Posted Wednesday, November 9, 2005 1:22 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Amusement park operator Six Flags Inc. said on Tuesday it expects to receive final takeover offers from financial and strategic suitors by early December, with a final decision made by year-end. CEO Kieran Burke again urged investors not to support a group seeking to take over the board and instead wait for Six Flags to finish the process of selling the company.
I don't care what people say about Snyder, I just want to see Burke gone. The guy ran the entire company into the ground. Like was said in PodBuzz, you never see any of the SFI higher ups in the park doing anything. Course, if my parks looked like crap, I wouldn't be caught dead in them either...
Kinzel and company happen to be living on the grounds of their flagship park. God knows where SF has a flagship park these days. Some say SFMM, some say SFGADv, and others now say SFGAm. Makes you wonder.
As long as some of the higher ups regionally make the effort and walk around greeting people and picking up trash like the local management at SFGAm does, that is all I care about. I really could care less if Burke ever steps foot at the Gurnee park. Just as long as he approves capital spending that continues to make this park one of the best in the chain.
Not a Burke fan by a long shot but its not always about the top dog that makes a difference.
I'd like to see Snyder held off until the sale process is completed, leaving the Six Flags parks in new control of more experienced hands that actually went out to purchase the parks rather than attempt to oust out management and gain control.
Chitown, I don't think Tekno is comparing Burke to Kinzel. There are a lot of CEO's that get out and walk there companies, associate with employees, thank them for doing a good job. When I was contactor for Marriott, Mr. Marriott met every employee at the door and shook their hand on occassion for doing a good job. When Sam Walton was in charge of Wal-Mart he use to do the same thing and even greet customers at the door of the store. I don't know if I ever heard of Burke getting out and walking around Great Adventure or Frontier City and greeting guests.
In all the large companies I have worked for, the closest I have come to meeting a CEO-level person is via voicemail broadcasts...
It doesn't matter that Kinzel lives at Cedar Point. He visits all of the parks fairly regularly. While still allowing autonomy for his GM's, he still gets out and meets with people to understand the requirement of his business in its various units. If Burke was doing this, even once a year, he'd certainly get it.
There isn't anything bright about the company's future right now. When you're selling parks for the land and sitting under $2.1 billion in debt, that means you're desperate, not in good shape.
"kinzel and company" may live on the grounds of cedar point, but cedar point is a resort - six flags doesn't have anything like cedar point. And even aside from that, WHY would that excuse Burke's and other higher ups absence in their amusement parks. Maybe they can't visit every park every year, but at least make an effort. The FACT is you WILL see Kinzel, and Falfas in the Cedar Fair parks at least once every operating season. They care about what their parks are doing.
As for SF, anyone is better than the current board at this point.
Back when the strategy was 'slap in a buncha coasters, crow about the short-term attendance increases, watch the stock price climb, lather, rinse and repeat' the only folks complaining here were folks whose parks weren't getting more coasters (or in their opinion, enough of 'em).
Once the shareholders chastised this bunch for their mistakes, they buckled down and actually just finished a season of doing a great many things right. Not perfectly, mind you. But definitely on the right track.
And you wanna wait how long for someone else to learn the same lessons over?
It's not as if they suddenly pulled Mr. Six, Kingda Ka and a bunch of Proslide Tornadoes out of their back pocket and voila! their first profits. These moves were already in the making.
Again, I'm not a huge fan of their board. But I'm not above giving credit where credit is due.
Their second mistake was making coaster dorks happy. The first was taking on the $2 billion in debt when they purchased the chain from Boston Ventures.
*** This post was edited by coasterdude318 11/9/2005 2:16:39 PM ***
I don't know about you Coasterdude but the only time I've ever seen Burke set foot into SFA was at the press conference held there in october 98....& that was on TV.
BatwingFan, Burke is chairman of the Board of Directors. Read their biographies here (which btw, appear to have been updated recently):
FYI... Tigris Management is now backing Red Zone.
*** This post was edited by coasterguts 11/9/2005 4:35:22 PM ***
If not Snyder, then who? Some nameless, faceless company (so far) that may also offer less answers to the fanancial situation of the company, and perhaps more of the same, just with a pretty new bow and wrapping paper?
Snyder has at least put most of his cards on the table, and they sound strikingly close to what most of us have been saying for years.
LaRonde, SFGAdv, SFMM, SFoG. all have confirmed or are about to confirm a new coaster. Seems like SF is back on their coaster buying binge again...
Nah. The real binge used to net four new coasters in a single park in a single off-season.
Did SF have to build a 456 foot version of TTD for 2005?
Right idea (headline-stealing record breaker), right park, wrong ride.
Does SFGAdv need a new wooden coaster a year after getting a record breaking coaster?
You mean, follow up with a coaster that works? I'd say yeah!
And let's not forget CP did much the same thing with Magnum & MS, just with an additional year between their construction.
If not Snyder, then who?
Perhaps someone who can afford to finance their ideas and put their own neck on the line? Burke's team isn't the first person to stagger under the weight of Six Flag's debt. They didn't make it. It was already there. They were merely willing and able to assume it as the price of calling the shots.
If Snyder's ideas are so sound, so vastly superior, why can't he cobble together a group of his own investors to support him? Shouldn't that tell you something?
(a fan of neither team)
The company doesn't need anymore sore necks, there just isn't time for that. Snyder may or may not be the answer, as I'm also not a fan of either side at this point. But we've already tried it the other way. It didn't work. And do you actually blame investors for scoffing at 2 billion in debt?
That's an uphill battle no matter how great your "ideals". I can't blame Snyder for "backdoring" it.*** This post was edited by DWeaver 11/9/2005 5:39:34 PM ***
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