Close Magic Mountain? Residents Aren't Thrilled

Sunday, July 2, 2006 4:54 PM
I can't believe that might happen!

Maybe CP could buy X? hmmm ;)

Ahh, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Sunday, too...

Sunday, July 2, 2006 5:00 PM
Houston residents weren't thrilled about Six Flags closing AW either, but it still happened.
Sunday, July 2, 2006 6:44 PM
Wow - up to now I thought this was just a pointless rumor - but they really think they would make profit there building houses!
Even after they spent millions upon millions to built Goliath, X, DejaVu, Scream and now Tatsu during the last 5 years.

Maybe Shapiro is a real smarty though and simply wants everybody to visit SFMM "before it closes"

airtime for everyone
Sunday, July 2, 2006 7:27 PM
Mamoosh's avatar A large factor of why SFMM is failing is precisely those millions of dollars spent to build Goliath, X, DejaVu, Scream, and Tatsu. Plus there is an ineffective employee training program and a maintenance budget that was cut year after year despite adding new rides [the 2005 maintenance budget was LESS than the 1997 budget!].

SFMM was on a road to failure the minute it's focus changed to being a "thrill park."

*** Edited 7/2/2006 11:28:01 PM UTC by Mamoosh***

Sunday, July 2, 2006 9:45 PM
Translation of the LA Times article: "Now that I've moved here, please don't build any more houses. But, please keep the teenagers away from the park, too."
Sunday, July 2, 2006 10:57 PM
Sorry Santa Clarita/Valencia residents, you can't have it both ways. If SFMM bites the big one, you'll just go back to being one obscure, boring place to live on the outskirts of LA. I'd rather live in Dale, Indiana, than anywhere near this area. Some people think it's nice, to me it's ugly, overpriced, bland and one giant brush fire waiting to happen.

But how do I really feel right?

Monday, July 3, 2006 12:27 AM

Maybe Shapiro is a real smarty though and simply wants everybody to visit SFMM "before it closes"

Maybe he is going to have people visting the parks before they close and it is just a pubicity stunt to get people to vist the parks and after word he will say that they were never realy going to close the parks!!!

Wow! That was a mouth full!

Monday, July 3, 2006 3:11 AM
From the article, the land is only worth 200 million? So after taxes, cost of removing rides, etc., would they actually even really improve thier debt problem significantly? They sold off their parks in Europe, Ohio, Astroworld, Omaha and the are still in trouble.

It doesn't seem like the sell the parks philosophy is working for SF corporate.

Even if the entire SFMM audience were season pass holders @ 60 buck a pop, that's 180 million just in admissions. Over 6 years (the amount Cedar Fair needs to pay off thier aquisition), SFMM alone could clear off 1/2 the debt. If each guest paid to park once, 45 million a year, another 270 million over 6 years. Every guest spent 20 bucks in food (easy to do!), 60 million a year, another 360 million. Then add in all retail operations.

I just don't see the big financial upside SF would gain from making possibly 200 million, even tax free, one time versus the money making potential of a park with millions of people pouring in through the gates.

For example, Goliath gained a new corporate sponsor. If Goliath was gone, and the others sponsored rides were gone, SF permanently loses that revenue as well that cannot be made up at the other parks.

Oh well, I'll hope for the best that the park winds up under Cedar Fair or another group that can give the park the attention it needs instead of finding excuses.

Monday, July 3, 2006 3:38 AM
this makes me wonder if Shapiro is feeling a little "trapped" by SFMMs "teen" crowd that is keeping the coveted families away. plus, i would bet that Disney and Knotts have the family thing all locked up anyway.

he cant tell the "unwanted" teens not to come, so he'll just unload the park entirely. good way to solve the "problem"...eliminate the venue. although, IMO, it is, like the seatbelts on MF, a problem that really doesnt NEED to be solved.

methinks Shapiro needs to lighten up a little.

"Where you live should not decide whtehr you live or whether you die"--U2 "Crumbs From Your Table"
Monday, July 3, 2006 9:14 AM
DBJ, Your numbers look great but then minus operational costs, inventory, wages, taxes, etc and what is the net effect on bottom line? See here's the real information needed. It is never just add up the ammount coming in and see what it can do for the company. There is always money going out and could make your 6 year plan become a lot more time.

Oh by the way he surely isn't chasing the teens from SF GAdv with the radio advertisements I heard this weekend. They were about El Toro and Kingda Ka and saying to "Find Your Scream". They even have a "Find Your Scream" ad for Hurricane Harbor. So I would say that GAdv is still marketing their thrills, and not going totally family yet.

I would say there is more to the Magic Mountain scenario than unwanted teenagers crowding the park. But we probably won't know the whole story unless someone could interview Mr. Shapiro and ask the right questions and him give the whole answers. Which I doubt any good corporate manager would do. Corporate speak is probably all you would get.

Watch the tram car please....
Monday, July 3, 2006 9:59 AM
I have to say, the Mountain would be a beautiful place to live. One of the most beautiful settings for a theme park I've ever seen.

Then again, you'd have to live in Southern California.

[url=""]My blog[/url] You said, "I'm gonna run you down." I heard, "I'm an orangutan."
Monday, July 3, 2006 10:12 AM
Mamoosh's avatar dragonfrost - did you listen to the investor poscast? I did...not much mystry to me why SF would consider selling SFMM.
Monday, July 3, 2006 11:23 AM
Hmmm, I dunno. I still think Magic Mountain is worth saving. I'm not entirely sure that removing a park in the second largest market is the wisest decision. I'm no corporate genius, but what I would do is remove rides like Superman and De Ja Vu which are cool rides, but cost so much to operate annually. I would also remove Psyclone (which no one rides anyway) the monorail, Flashback and Freefall which just sit there and gather rust.

I know SF is knee deep in debt, but how about investing a couple million in refurbishing some of their buildings, children's areas and just the general appearance of the park.

It would take alot, I agree. But it would benefit the corporation in the long run.

Fate is the path of least resistance.

Monday, July 3, 2006 11:37 AM
"The long run" solution isn't an option right now, Six Flags is past that point. They are about to default on loans unless they can raise money IMMEDIATELY. You can bet they've considered what it would cost to turn around Magic Mountain's image, and given the nearby competition it just isn't a workable plan.
Monday, July 3, 2006 11:49 AM
Mamoosh's avatar The kid's area is actually one of the nicest-looking areas of the park having gotten a makeover the early 2000s. The problems lay elsewhere. First it would take millions of dollars just to bring the park's aging infrastructure out of the 1970s. Then it would take tens of millions to transform the park from "thill-based" to "family focused." And then they'd need to spend millions more to market the rebranded park to a populace filled with people who already do not have a favorable opinion of the park.

That is one giant hurdle for a company as debt-burdened as Six Flags and precisely why Shapiro is considering cutting his losses. Yes it is a shame that the park might close but sadly Burke and Co started sliding down this slippery slope years ago.

Monday, July 3, 2006 12:05 PM
Ok fine, to raise funds how about a bake sale.......a raffle.......or a dance-a-thon. :) My church had those every year for the "building fund" :)

j/k ofcourse

Fate is the path of least resistance.

Monday, July 3, 2006 12:10 PM
rollergator's avatar ^ So, what you're saying in your own way is that for the price of Tatsu (or Scream! or X), they coulda had the $20M to fix up the place...and maybe had enough money left over to do *something* to help Colossus (since we're all in agreement that Psucklone is beyond help).

I'm not saying that corporate didn't have a BIG hand in maintenance budgets or capital expenditures. I *am* saying that as park GM, I would've at least put up an argument to TRY and help MY park....YMMV.

Monday, July 3, 2006 12:14 PM
Yah Know!!!!

Totally agree with you there. They didnt "need" Tatsu, certainly not Scream. And I think dumping the three coasters in 2001 was the beginning of the end. Thanks Del Holland and the rest of the gerbils that ran this park into the ground. Just......thanks!

Fate is the path of least resistance.

Monday, July 3, 2006 12:21 PM
^While your suggestions may benefit the company in the long run the problem is that the park has built up a negative image with it's current demographic.

Families with small kids simply won't want to come back no matter how many family oriented attractions are added so the wise decision in corporate's eyes is to simply cut your losses & sell to the highest bidder.

By selling the park it will free the company of the long term operating & maintenance costs,then perhaps maybe other parks can benefit by having an increased maintenance budget to work with which means that ride uptime & capacity at the locations will increase & so will customer statisfaction.

A satisfied guest is far more likely to spend money,make return visits throughout the season & more importantly advertise through word of mouth to others about how good the park is,while a distatisfied guest is not likely to spend money,make return visits & is highly likely to give negative press to the park through word of mouth...I mean we see that quite frequently in a lot of the SFMM TR's that have been posted lately.


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