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.
I understand what the legal writing says...but I believe many states have implied warranties, or such...not sure how this would fit...BUT I'm guessing there is a legal argument that can be made. They are skirting on fraud by charging a price AND providing a schedule which gives you a foundation on what value you are getting for your money. Winning in court is another issue as I could argue either side.
Out of curriosity...can ANYBODY remember another park cutting this many days off the calender. I'm sure there has to be some that have done this before...but I cannot think of an example. Maybe somebody went bankrupt mid-season...?
Throughout the 80s and 90s the park really did flourish and was a great day trip, or even camping trip. The potential for success is there.
Phoenix Phan, it is good to know that the management and Shapiro are enemies, however don't think that the management isn't at fault. I realize many decisions are made by the corporation, however day to day issues are the management's fault.
But hey, even with predator and grizzly run closed, Superman has been running 2 trains since mid June and has apparently been a walk on all summer, with the exception of Saturday where the station fulls, but none of the queue. I guess there is one positive! I visited in June and was shocked to see both trains on the track running 1/2 empty.
The park needs a new ride of some sort, the midway has looked the say for 7 years now. I'm not saying a giant coaster, but a drop tower or spinning coaster.
It appears that Six Flags is simply cutting bait and walking away from the parks it's mentioned selling. Do they intend to open these parks next season if they don't find buyers before then? If they do, how do they intend to staff them? Who's going to want to work there knowing they could be let go at anytime, without notice, based on a whim from HQ? You know workers at their other parks are hearing about this too. What if they decide not to work for SF next year? Your operations just took a few more steps backward.
What's the saying about cutting off your nose to spite your face?
Yes they do. And the parks guide their customer by printing and providing schedules. Consumers buying season passes make their decision based at least in part, on the schedule provided. Everyone knows hours, and possibly days could be changed. I think we all understand that this is for extreme circumstances...weather, etc. To just close, for the sake of closing...?
I'm guessing there is the possibility for some legal action...should somebody have the time, effort, and money to make the case.
I'm not saying you guys arguing "hours are subject to change" are wrong. I'm saying that in today's society, given the grey areas and activist judges...there is a chance a suit MAY prevail.
There possibly may be other legal precidence (sp?) weather by law, or through case law that could supercede the warning on the back. Just as we know "ride at your own risk" warnings do not supercede injury torts...I believe an argument can be made that "hours and days are subject to change" do not supercede fraud.
Either way...I think we can all agree that this is just piss poor business action. Even IF they want to sell the parks, they do damage to their name and reputation for the other properties they may want to keep (if there are any)!
The fact that they are willing o do this...tells me they are either stupid pricks, OR they are in more serious trouble than any of us even thought...and we thought it was real bad.
If someone sued and I had to defend, I'd argue that the pass buys you admission to all SF parks for the calendar year and then present the actual number of operating days that one could visit a SF park and then present the actual number of lost days and with some simple math establish a percentage of days that were a loss.
Then offer a refund on the price paid for a pass based on the same percentage of loss.
With SF passes going for under $50 or $60 in most cases, I'd imagine Shapiro could pay every single person who bought a SF pass this year out of his pocket. ;)
Checking SFDL's web site, the listed price for a season pass is $64.49. Says "Pays for itself in less than two visits". Do the math... it does. So anyone who has a pass and has used it for two (or more visits) basically is not out any money because, as stated, the pass has paid for itself and you are ahead of the game. Anyone who has NOT yet used the pass for their second visit and will not use that pass before the (new) end of the operating season for a second visit really has to step back and aske... "why did I buy a season pass in the first place?"
Also, anyone who has used their pass bought at SFDL at any other park also has no right to complain.
People (like me) who bought their SF pass at another park, has no right to complain either. "Hmmmm... I got my pass at SFA, and I used it at SFKK, SFStL and SFNE. Now SFDL is closing early? But I wanted to go there on their last day of the season! Better call my lawyer." Sorry... it doesn't fly.
With SF passes going for under $50 or $60 in most cases, I'd imagine Shapiro could pay every single person who bought a SF pass this year out of his pocket.
As they say... do the math.
On their current schedule, SFDL will have been open 117 days (on this revised schedule). That means that your season pass is worth $0.55 per day.
Not sure how many days were cut, but I am guessing 12 (they were not on "full week" operations, so I am going to just consider Fri-Sun). Doing the math there, your pass is worth $0.50 per day.
Value of the days that were lost? Around $6.... and that is providing that you have not visited the park twice (in which case you have already saved $5.49... based on non discounted admissions... so the difference there is only $0.50)
And you just know that is what they are banking on. I can see Shapiro's accountants now...
"Okay Mr.Shaprio... we take the total number of Darien Lake season pass holders, figure in the $0.50 that we are 'ripping off" from them, divide the total debt by that figure and we should be back in the black in approximately 800,000 years."
"Excellent Smithers... Excellent."
It was still worth it.
I can still make the argument that the schedule they provided was THE MOST valuable piece of advertising that went into the bargain from Six Flags. By changing the schedule AFTER the fact...they have POSSIBLY committed a fraud. While it would be a tough sell to get a judge to give the full $50-60 dollars back...there can be an argument (argument = case) made that they should.
It would probably lose...Shapiro can afford it..yada, yada! I agree with all of that.
I'm just saying that this would be possible. Keep in mind we are talking small case court claims here where the rules are minimal and the decisions are variable.
P.S. If anybody wants to give it a shot in small claims...private message me and I'll foot the court costs! :-) I would just like to see what happens.
Of course you need to write the company first demanding your money back so there is record that you tried to rightfully claim what is/was yours! :-)
Okay... you might take it to small claims court... but I can just picture it now... after you present your case to Judge Milian I can just see her shaking her head and saying something like "If the 'insanity plea' was permitted in small claims court I would be advising you to take it."
Plain and simple....
SFDL will have been open for 117 out of an originally planned 129 days... that is the bulk of the season.
They are not saying, "We are open, but we are chosing NOT to honor your pass"
Websites and the back of the passes plainly state that they are good for any operating day of the regular season, and they are still honoring that.
Websites and the back of the passes also say "dates and times are subject to change."
Six Flags spokesperson Wendy Goldberg must be one of the most loyal employees out there or one of the most foolish. Either she already knows her ass won't be one of the ones getting canned when SF unloads this park, or else she's hoping pretty hard.
Darien Lake is no Magic Mountin---the land it sits on is basically still worthless---a quick look at all the surrounding farmland on google maps' satellite view will tell you that. This place will almost certainly be an amusement park for the forseeable future, and it's likely that most of the current staff will stick around for at least a little while into the new regime.
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