Posted Friday, February 24, 2006 8:51 AM | Contributed by coasterguts
Six Flags CEO Mark Shapiro came to Largo to lay out his plan for boosting revenue at Six Flags America. He addressed about 100 employees inside the park's Crazy Horse Saloon. He announced a plan to increase the number of seasonal employees by 400 to 2,000, and promised to add a daily parade and 30 costumed characters to the park.
Read more from The Washington Post.
I'd enjoy it immensely if Shapiro would point to a crappy ride (like, say, Rattler) and say, "Does anyone ride this piece of junk? Get rid of it!"
I expect that the company will not make any decisions this season on which parks to close because they want to see how the changes they implement will increase attendance. Perhaps SFA looks like a good candidate to close right now but if attendance increases 15%, maybe they'll think twice?
I'd say that IF SnyderCo. can change the perceptions as stated to a more family-friendly atmosphere, it's *possible* for them to increase SFA attendance by 10-15%, but more importantly, revenues could easily go up on the order of 25-30% from the park...and even real estate, increasingly valuable in that area, won't pay off THAT handsomely... ;)
It would certainly be EASIER to get good ROI from the real estate sale, but you can only SELL once, you can run a good (HIGHLY-profitable) theme park....forever....
I've always felt Snyder and company will close parks for land sales and Shapiro's comment confirms this to me. I think Six Flags America will be history in the next two or three years, along with a number of other properties.
Adding parades and a bunch of people walking around dressed as Scooby-Doo, while raising ticket prices and parking, isn't going to right a sinking ship, at least in the short term. While it is a good idea to try to attract families, there is a danger of lower attendance if their established customer base becomes disinterested in the family stuff before they can attract enough families to make up the difference.
Some of the stuff they want to do is very good, but that $2.4 billion in debt is a big problem. It might be too little, too late for Six Flags.
The press photo taken in the same place shows Shapiro pointing at something. I can only assume it's Avalanche (formerly Penguin's something or another and Alpine Bobs) if it got moved to where Krypton Comet was. He's probably saying "What's this piece of crap doing here and how do we make it look better?" At least that's my hope. The Alpine Bobs at SFNE looks amazing since it has a Hawaii theme. All the cars were repainted and there isn't a metal railing in sight since all those parts were replaced by bamboo-looking rods.
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan 2/24/2006 11:38:22 AM ***
Here's a video of Mark Shapiro and Terry Prather during an interview with Nbc4 at SFA. http://www.nbc4.com/news/7376098/detail.html*** This post was edited by SF Critic 2/24/2006 12:12:06 PM ***
Sirloindude, who admits that being forced to start visiting PKD and Hershey more often may not be such a bad thing, but who rather enjoys having an amazing hypercoaster right in my backyard.
Did they really do a focus group and think if this is a really good thing? I can see Disney, yes... but Six Flags with Loony Tunes characters? I really don't think it's going to be such a big thing... and if anything, will just get in the way of guests who want to walk that midway.
"Reach out and touch the guest." (just watch where you're touching!)
"We have a lot of work to do, and we don't have any time."
"We're going to stop blaming the weather."
But for those concerned for SFA, the Baltimore Sun does have one promising quote: "We're going to make investments beginning this year," [Shapiro] said. "If the community responds, this will be a no-touch park." It seems that the park is safe... as long as it sees another year of increases. It seems that Shapiro likes SFA right up until about the Grand Theater. He likes the Main Street (which I agree is beautiful, but could be better with some trees or potted plants), he seems pretty happy with Hurricane Harbor. SHould surely be an interesting 2006 for SFA...*** This post was edited by Coaster Lover 2/24/2006 12:30:40 PM ***
As for the Baltimore Sun article where it quoted Shapiro as saying SFA's main street was the best in the the Six Flags portfolio, while I like to hear good things about my home park, I have to say that I think the main street at SFGAdv and SFNE are much nicer.*** This post was edited by Rescue131 2/24/2006 5:07:36 PM ***
 changed wording due to intamin fan's pedantic english lesson....happy?
*** This post was edited by delan 2/25/2006 12:24:51 AM ***
Mr. Six, the tuxedo-clad dancing character from Six Flags promotions of recent years, will remain part of the new image, Shapiro said.
Hmm. Snyder got rid of him, and Shapiro seems to have brought him back. I suppose Mr. Six is quite hard of a figure to kill off.
I think ironic was the word you were going for. Remember that I said above that the park was up 3.5% last year. If the park's attendance goes up again, I doubt you'll see it on the market. I do agree that you could sell off excess land and still have a very decent amusement park.
As I've said many times before, there is still a lot of land left in the existing park, including the front section. As an example, look at the plot of land to the right of Tower of Doom that borders both the train station and Wild One. Another place for expansion is near the teacups by Bugs Bunny Land. Once you add in all the land left in Gotham City and behind Roar, there's plenty of expansion space.
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