There is no way Cedar Fair is going to draw more attendance than Six Flags next year or in years to come. If Six Flags could not maintain attendance with all 3 parks, there is no way Cedar Fair is going to make anywhere close to 3 million visitors. They are taking away half of the park and offering cutomers a much LESS value for their money. If people weren't going before, there is no incentive for them to go now.
Cedar Fair is heading straight towards FAILURE! Six Flags got the bargain at $145 million. Cedar Fair will be paying big time for this decision. Paying interest on debt for wasted land and space, insurance, and maintennce costs is not a good business decision.
Six Flag's owes Cedar Fair more than a thank you for them buying this lemon. Due much it part to Cedar Fair's acquisiton, Six Flag's is already on the rebound. Six Flag's stock has increased for the first time in years and they are reducing their Debt.
BAD Decision Cedar Fair!
"Geauga Lake was "flagged" as Six Flags Ohio in 2000 and attendance increased 42% to about 1.7 million. Approximately $40 million in capital improvement was spent on the park including retheming to Looney Tunes and DC Comics as well as the addition of 4 coasters. Good year!
Six Flags purchased SeaWorld Ohio for $110 million and renamed the park Six Flags Worlds of Adventure in 2001 advertising 3 parks for the price of one (Wild Rides, Wildlife, Waterpark). They also add X-Flight, the second major flying coaster project ever. I think this was the biggest mistake they made in not charging two different gates, but maybe they thought they would eventually do so after people got the taste of what both sides were like. This was also the worst year I've seen the park at since visiting in 2000. I think they made a lot of bad impressions and made something much bigger than they could handle. Attendance rose 37% to 2.7 million. Good year as far as attendance goes. That's around a 62% rise in 2 years.
Six Flags Worlds of Adventure adds no major attractions for 2002. Attendance at the park falls 21% to 2.13 million. I think this drop had to do with both no major attractions being added and some of the less than great experiences some guests had at the park in 2002. Their competition, Cedar Point, adds Wicked Twister, a double-twisting Impulse coaster that's the biggest of its kind, that draws a lot of people over there and away from Six Flags.
Six Flags Worlds of Adventure again adds no major attractions for 2003 and tries to focus on some of the minor things to increase positive guest experience. Like every other park in the chain and like 2002 when the park added nothing major, the park loses attendance- down 7% and to a little under 2 million visitors.
*X-Flight, yearly operating costs, GL original cost, additional animals and flats, restaurants, etc. not accounted for.
Overall, you could say the park grew 15% by 2003 due to the addition of the Wildlife side in 2001. Or you could say they went down 26% since they became a "new park" in 2001.
Eh, it still doesn't spell disaster to me. It definitely spells disappointment though and I imagine operation costs were way higher than the type of attendance the expected to get in the next few years. It probably wasn't worth it for them to wait that long for more money to come in and was easily to just cut straight to $145 million. Not a bad idea. I still think they should have done something like $54.99 general admission for a combo of both the Wildlife and Wild Rides parks or $32.99 for each. They were painfully undercharging IMO. This doesn't help them now, but it helps me see that it wasn't all that bad. But if they continued averaging a $16 million profit a year, it would take a decade to get what CF gave them. I could have waited and maybe business would have done better. We don't really know. In the time frame given though, it did fail and disappoint SF.
What a nice experiment to be a part of in its brief history though. Just some random thoughts.
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Now Cedar Fair owns another park in the region that can draw customers who otherwise wouldn't travel the distance to Cedar Point pr pay to stay in one of the hotels. Add in cross promotion and both parks will succeed.
Also, the Six Flags stock has been on rebound for a while after it's low of $3. And $245 million will not save the chain from it's $2.3 billion debt.
The problem with SFWoA is the Animal Park.
Just my views here, but I think SFWoA's problems were brought on by something other than the animal park. There is no doubt in my mind that the poor customer service at the park played a huge roll in the decline of what could have been a very sucessful park.
I did think there was hope for the park though as I found last year to be an improvement over customer satisfication although I only went to the park one time last year.
Cedar Fair knows the faults of the park. While it is too early to tell, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if the new owners came into the park and fixed up many of it's previous faults.
Perhaps Cedar Fair is bitting off more than they can chew? Who knows? All we can do is wait it out to see if Cedar Fair can breathe some new life into the park. At this point, jumping to conclusions is a bit pointless.
I'm sure that the park will become a lot friendlier this year, and cleaner too. The fact that Geauga Lake Park is back makes me so happy and I feel like finally the park will be brought back to it's former glory. Cedar Fair can do that. Everything that was the old Geauga Lake Park was ruined by Six Flags anyways except the Dipper and Western Village. Yes!!! No more Coyote Creek either.
My main concern will be how they treat my beloved Big Dipper and it's classic trains. I go to Geauga Lake after work to relax and ride coasters with my friends. As long as I can still do that, I'll be happy. If Cedar Point turns it into a setting where that becomes impossible for me to do, well that's a different story then.
Here comes the Wood Coaster Fan Club *** Edited 3/14/2004 3:39:05 PM UTC by Thrillerman***
SFWoA did turn a profit... but $16 million a year in profit is not adequate to drive the capital-intensive business of running an amusement park, especially one as big as that.
Six Flags didn't get the "bargain," Cedar Fair did. Do the math... they shelled out $100 million for SeaWorld and $40 million in rides for 2000 alone. Now Cedar Fair gets all of that plus everything that came before that. Furthermore, consider property values around there... land ain't cheap. Who got the bargain?
I don't expect that Cedar Fair expects to draw more than 1.5 million people to that park this year. That will hardly be difficult to turn a profit on. I'm not sure what to expect, but seeing as how they don't have these grand plans for a super park with animals, I'm sure it'll do OK.
Now come back with a business argument and I'll take you seriously.
Listen to the questions again...someone asks what the EBITDA for the park was (which would be a much larger number were the $16 million average net profit) and the answer was that $16 million was equivalent to EBITDA.
Not saying it's going under next week--but still...
(who expects a GL Gerstlauer clone for '05)
*** Edited 3/14/2004 3:46:47 PM UTC by CoastaPlaya***
NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.
You're 100% right.. they have no clue what they're doing.. That's why the company has had it's distrubution rate increase for 17 years in a row whole other chains have been losing money for years.
Man.. you've got my vote for the board of directors.
The ads are a no-brainer..."Geauga Lake is back!" and just imagine if they decided to compete directly with Kennywood--as an old-fashioned, steeped-in- tradition park that doesn't run around building mega-monolith attractions. You can have a lot of fun with that. An awful lotta fun.
*** Edited 3/14/2004 4:32:59 PM UTC by CoastaPlaya***
NOTE: Severe fecal impaction may render the above words highly debatable.
My main concern will be how they treat my beloved Big Dipper and it's classic trains.
I don't know what Cedar Fair will do with Big Dipper, but at Michigan's Adventure, Shivering Timbers is running as good as it ever was. Although Shivering Timbers had PTC trains to begin with.
I have to say that I agree that I think this will turn out to be profitible in the long run.
Former upset guests will leave the park happy. They will tell others about the drastic change in overall experience. More peeps will visit. Loyal patrioge occurs more frequently. CF becomes the real super hero by rescuing the park from a rotten reputation.
My friends and I are planning on hitting GL on Tuesday, May 12 on the way home from my PKI, CP trip, if it is open. I was going to skip it until this news came about, but now I am curious.
I support GL. I have no doubt that CF can pull this off with very little problems.
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