Six Flags Locker Revenue

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:45 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar So does anyone know how much this policy is being enforced? My experience at SFA the other day was that it was not enforced at all. My friend had a bag she left at the station on everything we rode.

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 5:03 PM
What will happen in a lot of cases is what people spend on lockers is that much less they'll have to spend on refreshments, games, or souvenirs. How many people are going to leave their homes thinking "Oh wait I need to take along 5 or 10 extra dollars for lockers?"

I don't know about other people, but personally, I don't carry a lot of singles in parks until I break a larger bill for food or drink. That might not happen for several hours into my visit. And I'm certainly not going to put dozens of dinky charges onto my check card either.

Some people might decide not to drop money at the game stands, if it's going to cost them 10 more dollars to keep stuffing their prizes in lockers for the rest of the day. So the park will lose some revenue there.

Funny as I'm reading this post, I'm looking at a Coke can on my desk with a BOGOF offer @ SFA. At $49.99 a pop (pun intended), how much do you think Six Flags is potentially giving away in every supermarket and convenience store? Yet they keep having to nickel and dime people in the park to try and pay off their debt.

We shouldn't be surprised when Shapiro keeps referring to the people inside his parks as a "captive audience."

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 6:02 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
I'm looking at a Coke can on my desk with a BOGOF offer @ SFA. At $49.99 a pop (pun intended), how much do you think Six Flags is potentially giving away in every supermarket and convenience store? Yet they keep having to nickel and dime people in the park to try and pay off their debt.

But isn't that standard loss-leader business sense? It goes all the way back to Gillette's "give away the razors to sell the blades" approach?

I'm not sure I necessarily agree with giving away the gate like that in this situation, but it does have business merit as an approach.

Not so much a case of 'having to nickel and dime' but rather that being the plan - get them in the gate and then get their money - just like you had to keep buying those razor blades once your purchase the razor.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 6:15 PM
The locker policy also effects the park's image. A park with free lockers like, oh let's say Holiday World, I look at being higher quality than a Six Flags park and are therefore much more likely to visit.

I like to bring my video camera to the park with me and have it with me at all times, you never know when something awesome or funny is going to happen, like people goofing off in the queue lines. So to me it is much easier to leave the camera bag in a free locker in the coaster station instead of stuffing it into my cargo shorts and holding onto it during the ride and praying that it doesn't fall out. I can enjoy the rides more and end up leaving with a more positive feeling about the park which makes it more likely for me to come back and spend more money on the park.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 6:24 PM
I remember reading somewhere that the lockers are being operated on a leasee agreement. They retain a portion of the revenue, probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 50%. Has anyone heard different?
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 7:02 PM
Sure gonch has shown how 14 million doesn't seem like a lot for Six Flags revenue overall, but a lot of you still say its still 14 million. The other half of this is that indeed they may be getting 14 million bucks from this system, but how much needs to be invested into it?

Think about it every hour that every park is open they have to pay 1-3 extra people per every ride that has the policy. That in itself is going to be very expensive. On a busy day, the lockers will be paying for those folks, and then some. On a slow day, the 1 buck charge wont cover the cost of staff. Next, adding all those new lockers and locker systems I'm convinced were not cheap either. They seem to be good expensive locker systems at each of the rides.

So they may have 14 million more coming in but how much do you suppose they have going out?

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 7:14 PM
Why must everyone carry around stuff anyways? I mean seriously, what else do you need besides your pockets?

And if you go with the "kids stuff" approach, I counter with then you have a stroller and one of you will need to stay behind with that, so that doesn't work.


2020 Trips: Canceled by Corona

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 7:47 PM
Jeff's avatar Usually it's the teens and 20-somethings with a sack full of crap, not the parents. And I agree, what the hell do you need to carry around all day? How is it I get by without it all? How many times total have I ranted about this?

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 7:56 PM

IntaminHater said:
So they may have 14 million more coming in but how much do you suppose they have going out?

Dingdingding.

People that like to make up facts about how horrible things are often skew those facts. The $14 million sounds like it's totally for profit, but lets instead look at some of these numbers a bit deeper:

The first problem is that ScreamScape claimed that each B&M can get 1400-1800 people. While I would believe that, Batman (which practically every Six Flags has) according to RCDB is a 2:00 ride. So, if you run 30 trains through it every hour with 32 people per train, you get
960 per hour. According to Screamscape, another often cloned ride, SUF gets 1100 per hour.

Next, he claims that he used "a conservative estimate" to say that 10% of riders would be forced to use them, but from having been at one of the parks that has this policy in place already, if that was a true number the parks would run out of lockers constantly. Take a quick look next time you're out at one of the parks. I think that I guessed that they were using about 50-80 lockers per ride. On a ride that has a capacity of 1100 like Superman, with an hour long line it would mean that less than 5% of the riders would use a locker, and that would be during maximum usage times.

Realistically, I bet that 2% of riders use lockers. First, you can leave your stuff with another rider as already mentioned. Secondly, even if you needed a locker, those in groups would generally combine everything into one locker anyway. And third, if it's really an issue, you run out to the car instead.

Using these new, more realistic numbers, if we take an average of 1000 riders per hour which is still high and have 2% of them use the lockers, Six Flags makes a whopping $20 / hour on them. Now, using his numbers, we say that goes on for 10 hours, so each park makes $200 / day per ride, or maybe $1000 a day on the program.

Of course, you need to staff each ride with someone to tell them what they can and can't take. And someone to deal with any locker issues. So lets shoot low and say that Six Flags only pays six people a day to work the lockers, and they make $8 an hour. Now, you have a cost of $48 an hour, or $480 a day offsetting the lockers.

And, as someone else pointed out, the lockers are quite nice and were probably installed in some sort of contract that requires Six Flags paying a percentage of the gross. If we shoot low here too and say that Six Flags pays 25% a day to the locker company, you take away another $250 from the program.

Overall then, each park would actually be making $270 per day for this entire program. Multiply that by the 120 average open days that he guessed on, and an _entire park's_ locker revenue sits at $32,400. Multiply this by 14 parks, and we have $453,600.

And with the capacity idea of 1000 people an hour, I wouldn't doubt that a lot of the rides these are installed on are actually considerably lower than that, which would impact the above number by maybe 10-35% less revenues.

So, I guess I'm also in the minority here, but I see this as a extra that Six Flags decided to add to the rides and probably also as a way to help pay to get someone at the front of some of the popular rides to be able to answer questions. On my visit, it did definitely seem to impact operations, as the operators didn't have to wait for a minute for people to put their stuff down and get back on the ride. For the minimal amount of money that it costs to do these, I don't see it as a big deal.

I do agree that it would be great if Six Flags could add an 'all day pass' or something for a locker, as I found no need to use one during my visit, but probably would've been happy to pay $5.00 just in case and be able to use them all day. Even better, it would be great if Six Flags would add a "Season Pass Locker" option, where the user could pay maybe $25 one time to have unlimited use of the ride lockers all season.

I bet that Six Flags would actually make *more* money with these added options, as people would pick them as "deals" and would be more likely to spend money on things that they would then be carrying around throughout the day. Seems like a win-win situation. Anyone from Six Flags listening?

As it is, I don't see it as a cash grab, I don't intend on using it, but it has limited my spending in other ways thanks to it.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 8:21 PM
rollergator's avatar

Jeff said:Usually it's the teens and 20-somethings with a sack full of crap, not the parents. And I agree, what the hell do you need to carry around all day? How is it I get by without it all? How many times total have I ranted about this?


But that's the genius of the new SF locker policies/enforcement of same. It at least gets some coinage from those teens that still tend to roam around the park with all their crap. I'll have more to say about this when I get home (assuming it's still "topical"), but from what I've seen thus far at SFoG and SFoT, the only ones "stuck" with the lockers are those very same teens.

Good for Marky Mark! ;)

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 10:21 PM
Right from Six Flags website:

Cell phones, pagers, or other small items must be secured in cargo pockets, zippered jacket pockets, or waist packs. All loose articles which cannot be secured must be left in a locker or with a non-rider prior to entering the queue line.

So the solution to "beating the lockers" is cargo pockets. Is this really a new policy industry-wide. I can't believe I am defending Six Flags but they have signage at the entrance to the park informing guests of the policy.

I've been to SFOT and SFStl this year. At both parks I had my cell phone and camera in my cargo pockets. I did not get a locker either day. I think it's gone smoothly but maybe that's because I'm used to lockers at Cedar Point.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:42 PM
So why then don't they just add a buck or two to the admission price and let all the lockers be "free"?
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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:42 PM

thecoasterguy said:
Overall then, each park would actually be making $270 per day for this entire program. Multiply that by the 120 average open days that he guessed on, and an _entire park's_ locker revenue sits at $32,400. Multiply this by 14 parks, and we have $453,600.

You know, having thought about this more, I forgot to take out taxes. I believe that the lockers would be taxed like arcade and vending machines are taxed -- every use is really less than a dollar, and then with tax it equals a dollar. If we said that Six Flags then needed to pay an average of 10% of this in taxes, the total hovers right around $400,000 that this initiative will make *chain wide*.

If this was purely to nickel and dime people further, it would definitely cost more. At $400,000 chain wide, for an initiative that I'm sure will make people think twice about playing games or shopping at a store, I would bet that this is an initiative that will break even at best.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008 11:45 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar Has anyone seen this initiative be enforced? I am still curious, because as I mentioned, at SFA there was no enforcement at all. That has to affect the numbers as well.

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Thursday, May 22, 2008 12:42 AM
I was at SFOT yesterday and noticed spotty enforcement. When I entered the Batman queue, I saw a locker attendant going through the flower bed behind the lockers. He had removed probably a half dozen stashed in the bushes and there were still 5 or 6 hidden on the ground. At Titan, a guy that entered the queue in front of me carried a backpack past the entry attendant without being stopped. The flash pass attendant stopped him and let him know he needed to return to the lockers. He stepped to the side and proceeded to the loading dock as soon as she turned her back. I'm not sure what he did with it before he boarded. I later saw a lot of swapping bags across the train as people were loading and unloading. I had heard previously that this would not be acceptable.
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Thursday, May 22, 2008 12:12 PM

Jeff said:
Usually it's the teens and 20-somethings with a sack full of crap, not the parents. And I agree, what the hell do you need to carry around all day? How is it I get by without it all? How many times total have I ranted about this?

I'm sure a lot of it is the basketballs, stuffed animals, goofy hats, souvenir cups, and other trinkets the younger crowd tends to spend on. Maybe an extra layer of clothing that gets shed as the day warms up and gets put back on when the evening cools down. People will either have to pay for a locker or put on their sweatshirts (when it's 90 degrees) to ride a coaster.

I'm surprised nobody has suggested this might be the first phase of a more nefarious scheme-- get people used to a few lockers, then add more and more, and finally institute the rumored no re-entry policy. Just something to discuss.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008 12:41 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar ^^ I haven't bothered to go on any of the locker policy rides yet this season at SFoT, but walking past them it seemed that the enforcement was fairly consistent.

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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Thursday, May 22, 2008 1:31 PM
The policy was not enforced at SFStl. Shoes were piled up on the loading platform of Batman.
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Thursday, May 22, 2008 5:47 PM

Touchdown said:
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,)

Actually, that would be completely wrong. Your best times for photo taking are in the morning around 9-11 a.m., and in the nighttime around 5-7 p.m. (or whenever the sun starts to set but you still have light) Of course, there is some variation due to the time of year and what part of the country you're in.

So why is midday actually worst for taking photos? Because you've got a huge enemy called the sun to deal with that can be hard to block out leading to either overexposure or underexposure. You constantly see overexposure in many pictures from fan sites.

Luckily, with digital photography, with a minute or two, I can correct these imbalances using either Image Correction in OSX, or the software that came with my Canon A570is.

Whoa, did I take us off-topic. Here's my whole problem with the 'not-a-rumor, they really want to install lockers at every ride policy' (according to SFMM's GM). They have games in all areas that they want people to play.

So you win a prize at one of these games. And now you're being penalized for winning the prize? This is what it says to me; "Gee, thanks for putting lots of money down to win the prize, now pay up to rent a locker because your prize annoys us by its presence." Is that anyway to treat your customers?

Come on, it takes most people all of thirty-seconds to put stuff in a bin, or on the side of the loading platform. Stop making the customer out to be the enemy, and make your employees do their jobs efficiently and we wouldn't be having this argument.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008 6:45 PM

Touchdown said:

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,)


I just had to chuckle at this as midday is the worst time for any photo, when the sun is high the camera goes away.


-Brent Kneebush

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