Great American Family parks inc. New company wants to buy parks

Monday, October 4, 2004 1:42 PM
Never heard of this before but a new company wants to become the largest regional amusement park company. *** Edited 10/4/2004 6:14:34 PM UTC by supermandl***

Monday, October 4, 2004 1:55 PM
Sounds interesting... funny that they want to mimic Six Flags, as far as buying smaller struggling parks, and rotating rides.
Monday, October 4, 2004 1:59 PM
Notice that their 5-year projections start with 2002. This is not a "new company," but the Funtime founders trying to start anew.

Since things haven't progressed on the Mark Twain or Animal Safari parks to date, I think this may be just a relic of a business plan that didn't go to fruition. *** Edited 10/4/2004 5:59:33 PM UTC by gamndbndr***

Monday, October 4, 2004 2:15 PM
Sorry thought it was a new company, but it looks like they will start buying pretty soon according to the article I added above.
Monday, October 4, 2004 2:41 PM
Yeah, since the Yahoo article is from today, looks like things may be moving ahead for them.

Very interesting nonetheless, hope they might consider purchasing SFMW since the chances of SF ever actually buying the park are slim to none, and it is definitely a profitable property. Busch would be my first choice, but not very likely they'd be interested in aquiring SFMW, and I'd sure hate to see the park close after SF pulls out in 2007.

Monday, October 4, 2004 4:43 PM
That's just what the world needs - another individul or company with way too much money thinking that money means they know how to run the boat. Haven't we already learned the lesson that owning the most parks does not the "premier" company make? (heh - now that's some quality pun-nage my friends ... )

Mer to that. Smaller companies will do better in the long run.

Monday, October 4, 2004 5:07 PM
well said, Impulse-ive...
Monday, October 4, 2004 5:57 PM
Precise & to the point,one of Premier/SF's biggest problems is that they purchased way too many parks too soon & now lack sufficient funding to operate them all.

Still an upstart company might do well at running maybe four or five of the parks,among them the ones SF seems to neglect when it comes to adding new rides.

If they play their cards right they might do well but if they get greedy like SF did then it will prove to be their downfall.

Anyone know how Starparks is doing so far with the former SF European division?

Monday, October 4, 2004 9:02 PM
Even if they have been around since 2002, they are probably making noise now since there are rumors of SF wanting to unload a few more parks.
Monday, October 4, 2004 9:52 PM
Is it just me, or could this be good for all parties involved? If this GAF company takes over the smaller Six Flags parks and actually runs them right, then it would improve the quality of those parks, and SF could devote their time and energies to their bigger and already more successful parks, making them already better than they are....does anyone agree, eh?
Monday, October 4, 2004 9:57 PM
Good point, BigJim, provided Six Flags isn't too far gone already. I think the smaller parks actually end up being the more profitable ones though IIRC.

This could be interesting for us Ohioans if they have their eyes on Lesourdsville Lake, or even Wyandot Lake (which these guys used to own apparently!)

Monday, October 4, 2004 10:06 PM
^I hear ya but remember this is the same situation Premier got itself into as soon as they became SF.

Premier specialized in buying smaller underfinanced parks starting with Wild World in 91(now SFA) & soon after got hold of Riverside,DL,EG & on their own the parks were doing well & had recieved capital investments that turned them around however once they got hold of SF they kept buying more parks including those that were recently sold & are still foing it(SFNO,La Ronde).

The SF chain ended up with far too many properties & not enough money to cover them all & were actually losing money since around 2000 & buying extra parks just made the situaion worse,personally if SF were to sell some more parks I'd like to see CF buy them because they've got the know how & the desire to make use of the parks to their full potential.

An upstart company such as great american family parks may not have the expertise yet & would find themselves in a similar situation to the one SF is currently stuck in,especially if they try to take on more parks than they can handle in too short a time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 9:55 AM
As I said on the news item, this is a joke. Six Flags thought they'd buy up as many parks as they could and watch the money roll in. You can see how well that worked.
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 10:14 AM
I wonder if this company would consider buying Conneaut lake Park... Just about anything short of a wrecking ball would help that park...
Even if i had to pay an admission, at least it'd be open...
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 10:24 AM
We all know how SF turned out but with that in mind perhaps this company can carefully pace it's growth so they don't fall into the same situation that SF is currently faced with.
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 10:44 AM
They state in that article that they expect something like 20%+ growth in amusement parks in the next few years? Give me a break. I seriously doubt parks are going to grow that much - the "coaster wars" are slowing, if not stopped, parks are starting to have to charge so much for admission that they're getting beyond the reach of a lot of families. I think if anything, it'll be stagnant, or 5% growth at best.

Plus, exactly what parks do they have in mind? Other than buying Six Flags' smaller parks, like EG and MW and KK, there aren't many parks that fit their criteria that I think would even be willing to sell out (Holiday World, Kennywood, and Knoebels immediately came to mind when I read the article).

It's a joke - pray that it doesn't happen.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 10:53 AM
I was wondering about which parks they expect to snag too.

From the Yahoo article:

"By building a family of parks, each with between 300,000 to 1 million annual attendees, GFAM is proposing to develop a series of compatible but distinct entertainment and amusement products including themed amusement parks..."

What parks fall into that criteria and are also available (or would be for the right price)?

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 11:22 AM
I don't think we have to worry bout Kennywood selling out. Family owned parks, doing very well. and HP got the company to back it up. The only park that comes to mind is CLP. This park needs a company to invest $$$ to fix it up. Last time I was at the park(The Blue Streak Challenge), the park was a mess.
Thursday, October 7, 2004 12:09 AM
Don't believe press releases without doing your research first. More info on this company is in the news article comments:
Thursday, October 7, 2004 8:16 AM
I hope they buy SFDL and mabey we can get some new rides

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