Six Flags has dismal quarter as revenue, attendance and per cap take hits

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Total revenues of $302.1 million decreased 13% from the prior-year quarter's total of $345.7 million, primarily reflecting reduced attendance and guest spending. Attendance for the quarter was 8.0 million, down 8% from 8.6 million in the second quarter of 2008. The attendance reduction was driven by a decline in group sales, reflecting cutbacks in outings by companies, schools and other organizations, as well as reduced complimentary and free promotional tickets. Mitigating the attendance loss for the quarter was the timing of Easter, which fell in April of this year and in March of last year.

Guest spending per capita of $36.70 for the quarter was down 4% from the prior-year quarter's per capita guest spending of $38.34, reflecting decreases in admissions, food and beverages, games and merchandise. Included in the reduced guest spending is the impact of a weaker Mexican peso and Canadian dollar in the current-year quarter, affecting U.S. dollar translated results for the parks in Mexico City and Montreal. Exchange rates accounted for approximately one percentage point, or $0.54, of the guest spending per capita decline for the quarter compared to the prior year quarter.

Read the entire press release from Six Flags.

Jeff's avatar

I can't explain why Six Flags is seeing the drops, other than maybe the way they slashed their marketing efforts, but I think CF's bone-head move is not adjusting their pricing until just the last few weeks, or today in the case of their hotels.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

sirloindude's avatar

Gonch, with respect to your previous comments, could it be that the reason the discounts at the Disney parks are so effective is that people are, for lack of a better way of putting this, looking out for them?

What I mean is that these people may make an annual trip to their local regional park or whatever, probably scoring some discounted admission and such. It's almost routine. However, Disney is that quintessential dream vacation, and I'm curious if perhaps these discounts stand out more for that reason. Yes, heading all the way out to Orlando or Anaheim is not cheap, but if the perception is there that it's affordable (or, based on these numbers, is affordable), maybe that's how they're pulling this off, possibly even at the expense of their annual hometown park trip (and any other potential vacations).

I'm sure the marketing helps, too. I see Disney commercials all the time, and I live 40 minutes from SFA and can't remember the last SF commercial I saw outside of a queue line at SFSL.

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