Costume characters laid off at Six Flags Elitch Gardens

Posted Friday, August 4, 2006 9:12 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Kellen Owens, who had roamed Elitch Gardens as the lovable dog since June, said he was laid off this week, along with friends who worked as Tweety, Bugs Bunny, Petunia the Piglet, Wile E. Coyote and others. "They told us it was budget cuts," said Owens, 18, who was at the park on Thursday with friends. "Six Flags is running low on money and we were the most expensive program."

Read more from The Denver Post.

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Friday, August 4, 2006 9:37 AM
Jeff's avatar Well if there was any doubt about whether or not they were going to sell the park, that's that.
Friday, August 4, 2006 9:59 AM
yep, otherwise it would make Shapiro look pretty stupid considering one of the main points of his new idea was "more costumed characters" lol.
Friday, August 4, 2006 10:39 AM
Well, if you had to cut something, at least it wasn't related to park operations.
Friday, August 4, 2006 11:58 AM
I think they are cutting costs all over the place. There has been a reduction in the characters at SFA for several weeks now, hour cuts and a reduction park operations. I don't think Shapiro is doing a good job at beeing "transparent" as he markets himself.
Friday, August 4, 2006 12:04 PM
Happy 45th Anniversary! Here's a pink slip.
Friday, August 4, 2006 12:06 PM
Actually, this isn't related to the sale of the park. They're cutting costumed characters at parks all over the chain, as well as making additional cuts in hours of operations.

The chain is in far more trouble than they led on in the conference call, and I'm losing faith.


Friday, August 4, 2006 12:24 PM
At the rate Shapiro is going sell all the parks any way.
Friday, August 4, 2006 1:23 PM
Losing faith is a good way to put it. "I want to see more costumed characters, that's the key" then "lets charge them for autographs, even better" now they are the first thing to go.
Friday, August 4, 2006 3:30 PM
I guess "families" in Denver were not so important afterall. The bottom line is that to attract new and "burnt" customers will take patience and money. I see neither...
Friday, August 4, 2006 3:38 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar You still holding that SIX stock, JRS?
Friday, August 4, 2006 4:18 PM
"We were the most expensive program".

If costumed characters are the most expensive program in the park, I wou ld not want to ride anything there.

Friday, August 4, 2006 4:33 PM
why not? they pay them more and the costumes are REAL expensive.... what should be the most expensive? Maitenance? Can't run a park with out them... maybe he meant expendable....*** This post was edited by Vic_SFKK 8/4/2006 4:34:06 PM ***
Friday, August 4, 2006 9:30 PM
SFDL has taken the Justice League meet-n-greet signs down outside the park. As cheesy as those costumes were, I can't imagine them being a huge expense.
Friday, August 4, 2006 10:10 PM
"You still holding that SIX stock, JRS?"

No...I got out with a 15-20% loss. I always place a stop on my "risky" stuff. Which is less than 3-5% of my investment money. My timing on that one was dumb. My fatal mistake was trusting Shapiro's word.

Anyhow...this move is the final nail in the coffin as far as Shapiro's (Snyder) credibility is concerned for me. He is a two-faced snake in my book. He liked to talk about "families" when he thought that would raise the stock price. Three months later he likes to cut that which he endorsed because he thinks this will raise the stock price.

I'm clearly no expert, but I think it safe to say that the stock price will NEVER trend upward consistently until they figure out a way to please their customers. No matter how much SHORT TERM staff reductions, price raising, and hour cutting they does not lead to an increasing customer base that they so badly need.

There is no way I can see being bullish on this bunch (NOW) UNLESS you are looking at it from a strict real estate investment. As an amusement business, they are a rudderless ship prone to changing prices and policies at any moment...with no clear plan on what they want to do...and balls to stick with the plan they've laid out to those who invested with them. It is the pior sentence that makes this such a RISKY place to put your money.

Friday, August 4, 2006 10:12 PM
Given my recent history with this might be a good time to invest. :-)
Saturday, August 5, 2006 2:29 AM
"Six Flags spokeswoman Brooke Brasher would not disclose specifics about the job cuts but said they were 'not unusual for this time of year'."

Not unusual? Didn't you just start adding so many costumed characters this year?

Who needs flat rides when you get so much spin from the corporate talking heads? These people have me dizzier than a Tilt-a-Whirl at double speed.

Saturday, August 5, 2006 10:12 AM
Yes...we all know the last week of July starts the down season...thus everyody should have seen the cuts coming.
Saturday, August 5, 2006 8:34 PM
The Mole's avatar Maybe I should go get another few rides on El Toro before Six Flags goes under..... ;)

I think it's a little too early to start hanging Shapiro, but I've never "trusted" him to turn this brand around, they don't get it, they think what people like is paying more for the same amount, which might work for crazed fans of football teams, but not shakey amusement park chains.

Sunday, August 6, 2006 2:20 AM
Yeah i've already heard rumors that they r going to sell Wild Waves and Enchanted Village up here in Seattle. Looks like i better take my vacation to the other parks soon so i can ride the other coasters.

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