Posted Monday, December 24, 2007 11:04 AM | Contributed by Benjamin Polson
In just his second year as Six Flags chief executive, Mark Shapiro has watched the company stock price hover around $2, and has seen bad weather in Texas and a tragic accident in Kentucky contribute to a 9 percent attendance drop in July. Yet his outlook for the theme-park chain remains sunny, even as he stepped through puddles on a recent cold, rainy weekend visit to Six Flags Over Texas’ Holiday in the Park.
Read more from The Star-Telegram.
It really makes one wonder just how much better off the chain would've been had it remained under Burke's control doesn't it?
I was overall satisfied with my first visit to a SF park this year, but there was much room for improvement where I have seen better in those specific areas at just about every other park I've been to on other visits. I can honestly understand why some have a beef with SF from this. (A big one being ride ops/restraint checks and employees in general)
*** This post was edited by P18 12/25/2007 12:05:29 PM ***
as I tend to buy more food when its cheaper just because it's cheaper, slap all the "perceived value" labels you want but fact is when you're getting more oz of food per penny, it's a fact of better value, not just "perceived"
Unless you fall victim to "Sam's Club Syndrome" - where you buy more than you need/use.
Use something like Milk for example. Someone is charging $3 a gallon for milk, but they'll only charge $1 per gallon if you buy 10. The catch is that there's no way you'll possibly use 10 gallons of milk before it goes bad.
In this case you have to use more than 3 1/3 gallons before it goes bad otherwise the higher price was the better deal.
Yeah, that's a weird example. :)
That's one line of logic I still don't get in the amusement park sense, though. If I tend to need/want 5 drinks, two meals, and two snack breaks druring a given park day - I can certainly understand the people who say they cut corners and do less than that if prices are too high, but I never got the logic that you'll get more than you need just because prices are low.
"I'm not hungry, but these prices are just so great that I'm going to buy more food."
"No one is thirsty, but drinks are so cheap that I'm going to buy another round for the family."
That's comically absurd to me.
What we didn't care for though was the food prices. We only ate once and it was very expensive and none of the three of us felt like we had that much to eat.
To be fair though, Cedar Fair was absolutely ridiculous as well, except for their buffets at CP and KI. I remember on that trip that we were looking at the pizza prices at KI, and we all just said "No." Thank goodness we found the buffet over by the Nickelodeon section.
So what happens if the company doesn't do well this year? Does the company get turned over again, or does another CEO get brought in? I would think with all the new attractions added this year, that the gate numbers will go up, as long as the weather cooperates.
LG, you don't understand simple economics.
I guess I don't - I'm the one saying theme parks (mostly the big regionals, at least) are underpriced.
since the price of gas is going higher and higher.
That would be completely incorrect. The price of gas is falling. The other night on NBC Nightly news they said the average price had fallen to $2.85, and I've seen that reflected in the Baltimore area.
Ronman, I think Six Flags has gained a lot under Shapiro, Take Great Adventure for example. This summer, I rode the Skyway (which if you didn't already know is a double Skyway). I've never ridden it, because it was never open. Both sides were open. I also rode the Jolly Rodger flatride next to Skull Mountain for the first time--again a ride I've never seen open. Rolling Thunder was running both sides, and that's something you never saw under the old management.
Look at how many parks are finally getting some new coasters after years of drought. For example, SFFT with two in a row after years of nothing, and SFOT gets their first new coaster since 01' plus a new waterslide for HH. SFSTL finally gets two coasters in a row as well after their drought since 00'. SFGAM gets a new coaster this year (last was S:UF in 03'). SFKK got a complete waterpark makeover last year and a hit attraction in Deluge.
Obviously, we've also lost some attractions under Shapiro, but I think a lot of those attractions were troublemakers and nothing pleases a guest more than seeing a ride that's never open, or a ride that breaks down constantly [sarcasm].
Normally I'd say your right that weather excuses are just excuses, but Texas got slammed over the summer by major flooding. Also, remember that there are a lot fewer Six Flags than there used to be, so that means less revenue than their used to be.
Like I said, most people use thier wallets to do the talking for them as they are seeking the most bng for the bucks and until amusement parks stop raising prices on both the gate and the food then they will price themselves out of the reach for most people.
And like I've said a million times, ther people still willing to pay more can easily cover the people who aren't if done right.
With your logic, any 'upscale' or 'premium' service or experience should be dying, yet people still pay $6 for coffee at Starbucks and $8 for Ice Cream at Cold Stone and $20 for their kids to build-a-bear. (all places I saw a line and waits at this afternoon)
If lower prices encourage people to spend more (you earlier words) - they why weren't these people at the gas station, Dairy Queen and Wal-Mart purchasing the same products?
All SF has to do is deliver the experience and their pricing isn't remotely a problem.
Clearly you DO understand economics... ;)
"More, cheaper is better" works fine for WalMart....but no "successful" theme parks have been run on that model, AFAIK.
Philosophy, well, that's not the subject Shapiro is paid to be interested in...although I have a soft spot for those who seem to keep wanting to make that a part of the discussion.
I'm just saying that if I am really hungry at an amusement park, it's easier to buy more to fill me up if the price is cheaper. If a burger and side of fries fills me up, I could get filled for $30 bucks, or get filled for $15 bucks, theres no "buying extra I don't need" involved like there is with 30 boxes of cereal I'll never use vs the 10 I will use and the 20 extra I give away.
I'm not trying to beat a dead horse, and I guess this strategy doesn't work for certain parks and I accept that.
*** This post was edited by P18 12/27/2007 9:58:46 PM ***
Gonch, it seems that Shapiro himself isn't sure of your economic model.
You must be logged in to post