Six Flags headquarters moving to New York, Oklahoma City parks closing
Posted Friday, January 27, 2006 8:06 PM | Contributed by Toons
As part of its ongoing reorganization efforts, Six Flags announced today its intention to consolidate Six Flags corporate operations, significantly expanding its presence in New York City; to close its office in Oklahoma City; and to sell its Oklahoma City-based parks. These moves mark further efforts in the company's strategy to streamline operations and focus on major market parks which have the most opportunity for growth.
You know I hate to see them get rid of any of their parks but I honestly think that this is a very smart move on their part.
Moving the offices to NYC makes sense because it will be easier to do your typical day to day business in a large metropolitian area like that. Also, what's the point in having two corporate offices. The only reason those offices were there in the first place is because of the local ties to the area.
As to the parks, lets all be honest about it. The only park that they will keep is Great Escape because it turns a profit and it's the only un-flagged park that is feasably able to be flagged.
Otherwise I have a "sit back and see" attitude with everything else they are doing or proposing.
Well... that about wraps up the subtle meaning that they will be trying to rid of the small market parks which include: Six Flags Darien Lake (Small markets of Buffalo/Rochester), Great Escape (Small market of Albany & Glens Falls), Wyandot Lake (Columbus, OH), and Kentucky Kingdom (Louisville, KY).
The rest of the parks seem to lie in a medium to large market parks (if you include the metropolitan area)...
...so is that a safe assumption that Six Flags will be trying to sell those four other parks within the coming year or two?
I really don't think that you will see the Great Escape sold off. Six Flags has already expressed that the park is the example of a well rounded family park. Is that not the overall goal of the new execs? As well, Darien will have the potential to become a vacation destination again. With the amount of land, and the adjacent camping, it definately has potential. That is if they can get customers from outside the Rochester/Buffalo market.
On a side note... has anyone taken notice of La Ronde? They build a Batman clone, with a bat logo. Now Goliath is getting built, and what is the color scheme? None other than Superman! Do I sense branding soon?
BTW, let me express my sympathy to anyone in Oklahoma City who will be losing their jobs over this, as I'd imagine there are quite a few administrative and support positions that will be unable to make the relocation for various reasons, even if they are offered a relo package and wanted to make the move. It'd be a little tough to live in New York on an Oklahoma City salary.
The only company that has even expressed intrest in Frontier City and White water is HFE. Years ago HFE owned the White Water brand in OKC and Atlanta. Lern more about HFE by clicking here. http://www.hfecorp.com/aboutus/ . While they have expressed prior in this park however HFE is more intrested in 2 other parks that have bear the six flags name.
It is sad that people will lose jobs in OKC but not sure if anyone's taken a good look at Six Flags Adman building there, it's pretty tiny. Can't imagine there is more than a handfull of people working full-time in there.
Also SFDL buffalo market is pretty small but the outer market with Toronto is huge. It's only about 2 hours depending on traffic. Not sure why we don't get more Six Flags marketing up here in Toronto. Considering that PCW is filled to the gills with people and the recent attendance nubers not sure why SFDL marketing isn't all over Toronto.
Cropsey said: Also SFDL buffalo market is pretty small but the outer market with Toronto is huge. It's only about 2 hours depending on traffic. Not sure why we don't get more Six Flags marketing up here in Toronto. Considering that PCW is filled to the gills with people and the recent attendance nubers not sure why SFDL marketing isn't all over Toronto.
SFDL used to do a lot of advertising in Ontario. I haven't noticed it as much lately, but I'm watching less Toronto and Hamilton-based TV. SFDL would also have Canada-at-par offers to try and attract visitors, especially on Canadian long weends. It should be a hit with local Canadians. But there are possible barriers:
border crossings are a bit more complex now than before 2001, especially if you don't carry a passport. For me (white male, early-30's, with passport) I get through no problem. My Canadian friends with asian and middle-eastern appearances have had very different experiences, even when carrying passports.
The City of Toronto has a very high population of immigrants. For many, until they are granted full citizenship and carry a Canadian passport, entry into the US must be planned in advance with appropriate paperwork. This makes day-trips much more complex.
Think of your park-loving friends and think of how many have a criminal or drug-related conviction. Even if they only got a small fine and some community service, they can be denited entry to the US. (I have a park-loving friend who cannot enter the US anytime soon.)
The drive should take just 2 hours, but Toronto is a busy place with traffic issues. And the border crossings have traffic issues. In reality, the trip takes +3 hours each way.
Six Flags Darien Lake hasn't added significant new attractions, whereas Paramount Canada's Wonderland. And PCW's waterpark is much better than SFDL's, even though SFDL has a Tornado.
But SFKK is so close to other properties like SFSL and SFGAm. The market in Louisville isn't right for it either. Astroworld was a combo park, in the 4th largest city in the nation, with a big history and it closed...so I wouldn't doubt it. Plus, SFKK is used for the State Fair in Kentucky, right? I don't think the park would disappear just lose the Six Flags name.
The parks that could be under speculation of Six Flags ridding that property doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to CLOSE it so as much as bid it out & sell it to a potential buyer.
My guess would be that Six Flags has a few smaller parks in medium markets or small market parks that they probably have in mind they would want to sell because of their profit margin, or lack-there-of.
These smaller parks (or smaller market parks) are probably going to be silently auctioned off to potential bidders either private owners (who have the money & expertise, of course) or chains such as Kennywood, Cedar Fair... etc. They would probably have to at least meet the reserve price before Six Flags would agree to the sale (reserve price which is probably not shown)... and if any park did not meet that reserve price, the park would be taken off the auction block & just kept under Six Flags belt.
I highly doubt any other park is going to close like Astroworld, with the exception of New Orleans (for obvious reasons)... so either they're going to sell the smaller/medium market parks & concentrate on the big 5... or stick with 'em until a bidder comes along to take it off their hands.
Astroworld was closed before the new Management team took over. Plus, it was dismantled and the rides were distrubuted amongst other parks. From what I've heard, the new Management team will mostly be getting rid of parks that are absent the logo. SFKK has the logo, so for right now its safe.*** This post was edited by Steel158 1/31/2006 7:11:38 AM ***
I was in Oklahoma City over Memorial Day weekend and it appeared that Frontier City was up and running. I checked the website, all appears normal. Anyone have any inside news if this is the last year for Frontier City?? Just to let you know, my wifes grandparents live in OK...that is why I was there.