I've been hearing rumors from pretty much everyone (including someone who's sister is a real estate agent) here in Phoenix, Az that Six Flags have been looking for a spot to build a new park. However, I haven't seen or heard anything official on this subject, and have yet to get a response from Six Flags themselves when i emailed them a few months ago about it. I don't know whether to believe this or not because even though it's an excellent location for a park, and that i've heard the news from many people, I haven't heard of Six Flags building brand new parks. I've only seen them buying current ones, and there's none at all in this state. Has anyone else heard any news about this at all?
Six Flags doesn't build new parks. They haven't built a new park since Six Flags Over Georgia & Over Texas days. Six Flags is also in heavy debt SELLING off their properties (Europe parks & Worlds of Adventure namely), they have cut yearly expendatures in half for the past few years. Why, from any kind of business prospective or even common sense, would they build a new park which can run at minimum 200 million?
Why does everyone insist that Six Flags doesn't build new parks? Just because they haven't done that in 30 years (or whatever it is) doesn't mean they won't ever do it again. I'm sure that if you asked someone at SF a decade ago if they'd ever build a few dozen coasters in one year, they'd probably tell you no. If SF comes across a potential spot for an amusement park that would undoubtedly work, you'd better believe they'll consider it.
Besides, didn't they invest in that new Warner Bros. park in Spain a few years ago? That sounds like the building of a new theme park to me.
In fact Six Flags is still interested in building parks. They proposed a park in Stounington, Conneticut on the RI border, they were going to make a park from scratch, but for what ever reason it never happened. Its in the roller coaster Roll back on this site.
You should have heard the investors' questions on the last conference call. "When are you selling another park? So what would make you consider selling another park? Okay, so let's say your strategies and plans don't work again. What parks would you sell first?"
I didn't say that SF is planning on building a park tomorrow. Or next week, next month or even in this decade for that matter. All I'm saying is that its pretty ignorant to make statements like "Six Flags isn't in the business of building new parks." Six Flags is in the business of MAKING MONEY (or trying to make money) and they will do what it takes to do that. If it means building a park in the future, you can bet they'll build a park.
*** Edited 8/17/2004 1:53:48 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***
Sorry coasterboy, but I fear it's just wishfull thinking. I wouldn't say 6 Flags will never build another park, but right now they just aren't in a position to do so. Also, as has previously been mentioned, they haven't built a park in 30+ years. The supposed plan to build a park in CT was more a ploy to get a better deal on the old Riverside Amusement park (now SFNE), which they purchased shortly after announcing plans for the Stonington park.
The odds are pretty high that Six Flags would build a facility from scratch on the same scope and scale of their average park. In the United States, there are relatively few, if any, major markets that could support a theme/amusement park on the size of a Six Flags. Even look at the last few parks built (not SF) and their results. (VisionLand, Jazzland, Bonafonte, etc. even IOA and DCA are not great profit makers). SF is reporting that it will be 3 -5 years to turn around their current situation. And being $2+billion in debt doesn't allow them to even consider building anything. They need to first turn their situation around before building or buying anything. Even selling some of their small parks will be of little help at this point.
Given SF's current financial condition, I find it very unlikely that they will build a new park in the next 5 years. The only way that I can see them adding a park is if they get a really good deal on a distressed park that can immediately generate a positive cash flow. ie. La Ronde or Jazzland.
Can the Phoenix area really support an amusement park? There are more the enough people, but is the climate going to be a problem? It would seem that the weather is at its worst (meaning scorching hot) when school is out. I’ve only been to Arizona a couple of times on vacation. This year I was there in March and it was over 90 most days. I would like to hear what a resident of the area has to say on the topic.
I read and article a few months back about AZ trying to build a theme park. However, there are huge issue and the number 1 issue was water. Reaching 110 degrees there they need plenty of shade as well as water. Scream scape was reporting this and had a link to a new web site. I'll see if I can find it. I know Six Flags wouldn't run it. There employee are lazy enough, think about them in the heat.
Rob Ascough said: Why does everyone insist that Six Flags doesn't build new parks?
I don't *insist* that SF NOT build new parks...they do that themselves, LOL.
Seriously, I'd LOVE for SF to start building new parks...start in FL! :)
But, how does one *predict* the future...you start by looking at what has happened in the past, and look for TRENDS...I'd suggest there's STRONG trend that makes it *unlikely* for SF to build parks from scratch in the near future...NOT impossible, just unlikely.
I lived in Phoenix for the last 5 years, and I heard this rumor over and over, but the location was always wherever the person telling the story lived. I heard that it was going to be between Flagstaff and Phoenix, between Phoenix and Tucson, south of Tucson near Karchner Caverns, near Fountain Hills.
I chalk this up to wishful thinking. The biggest problem is the weather. Summer (when all the kiddies are out of school) is no time to even want to go to an amusement park in AZ. When it's over 105, you really feel like doing nothing unless it's indoors. Heck when I was there last weekend, I didn't even want to get in the car. I still think movies and malls will rule summer time activity here until they figure out a way to air condition the state ;)
If it was near the mountains, it could possibly work, but I still see nothing coming of it. Everyone in AZ seems to make a yearly journey to Disney, Knott's, or SFMM (where temps are bearable). Even though Phoenix is one of the 10 largest metro areas, and Tucson has another million or so people to add to that number, I don't see it happening anytime soon.
I agree that past trends can be used to predict what will happen in the future, but nothing is ever 100% sure. Let me stress the fact that I understand Six Flags isn't looking to build new theme parks right now... but just as the theme park market has gone downhill these past few years, it will again go uphill at some point in the future. And when that happens, new business opportunities are investigated. Its what corporations do.
I can think of quite a few large markets in the country that lack a major amusement park: Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami, Jacksonville, Boston, New York City, southern FL (Cape Coral). It will only be a matter of time before someone looks at one of those areas and sees $$$. After all, someone felt there was a need for an amusement park in the middle of backwoods Alabama! Perhaps someone should have looked at that one a little more carefully...
I can think of quite a few large markets in the country that lack a major amusement park: Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami, Jacksonville, Boston, New York City, southern FL (Cape Coral). ..
I highly doubt Six Flags would put a park in New York City seeing as SFGadv. is a major draw from New York City, and I think the same would apply to Boston with SFNE (although I didn't hear any Boston accents, so maybe it's too far southwest for them). Will someone else build in these places? Maybe, but I doubt Six Flags ever would.
I'm not saying that those markets need SF parks, but they definitely could support some kind of major park. While SFGAdv is technically a NYC/Philly park, it is pretty far removed from both those cities. A park west of NYC (perhaps Nyack) or northern NJ (one of the most densely populated areas in the country) would probably do very well if done right. SFNE is close to Boston but probably a lot farther than many are willing to travel. Again, something close to the outskirts of the city would probably do well.
And there are reasons those cities do not have major amusement parks. I've seen and participated in feasibilitites for these areas. Vegas is not a family market...they tried it and failed (for many other reasons too, weather being a big factor). NYC area would cost way too much for the land. FLA is taken by Disney, Universal and Busch...a park in the south of FLA would need to ba a smaller one and not something that would cost over a couple of hundred million. A lot of (if not all) of the markets mentioned have been studied. The costs are really too high today to build a quality, 1 million plus attendance park, let alone one that will do over 3 million.
I'll post the article from the paper this weekend about the possibility of a park in Nashville...a good market, but still wouldn't be able to pull it off.
VisionLand was one mayor's dream and was going to be built no matter what. The market couldn't (and can't) support a $90 million park.