Darien Lake ending season early

Posted Wednesday, August 9, 2006 9:23 AM | Contributed by SFDL_Dude

The state's largest theme park said it will end its summer season four weeks early this year as its corporate parent continues to suffer financial problems. Six Flags Darien Lake, located halfway between Rochester and Buffalo, is one of six properties being considered for sale by parent company Six Flags because of financial losses. As of July 31, the park had already reduced operating hours five out of seven days and closed two rides, including a major roller coaster. The new closing date is Oct. 1.

Read more from AP via USA Today.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 9:33 AM
I suppose we'll get word of an asking price by tomorrow.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 9:34 AM
Good bye, Darien Lake!
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 9:47 AM


Darien Lake is not going anywhere. The park has a lot going for it, including a hotel, a very popular concert venue, campground... and theme-park.

Here's another article from The Buffalo News from today...

Interesting factoid: Did you know Paul Ruben lives in Rochester? I guess then that phantom publication must originate somewhere around there!

Here's one of his quotes from the question of closing the Batman, closing rides, ending the season early & reducing hours:


But with reduced hours and fewer open attractions, park attendance might drop, and the people who do visit might spend less time - and money - at the property, he said.

I like this quote:


The county's economic development agency over the years has provided incentives to the park, supporting investments such as the installation of new rides that maintain the park's status as a tourist magnet, Gsell said.

Ashame that Six Flags never took a look into that. If they added regular attractions like most normal parks, then they would have had more county benefits.

And of course, here's the last quote from the Buffalo News:


Ruben, of Park World, said he is sure that Darien Lake will operate next year. Whether it will be part of Six Flags is another question, he said.

"I think the park is a viable business, if you don't have to repay huge bank loans with much of the income," he said.

Paul Snyder, who founded the park as a campground 43 years ago and sold his ownership interest in the 1980s, has expressed interest in possibly buying back the park. He could not be reached to comment on Tuesday.


That's a good sign right there, that the park will operate next year... although why the article seemed to be obcessed on quoting a lot of what Paul Ruben says, I don't know.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 10:31 AM
I doubt this is a death kneel for the park the park is making money. But it seems Micheal Darling is very excited about the park closing. It seems like that makes you awfully happy.

Anyways if the park gets dropped from six flags i'am more than sure someone will pick it up and do a better job at running it than six flags. I mean really do we really want six flags running this park seeing as though they have no money and haven't added anything worthwhile in 7 years, so this will be a good thing if they dropped branding the park.*** This post was edited by DARIEN LAKE FAN PART 2 8/9/2006 10:32:38 AM ***
*** This post was edited by DARIEN LAKE FAN PART 2 8/9/2006 10:33:02 AM ***

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 11:15 AM
IF Six Flags drops the park...

Paramount has gotten out of the park business

CF (after buying the above mentioned Paramount parks) probably is not going to be in a buying mode for a while.

Who does that leave? Independent owners? Some other firm?

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 11:27 AM
$140 million.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 12:01 PM
Didn't the previous owner express interest in buying the park back from Six Flags? Not sure he can afford that price tag though.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 12:01 PM
I'am glad to know everyone around here is a soooo smart about the finaces of the company.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 12:03 PM

Paul Snyder, who founded the park as a campground 43 years ago and sold his ownership interest in the 1980s, has expressed interest in possibly buying back the park. He could not be reached to comment on Tuesday.

I really liked this park way back when. I camped a few times with my dad and cousin and had an amazing time. When I went with my girlfriend a few years ago and camped, the charm was still there, but the park was in lousy condition. There is so much potential there, I have a feeling if an independant buys it they could do a lot with it.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 1:14 PM
Ah yes but we must remember Dawgbyte that the previous ownership was too busy making investments only at SFMM,SFGRADV & SFGRAM beginning in 02 to be bothered by the fact that they had a chain full of other parks that needed new attractions as well.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 1:40 PM
What coaster did they close?
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 1:55 PM
"Predator is closed for renovation."

I liked this quote for Paul:

"One way to save some money is to not spend it."

And the other way is????

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 2:11 PM
Hours cut. The predator is closed. The batman show is done. *GRIZZLY RUN*, of all rides, is closed. Oktoberfest/International festival has been scrapped. A month has been cut off the schedule. A real shame, indeed.

I think we'll see new owners for sure, I just wish I had a few hundred mil lying around...

Oh, and according to the one webpage I saw regarding parkworld, Paul's e-mail address was a @rochester.rr address so it's very likely he lives there. [oh, the opinion article confirms it, and also mentions the ride closures.]*** This post was edited by SFDL_Dude 8/9/2006 2:14:57 PM ***

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 2:33 PM
DARIEN LAKE FAN PART 2:*

I happen to know Michael Darling personally and you couldn't be any more right on. He gets so giddy when parks shutdown it's almost like he is playing a game of Battleship. He'll call out a park name and it gets sunk, it's amazing!

You should see how excited he is about Erieview Park closing as well. I'm still wondering when I'm getting my invitation to the "Yay! Another park is shutting down party!"

~Rob

* If you really have to ask if this is sarcasm, then you are a MORAN!*** This post was edited by HeyIsntThatRob? 8/9/2006 2:33:40 PM ***

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 2:46 PM
Is that sarcasm I detect?
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 3:48 PM
I have to say that I am not surprised in the cutbacks. When we were there a little over a month ago I did a guest comment card in the park office, and they were making plans then. The letter I got in return from the PR rep at the park, as positive as it was, confirmed the "nail" was "in the coffin." Everyone at the park knows that Six Flags doesn't care about the property, from ride-ops to management. They are also not afraid to speak about it, the fact that there were so many promises by Snyder and Shapiro, and how they hate both men. I cannot blame them, they are the perfect family friendly property, with tons of room to expand and flourish. Aside from the economy of Buffalo, this park draws crowds from as far as Albany, NY, to Northeast PA and Central PA. The management is too blind (Snyder and Shapiro) to see this; they just want to enjoy the milk without paying for the cow. Shame on the new Six Flags, shame for being so shallow not see what a great property and potential they have in Darien Lake.
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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 6:04 PM
How come I didn't get the memo that Halloween was moved up to September this year? ;)

Why did the article spend so much time quoting Paul Ruben? Sounds like he was the only one they interviewed who had any comment.

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 6:39 PM
Could season pass holders have a claim? I know hours are subject to change...but four (4) weeks (I assume weekends...but the article does not say)? I've seen law-suits won for less. Any lawyers out there know if we have a material breach?

If this is NOT a breach...what would be? Could a park close June 18th for the season after promising a full season of thrills by printing a schedule? There-by collecting all the season pass money early summer and then skipping town...

Interesting concepts...

Anyhow...I realize they are abandoning properties that are losses for them. Again...I have to question if the way they are doing it is too short-sighted. Systematically screwing customers for those properties you give up on mid-season sure sends a piss-poor message about the overall integrity of your company. When your cost-cutting efforts entail breaching implied promises of services to those who have pre-paid…I think it fair to say you’ve crossed a moral, if not legal, line.

I’ve seen Wall Mart publicly dragged through the mud for treating their employees and customers much better than what is on display at Six Flags. A performer finding out about their firings without even a days notice is bush league. Season pass holders stuck with useless plastic is crap.

I know I’m sounding like one of those whiny-pink-panty-wearing-liberals I always chastise. But if recent behaviors by Six Flags are not enough to fire up my left leaning buzzer friends…I don’t know what is.

This is obviously a company in desperate times. It appears they are willing to screw anybody and everybody on the way down. This, in and of itself is understandable. But when you blow smoke up the public’s arses with statements like this…

"It's a seasonal business," she said, and the company decided moving the Halloween-themed event earlier would "allow more people to attend and enjoy the experience."

…which would portray these service cuts as some sort of positive move by the company made in the best interest of their customers rather than an obvious desperate cost-cutting move…

…well lets just say your starting to dangerously trend into Enron territory as far as business ethics are concerned!

For everybody there is a line between ethics and money-making. I consider myself the type who has a line WAY to the right. Raise prices, cut hours, reduce staff...etc. I can live with all that. Start breaking implied promises (contracts?) with paying customers and you've crossed my line!

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 6:59 PM
My SF pass says right on the back of it:

"Operating dates, hours and prices subject to change without notice"

So I guess they're covered. :)

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