Do you agree? And if you've been to Fiesta Texas since they started this, has the presence of alcohol detracted from the family atmosphere at all?

Blowing out the candles: Happy birthday Dad! I rarely get to see him on "the day" anymore, but I will be visiting at Christmas. (As I've said before, when I was a kid, we'd simply bring a present out from under the tree five days early and then take him out to dinner on his own credit card. If you have a close-to-Christmas birthday, is it cool or not cool to have the two main gift-giving days so close together?)

No comments: