Posted Saturday, July 8, 2006 11:18 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro painted a bleak picture in his conference call for a turn around, but fans and analysts feel it's a long-term project to turn around Six Flags.
Read more from The LA Times.
Although Six Flags' reputation varies from park to park, at Magic Mountain, "it's downright bad," said Jeff Putz, editor of Coasterbuzz.com, a website for amusement park enthusiasts.
"If you do show up at the park … half the rides are closed," Putz said. "The park is messy, trash is lying around, ride operators don't care, service at food stands is bad. It adds up to people not having a favorable impression of the park."
Have you even actually been to the park yourself, Jeff?
My thoughts, SF, feel free to use.
1.) They own 260 acres. Sell off or lease part of the land to a hotel operator, like Great Wolf Lodge or Lowes. This of course requires careful planning of where to place the hotel on the property. The GWF in particular would be a great fit, as it gives SFMM something Disney doesn't have, an indoor waterpark.
2.) Develope a hotel/condo property. If they are so keen to sell the land to some developer to make generic housing, they would make more money long term by building a hotel/condo property on site that would generate revenue for SF for many years. It's all the rage in Las Vegas for very good reason, massive upside long term versus money from one time land sale.
With the "citywalk" light shopping center being built adjacent to the park, it makes sense for SF to not let another real estate developer cash in using their land assetts. It doesn't make much sense for SF to sell the land, and then watch someone else sell condo's for millions a pop when they could do the exact same thing.
3.) Lease storefronts within the park. Treat SFMM like a mall with some buildings/locations for lease to retailers. Upside is that SFMM employee payroll goes down for retail, move that money to where it's needed - ride ops for one example. Plus, the money generated from lease payments could be greater than the current retail sales they experience at the park.
So why hasn't he done anything to diversify the attractions?
1. Remember he's only been at his post for 7 months.
2. CapEx was set in stone and spent long before he took that post.
3. The company he has control of is two billion dollars in debt. ($2,000,000,000)
Add to that the new focus on cutting spending (especially CapEx improvements) and increasing revenue and it becomes obvious that Magic Mountain is a lost cause as far the new Six Flags goes.
It makes no sense to hold onto the park. So, needing cash, you sell. Who will buy? Probably housing developers with deep pockets.
Who's fault is it that things must go this way - lots of people's. The funny thing is that of all the names attached to the situation, the one I don't put any blame on is Mark Shapiro.
I know you're passionate about the park thing, rc-madness. Believe it or not, I can appreciate that. But rather than questioning the clean-up guy, we should have been questioning the way things were handled the past 5 years. (oh wait, most on these forums were :) )
SFMM is not a "lost cause." It accounts for 10% of the entire chain's admissions and lose that, they lose all related spending permanently. The park already has a kid friendly focus, even more so this year. BBW happens to be the best looking, most completely themed section of the entire park. It's up to Shapiro and SFMM to change the park's reputation through advertising, promoting kid specific events, and programming.
SFMM is not a "lost cause."
You're reading what you want to. You missed the half of the statement that qualifies the whole thing:
...as far the new Six Flags goes.
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