Six Flags diversifying business, may add sports bars

Posted Thursday, April 28, 2016 11:08 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Celebrating the best season launch in the company’s history, the parent of the Six Flags theme park chain said Wednesday it is in discussions with several developers about building more parks outside the U.S. and is mulling opening more sports bars in North American parks.

Read more from The Dallas Morning News.

Thursday, April 28, 2016 11:40 AM

Four words:

Six Flags Rollercoaster Cuts

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 11:59 AM

Aunt Martha's, the restaurant in Hometown Square at Six Flags Great America, which I think opened with the park, is one of the sports bars going in this season. According to their NoCoaster presentation, the space is being gutted and tvs and a full service bar are being added.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 1:54 PM

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Lord Gonchar said:

Four words:

Six Flags Rollercoaster Cuts

Its long gone now!

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 5:46 PM

Don't read the headline and jump to conclusions. The barbershops were located outside of the parks. The sports bars are located inside the parks like any other food and beverage location. Two very different models.

Plus the sports bars aren't that much of a departure -- adding tacky signage, TVs and loud noises in an environment where people are trying to eat sounds like more of the same to me.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 6:04 PM

And CF does the same thing. I know there a sports bar at Dorney and Carowinds has Chicki's & Pete's.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 6:08 PM

Jetsetter said:
The sports bars are located inside the parks like any other food and beverage location.

-- adding tacky signage, TVs and loud noises in an environment where people are trying to eat sounds like more of the same to me.

Exactly. It's a non-story part of the story - restaurants in an amusement park. How novel. That's not diversification, it's...well...adding tacky signage, TVs and loud noise.

Perhaps my comment was both too dry and too abstract.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 6:16 PM

Depending on the time of year, I can see this being a good move.

I'm often at WDW in the fall for 1-2 quick weekend trips a year and I've definitely swung by the ESPN Club on the Boardwalk several times on a Sunday to catch all or part of a game. Usually the place is packed on Sunday afternoons in the fall and early winter.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 6:22 PM

Lord Gonchar said:

Perhaps my comment was both too dry and too abstract.

I read your comment to mean that you were sarcastically predicting the same fate for the sports bars as the barbershops.

Perhaps a better headline for this story would be, "Six Flags doing some things, may add sports bars."

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:03 PM

All these theme parks create brands that they put into their parks all the time. Why wont any of the parks try and place any of those businesses outside their parks and see what happens?

I know a lot of places to spend money inside the parks are licenses or leases or whatever of existing businesses, so why not go the other way with entities that the parks have created?

Like Nathan's Hot Dog stand was already a thing outside of Hersheypark, and the park added one inside the gates. What if Hersheypark decided to add one of their most popular new eateries, Makin' Woopie Pies, in locations outside the parks? That's just one quick example I came up with.

What about a Cedar Fair's Coaster's Drive-In or a Kennywood Potato Patch Fries stand location in your local mall? Would it be too risky? Would it dilute the experience of eating the food at the park?

Last edited by LostKause, Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:05 PM
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Thursday, April 28, 2016 10:16 PM

Restaurants typically have a nearly 60% failure rate in the first couple years. Plus, like the barber shops, it would likely not be the greatest for their core business.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 11:57 PM

I don't know, LK.

Out-of-park eateries, I think, would suffer from lack of brand recognition. Cedar Point's Coasters Drive-In or Kennywood's Potato Patch would only benefit from the association with customers who had been to the park and remembered where they ate instead of what they ate.

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Friday, April 29, 2016 12:33 AM

I dunno.

This is (or used to be - it was 2003) a thing:

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Friday, April 29, 2016 12:49 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

Six Flags Rollercoaster Cuts

That seems like *true* diversification. This just seems more like adding full-service bars to amusement parks. It's going to make money...but it's not really getting away from what they do. Would be funny if they start staying open for another "ride session" from normal park close - 2 or 3 am.Separately gated, 21 and over.

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Friday, April 29, 2016 12:59 AM

Rollercoaster Cuts was the first thing I thought of when I read the thread title. With that it was like they did everything they could wrong. I used to go to the King of Prussia mall every few weeks and the place almost always was empty whenever I walked past it. They were charging close to $20 and half the space was a toy store that probably kept some people away.

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Friday, April 29, 2016 1:22 AM

rollergator said:

That seems like *true* diversification. This just seems more like adding full-service bars to amusement parks.

Exactly.

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Saturday, April 30, 2016 1:11 PM

I almost feel like that barbershop existed solely for the pun.

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Saturday, April 30, 2016 1:40 PM

I wonder if the Giant Eagle Kennywood fries were any good? Did they taste like Potato Patch fires? I also wonder if I bought and ate them before and just forgot. That was like a hundred years ago.

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Saturday, April 30, 2016 2:27 PM

They tasted like generic frozen fries.

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Monday, May 2, 2016 7:38 PM

slithernoggin said:

Aunt Martha's, the restaurant in Hometown Square at Six Flags Great America, which I think opened with the park, is one of the sports bars going in this season. According to their NoCoaster presentation, the space is being gutted and tvs and a full service bar are being added.

They actually renamed it "Strutters." I haven't been in it yet but I do visit the other 'Sports Bar" at SFGAm which is JB';s Sports Bar and BarBQue. Food isn't terrible (They even have deep-fried oreos!) and they have TV's all over the wall as any sports bar would. Some of the food is incuded on the Season Dining Pass which is a plus.

Beer and alcohol prices are high of course but it's still a good place to relax and have a brew. For example, a domestic draft beer is $11 bucks and change. They have some interesting cocktails too.

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