Six Flags 25% off season passes

Thursday, January 3, 2008 12:37 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

This is one area that I think Six Flags has figured out versus some of their competitors who's pass pricing is too high

I've found my exact opposite! :)

Basically, in your last two posts, you're saying you think SF should continue to be run the way it was before Red Zone took over.

For the record - that's why things are so ugly in the first place.

I'm just left wondering how a company is to remain profitable by allowing a person unlimited visits to all of their parks for less than the price of a single-day ticket to one of them.

The only way it works for me, is if you expect the guest to buy a season pass, visit once and spend like mad in the park and then never use the pass again.

Thursday, January 3, 2008 3:54 PM
I've worked in a marketing department of a park, and season pass sales are about guaranteed money. It's not about in-park spending or guest visits, it's about money in the bank. This is the offseason of a new regime that's made some really positive changes for the parks that hasn't really translated in to siginificant increases in numbers.

So to angry stock holder the company can say yes the numbers are still down but we're doing x.y and z to change that. X would be the season pass blitz...y and z are to follow.

There's a compression issue where the season pass is lower than a day ticket. But's it's all part of training the market to purchase their passes early. Offseason income is appealing beacuse if it rains from june to september, or there's an accident that gets national media attention they still have that income.

Thursday, January 3, 2008 5:00 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

The only way it works for me, is if you expect the guest to buy a season pass, visit once and spend like mad in the park and then never use the pass again.

Or the park pisses them off so badly, they leave in a fit swearing never to return. So SF basically has their one day visit price, except they got the money in December 07 instead of July 08.

Gonch, we are agreeing far too much lately! :) *** Edited 1/3/2008 10:01:37 PM UTC by RatherGoodBear***

Thursday, January 3, 2008 5:42 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Thank you for some common sense, real-world logic on the subject, Cropsey. :)

RGB - mostly because we agree on the pass issue. :)

However, what Cropsey says makes sense - and lots of it. I'm just not buying it as a long-term solution. Then again, I don't think it's meant to be (which goes back to the "Skies Aren't Clear Yet" article) where it's made quite clear that they feel they have to (and I quote) "Put up or shut up" - desperate times, desperate measures, I guess.

I still think the one thing Shapiro (or anyone who is or will be in that position) needs and doesn't have is time...and I've been saying that since Red Zone took control.

You can't fix a mess like that in a couple of seasons, yet you have to fix a mess like that in a couple of seasons to please investors, creditors and the like.

Catch 22.

I can't help but start to feel that years down the road when the books are closed on this period of SF history that Shapiro will not only get the blame for what the last guys did, but also not get the credit for setting things right for the next guys (who in turn will get accolades as saviors for doing little more than riding the train that Shapiro set on course).

Thursday, January 3, 2008 6:30 PM
I'd agree most parks, even within the chain, see it as quick money in the bank and are not banking on per cap spending from the passholders who show up, but there is one exception - the new GM brought on SFAmerica priced their one day ticket the same as a one day pass.

duh - unless you're terminally ill with a day to live, of course you'll buy the pass. Why did he do this? Well, if you've been there in the last couple of years, you get the drift. Horrible and sporatic ride operations on the steel coasters, annoyingly terrible park layout (not his fault, but easily fixable with a short path between the batwing and mind eraser), indifferent employees, and not enough ride capacity for that large market when the waterpark is closed - unless you were lucky enough to visit on a day Shapiro was attending with his family and they put on a good show for the day. If I wasn't immune to the SF way of torturing guests, I would probably leave screaming and never return. Unless, perhaps I had a season pass - then I might splurge the fifteen bucks for parking again, feed my family of four with fried junk for a mere sixty bucks on one meal, and spend a small fortune on drinks, games, and other crap the kids want. cha-ching *** Edited 1/4/2008 5:39:24 AM UTC by Rye.D.Ziner***

Thursday, January 3, 2008 8:39 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Thank you for some common sense, real-world logic on the subject, Cropsey.

No problem :) I was just reading through the thread and there's way too much wild enthusiast speculation. This particular subject isn't about Six Flags screwing you or the parks or tearing down your favourite ride that never operates. It's about people on the chopping block desperate to try to get another year out of their jobs.

I agree with you that Shapiro will be the fall guy for not being able to pull off an impossible job. The parks are getting better but the numbers aren't and that's what it's going to come down to.

Thursday, January 3, 2008 9:53 PM
I thought in 2006 Shapiro said they didn't have time to turn around over years and it had to be fixed that season. Now he says it is a three year plan.

The last conference call he talked about a new labor tracking system they can use to cut labor when attendance is low. That system has been around for years.

So I don't believe what he has to say. He says put up or shut up this winter. I guess we'll find out if it becomes a four year plan next winter.

I remember he was big on Disney's "Have a magical day" that all of their cast members say. He wanted Six Flags to have something similar, so he came up the the 45th anniversary and wanted everyone to say "Have a happy anniversary at Six Flags!" But the stupid part was SF already had that with the "It's Playtime" slogan, which rolls off the tongue so much easier and would work every year.

Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!

Friday, January 4, 2008 12:35 AM
^good ideas, but overall poor and too slow implementation.

There are definately some good changes that have come from his leadership, however it takes perserverance and I'm not sure that shareholders will stay the course. Time for plan B, so hopefully they've got one such as slashing season pass prices in desperation! Sounds like the big wigs need some field trip revisits to some business model examples at Holiday World, Disney, Universal, Busch, and other well run and profitable parks (or at least some desktop time working on RC Tycoon!)


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