Six Flags Over Texas closes gates on record crowds

Posted Monday, March 24, 2008 10:16 AM | Contributed by Benjamin Polson

Six Flags Over Texas had to turn people away at the gate and stay open an hour later than usual, then open 30 minutes early Friday. The dense crowds extended past the full parking lots to clog traffic on Texas 360. Great weather, discounted tickets and Christian youth events brought in record crowds.

Read more from The Star-Telegram.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 11:49 AM
Well, at least they blame the weather when they do well too. :)

That crowd doesn't look fun at all.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 1:14 PM
I've been to parks on 'cheer day' and 'christian youth day' before (not SFOT, it was Paramounts Great America) and they were easily the busiest I have ever seen a non-Disney park.

With any luck, this may bode well for Six Flags new regime.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 1:32 PM
New regime, old regime, it doesn't make any difference--the week of spring break typically brings big crowds to SFOT, and so does Easter week. Put the two together and you have record-breaking crowds regardless of who is in charge. The big question is how many of these people will come back after experiencing the new policies I mentioned in another thread?


*** This post was edited by Jeffrey Seifert 3/24/2008 1:54:48 PM ***

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Monday, March 24, 2008 1:40 PM
I dunno. Each year people aren't supposed to come back for some reason or another - prices, policies, flashpass, service - whatever the complaint du jour is.

Yet for some reason they do keep coming back. To the point of reaching capacity even.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 1:59 PM
Except that overall attendance had been declining, even though the DFW Metroplex is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. You may have record breaking crowds for a particular week, but obviously some people are not coming back.

You may dismiss the observations of enthusiasts as the "complaint du jour", but personally I think there are several real problems that need to be addressed. SF, Inc. is going to find itself in too deep of hole to dig themselves out of.


*** This post was edited by Jeffrey Seifert 3/24/2008 2:00:06 PM ***

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Monday, March 24, 2008 2:06 PM
Company-wide attendance has gone up both years since Red Zone took control.


You may dismiss the observations of enthusiasts as the "complaint du jour", but personally I think there are several real problems that need to be addressed. SF, Inc. is going to find itself in too deep of hole to dig themselves out of.

You and lots of other enthusiasts. But here's the thing...how long before this hole happens? This year? Next year? Five years? A decade? Before I'm dead?

I mean we can all keep crying wolf each year until something happens and then say, "I told you so." So far the new guys have done nothing but raise attendance and revenue. Whether it's enough to save the company or not is debatable, but it's undeniable that they're moving the company in the right direction as far as the numbers are concerned.

If you ask me, SF finally has some real leadership with a plan. This is in stark contrast to the sinking ship that was the company in the first half of the decade. My guess based on the performance of the company the past two seasons is that the enthusiast community are the ones out of touch with the reality of the situation.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 2:21 PM
Here we go again...

Yeah, there is no question that Six Flags has problems that need to be addressed. That's the biggest no-brainer in the amusement industry. Also, there will always be the "Six Flags Sucks" flag-waving enthusiasts that will never be happy, so whatever with them. Gonch has a point, the numbers are up, and that's what the company is looking for.

As an enthusiast, I really do want them to secceed. Why? Because they operate parks with roller coasters - duh? I know that there are be plenty of other enthusiasts that can't wait for them to fail and go under, and I can't seem to wrap my head around that.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 2:46 PM
I certainly hope that SFOT isn't that crowded when I go there in two weeks!
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Monday, March 24, 2008 3:02 PM
Well, they certainly weren't complaining about the pricetag. ;)

Speaking of which, why would they cut prices during a period that is usually busy? Wouldn't they want to keep that offer for slow periods???

*** This post was edited by janfrederick 3/24/2008 3:03:12 PM ***

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Monday, March 24, 2008 3:17 PM
I don't think anyone wants them to fail, we just want them to get a clue. Yes attendance chain-wide increased slightly from a very poor 2006, but if even if you remove the sold parks, they are not drawing the numbers they did in the past, or the numbers the should be drawing.

You may think that the new leadership has a good plan, and yes I agree they have done some good things. But there are several other things they have done that make me wonder if they really have a clue. Just because you do a podcast and monitor this board does not give you the right to dismiss my observations as the "complaint du jour."

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Monday, March 24, 2008 3:20 PM
^I don't know Jan, according to Gonch almighty, Six Flags is doing everything right and if you post observations to the contrary you are just a whiny enthusiast.
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Monday, March 24, 2008 3:31 PM

Yes attendance chain-wide increased slightly from a very poor 2006...

And 2006 was up from and ever poorer 2005. The old guys ran the company into the ground. The new guys are bringing it back.

The two seasons the new guys have been in charge, attendance has risen. We've established that.


Just because you do a podcast and monitor this board does not give you the right to dismiss my observations as the "complaint du jour."

Oh, please. The fact that I formulate my own opinion and post to this board gives me the right to disagree - here and anywhere else I choose.

Just because I do the podcast and moderate on this forum doesn't give you the right to single out my posts and insinuate they're some attempt to bully through false feelings of superiority. Like I'm not allowed to disagree with anyone because of those things.

All I'm saying is the enthusiast community in general keeps coming up with new reasons that SF is bound to fail - yet the numbers continue to move in favor of the company. Regardless of whether the company was (or is) 'saveable' - these guys are making exactly the moves I'd hope those in charge would make...and they're getting postive results.

Will making people put loose items in a pay-to-use locker on certain rides kill the entire company? That remains to be seen, but I feel pretty confident on my side of the fence. :)


I don't know Jan, according to Gonch almighty, Six Flags is doing everything right and if you post observations to the contrary you are just a whiny enthusiast.

Sigh. The irony.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 3:39 PM
Well enthusiasts are known for their whines about one thing or another.

I don't follow your argument. You concede that in two years the numbers are going in the right direction, but they're not as good as they were. Did anyone expect Six Flags to return to the numbers of ten years ago? Snyder's posse wasn't really expected to undo years of bad karma and stupid decisions in two years, were they? I think your expectations aren't realistic.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 3:41 PM

Just because I do the podcast and moderate on this forum doesn't give you the right to single out my posts and insinuate they're some attempt to bully through false feelings of superiority. Like I'm not allowed to disagree with anyone because of those things.
Post of the year. Spoken like a true micro-celebrity.
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Monday, March 24, 2008 4:01 PM
Seriously though, Gonch, how do you feel about them slashing prices during a normally busy period? Don't tell me you would do that if you were in charge.

Even our local taco joints get that...$2 Tuesdays?

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Monday, March 24, 2008 4:24 PM
Six Flags raises prices - people complain that prices are too high
Six Flags lowers prices - people complain that they are devaluing themselves.

Dammed if they do, damned if they don't. Numbers don't lie, we'll see how the rest of '08 goes, eh?

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Monday, March 24, 2008 4:30 PM

Don't tell me you would do that if you were in charge.

No, I wouldn't be inclined to drop prices.

Then again I don't get paid 7 figures to run an amusement park chain and this can't exactly be hurting things.

I'd still rather see less people paying more.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 4:37 PM
I think there is a fine balancing act between supply and demand of course. But when you close the gates, you lose money.

Also, when a guest goes on a crowded day like that, how likely are they to return any time soon with the memory of the butz-to-nutz day they had.

Then again, some people must enjoy crowds. Otherwise, you wouldn't have crowds like that picture.

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Monday, March 24, 2008 4:40 PM
I don't know where you are getting your facts but according to the Six Flags Inc. report to stockholders, attendance dropped significantly in 2006. I haven't conceded at all that numbers are going in the right direction--because they have not. At my home park they have been going steadily down.
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