Higher ticket prices increase Six Flags quarterly revenue by 6%

Posted Wednesday, November 3, 2010 12:29 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Higher ticket prices helped Six Flags Entertainment Corp. boost third quarter revenue by 6 percent, the Grand Prairie-based company said early Wednesday. The price hike is part of the theme park operator’s overall plan to pull away from steep discounting while trying to boost attendance with new rides and attractions.

Read more from The Dallas Morning News.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010 12:34 PM

I haven't read the article yet, just the little summary above on this page, but...

Finally!

Some of us have only been suggesting this for years now. :)

EDIT - just read the story and...

Per capita guest spending in the third quarter was $38.90, up $1.71 or nearly 5 percent in part due to increased in-park sales.

Nice. Sounds to me like a company that's doing something right.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Wednesday, November 3, 2010 1:31 PM
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 1:28 PM

“We are carefully reducing our dependence on high discounts to drive attendance,” Jim Reid-Anderson, chairman, chief executive and president told analysts. “It is like a drug. Although growing attendance is an important long term goal for us, our primary focus is to drive profitable revenue growth.”

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 1:35 PM

That sounds a lot like Gonch's business model.

Margins over volume. :)

Or in the old simpler terms, "Less people paying more."

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 2:07 PM

Mark Shapiro had the same idea, but his approach was a little different. He raised the overall gate price and discounted from the new higher price.

In general, I agree that Six Flags needs to raise prices and especially for season pass pricing. However, I don't entirely believe what they're saying since I've witnessed some discounting recently that they've never done in the past. Have you ever seen 1/2 price discounts on the child admission?

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 2:45 PM

^^So you support Cedar Fair's food pricing model? (I'm sure you've said one way or another, I just can't remember)

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:16 PM

Yeah, more or less, I guess. There's better places to push the "less paying more" philosophy than food prices. I'd still rather see the service/quality match the price a little better at CF.

But CF woefully underprices their gate.

And more on topic, SF started strong with pricing when Shapiro came in, but that seemed to slowly back off with time...and season pass prices never went up to where they should've been. SF passes are as woefully underpriced as CF's gates.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:38 PM

TerraCoaster said:
^^So you support Cedar Fair's food pricing model? (I'm sure you've said one way or another, I just can't remember)

I don't think a lot of people don't support the pricing model, it's the quality that is terrible (for the most part).

I recently payed $14 for a gigantic turkey leg and a drink at Carowinds. As did plenty of other people in line. And I wanted to try their bread bowl soups. The problem is, the 'god' food I've seen at Carowinds comes around in the fall. I paid $8 for a fully loaded funnel cake, though, and don't regret it.

The problem with CF food is that it's price is far higher than it's quality most of the time. Is it still 'overpriced'? Compared to eating out of the park, yes. Much like at a convienience store, you're paying a bit more for convenience.

But when you're paying $15 for a meal that costs $3 at a fast food joint, and the food is as bad or worse, there's a problem.

I think SFI's food quality, from what I've seen, has improved. It's no Dollywood or Busch (or even Universal or Disney), but I didn't complain either time I spent money to eat at a Six Flags park this year (Panda Express at NE, and decent pork BBQ at oG). I would have ate 3 times, but the turkey leg stand at St Louis wasn't open before we left.

CF's pizza and burgers (some of the main fare) are terrible. And not even worth the convenience charge.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:39 PM
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 4:07 PM

Seems to me that saying CF food is underquality is the opposite side of the coin of it being overpriced.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 4:16 PM

Tekwardo said:
The problem is, the 'god' food I've seen at Carowinds comes around in the fall.

They have ambrosia at Carowinds? I definitely neeed to go later in the year in '11... ;)

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 4:52 PM

LOL, oops.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 5:41 PM

GoBucks89 said:
Seems to me that saying CF food is underquality is the opposite side of the coin of it being overpriced.

Technically it is, in a vacuum.

It's overpriced for what it is on its own, but not overpriced in the larger scale of entertainment venue, 'captive audience' food pricing.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 10:56 PM

Meanwhile, Magic Mountain's gate pricing remains the same for next year (hasn't changed since 2006) and they are adding new attractions every year.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 11:22 PM

All my experiences at six flags new England were over priced as far as compared to park value and I know for a fact that for some reason that park needs help. Especialy if they r raising prices. SFGAdventure is great and I see were they could raise prices but sfne needs to be improved for them to raise their prices any more. The sfne seems to focus on filling every possible space in the park with rides and there are hardly any trees in the place other than the wooden billboards that used to be a tree. I think the only reason that park didn't go away forever yet is because of it's perfect location right off the highway and near two to three major cities.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:47 AM

How do you know that Magic Mountain's gate pricing remains the same for next year. Price increases are usually announced at the time of increase, not in advance.

As for food I like the pricing model that Disney follows. Cedar Fair is too expensive and as a result I usually don't spend as much on food & beverage as I do at a Disney park. I bring the same amount of money to both, but when I feel like I'm being ripped off I keep my wallet closed. I don't mind paying a premium in a captive environment, but I won't allow myself to be ripped off either.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010 1:45 AM

The one thing I think they should consider bringing back is a discounted admission rate later in the day. It's seems like a lot $59.99 gate price for Great Adventure on a Friday night when the park is only open 6 hours (the only discounts I saw were $10 or $15 off).

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Thursday, November 4, 2010 5:59 AM

SF passes are as woefully underpriced as CF's gates.

I'd argue that it's even worse.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010 6:16 AM

When we visit CF or SF parks we usually leave to eat because the food is such a bad value for the quality, and every park has decent options right outside the gate. KD has $5 footlongs right across the street, DP has TGIs right down the street, CP has so many options down the street. You see where I'm going. Any park has good options just down the street. Id rather take a mid day break and eat off site.

We had the dining plan at disney, but when we went to other parks we ate there. BGT, SW, Universal all have food that I feel is a much better value compared to what you get at a CF or SF park.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010 8:01 AM

This "new" plan of not discounting gate prices is nothing new. Look at the history of the company and what every CEO has tried to do. They always tired to keep the prices at the normal gate prices without discounting, however the fewer people that do come and spend more money at the gate are always less likely to spend more in the park. Just look at the trends of the industry. People only come with so much money and are willing to spend only so much at the park.

Some think it's better to get more out of fewer guests. I disagree, I believe it is better to get a little out of each guest, let me spread word of mouth about the great deal you park is, and move forward from there. SF and CF parks are not worth $60+ per visit (plus parking). Corporate America knows this and that is the reason behind discounting like crazy.

Time will tell, lets see how far the stock will drop next year before we start seeing HUGE discounts again!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:54 AM

Tekwardo said:


But when you're paying $15 for a meal that costs $3 at a fast food joint, and the food is as bad or worse, there's a problem.

SECONDED! Even if I have to wait until 10 or 11 PM I'll hold off having Dinner until AFTER I visit a Theme Park. The Price they charge for Meals is simply TOO HIGH! :( The only thing I purchase at the park is a Bottle of water, which I'll Flavor with a Powdered Beverage that I brought in from outside (Concealed in my pockets, of course). Refills are made at the Drinking Fountains, and after I leave the Park, I'll have TWICE the Food for HALF the money! :)

Last edited by Regulus, Thursday, November 4, 2010 9:55 AM
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