Close Magic Mountain? Residents Aren't Thrilled

Lord Gonchar's avatar
Would that have been one lawsuit covering all 17 coasters ot 17 serperate lawsuits, Peabody? :)

The CPC was awesome. Good times:) The reason no one is signing an online petition for SFDL is because they already have a buyer if the park is sold--the old owner. Elitch Gardens? Well, take a look at their lineup. Would you be upset to see it go?

matt. said:
At that point I was more referring to rc-madness, sorry about that, should have clarified. Or "the select" few I mentioned who you weren't neccesarily included in.

No problemo. I also should not have jumped down your throat. I was in a bad mood this morning, and I guess I'm just tired of the discussion overall. I'll just bow out of this subject.

For now...;)

Ouch. I'd be very upset to see Elitch Gardens go away. Just because nobody is being all vocal about it, doesn't mean anything.

Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!

rollergator's avatar
^I feel like I've been more vocal about SFEG than anyone local, or even anyone who's BEEN there...but at least I'm committed to get there this season...while the getting is still good. Another park that SEEMS unlikely to be sold to a park operator due to land values...just my take, not anything CLOSE to the virtual certainty of SFMM's demise...
Gonch Said:

Considering I maintain a popular coaster photo site, take part in a weekly podcast on the subject of the amusement industry, help moderate one of the most visited amusement park/roller coaster sites in existence, attend coaster events and donate photos to parks like Bushkill and Conneaut for promotional use - I'd say that shows more than a little enthusiasm.

But I suppose endless complaining about a single park's potential closure helps too.

We're all enthusiastic in our own way, I guess.


Fair enough Lord Gonch. To be honest it’s difficult to wrap my head around the idea of someone one day flying down to Magic Mountain, taking the time to take a 100 shots of the park and its coasters, then another day saying you don't care if the park survives or not. It's confusing which is why I asked the question. It is not fair for me to judge, nor to accuse; but better to state that I am confused by this.

I thought this blog would be a bit more sensitive to the local residence of this park. Instead I have been taken aback by the cold analysis by the business minded enthusiasts understanding of Shapiro's dilemma. At times the tone has taken on a positive spin on closing a flagship park which (for me) seems blasphemous, speaking as a park enthusiast.

It's true, we're all enthusiastic in our own way, I make my points a bit more passionately. Sure, the questions I ask are often moral. And yes, I'll maybe speak my ill advised frustrations as others have done here.

I do believe there are CEO's in the amusement industry that make moral decisions. Maybe my vent is more about how sad it is Six Flags is not one of them, for the sake of this and other huge Six Flags parks.

Final analogy: Lets say Shapiro is a doctor with 20 or so patients. He looses two in six months time, my guess he'd be looking at a malpractice lawsuit. He says the Mountains is terminally ill. Refer it to a second opinion; don't give it a lethal injection for slightly higher profit. I guess I'm an advocate for patient referral, even if it costs the company some money. I do feel Six Flags owes its local community and its staff at least a referral so it can live another day. *** Edited 7/9/2006 4:37:38 AM UTC by rc-madness***

matt.'s avatar

DWeaver said:
No problemo. I also should not have jumped down your throat.

Not at all. Didn't take it that way whatsoever. ;)

I think it's funny how dumb some of you make yourselfs look to me and others who don't even have to say a thing. THATS FUNNY!
Oh, I'd like to know why SBNO is posted when a ride is not in operation. Standing But Not Operating. This is really funny as-well. If a ride is not standing then it is not operating. How many rides out there are not operating but still standing. I am dunbfounded once again. Someone help I am drowning.
matt.'s avatar
Um...there are actually quite a few rides in this world that are standing but not operating.


Thats my point. Why would they label a ride standing but not operating. Every ride in the world that isn't operating is standing. If it is not standing it is defunct, closed, removed or destroyed. Where does the standing come in. Is there a ride not in operation that is not standing. Do you get my point.
^ So you think that if a ride isn't operating, that can only mean it's been destroyed?

To answer your question... yes there are many rides not in operation that are not standing. The SBNO label leaves open the possibility that the ride will be operating again sometime in the future.

BTW, the plural of "yourself" is "yourselves" not "yourselfs."

CoasterDiscern said:
Thats my point. Why would they label a ride standing but not operating. Every ride in the world that isn't operating is standing. If it is not standing it is defunct, closed, removed or destroyed. Where does the standing come in. Is there a ride not in operation that is not standing. Do you get my point.

Do you really not see the stupidity that constitutes the core of this post of yours?

matt.'s avatar

CoasterDiscern said:
If it is not standing it is defunct, closed, removed or destroyed.

Or in storage, as a couple of high-profile coasters from Astroworld are, for example.

Here's a link to article to info I was not aware of:

Basically, SFMM pulls down 50 million per year, in profit. So that should permanently answer the question about SFMM's actual value to the chain.

Also, interesting to know that some of the interested parties in SFMM are those that failed to beat out Cedar Fair for Paramount Parks.

I'm not sure where that number comes from, and it's a little suspicous.

SFMM had 2.8M visitors in 2005. Chain-wide per-capita spending was $30 that year. Even figuring that MM's per-cap is probably higher than the chain average, you're looking at not much more than $100M in revenue.

Cedar Fair---by all accounts a very tightly run ship---has an operating margin of 24%. In other words, for every $4 they earn in revenue, $3 goes to direct costs, and the remaining $1 is "earned". There are other expenses, but this is the number that probably best represents the earning power of the parks.

Six Flags has a lower margin, company wide, of 14%.

So, even if MM were run as efficiently as a CF park, that $100M isn't earning much over $25M annually. It may be more like $14M.

There might be a way to do the accounting so that MM made $50M annually, but I bet it excludes cap-ex and other major budget components that really just can't be ignored.

janfrederick's avatar far back as I can remember, this park has always had the hoodlum reputation. My uncle was working in a gift shop in the 70's and was robbed at gunpoint.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Agreed with Brian Noble. That figure is highly suspect.

Real Cbuzz quote of the day - "The classes i take in collage are so mor adcanced then u could imagen. Dont talk about my emglihs" - Adamforce
Well, I'm assuming an AP writer received the figure either from SF corporate or directly from SFMM. I doubt very much that it's fabricated info, and since there is actually no other credible contrary source, it's pointless to attempt to guess.
There are lots of ways to state "earnings", depending on which costs you consider and which you don't. Things in SEC filings (the figures I computed my guesstimate from) are governed by accounting rules enforced by law---you aren't allowed to leave off costs to make your profit look better than it really is.

An unattributed figure given to a reporter can come from pretty much anywhere, using pretty much any set of costs and revenues that one cares to consider, and it's the reporter's job to figure out whether they're getting the right story or not. Having worked with several reporters, I can guarantee you that not all reporters are particularly good at this.

For example, I *might* believe that all revenue, minus payroll, consumable supplies, and utility bills comes to $50M in "profit". But, no serious executive would believe that those are the only costs involved. In other words, it's the truth, and nothing but the truth, but it may not quite be the "whole" truth, if you follow.

And, since the only people quoted in the article are Shapiro, a police sergent, a guest, and Del Holland the former GM who according to Buzzers That Know is no longer running the park, I'll let you guess who came up with the not-quite-quoted "profit" figure.

Based on the publicly-available, verified accounting numbers for the company, and other companies in comparable businesses, I can't see any way that a park with 2.8M annual guests, even if each of them spent $40 (a full $10 more than the company average), earns $50M in profit: that's an operating margin of 44%, and NOBODY comes even close to that.

Heck, even Disney had an operating margin of only about 13% in their parks and resorts.

*** Edited 7/10/2006 4:11:01 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

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