15 Companies That Might Not Survive 2009 and Six Flags is on the list....

Friday, February 13, 2009 11:32 PM

matt. said:
I understand there may still be appeal to a very slim market of people to go to their local video store and pick up a movie, sure, but it's dying, and dying fast, because for the vast majority of consumers there's just a much, much better option out there.

I live in downtown Toronto and there's still several independant video stores here in the core that are still super busy. I havn't rented from a Blockbuster in years because there's better options out there for sure. But do still rent from the smaller independant places regularly. The prices are half of Blockbuster and the selection is more interesting. A friend of mine works at an indie video store one day a week, he's a movie geek and enjoys talking about movies with customers. He claims their business is through the roof in the past year and they call him to come more frequently becuase they've get overhwelmed.

My sister lives down in the 'burbs outside Hartford. She was complaining that Blockbuster had done away with the no late fee thing. Apprently that was the only benefit of Blockbuster to them and they now go to another place instead. She has two small kids and it's still an event for them to get to go to the store and pick out a movie they want to see.

I think the video store will still exist but Blockbuster was another case of grow to fast and forget to keep up with changes in the marketplace. I heard a comedian say "There's two things you never actually see being built...a Starbucks and a Blockbuster...they just show up one day."

Cheers on the Nickleback/Creed thing, that will be used in conversation at some point this weekend!

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Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:57 AM

The death of the newspaper is the death of democracy. Its the only form of media that truly checks local government. Due to buyouts/cutbacks the Plain Dealer in Cleveland now has ONE!!!!!! person covering all of City Hall! With less and less money to operate there's going to be less accountability.

As for internet, if they could make the switch to internet-only news they would have done it already. Its an advertising issue. They haven't found a way to make it profitable. David Simon, creator of HBO's The Wire and former Baltimore Sun reporter, has amazing opinions on this! Search him on You Tube.

As for real journalism, your local NPR station is where its at! Funded by the U.S. government, they'll always have the money to operate. It makes me wonder why there's not government funding for local newspapers?!? I'd pay extra in taxes to insure my local government is being covered the way it should be.


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Sunday, February 15, 2009 4:22 AM

When a company has too much debt, they should reduce capital improvements. It's that simple. But at SF, spending on steel coasters continued despite balance sheet red flags.

That's why I have a suspicion that SF executives received kickbacks from their multiple redundant steel coaster purchases over the last several years. SF's expenditures for steel coasters far exceeded their reasonable debt limit, yet they continued to build steel coasters as if there was some hidden incentive.

I mean, my God. How much cloned steel does a single park need? And when attendance doesn't improve at SFMM after say, Riddler's Revenge, Goliath, and X, and Scream, why build Tatsu? Each is a multi-million dollar expenditure, continuing unabated even after the balance sheet showed major warning signs, and after attendance proved early on that these expenditures were unwarranted.

It's a no-brainer. There's something fishy here.


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Sunday, February 15, 2009 9:51 AM
Jeff's avatar

That seems like a pretty unfounded connection to make. They built all of those coasters because in their minds it was instant attendance boosting. And it was, but it wasn't sustainable. And remember, the public doesn't care if a coaster is cloned. People in Cleveland for years thought GL's SLC was "just like Raptor."


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Sunday, February 15, 2009 11:16 AM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Yeah, wouldn't it be more reasonable to assume they just got caught up in the coaster wars of the time rather than assume they were being deviant? It seems they took the hare approach (as in the tortoise and the hare) and raced their way toward their goal of winning the title. Unfortunately, as Jeff points out, it just wasn't sustainable over time.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Sunday, February 15, 2009 12:14 PM

It was probably more ego than anything. They had to have the most, the tallest, the fastest coasters, etc.

All of the companies on the list probably have a similar issue. They wanted the most locations, they had to be bigger and nicer than the competitors. What they ended up doing was overbuilding and overspending, and now they don't have cash flow to get them through leaner times.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009 12:27 PM

Pardon me, but I haven't read through every page of this thread; However, I was wondering about the types of parks that survived the Great Depression, of the 30's, and how the survival of todays parks match up with this current depression. I can't help but notice that parks, still in operation today, were some of the same ones that managed to fair well through the 30's.

What parks back then would've been considered the Six Flags, or Cedar Fair parks of today? Yeah, I know that CF isn't mentioned in the original story, but I'm using corporate parks in general vs to the family run parks, in this time of economic survival.


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Sunday, February 15, 2009 12:38 PM
rollergator's avatar

Jeff said:They built all of those coasters because in their minds it was instant attendance boosting.

Just in SFMM terms, wasn't the evidence showing that they were merely maintaining attendance with ALL that crazy new "thrillseeker steel"? I just never saw all those heavy cap-ex investments in SFMM as proving themselves in ROI terms. Clearly the park made money, but even when trying to sell off parks, investors like PARC-7F were (understandably?) leery of taking on "The Mountain". I agree that they THOUGHT the rides were good investments, I just don't understand what led them to believe that - surely the data was showing that similar investments in the company's OTHER parks (SFNE, SFGAdv, SFGAm) were making higher returns?

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Sunday, February 15, 2009 1:11 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

Coasterphan said:
Pardon me, but I haven't read through every page of this thread; However, I was wondering about the types of parks that survived the Great Depression, of the 30's, and how the survival of todays parks match up with this current depression. I can't help but notice that parks, still in operation today, were some of the same ones that managed to fair well through the 30's.

What parks back then would've been considered the Six Flags, or Cedar Fair parks of today? Yeah, I know that CF isn't mentioned in the original story, but I'm using corporate parks in general vs to the family run parks, in this time of economic survival.

Give this thread a look.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Sunday, February 15, 2009 7:25 PM

I'm not sure there's a parallel to today's parks in the parks of yesteryear. First, there were no chains or corporate parks. I wonder if there were even any parks in the 30's that weren't under private or family ownership. Also, the idea of the regional park probably didn't exist yet because car ownership was still rare. The closest thing to a destination park might have been the Jersey and California piers. Even the Coney parks were mostly for NYC dwellers.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009 1:18 PM

Back to the original post

If they do declare bankruptcy

will they no longer have to pay the lease on SFNO ?

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Saturday, February 21, 2009 10:52 AM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

I like Netflix. Blockbuster is overrated.

I love Sbarro's next to real Chicago or NYC pizza.

I am still upset that Steve & Barry's and Circuit City closed their doors here. Sbarro's is NEXT? :(

Thank God that B&B Works and Yankee Candle isn't on the "doomed" list.

-Tina

Last edited by coasterqueenTRN, Saturday, February 21, 2009 10:53 AM
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Monday, March 9, 2009 11:43 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
It comes down to changing theminds of people like me, who like to hold things that I buy in my handsin order to perceive more of a value from them.


matt. said:
Not really. If the market has moved well beyond your own personal preference of having a physical paper in your hand then it doesn't really matter if that's your preference because you are no longer where the profit is.

Brian Noble said:
...the physical newspaper is the one I'm least likely to give up.

matt. said:What I was kinda getting at in my own facetious way is certain things are dying with or without your own participation. It may not be in 10 or 20 years but there will come a point when it won't be a matter of giving up your newspaper voluntarily.

Saw this:

The 10 Major Newspapers That Will Fold Or Go Digital Next

and immediately thought of this thread. :)


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Tuesday, March 10, 2009 3:28 PM
LostKause's avatar

Well, the paper that I work for isn't seeing any problems at all. Businesses are still buying ad space, and our readership is about the same as last year.

Just this morning, I drove around the county and collected money from the news paper boxes. We had sold more papers this week then any time in the last year that I've been working there.

We also do print jobs, and I've been told that lately (within the past few years) sales of printed material has been dropping. There is less of a need for forms and paperwork. Everything is going digital.

So maybe we'll go digital sometime, but so far it's not looking like we wont have to. If/when we do, my job duties may change a little. I would still have to go report and take photos, but I wouldn't have to go fetch the papers from the press or take them to the Post Office.

I feel bad for the elderly and the poor who don't use a computer. They'll have to get their news told to them in 20 second segments on TV.

How does this relate to SF?


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Tuesday, March 10, 2009 3:42 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:
I feel bad for the elderly and the poor who don't use a computer.

As the numbers of computer illiterate dwindle to nothing and as the technology becaomes cheaper and more ubiquitous, the reasons for not doing things digitally become less and less.

That's exactly the eveolution being discussed. Don't feel bad for them, they're the last of a dying breed. Feel good that the technology will become available and familiar for them.


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