SFNO Buyout rumor??

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 12:46 PM
The new buzz is that SFNO might get bought out during the Holidays by Cedar Fair.. I don't see anything to this..Does anyone have any info regarding this, or is this just someone starting a rumor..
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 1:09 PM
Yes, I think you just started it!
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 1:10 PM
Of course if someone said this about SFWoA after the season ended most people would have called that person a idiot. Lets wait and see. I personally wouldn't be surprised if up to 5 SF parks are sold off the off season. *** Edited 11/3/2004 6:10:39 PM UTC by XFlight*** *** Edited 11/3/2004 6:11:40 PM UTC by XFlight***
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 1:13 PM
Remember when CF did that stock thing...They have enough money available to buy at least 1 park, maybe two (or so I've heard)

I don't doubt that SF will sell parks this winter, but the question is where, and to whom.

Any idea why SFNO isn't open year round? (The weather is close to that of California and Florida) Its so far south it could easily be done. *** Edited 11/3/2004 6:42:16 PM UTC by UdoTch***

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 1:16 PM
Why would they sell SFNO, it was recently "converted" I mean, wouldnt be easier to just sell off smaller parks like The Great Escape and such that arent completely SF branded? I just thought to bring that up, but we never know and we'll just have to wait and see... *** Edited 11/3/2004 6:16:59 PM UTC by P18***
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 1:41 PM
Just curious, did the CF stock (I think it's FUN) go up when the purchased Geauga Lake?
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 2:05 PM
I think it actually went down when they made the purchase.
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 2:10 PM
It's possible... But i've also heard rumors about buy-outs for Conneaut every year for at least the lat ten years...
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 2:16 PM
I often wondered Why SFNO was not opened longer. We just shut down and weather here is mid 70's except for a cold snap tommorow which might bring it down to 45 but only temporarially usually mild weather until around Christmas. Then we have to wait until April. Down here we are used to getting out for Mardi gras and weather for the most part is good that time of year. It wouldn't be good for a waterpark but as most people so far see we won't be getting that..
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 2:16 PM
I'm not saying SFNO's buyout wouldn't happen, I was as shocked as anybody for SFWoA, but I won't count on it till it happens.

Oh, and remember, SFI only had That park for, what? Three or Four years after they bought it and then Sea World?

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 2:24 PM
Why sell SFNO? Because they spent something like $25 million on it to convert it to a SF park yet they got almost no return on investment as far as attendance. The park couldn't even break 1.15 million guests in 2003 to make it into the nations top 50 parks. The same thing happened over at SFWOA only on a much larger scale. They spent something like $125 million to get SWO plus all the other coasters in the two years before yet the attandance didn't raise significantly when comparing the attendance of the two parks seperatly before the merge. On the other hand, parks like SFDL have stayed in the top 50 parks in the nation with almost no additions at all. Parks like SFA and SFNE had HUGE attendance increases when they became SF parks and have kept the larger numbers since.

If SFNO was sold, and I have no clue if it was or not, I'm guessing it was because the attendance increase for 2004 did not meet expectations, just as I'm sure the attendance increase for 2003 did not meet expectation.

Why not sell Great Escape? Besides the fact that they're in the middle of building a $25 million hotel with an indoor waterpark? Ya, they'll be holding onto Great Escape for at least a few more years, but I'm guessing this hotel will keep attendance at GE on the up-and-up.

What other parks could be on the chopping block? My guess, look for the parks that have fallen majorly in the rankings over the last few years. SFWOA went from 24th in 2001, to 29th in 2002, to 30th in 2003. Using that, SFGADv has gone down, but considering their recent building spree and the fact that it's SF's biggest park, I'd say it's pretty safe. SFMM, SFOT, SFGAm, SFOG, SFNE, SFDL, SFA, SFEG, and LaRonda are all safe. They've all stayed pretty much in the same place in the national ranking. SFAW is deffinitly safe as it is the only SF park to consistantly move up (from 38th in 2001 to 36th in 2003). However, SFMW has consistantly been falling (30th in 2001 to 35th in 2003), SFFT has consistantly been falling (32nd in 2001 to 36th in 2006), and SFStL has consistantly been falling (35th in 2001 to 39th in 2003). Who knows about SFKK, they didn't break the top 50 in 2003.

I guess it all comes down to what attendance was like in 2004, but by the way it looks...SFMW, SFFT, and SFStL would be at the most risk...SFNO and SFKK may be in there as well, but it's hard to tell without any sources for attendance.

Again though, as far as SFNO...if the park's just dead weight in the SF chain it's going to be better to get rid of it and hope to recoup the money they spent on the conversion like they tried to do with SFWOA. Remember, they oppted out of fully purchasing SFNO this year, so anything could happen. *** Edited 11/3/2004 7:27:24 PM UTC by Coaster Lover***

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 2:45 PM
I don't know what goings with Six Flags, but it does look like they what to sell off some parks to make up for some money they lost.
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 6:19 PM
Actually, In response to Coaster Lover, Six Flags New Orleans exceeded expectations/projections made for 2003. Attendance was right on par for a park its size in a market its size. Without a waterpark, there's no way a park like that could dream about attendance of 1.5 million. The weather down here just makes a waterpark a MUST to get that sort of attendance. Also, Six Flags messed up some major things both this season and last that could have increased attendance a bit, but I'm not going to get into that. Not to mention New Orleans has seen some of the wettest months in record this fall and last summer. In my opinion it would take little investment to make the park into a big success like SFA and others. But, is Six Flags willing to pay the price (waterpark and perhaps a new midsized coaster)? It would be worth it to them in the long haul, but they have current financial issues.

Also, while this season wasn't great it was by far no means a failure. The coupon days on Mondays in June were a big success for drawing crowds. This July's attendance was way up from last year's since it was not as wet. August saw extremely large crowds from successful concerts. I believe Joy Fest may have actually produced record-breaking crowds for the park in its entire history (even as Jazzland), though not confirmed. The park is no where near a bust as one may imagine just because it hasn't made the top 50 park list (Even when Jazzland premiered as a brand new park attendance was only about 1.2 million, that allure isn't there anymore and Jazzland's bad past still haunts it in its current form). Lets compare it to a similarly sized park in a similar market, Cedar Fair's Worlds of Fun. Since Worlds of Fun's waterpark is separate from the amusement park, their attendance (amusement park) is only about 850,000 a year. Whereas Six Flags New Orleans had nearly 1,000,000 visitors last year and this year probably did not see a large decrease.

I have heard absolutely nothing about this rumor (I visit the park frequently and live nearby) and at this time would find it very hard to believe. But stranger things have happened. However, 2005 season passes are on sale. It seems like if this was known right now that season passes would not be on sale. Also, while this isn't major, Six Flags New Orleans has begun work on a few near maintenance buildings. I find it very unlikely any sale will be made.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 6:50 PM
I don't see Six Flags selling any Texas parks especially SFFT. Doing so would mean competition for the other SF amusement parks in Texas. Let's not forget, selling SFFT would mean selling one of the quality parks in the company. At least not at the price they sold SFWoA for.
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 6:59 PM
However, 2005 season passes are on sale. It seems like if this was known right now that season passes would not be on sale.

SFWoA had been selling 2004 season passes for months before the Cedar Fair buyout was announced. I wouldn't see SFNO selling 2005 passes as a sign of anything other than its business as usual at the park at the moment. Its possible those at the park don't know about what's happening in Oklahoma City.

Will this happen? After the SFWoA sale I'd say anything is possible.

Wednesday, November 3, 2004 8:45 PM
While that is true, I don't think this "rumor" has slipped down from the corporate level... I personally haven't heard anything about it anywhere. But if this was an ongoing rumor buzzing around the park, it would seem that there would be a tad bit less of a surprise. Right now Six Flags runs SFNO on a skeleton crew and a shoddy budget. They are probably making good money off of it. Not to mention that they did very little this past season and have probably made up all the money spent on the park. I really don't think they bought this park thinking that with a magic wand (aka very few investments) they could turn it into a success. But rather make the park "passable" and hopefully keep attendance flatlining. If they expected anything more than that, I don't know what they were smoking...
Wednesday, November 3, 2004 8:51 PM
Moosh is right on about early season pass sales.....every SF park in the chain begins selling next year's season pass (at a reduced price) during fright fest with the hopes of boosting sales just before jacking up the prices.

CrazyB: just relax & wait for SFNO to announce something,it'll come in due time but if nothing is known by say january or february then you can start worrying & even if this turns out to be an off year for you guys there's always the 06 season to look forward to.

As far as anyone can tell it looks like SF isn't selling any more parks just yet so there's no real need to panic about SFNO or SFA for example being sold,on the bright side if they were to sell any parks then maybe potential buyers may come along & actually do a better job at operating & expanding them then SF has done thus far.

Now one thing has got me worried about SF's future in the short term & that is the economy:as we all know the presidential election once again played into the hands of the republicans which means 4 more years of George Bush & with him in office it can only lead to a weaker economy than what we're currently dealing with & a weaker economy means even more problems for SF as people will have far less money to spend on visiting the parks then they do now.

Thursday, November 4, 2004 7:27 AM
This is the first time i heard this rumor.

I think i can understand how it would get started though.

When i read it, it reminded me of something i was told two weeks ago and now that i think about what i was told, i see how it could have evolved into this.

Thursday, November 4, 2004 12:40 PM
Forget selling SFNO and sell SFStL to either Busch or CF:LP. Yes, that's what they need to do. :)


Thursday, November 4, 2004 1:40 PM

Cameraman said:
Without a waterpark, there's no way a park like that could dream about attendance of 1.5 million. The weather down here just makes a waterpark a MUST to get that sort of attendance.

I'll definitley agree with that. From what we experienced with the park, it seems like no one goes during the day (during the hot summer months) but instead waits until the evening when it is much cooler. If they added a decent waterpark, they would have people coming all day long to cool off. All you have to do is look north to Dixie Landin'. We went on a Monday and Blue Bayou was absolutely jammed packed with people trying to escape the stinking hot weather. I can't believe that there isn't a major waterpark near New Orleans yet and would have to think that adding one to SFNO would greatly increase it's annual attendence.


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