Six Flags Locker Revenue

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:05 AM
Don't know if anyone caught the piece about Six Flags locker revenues that Lance did on Screamscape, but there's lots of yummy numbers and you guys know I can't let numbers slip by without playing along. :)

I'm willing to let his math stand - seems like some completely reasonable assumptions to me - each theme park using the lockers makes $1,000,000 a season off of them.

SF has 14 theme parks. I'm not counting water parks (as they already use lockers) or other attractions like the safari in New Jersey. Just counting the theme parks where they could potentially add this revenue source.

That means SF could be making $14,000,000 a year off of these lockers. That sounds like a big number until you realize that last year SF's revenue was $973,000,000.

$14 million represents a 1.4% increase. That's still nice nice money, but to put it into perspective it's the same as someone making $40,000 a year getting a $560 raise. (or an extra $22 per paycheck before taxes) Not that big of a deal.

I'm not passing judgement on whether the lockers are right or wrong or whether they do indeed help speed up loading times or whatever - just pointing out that if SF really installed lockers as a revenue stream, then they're morons because the impact on the bottom line is barely detectable.

So I guess I do believe the company line that they were not installed as a revenue source because while they do generate revenue, it's not in any capacity to make a difference and the time and effort to enforce it certainly outweighs the benefits of the tiny revenue increase.

With that said, Lance is right - if you hate the locker policy, let them know next time you visit.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:25 AM
I would offer up the idea that the locker policy allows them to increase ride through-put considering they still have no intention of running many of their coasters at capacity.

But then again I find it very very very hard to believe the policy has had a significant effect on capacity so the only reasonable explanation to me, without seeing more numbers is that the entire thing is pretty moronic.

I can see a locker policy improving capacity at parks with coasters consistently running all trains and zippy crews (thinking of the BGE, maybe) but in this case it seems to me like putting the cart way before the horse.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:38 AM
I don't think the locker policy is because of locker rental revenue, capacity, or safety. It's about advertising. Note that the locker policy is only in effect at rides that have the SFTV system. Shapiro can get sponsors to pay more for ad spots when he tells them guests aren't allowed to bring anything in line and will be so bored that they watch the TVs.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:45 AM
^Thank you. You weren't the only one that remembers what he specifically said in that conference call. I think lockers are a money thing too.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:36 PM
BTW I like it how the options for voting on Screamscape are

"Six Flags is greedy and needs to get rid of the lockers"

and

"I think the lockers are an improvement and I am willing to pay for them"

lololololololol. *** Edited 5/21/2008 4:36:48 PM UTC by matt.***

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:43 PM
I think there needs to be a "Six Flags is greedy and I am willing to pay for them" option. :)

As far as the current result of the poll - you mean 3 out of 4 enthusists don't want to pay for something!?

Whoulda thunkit?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:50 PM
If the lockers were not for revenue they would be complimentary to use or would only charge a minimum to cover the cost, i.e. 10 cents. Even though it is only a 1.4% increase in revenue, they still need this revenue for I fell they are pushing the limits in what they are charging elsewhere in their park. Plus they can spin this charge to make them look like the good guys that care. We are trying to speed up your wait in line and this will improve it, so it will only cost you a dollar for a locker. Maybe Six Flags should go into the shoe business and not allow people with sandals to remove them. However if you are afraid of losing your sandals you could buy our shoes and store your sandals in a locker!

Also this locker policy could increase beverage revenue since people will be unlikely to buy a souvenir cup and get the cheap refills, since they will need to store it in a locker every time to ride a big ride. Thereby making you buy the single drink cups.

The point is Six Flags is doing all they can to bring in revenue. Increasing parking fees, food, beverage, and flash pass fees. I think they are at the max for all those fees. It is interesting to see what other new streams of revenue they come up with.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 12:57 PM

got2havefun said:
If the lockers were not for revenue they would be complimentary to use or would only charge a minimum to cover the cost, i.e. 10 cents.

I tend to look at it the other way.

They have no problem charging relatively jacked-up fees and prices for everything else, so if they really meant the lockers to generate revenue then they should be charging $2 or $3 to really bring in some meaningful money.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 1:38 PM
Six Flags is 2 billion dollars in debt, don't they need all the money they can get at this point?
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 1:39 PM
Excellent points, Gonch. I'll buy that the lockers were installed for the sake of less-complicated ride operation. Fewer items to get lost or stolen in the station, and if this makes ride operation more efficient in the meantime, all the better. But I doubt efficiency was the real goal.

I'll also buy that the locker fee is just an upcharge for the sake of upcharge. Management feels that guests won't feel too put upon by a $1 fee, so why not charge $1? I mean, I know why I wouldn't charge people for lockers, but Six Flags really isn't in the financial position to be offering the "Holiday World" experience of "free" parking and soda.

$14 million can pay for a moderate-sized steel coaster, so it's not chump change. But it doesn't seem like a "revenue-generator" amount of cash. Then again, I'd be curious to know how much Six Flags racks up per year on their upcharge attractions. That would provide an excellent basis for comparison.

I'm curious if the teenage guests at the parks object to the locker fees as much as us older enthusiasts (or those of us with kids).

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 1:44 PM
^^ $1 for a few minutes of usage isn't a "jacked up" fee? This is about the money, the money and the money. $14 million is $14 million. How much extra do they make a year when they raise the price of a coke .05? That isn't $100 million either, but it is about the money. The point is that it all adds up and they are trying to find every revenue stream imaginable - large and small.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 1:53 PM

Amnesiac said:
Six Flags is 2 billion dollars in debt, don't they need all the money they can get at this point?


Cash-grabbing at every chance they can get will sink the ship faster than anything else.

I'm not saying that's necessarily the case here but I don't think nickel and dime-ing the guest at every chance is the way to do it.

Now, who wants to buy a time share?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:03 PM
Wanna know why it doesn't bother me?

I'll probably never have to pay for a locker. I suspect for most mixed family demographics this is true.

Mom, Dad, kids of various ages, likes and dislikes - someone is always left to hold the crap while others ride.

Seems like this is something that affects teens and non-family riders. (read: the enthusiast demo)

I have a feeling that like so many other things the parks do to piss off enthusiasts, that it isn't affecting as many visitors as the community forums would like to think.

Sure 80% of enthusiasts bothering to vote think it's a rip off (according to the latest poll results), but that doesn't translate to 80% of park visitors.

And that number, in turn, would only include the people actually having to use the lockers.

Does it suck if you're young and with friends and have no accountability to anyone or anything but yourself during your day at the park?

Sure.

Does it suck for anyone else?

Mostly not.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 2:48 PM
Only park I use ride lockers at is Holiday World, and only because they're free. Everywhere else I use my secure cargo pockets on my shorts.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 3:10 PM
I have mixed feelings about this policy, I agree with it when I get annoyed with kids and their basketball playing in line or leaving their stuffed animals and souvenirs on the platforms as it can be a liability with someone falling on it but its the $1 at every time you want to get on the ride your getting charged for everything and I wouldn't be surprised if they raised this price I have a feeling $1 is to see how the policy would be received otherwise they would have it at $2
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 3:25 PM

They have no problem charging relatively jacked-up fees and prices for everything else, so if they really meant the lockers to generate revenue then they should be charging $2 or $3 to really bring in some meaningful money.

I'm not sure I agree with that. They can jack-up the prices on things like parking and food, because guests generally require both for thier visit to the park.

If you want to park your car, you have to pay whatever they charge. If you are hungry and want to eat, you have to pay whatever they charge.

A locker at each of the ride queues can more easily be passed up if the cost is too high. Guests can problem solve in other ways. Make it more reasonable and I might be enticed by the convenience.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 3:29 PM

Carrie M. said:
A locker at each of the ride queues can more easily be passed up if the cost is too high.

Oddly enough, I agree with this...100%.

The problem is most people don't. They're calling it mandatory locker use - and it is to a degree if you don't have any other options for putting your stuff somewhere.

My logic is that people who are stuck using the lockers are stuck using the lockers and those that aren't, aren't.

It seems every bit as captive as parking and more captive than food.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 3:33 PM
What I don't understand is why they don't implement a $5 all day locker pass or something. I bet it would make the customer feel better (not getting nickled and dimed) and allow them to have a better time and the revenue probably wouldn't be much worse. It might even be better. See "free soda" arguments.
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 3:46 PM
Gonch your leaving out the family that actually does like to ride everything, like mine. My mom, dad, sister, brother and I all will ride anything and everything, and have since my brother managed to get past his last height requirement. What does families like us (who not too long ago was their target audience, were all a bit too old now) do?

Well the answer is easy, you plan for this and bring as little in as you need: ID, Credit Card, a little bit of cash, cell phone (maybe) and your SP/Ticket. Then you secure them in a cargo pocket, or if you dont have that, go out and buy a passport around the neck holder and tuck under your shirt, or if you dont trust that, tuck it under your shirt and in your pants.

Its not hard people, it just takes something called planning, and common sense, but no one ever uses those when going to an amusement park.

Also, folks remember, your car is only a short walk away, there you can stash your camera (except midday, when the conditions are best for photos and the lines longest which makes a perfect time to take those shots,) change of clothing, and anything else there. If its too valuable to leave in your car, odds are its too valuable to bring to a park.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:00 PM
The policy is "No loose items, you must leave items with a non-rider or use our lockers." They then force you pay a buck for a locker if there are no non-riders in your party. If this isn't a cash-grab technique, then I don't know what is. Looking at Gonch's numbers and percentages, sure it's small potatoes, but it is still something.

The reason they are not gouging ($2 or $3 a pop) is because there is a pretty low point where people will simply say no, and not ride the coaster at all. A buck is doable. I agree with got2havefun, if it weren't a cash-grab, they'd be free. Because then they'd have all the benefits of no loose articles, no chance of theft, faster load/unload but without buck. They want the buck, all fourteen million of them.

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