Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom closing over lease issue

Posted Thursday, February 4, 2010 9:16 PM | Contributed by crombiedude11

Six Flags announced today that as it nears the scheduled end of its restructuring process, it has decided to reject its lease with the Kentucky State Fair Board relating to the Kentucky Kingdom park. In recent weeks, Six Flags had proposed a new lease arrangement to the fair board that would have enhanced the viability and future of the park. Unfortunately, those proposals were not accepted and the park will cease operations and the company will move expeditiously to re-locate employees and several of the more than 40 rides and attractions to one of its 13 other markets.

"We are deeply disappointed to be leaving such a great fan base in the greater metropolitan area of Louisville and we are grateful to the thousands of employees at Kentucky Kingdom and the millions of guests for their dedication, support and loyalty over the years," said Mark Shapiro, Six Flags President and CEO.

"This action relates solely to Kentucky Kingdom," Shapiro continued. "The substantial lease payment has been a significant hurdle for this park in recent years. Our other parks, which reside largely on company-owned land, will be completely unaffected and will open as scheduled for the full 2010 season."

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Friday, February 5, 2010 12:44 PM

Thanks for letting me know I missed yet another good coaster (Thunder Run). Oh well, let's hope they do relocate it. I agree with SFoGswim, let GL (Viper) go back to SFOG...

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Friday, February 5, 2010 12:47 PM

Thoughts about where the rides could go...

Vekoma Giant Ferris Wheel - love to see that go to SFMM, on top of the mountain. Talk about a great view. Also, for SFMM, the motion theater, Huss Breakdance, Enterprise, SFHH - Mega Wedgie, Deluge.

GL - paint that sucker yellow/red...and you have "The Flash", send it to a SF park that currently has no launched coaster.

T2 - sold to another park chain.

Roller Skater - SFDK. That park to me has more of a family feel than most, and with the height limit issue from the city, makes sense.

Road Runner - good for the ones without a mouse - like SFMM/SFNE/SFOG - certainly wouldn't do much good in parks with that have the superior Tony Hawk coaster.

Chang probably has a home for 2011, just not announced.

Most of Splashwater kingdom could be relocated to SFGADV. They seem like the least landlocked out of most of the SF water parks

A lot of the family rides would be a good fit for any of the parks, although I had read at one point that one of the parks was getting a large Wiggles World installation.

Or this just all could be a negotiating tactic.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 1:24 PM
Vater's avatar

I think they should send all the rides to SFA to make up for all the years gone by without a new ride.

And by 'I', I mean BATWING FAN SFA.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 1:47 PM
joe.'s avatar

I'm sure Detroit would sell off any amount of property to build an amusement park...

...not that Six Flags would ever do that, but still... i want a park closer than Cedar Point, dammit!

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Friday, February 5, 2010 2:03 PM

10,000 area hotel nights gone, and a valid point about how one attraction feeds off of another. Wow.

It's Six Flags' lucky day - not only are they out from under that lease, but they can market "new" rides around the country for years to come.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 2:15 PM
crazy horse's avatar

joe. said:
I'm sure Detroit would sell off any amount of property to build an amusement park...

...not that Six Flags would ever do that, but still... i want a park closer than Cedar Point, dammit!

Now there is a good idea. It would be nice to be able to go get a quick coaster fix without having to drive 5 hours round trip.


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 3:48 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

DB said:
Road Runner - good for the ones without a mouse - like SFMM/SFNE/SFOG - certainly wouldn't do much good in parks with that have the superior Tony Hawk coaster.

Just to nitpick, SFNE has Pandemonium, which is effectively a Tony Hawk.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, February 5, 2010 4:07 PM

Once I found out that they were leasing the land from the state fair board or whatever, I thought that was unusually weird to begin with. They actually had to rent the land, which would cost them more to operate, as a stand alone park. In effect this is a great move for Six Flags, because it cuts a large cost from their books.

However, with the patrons moving to other parks, while yes im sure many will go to holiday world, how many do you think go to Kings Island. I mean it is a bit further of a drive im sure, but Kings Island also has to be doing a heck of a business out of Kentucky. Both parks in essence are licking their chops.

This move did not surprise me, I did make it out there this year, and found the park to be very spread out, plus the not so stellar operations made for a bit of bigger mess. Sad to see another park go, but not nearly as bad as some of the others that have left in recent years.


Resident Arrow Dynamics Whore

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Friday, February 5, 2010 6:13 PM

Another thing against Six Flags at that location was parking. When you paid your parking fee at KK (for years it was only 3 bucks!) you were really paying to park on the fairgrounds, not at Six Flags. Anyone attending any event at the fairgrounds anytime paid the same amount. And I have no real information, but my guess is that the fair board collected all the parking money and cut SF very little, if any. (and those of you with a SF nearby know how much they love their parking money!) Revenue not made is revenue lost.

So i hate to see the park go, I've been attending since Thunder Run was straddling a mud pit, but truthfully it wasn't my favorite. Especially recently. (on my last visit the security guard at the gate made me dump out my cigarettes to make sure I wasn't carrying "anything funny") But it seems like the poor location led to their ultimate demise and events over the past few years make me think SF was just waiting for the first opportunity to run.

The good news is they now have plenty of rides to sprinkle around the country.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 6:44 PM

The park retained none of the parking revenue, in addition they paid 1.1 million each year in land rental. Their new proposal asked for a cut of the parking, a significant reduction in lease fees in exchange of a percentage of gate revenue.

The head of the State Fair balked at the request, turned them down flat and offered no change to the deal terms. Thus the park sent a late evening press announcment to the media and closed up shop. They didn't bother to inform the head of the State Fair or the Mayor because they had, in no uncertain terms, refused any type of change to the deal structure.

Today, behind closed doors, the full time park employees were given details of the closure and thanked. In essence, they were given their walking papers and told of forthcoming severance. Some will no doubt be retained to assist with the dismantle, and some will be offered the ability to transfer. All present at the meeting were strictly advised to not speak to media.

Shaggy


Shaggy

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Friday, February 5, 2010 7:30 PM
LostKause's avatar

If I own two ice cream stands in two different cities, and one is making $90 a day profit and the other one is making $10 a day profit, why would it make sense to close down the one making $10 a day profit? After closing it down, I am now only going to make $90 instead of $100 a day.

Unless SFKK wasn't making any money at all, I don't see this as a good thing for the chain. Maybe I don't understand business?


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Friday, February 5, 2010 7:49 PM
Jeff's avatar

They made some comments about a drop in attendance after the Lassiter accident, didn't they? Perhaps that drop was serious.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, February 5, 2010 7:53 PM
LostKause's avatar

It kept me from making my first trip there, so yea.


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Friday, February 5, 2010 9:40 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar

While it would be nice to get Tidal Wave back at Great America, I would really like to see them get that ferris wheel. Great America has been screwed out of two ferris wheels, one of them a very unique one (only a twin in Cali). I think it would be a great niche filler for the park. If that park could get one thing and only one thing out of all this, that would be what I would choose.


Certain victory.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 11:11 PM
crazy horse's avatar

Hmmm....

No outrage or suprise like there was when geauga lake closed?


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 11:15 PM
Vater's avatar

Should there be?

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Friday, February 5, 2010 11:20 PM

I wish that Breakdance would come to a Six Flags near me. Oh wait- that was the Six Flags near me.

Pity the park that winds up with T2, the first and worst Vekoma hang-n-bang ever. The choices would be limited since most SF parks have inverted Batman rides anyway, and they would never in their right mind dream of...oh wait- if my french was better I'd say something about La Ronde.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 11:47 PM

LostKause said:
If I own two ice cream stands in two different cities, and one is making $90 a day profit and the other one is making $10 a day profit, why would it make sense to close down the one making $10 a day profit? After closing it down, I am now only going to make $90 instead of $100 a day.
Maybe I don't understand business?

you're missing half of the equation.

if you can never rationally hope to grow your business beyond the $10 a day profit, are leasing the $10profit shop, rather than owning it, and have lots of capital tied up in it, it makes sense to close the $10 shop, and focus on the $90.

Take your millions of dollars of freezers, tables, chairs, and scoops, (that you were in debt up to your nipples for) and put them in the $90 a day shop. You can then market your $90 shop as new-er, improved, larger, more thrilling (and charming).

In the end you'll earn a better return on your invested capital.

Hate to agree with the Geauga-ing of another park, but it was doomed. I was there when the first KK bit the dust, and I saw this one rise from the mud (as someone else mentioned). Thunder Run in its first season was amazing, and the first ACE event on it was legendary. I still remember Helen Fluharty returning to the station on the wrong side of the orange lap bars.

It made no sense as an independent park, and it made even less sense as a Six Flags. Someone asked why it was ever bought by them in the first place, and the answer is that it helped to support the house of cards of "growth, expansion, etc", and it added to the smoke and mirrors that was Burke and Story's ponzi-ish scheme.

Too bad, but most of the rides will live on.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010 12:17 AM
crazy horse's avatar

A few news reports....

http://www.wlky.com/video/22475854/index.html

http://www.wlky.com/video/22478790/index.html

They did mention that the drop tower accident had nothing to do with the park closing.


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

+0
Saturday, February 6, 2010 1:02 AM
DantheCoasterman's avatar

crazy horse said:
Hmmm....

No outrage or suprise like there was when geauga lake closed?

That's just because I haven't been able to get to a computer, yet. ;)

But really, I don't know what to say. I'm definitely surprised (after being led on with the *huge* Banzai Bay project, and the 2010 hours even being posted on the park's website), and obviously ticked/upset about it...but I am mostly concerned about how large of an impact this will have on the economy of northern Kentucky.

A LOT of people and businesses will be affected by this. Louisville's attraction really do feed off each other, and while the folks at HW and KI may be licking their chops, the owners of the Crown Plaza Hotel, Galt House, Zoo, and Slugger Museum sure aren't.

I can't even BEGIN to imagine how the fair board thinks they will benefit from this. As William Shakespeare once wrote:

"Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself are much condemned to have an itching palm..."


-Daniel

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