Six Flags isn’t letting the grass grow under Jay Thomas’s feet, flying him out to Dallas Thursday morning to start his new job.
The details are still developing, but the former president of Magic Mountain/Hurricane Harbor said that he’s excited about the prospects.
“I’ll be overseeing some key initiates for all of the parks,” he said. “What I’ll be working on is a top priority of our board of directors. I’m excited about the new position and its challenges and rewards.”
He said his family was excited about returning to Texas, especially his two children.
“The kids are excited to be closer to their grandparents,” he said. “I think it has to do with getting more toys.”
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He leaves Santa Clarita with a bit of regret, having enjoyed his time on various nonprofit boards and organizations. Many of the friends he made in those groups contacted him when they heard the news about him leaving.
“It is such a wonderful feeling to get so many great notes from close friends,” he said. “The greatest thing about this community is how giving it is. When you operate and function the way Santa Clarita does, you look forward to being a part of it.”
Asked about his approach to the park and the infamous “leaf policy” where he unabashedly carried a leaf scooper to keep the park’s walkways clear and encouraged other administrators to do the same, he quickly deferred credit for the attitude change to the whole park team.
“I felt it was important to create a culture where people could feel like they made a difference,” he explained. “To empower young people or seniors or people with second jobs to suggest improvements when they saw something that wasn’t working improved things at the park exponentially.
“It wasn’t me,” he said. “It was the entire team that brought that change to fruition.”
Thomas said that he will be traveling back and forth for awhile until his family can make the move, but he did say he hates to say goodbye.
“I’ll come back and visit,” he promised. “But right now, it’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to the change.”