Posted Wednesday, March 15, 2006 9:15 AM | Contributed by Outlane
Rick Munarriz of the Motley Fool sees six surprises for Shapiro and Six Flags in 2006. Some are bad, and some are good.
Read more from The Motley Fool.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 11:19 AM
Cool, we'll be sure to check back in a week to see the fool's suggestions. I found this interesting:
Shapiro argues that a vendor who sells three bottled waters in an hour has already paid for himself.
Yikes! That must be really expensive water or they sure don't pay vendors much. I wonder if he'd consider giving the vendors a percentage of their sales? I wonder if that's such a good idea--as in would it make them overly aggressive?
6. The public will love Six Flags again
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 11:58 AM
"Six Flags is abolishing the old general-manager bonus plan that rewarded park executives based exclusively on performance according to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). That plan contributed to stingy operators cutting costs late in the season at the expense of park guests. Now, the new bonus system will introduce gauges such as revenues generated per guest, patron satisfaction, and park cleanliness to go along with operating profits at the park level.
Six Flags is also contracting with SASI Consulting, a company that helped improve operations at four of the company's parks recently, to develop a universal training program. The old regime didn't emphasize training, probably figuring that the high turnover of young seasonal hires wasn't a group worth investing in. Big mistake. And a big opportunity for Shapiro".
When I read stuff like this, I can't help but be hopeful. This is something I wanted the company to do a few years back when I worked for them.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 6:45 PM
janfrederick: I'd assume that Sharpiro was balkparking it in regards to bottled water. I'd imagine that a 20oz Bottle of Aquafina (or your brand of choice) would probably go in the $2.00 range inside a park. You'd imagine that a line level vendor would be making near minimum wage which is in that $6.00 range. Quick and dirty would be forgetting that he has to pay for the bottle, but hey, so he's gotta sell four before he pays for himself. One would think you could knock that out pretty easily on a hot enough day ;)
Wednesday, March 15, 2006 11:26 PM
I thought their comments about carnival rides to be a little bit misguided. There are a lot of rides that either started as carnival rides or exist as both carnival and park rides such as the Breakdance, Afterburner, Top Spin, Inverter etc.. Most U.S. carnivals haven't caught up with their European counterparts, so any really big spinning rides will impress people.
Thursday, March 16, 2006 12:50 AM
^ IF, I don't think he's talking just about the quality of the rides themselves, but rather the context of capital expenditures.
If SF truly intends to compete with Disney or Universal, they can't simply buy a big spinning flat ride and set it up on a concrete pad. At least not if they want to charge premium prices. They're going to have to come up with imaginative theming and landscaping, which can add quite a bit of cost.
BTW, I found the comment about the premium character appearance train rides quite interesting.
2. Attendance will fall in 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006 9:13 AM
Well Considering Six Flags AstroWorld's closing down and Six Flags New Orleans not opening this year id say yeah, attendance overall will fall.
Thursday, March 16, 2006 3:25 PM
Yes, the remaining parks would have to make up about 8 million+ heads in attendance due to the loss of those parks.
Thursday, March 16, 2006 9:07 PM
I think RatherGoodBear touches on a valid point. Theming has to be a part of it. You have to make the ride look "attractive" to ride. Take for example Alpine Bobs at SFA. A big spinning flat ride set up on a concrete slab like a carnival ride. Compare that to Kontiki at SFNE. Same ride, but with theming that attracts riders.
Friday, March 17, 2006 1:56 PM
I just signed up to subscribe to Motley Fool, and Munarriz' suggestions were posted yesterday (the follow-up article).
Tuesday, March 21, 2006 11:45 AM
Astroworld and New Orleans did not
combine for anywhere near eight million admissions last year. At best, the two brought in just under 40% of that number.