Six Flags endangered list. Think its possible?

Monday, May 10, 2004 10:58 AM

thecoasterguy said:
If I am Cedar Fair or Paramont (the only two chains that might be at all interested), I am not going to be stupid enough to purchase a park that is not turning a profit and has nothing to make it look like it will in the near future.

I dunno, from *my* addmittedly limited perspective, there's not many parks out there that don't have the POTENTIAL to make SFI money...sure, those in SMALL markets may not MAKE much money, but they don't COST that much to operate either...

The reason that SFWoA wasn't doing as well as it should have (obviously, the bad climate conditions were outside of SFI's control, ROFL) had nothing to do with the park being in a bad location or not having a HUGE market to draw from, and everything to do with the fact that SFI didn't really "get it" in terms of what makes a park $ucce$$ful.

They SAY they now understand...if they really DO, then there shouldn't be many more sell-offs. If this newfound dedication to Customer Satisfaction turns out to be another "quick fix" for ailing parks, and more of a corporate FAD, then expect more than a few parks to be sold off in the next 3-5 years...

Monday, May 10, 2004 12:51 PM
Thecoasterguy: look at it this way,in the case of SFWOA(now GL) being sold to CF...Cedar fair has the capital & the desire to pick up where SF left off/failed to do & with CP nearby the locals all trust in CF to do a great job in running this park thus making a lot of money for the chain & proving to be a good investment for them.

Many of the parks in the SF chain have the potential to become good...dare I even say great parks under different management it's just that right now SFI has taken these parks & practically run them into the ground.

SO you see just because SFI did a lousy job at running any given park doesn't automatically mean that another company would do the same & it doesn't make the park anymore of a financial risk to the new owners than it did to the previous ones.

Monday, May 10, 2004 12:51 PM
Funny they didn't mention Wyandot Lake.


Monday, May 10, 2004 1:07 PM
All this talk of them selling and we get this kind of article about them building another park(rumor about six flags buying land in FL).

Monday, May 10, 2004 1:12 PM
If this is true.... There would have to be some records, somewhere of Six Flags purchasing this property. Perhaps under one of the other names they do business as (I know they dba as Tierco in Maryland). However, it has been pointed out several times that Six Flags doesn't build new parks, they buy existing parks.
Monday, May 10, 2004 1:22 PM
True enough, but were either of the Warner Brothers parks in Europe already in existence, or were they new? There was speculation some time back that a Warner park could appear in Florida. The I-95 corridor is an interesting area for development and the location, near the Kennedy Space Center, puts it in a tourist-rich region. I hope it doesn't pan out, though. The Oak Hill / Edgewater / New Smyrna Beach region is so laid-back that the miniature golf course is THE entertainment district and it's nice to have a part of Florida still in that condition.
Monday, May 10, 2004 1:59 PM

Coaster Lover said:
The reason SFDL doesn't add more is because for its location, it is doing about the best it can and adding more attractions wouldn't create the same surge in attendance that it would at other parks. The majority of guests visiting a park come from within 100 miles of the park. SFDL pulled in about 1.46 million guests in 2003 and there are slightly under 3 million people within 100 miles of the park. That's a lot of people for a park to pull in by comparison to the number of people in the area. To really increase attendance at the park, they would need to do something to draw people from a much larger region, and to do that, they would need to add a coaster that would get national recognition. Unfortunatly, SF is just not in a position to take that risk right now, so the park will remain the size it is addind a small attraction every once and a while to give the current guests reason to come back to the park....

Not to keep beating a dead horse when I try to defend my home park BUT...

But I've lived here all my life, and I know what areas they are trying to market towards... and it includes areas as far south as Erie, PA, as far East as Rochester & Syracuse, NY... and as far North as Toronto, CA. Not to mention that they are also pushing their advertising into the Niagara Falls tourism district, which racks in over 17 million guests per year (Canadian side, of course).

They advertise heavily on Canadian television & radio to try & compete with Canada's Wonderland (which they really can't). So to say that they have a relatively small market, isn't exactly true. Their immediate regional market is Buffalo/Rochester, yes, but that's not their only target.
Not to mention that Six Flags is also pushing this park as "The only Six Flags Resort", because of the campground/hotel.

So in theory, it does make sense to invest money into this park w/ potential. Their peek attendance was at 1.7 million in 1999, and has dropped steadily since. Before Premier bought Six Flags, they were treating this park like royality... almost as their flagship park. Once they bought Six Flags & had many other larger parks to contend with, they basically all but abandoned their old Premier parks (except Geauga Lake, which then was sold...)

It's usually a rule of thumb for parks to add something new each year to keep things fresh & new for park guests... and every few years, come up with a major attraction to spike the attendance, and therefore... increase profit. Unfortunately, Six Flags hasn't really kept that rule-of-thumb with SFDL... and this gem of a park is getting lost in all the other Six Flags parks, along with a few others...
So another company taking over SFDL would really be a benefit & savior, because it would get the attention it deserves. (and yes, again, they [SFDL management] do have big plans including a full 18-hole golf course)

Monday, May 10, 2004 2:48 PM
Has anyone considered the fact that Six Flags has long been looking for buyers for a number of their parks, and the Ohio property was the only one that found a buyer?

Suppose that CF was looking to purchase another property and was given a "list" of available parks. Maybe SFWoA was the only park that made financial sense to them, causing them to pass on the other available properties.

Or maybe CF didn't want to expand but didn't want another competitior, either. A good rule in business: If you don't want competition, then buy your competitor!

The point of all this? There could be other SF parks for sale right now, but no one will ever know until buyers are found.

Monday, May 10, 2004 3:11 PM
Just not CF's *style* to pick up several parks at once, incurring long-term debt in the process...better off to pick up GL, give it a couple years to INTEGRATE within the larger structure of CF, then buy another park in 2007 or 2008. That should give sufficient time for the *new* CF:GL to pay off the majority of the investment, and for CF to pinpoint its next TARGET then, the "storm clouds" will likely have surrounded another SFI park in another *lucrative market*...

The long-range forecasting calls for more bad weather at a few selected SF parks, LOL...

Monday, May 10, 2004 5:18 PM

Thecoasterguy: look at it this way,in the case of SFWOA(now GL) being sold to CF...Cedar fair has the capital & the desire to pick up where SF left off/failed to do & with CP nearby the locals all trust in CF to do a great job in running this park thus making a lot of money for the chain & proving to be a good investment for them.

You are a coaster fan. You know the difference between Six Flags, Cedar Fair and Paramont and all the details that go with it. The public have no such knowledge, nor do they care.

On top of that, Six Flags Ohio was making money when it got sold. Sure, it wasn't making boatloads of money, but it was one of the profitable parks in the chain. Six Flags did not "fail" to run this park so it made moeny. They may have failed to run it so that it beat Cedar Point, but realistically who were they kidding if that was their ultimate goal. Cedar Fair had years of a head start.

I'm not saying that companies couldn't turn underperfoming parks around, but why would you want to invest a significant amount of money into an investment that is already losing money if you have the chance to instead put that money into a park that has been a proven money-maker? On top of that, how would Cedar Fair explain that move to the shareholders who expect that the Cedar Fair properties all make money?

And as for someone who stated that perhaps there were other parks that were up for grabs and SFO was the only one that sold, that sounds like a really, really astute idea. Probably moreso than you know.

Monday, May 10, 2004 11:40 PM
I can see SFKK going bye, bye. It's costing Six Flags more money than it's making, and when it goes I bet it goes cheap. What hurts it is being by the airport, and a road splitting the park.


This is my opinoin!

Monday, May 10, 2004 11:52 PM
Well, if SFKK DOES go, it'd be nice if they at least kept Chang in the SF chain. I'd love to have a good coaster like that at SFA.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004 11:10 AM
If it,or any other park goes then we already know they wouldn't redistribute the rides after the sale.

We've already seen this when SFWOA was sold....I was kinda hoping they'd send the SF themed rides(Dominator,S:UE etc.) to other parks that could use them but of course CF simply rethemed the rides instead.

So if SFKK were to be sold(which it won't) then rides like Chang would stay in the park with the new owners,or just be demolished should the park itself be shut down.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 11:24 AM
I'm pretty sure if a park was "Closed" the rides would be moved to other parks or sold to other chains. SF has always made an effort to purchase rides from parks that were closing and move them. Examples, Canyon Blaster (old mine train from Opryland) at Great Escape and Batman:The Ride at SFNO (Old Gambit from Thrill Valley). I don't think you will ever see a ride a demolished.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004 11:27 AM
By the same token, *if* Paramount or CF or someone else wanted to BUY a park from SFI, do ya really think they'd purchase the land ONLY and allow SFI to move the *existing* rides elsewhere....why buy the park in the first place....Land PLUS improvements (i.e., rides and infrastructure) is what makes the park WORTH something to a potential buyer...;)
Tuesday, May 11, 2004 12:39 PM
Besides, is SFKK leasing the fairgrounds there or something? If so, I believe they would have to file bankruptcy to get out of such a release. Which, if they do... You are liable to see a lot of changes at SF.

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