Six Flags Magic Mountain will be open 365 days a year

Friday, August 25, 2017 6:13 PM

I can't help but think that someone is looking at all of that crazy ass business that Disneyland does all the time and wonder if they can't have some of that action.

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Friday, August 25, 2017 6:48 PM

Go Intamin said:

Ironically, in the early 2000s, Magic Mountain was put up for sale by Six Flags. Potential buyers were Busch and Cedar Fair.

I can assure you that no one was looking at buying Magic Mountain in the early 2000's with the idea of keeping it as an amusement park.

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Friday, August 25, 2017 7:01 PM

99er said:

Without traffic (ha) Six Flags is exactly 1 hour from Knott's with Los Angles in the middle.

62 miles from Six Flags to Disneyland, approx 58 miles from Knott's. However, with Traffic, that's 3 hours, and rush hour is all day now.

It's honestly going to be a struggle to get crowds in the truly off-season. However, that "off-season" is a lot shorter than it was previously. With the seasonal overlays of Halloween and Holiday in the Park, that takes up a lot of the slack. January to March is going to be the tough period. I think the bigger issue is going to be available staffing as opposed to customers, in the [Edited] SHORT run.

The Halloween events are so popular, and so crowded that the obvious question is "why don't they offer more nights?", the answer is staffing. Universal's HHN offerings have only been on sale for 1 week, and they have already raised the prices on the "front of the line" passes as they sold too briskly, but they haven't added additional days during the week, why, staffing.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, August 25, 2017 7:16 PM
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Friday, August 25, 2017 7:13 PM

As part of their transition to 365 day parks, they can also transition to full time staff.

Last edited by Captain Hawkeye, Friday, August 25, 2017 7:13 PM
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Friday, August 25, 2017 7:16 PM

I meant short run, but typed long run.

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Friday, August 25, 2017 7:27 PM

I'm not sure what the breakeven point is for opening Magic Mountain on a daily basis. If you're only looking to cover the incremental variable costs, I would assume that it doesn't warrant a huge crowd of customers. Knott's is open year round and some days in the true off season you just shake your head at how few people are there. However, they obviously make a go of it, so I'm certainly not complaining. The interesting part would be how this impacts the non-customer facing aspects (maintenance, purchasing, accounting, etc). Obviously it's essentially a Year-Round park now, just without ops m-fri for many weeks.

The smart play will be to lock in Season Pass and Season Dining options when Six Flags does their annual Flash Sale on Labor Day weekend. There may be an opportunity to score a deal that hasn't been "priced out" correctly. :)

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Friday, August 25, 2017 9:30 PM

Kreskin says: "The margins on too many of those weekdays will be so low as to make this a failed one-year experiment."

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Friday, August 25, 2017 9:41 PM

You could be right, but the big expense in running a park is the FIXED expense. Employees not so much

At $15 an hour x 10 hours per day you could employ 1,000 employees per day at a cost of $150,000. Or 500 employees for $75,000. At $50 per admission you'd need either 1,500 or 3,000 admissions per day to cover labor. I have no idea if those numbers are doable.

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Friday, August 25, 2017 10:03 PM

And I'm sure we're talking short hours for this, too. Like 11-7 or maybe 8.
Days like that are also prime for school trips, corporate groups, charity events, etc.
I seem to remember visiting Knotts during the winter and it was like that. Short hours, and maybe 20 cars in the lot. But then there were 500 school busses chock full of honor students from the county there for a day at the park and a teen dance party in the evening.
Anyway, with proper marketing and planning they can have decent days.

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Friday, August 25, 2017 10:52 PM

@Captian Hawkeye- Don't forget the $25/car to park. While they do have special pricing available, front gate admission is $85.

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Friday, August 25, 2017 11:33 PM

Captain Hawkeye said:

At $15 an hour x 10 hours per day you could employ 1,000 employees per day at a cost of $150,000. Or 500 employees for $75,000. At $50 per admission you'd need either 1,500 or 3,000 admissions per day to cover labor. I have no idea if those numbers are doable.

I did the same math when I typed my post.

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Friday, August 25, 2017 11:33 PM

nobody is paying full pop gate price in February.

no one.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017 2:05 AM

After moving to Burbank last year SFMM is now my "home" park. As others have said, off-season weekends are nearly dead. I cannot begin to imagine how empty a Wednesday morning in February is going to be. Of course this is no benefit to me as I and everyone else will be at work. The hours will almost certainly be 11-6 at best, so it's not like you can even pop up after work.

Additionally, their "off-season" operations tend to be pretty spotty as well. Well, even more spotty than their regular operations I should say. Many attractions and especially restaurants/shops tend to stay closed most if not all of the day. Seemed like Superman was closed most of the winter. I just feel like even if they draw people with this mythical international marketing plan, they will be hard pressed to show those folks a great time. All of the poor maintenance and dilapidated facilities make themselves stick out even more when the place is a ghost town.

In the end this will likely end up being free after school childcare for local season pass holders with dining plans. Not exactly a cash cow of an audience. I just hope the budget nightmare it spawns doesn't negatively impact hours and operations for the rest of the season.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017 2:42 AM

CreditWh0re said:

However, with Traffic, that's 3 hours, and rush hour is all day now....

True its hard to find a time when there is zero traffic but its not always that bad. Either that or I just always seem to hit LA at the right time because Id rather deal with LA traffic over Orlando traffic. I think if Six Flags focuses on the tourists who are staying on the north side of LA and in the Hollywood/Burbank area, that it might not be that hard to convince people to drive up to the park. Even with traffic Six Flags isn't that far if you are in the Hollywood area as opposed to having to drive through LA down to Anaheim for Disneyland/Knotts.

The Halloween events are so popular, and so crowded that the obvious question is "why don't they offer more nights?", the answer is staffing.

I'm not sure I believe staffing is the problem for the parks in LA when it comes to the Halloween events. The Orlando parks certainly do not have that problem (Well one I know for certain doesn't. The other I assume does as well). The reason you won't see the parks add more hard ticket event days in the week is because that equals less days for those guests who do not want to attend. Disney added more days this year but instead of dropping a few days in the middle of the run they added them at the beginning...in August. Last night was the first Mickey's Not So Scary party....in August.

CreditWh0re said:

Knott's is open year round and some days in the true off season you just shake your head at how few people are there.

I have been there during those times when you can honestly get everything done in the first hour the park is open. Even I was shocked hat they still continued operation through the week. However I have to wonder if they more than make up for that during Halloween Haunt. That event is always crazy busy and packs people in every year so I wouldn't be surprised if the event compensates.

I bet we see scaled back operations at SFMM in the off season, short operating hours, and good deals on tickets. They might also advertise this time of the year towards season pass holders or the locals up in the Santa Clarita/San Fernando area. I would guess they have plenty of data that shows it will be worth it to at least try staying open all year but its also Six Flags so this could be happening at the advice of a Magic 8 Ball.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017 8:50 AM

Go Intamin said:

Ironically, in the early 2000s, Magic Mountain was put up for sale by Six Flags. Potential buyers were Busch and Cedar Fair. I'm guessing Cedar Fair either bought Geauga Lake, the Paramount Parks, or all of them together instead of Magic Mountain. It would've been cool to see MM as a Busch park, too.

I remember that, but thought it was late 2000s? Either way, I think Cedar Fair could really do wonders with Magic Mountain. During my 2 day visit last month (first time in 17 years!), the one thought that came popping into my head was how much potential the park has. In some places, it almost has that desolate and sad Marineland (Niagara Falls) feel (I'm not equating the two).

The location and roller coaster lineup is stunning, but with $70 season passes, what do you expect? Horrendous operations, clueless employees (not their fault, that is a training issue), trash and litter all over just off the midways... confusing, unorganized and unmarked instructions/directions/"which queue to get in." Sad to say, typical Six Flags stuff.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017 9:14 AM

This seems to a be a trend chain wide of trying to extend the operating season and number of days the park is open. The past few years in the midwest Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Great America have seen a major increase in the number of operating days throughout the year. Six Flags St. Louis has been open until January with the holiday in the park event and this year they are keeping Six Flags Great America open until November 19th after staying open the first few weekends of November last year.

It's a refreshing change from a decade ago, where Six Flags was eliminating park hours and operating days every season.

Hopefully this turns out to be a success.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017 12:06 PM

Jeff said:
Unfortunately it will still take four hours to drive anywhere. :)

How many times would you have to charge the Tesla to make that drive? 😜

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Saturday, August 26, 2017 1:09 PM

CreditWh0re said:

nobody is paying full pop gate price in February.

no one.

Or ever, really.

According to the last financial report, the percap was $41.67 - that number is all inclusive (gate, in-park, etc.). If you look at the report only $23.36 of that is the gate.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017 1:16 PM

At $41.67 percap, one would need 3600 people to support 1,000 people working a ten hour workday, or 1440 to support 500 working an eight hour workday, assuming $15/hour.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017 3:23 PM

ShaneDenmark said:z
How many times would you have to charge the Tesla to make that drive? 😜

Zero. It doesn't use power when it's not moving. The AC has negligible impact.

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