Six Flags third quarter income drops 16%

Friday, November 3, 2006 1:38 AM
SURPRISE SURPRISE!

Revenue slid 1% to $540.7 million from $546.1 million during the same period a year ago.

The company said attendance in the quarter fell 12 percent to 14.3 million visitors.

Six Flags cites inclement weather. Wow. Will someone pull up those news articles where Shapiro stated how he hated the way past management scapegoated attendance declines because of the weather? Now look at what they're (STILL) doing.

Other bits: Revenue has also dropped from a year ago in addition to attendance, however average guest spending increased 12 percent (+ $3.92) to $36.27.http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.asp?feed=AP&Date=20061102&ID=6163965

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Friday, November 3, 2006 1:46 AM
Well, they're getting people to spend more...

...now they just need to get them to come back. ;)

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Friday, November 3, 2006 1:53 AM
You are jumping the gun on Shapiro and the weather. Of course it's going to be brought up but he also states it's not the sole reason.

He accounted a big chunk of the attendance decline to the Mexico field trip law which he stated that has been resolved and starting next year, field trips will have Six Flags included again.

Another hit in attendance was overall season pass sales and the New Orleans park still being closed.

Ever since Shapiro took over, he has not used weather as the determining factor in attendance decline.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 4:09 AM

Chitown said:
Ever since Shapiro took over, he has not used weather as the determining factor in attendance decline.

Care to retract that statement?

Second quarter report

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Friday, November 3, 2006 5:48 AM
No, I am not going to retract.

Read the report that you linked to. It was included (weather) but wasn't the sole reason.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 9:03 AM
Well, they're getting people to spend more...

Yeah...on Q-bots! lol

...now they just need to get them to come back.

As a consumer it's time for me to take a break from Six Flags. I'm not buying an annual pass and I'm not visiting any of their parks next year. While I realize one person won't make a difference I can't justify spending money with them for the time being.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 10:37 AM
Yeah, we're not getting SF passes for the first time in a long time for 2007 and I have no plans on hitting any SF parks next year.

It has nothing to do with the parks and everything to do with my wants and geographic location. I hit two SF parks this year and had an good time at both.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 11:10 AM
The company did a good job squeezing what money they can out of the fewer in attendance. But, as attendance drops the pressure to charge the guests that are left goes up, not down. On this course a few years from now Six Flags will be stuck with a handful of people with unlimited financial resources, confused as to whey they still need the $200 platinum Q-Bott in an empty park.

And how has the company justified Shapiro's raise? With Six Flags stock going down, attendance going down and so little action to back up his big talk about family friendly parks, I just don't get it. Without actions to back up the flaws that he points out in his own company, it’s only natural to question the boss's motives for the company. *** Edited 11/3/2006 4:22:16 PM UTC by rc-madness***

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Friday, November 3, 2006 11:34 AM
LOL what a bunch of whiners.
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Friday, November 3, 2006 11:49 AM
This only tells me that after getting the SF treatment, People aren't going back again.

I doubt that they are using SFNO and SFAW in their tallies either. it wouldn't be accurate or even newsworthy.

Chuck, who thinks everything they are doing is wrong, Make the parks affordable but don't give the gate away. 5 dollar parking, 2.00 fountain pops and 35 dollar addmissions and they'd have people comming by the buss loads if they'd operate at capasity when needed and treat people right.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 12:14 PM

Six Flags will be stuck with a handful of people with unlimited financial resources, confused as to whey they still need the $200 platinum Q-Bott in an empty park

Acutally, that park is called Discovery Cove. It's owned by Busch. And it's wildly successful.

Edited to add: It follows Gonch's #1 Rule of Business in spades. *** Edited 11/3/2006 5:15:04 PM UTC by Brian Noble***

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Friday, November 3, 2006 12:37 PM
Indeed. :)

If I were an amusement park I'd be Discovery Cove.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 12:53 PM
^ and no one under 18 would be admitted without a parent... ;)

edit: and a Platinum Card... :)

*** Edited 11/3/2006 5:53:52 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Friday, November 3, 2006 12:59 PM
The only park where you have to pass a credit check to get in. :)
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Friday, November 3, 2006 2:54 PM
BUt here's what I dont get, all the TRs from places like SFGAm/Adv that say the parks are packed. *Clearly* price isnt the main issue. They *can* get people to come, but apparently, they just dont come everyday. I know it is an enthusiast proverb that parks will be crowded on the weekends, but if attendance is down so much, why are the weekends so busy? Should the weekends be (somewhat) down too?

Most suprisingly, especially in the case of SFGAdv is that the park was packed Columbus Day. With it coming so late in the season, you'd think that all the negative word of mouth about long lines, crappy service, and outlandish prices that built up during the season would have discouraged people from showing up. Or perhaps there isnt as much negativity towards the park in the GP as it is in our little enclave.

And about the weather, I know it's a somewhat tired excuse, but really, around here, the beginning of July was *awful* for park visiting. It rained 13 days that month (including 3 Saturdays, 2 Sundays, and the 4th of July). I'd guess the weather up in Jersey wasnt much different. Just something to think about.
lata, jeremy
--who is still willing to "Stay the Course" with Shapiro a little longer

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Friday, November 3, 2006 3:06 PM
And those are the same issues I can't decipher myself, Jeremy. It makes such a compelling point to use in these long winded debates over SF that I constantly get sucked into, but it's hard to use because it makes no sense.

Seems like the two are in direct contrast - we keep hearing about how packed the parks are, but then you turnaround a read about how attendance is down or numbers fell short or this or that.

Somehow it just doesn't seem to add up.


With it coming so late in the season, you'd think that all the negative word of mouth about long lines, crappy service, and outlandish prices that built up during the season would have discouraged people from showing up. Or perhaps there isnt as much negativity towards the park in the GP as it is in our little enclave.

Love that part! :)

Either it isn't a negative as in our little bubble (and I do suspect that accounts for at least half of it), there's also a theory that people just want to do what they want to do.

Have I heard the parks sucks? Yes.
Are their prices high? Yes.
So why am I going? Because I want to spend a day at an amusement park!
(alternate 'late season' answer: "Because I want to do something for Halloween!")

I think it's the prevalent mindset of the average visitor and I think it's why SF will certainly get away with their pricing for a long time to come and why operations might not have to improve as much as we like to think they do.

Even still, it is all a bit of a mystery.

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Friday, November 3, 2006 3:20 PM
^"...(alternate 'late season' answer: "Because I want to do something for Halloween!")...

That's VERY compelling to me....in recent years, it would seem that amusement parks have really taken over the Halloween "season" to the point where it's THE thing...going to the parks. They clearly do an amazing job for the most part - or maybe I've been spoiled by BGT, Universal, and Kennywood, LOL. But I think that the *competition* for the Halloween "spooky dollar" has been rendered non-competitive.

We enthusiasts *may* have only ourselves to blame for the PACKED parks come this time of year...we did TOO good a job of advertising... LOL! :)

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Friday, November 3, 2006 3:24 PM
Were people really saying that the parks were ridiculously crowded, or just that lines for rides and refreshments were ridiculously long because of poor operations and customer service? There is a difference.
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Friday, November 3, 2006 3:25 PM
Totally true, Gator.

I'd even go as far as to say, next to waterpark additions, Halloween events are the best way to increase business. Halloween is the new Christmas. :)

If you have an amusement park and you aren't in the Halloween game yet - you're missing out on a huge growth source.

To make it more personal, I can't even tell you the last time I did a non-park halloween thing (haunted house, hayride, etc.) - it's just become natural to head to a park (or 7) to take in halloween/fall fastivities.

(Real hard to say for an enthusiast, right? :) But it seems to be true for those beyond the realm of enthusiasm.)

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Friday, November 3, 2006 3:30 PM

RatherGoodBear said:
Were people really saying that the parks were ridiculously crowded, or just that lines for rides and refreshments were ridiculously long because of poor operations and customer service? There is a difference.

"I called all of my favors for exit passes, since it appeared there would be over 30,000 in the park. Turned out to be true. Monday was one of Great Adventure's top 3 attendance days." - Agent Johnson (an industry guy 'in the know' referring to Columbus Day at SFGAdv in this thread.

Sure, it's just one example, but most of the late season reports from SF parks had similar tales of big crowds (not just big lines)

Even still, that one example backs what Jeremy is saying entirely. That late in the season the park is doing one of it's three biggest days attendance-wise. If the bad word of mouth really sunk in, why are so many people still turning out?

*** Edited 11/3/2006 8:31:27 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

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