Is Six Flags growing too fast as a company?

Tuesday, January 9, 2001 5:12 AM
With 29 Parks in the United States alone.And buying after buying abroad.How do you feel about this? Monopoly? More Buying Power? More debt? Exciting? Mc Donaliation of the Amusement Park industry? Creating a benchmark in the industry?
*** This post was edited by Jeff on 1/9/2001. ***
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Tuesday, January 9, 2001 5:24 AM
I think that acquiring debt to create a property so closely tied to our economy and economic prosperity is a very bad idea. As long as you continue to get the traffic through your gates, great, you can pay for it.

What happens if we get into a nasty recession where people won't spend dollars at the parks?

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Tuesday, January 9, 2001 6:27 AM
Parks close. Maintenance falters. Staffing is cut, leaving fewer people to do more work. Six Flags parks become less and less attractive an option...
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Tuesday, January 9, 2001 6:50 AM
It seems that as though Six Flags is thinking that in order to get people to come to their parks that they have to add a huge attraction every year. When SFO opened the large amount of capital spent was nuts. Instead of buying up everything they can, they should focus on what they preach. Family thrills, and treat their employee's better.

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BMCOASTER

bmcoaster@wi.rr.com
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Tuesday, January 9, 2001 8:33 AM
I am going to say this, so hopefully it will not happen.

The point in time we are at right now closely resembles the Roaring 20's. The Economy is Bumping, the Stock Market is going Crazy, and most importantly Coaster's are being built like there is no tomorrow. (Mostly at Six Flags Parks) We all know what then inside in the 30's. People could not afford to ride and stopped riding. Maintenance suffered and Only A handful of coaster's from that great era survived.

I just feel what they are doing is totally impractical in terms of money making. . How many more people do they expect to come to SFO this year instead of last. Certainly not enough to pay for the new coaster. IF that park was still Geauga Lake, as a park they would still be about 20 Million (speculating)in the hole from last years barrage. I would still love to know who the idiots are who keep lending money to a company who has so far showed no ability to pay it back. I assume they will be 4 Billion in the hole after this year is up.

I just really don't get PKS. They appear to want to just make money by not properly training low waged employee's, letting their parks become landfills, and not inflating an innert tube a couple more PSI's so a little girl could lose her mother in one of the most asinine accident I have ever heard of. *** This post was edited by Joe E. on 1/9/2001. ***
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Tuesday, January 9, 2001 9:00 AM
Who says history does not repeat itself. Do we ever really learn from past mistakes? I don't think so...

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Man feeds machine, machine eats man.

-Peter Gabriel
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 10:51 AM
If economic hardship should prevail;Do you believe Six Flags would sell or just close parks?

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It's all about the X Baby:]
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 10:54 AM
I don't think they will do either, but instead they will continur to improve thier parks and expand their business. Could you imagine the impact a Six Flags shutdown would do to the theme park industry. WOW

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BMCOASTER

bmcoaster@wi.rr.com
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 10:59 AM
The massive construction certainly would stop. And we'd see major cutbacks, and poorer service. It would not be pretty. A lot of people would probably celebrate, not me, I happen to like my home park(SFMW).

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Man feeds machine, machine eats man.

-Peter Gabriel
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 12:31 PM
Perhaps the better question is whether Six Flags is growing unwisely, rather than too quickly.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 12:31 PM
Well they did it again with the purchase of Sea World Ohio.

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BMCOASTER

bmcoaster@wi.rr.com
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 12:47 PM
It's true. scarry

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It's all about the X Baby:]
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 2:18 PM
Six Flags obviously didn't learn from it's past when they did expand too fast in the 80's and died in the 90's. History repeats and a recession will devistate this company. Disney and Cedar Fair will pick up the pieces. The problem is, what will they do with all the coasters?

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Oh my freekin' head!
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 2:22 PM
They can always give them to me :)

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-Dave Rutherford
*If things seem under control, you're just not going fast enough*

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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 2:28 PM
This is just stunning what they are doing. I don't like to live in a world of "what ifs". What if it pays off big? No one ever asks that question.

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Man feeds machine, machine eats man.

-Peter Gabriel
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 3:35 PM
First,Six flags Ohio adds 5 coasters in two consecutive seasons.Secont,Magic Mountain takes C.P.'s coaster record,now they bought Sea world.
Cedar Point is now reacting (smug for so many years.)It's a parallel universe
Ouch>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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It's all about the X Baby:]
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 4:28 PM
Yeah, that is an excellent question. What if they do pull it off big?

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Randy Hutchinson
You build it, I'll ride it...eventually
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 6:51 PM
The pay off could be big... but not necessarily quick. Therein lies my concern. Someone else brought up the amusement boom of the Roaring Twenties. When the depression hit, so much of that rich amusement history was lost to hard times. There's no reason why that couldn't happen again. With a new president (whose policy has little impact, I think, but does create a mood), an economy trying hard to adjust itself to the "new" economy and Americans borrowing far more money than they're saving, things could get really ugly in the next few years.

In fact, it has happened time and time again here in Ohio. Chippewa Lake dried up in 1978, Idora in 1984 (if I remember correctly). Both of these parks are the more recent casualties, but there are many more (Buckeye Lake, Purtias Hill, Euclid Beach, etc.) that are barely a memory anymore.

Granted, these closures weren't supported by a giant corporation, but I'm not sure it matters. The extreme SFO development is great for us coaster lovers, but at the same time doesn't reduce the number of rides at Cedar Point or Kings Island. The average Ohio enthusiast will probably buy passes at all three, what will the average person in Columbus, Ohio do? My guess is they'll pick one and go with it. There's only so much money to go around.

When I decide to buy something for my business, I ask myself how it's going to make me money. If I can't recover the cost, I don't spend it. Sure, I'd love Photoshop 6, but will it help me generate revenue any more than Photoshop 5.5 will? Probably not, so I don't buy it. There's little return on investment.

The biggest gamble in the chain is probably the SFMM development. I think there's a ceiling for park attendance (and therefore per capita spending), and I suspect they're not far from it.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Wednesday, January 10, 2001 7:14 PM
Well, with their expansion, I personally think SFMM just raised that "ceiling." People make trips from all around the country (and world) to go to Cedar Point, and I think SFMM has now stepped up into that range too.

For the sake of conversation, let's say that, hmm, Dollywood had the same expansion. After a year or two, the enthusiasts wouldn't make the trips quite as often (unless one of the rides turns out to be the whizbang thing of our lifetimes), and the park is left with the same general audience who would be coming anyhow. Then, I can see how it would have been a bad move.

However, SFMM, for those of you who didn't know, isn't Dollywood. They're a monster of a park, and with this move, they're really going to step up and try to make a move on not just the California parks, but I feel they're going to try and solidify their place as one of the destinations for coaster lovers. (That is, if they weren't already. ;))

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Matt Lynch
Co-Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
http://kennywood.coasterbuzz.com
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Thursday, January 11, 2001 5:44 AM
But your Dollywood logic holds true for SFMM--if the attendance gains are only temporary, then in a few years SFMM will have attendance returning to previous levels, and a resulting decrease in in-park sales and revenues. Coaster riders are a significant portion of a park's attendance, but not the ONLY reason many people go to parks. What is SFMM doing for the non-coaster riding segments of their audience? Cedar Point (for example) put in a huge roller coaster last year, but this year they're adding additional accommodations for overnight guests, not another coaster.
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