Six Flags to reduce spending after capital intensive program

Posted Wednesday, March 21, 2001 6:41 AM | Contributed by giant rider

Six Flags will only spend $150-$160 millon on improvements this year. They spent $250 million in 2000 and $300 million in 1999. Now that Premier has been in control for a few years and has mixed things up a bit with new parks, name changes and new costers and rides, they plan to cool off and let the improvements they made pay off.

See the complete story on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's site.

Wednesday, March 21, 2001 6:50 AM
Dammit, and they haven't fixed Psucklone, Colossuck, Trashedback, or Revolution yet! Now it'll probably never happen.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 6:53 AM
I should have known Premier would decide to cut back before giving Astroworld its turn.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 6:59 AM
It says cut back, not stop spending entirely. We will still see new stuff, just not as much of it. Also, on an unrelated note, it is nice to see a few of the RRC's here. The more the merrier!

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2001- the year of flight!
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 7:32 AM
I'm hoping they find out that the parks getting wooden coasters are drawing better crowds, and decide to go with more of them when they start spending heavily again ('02 or '03, probably depending on US economy).
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 7:34 AM
I know the weather affected SFA last year. It had rained so much last summer that bannister poles were falling over from the soggy ground. On the good side at least we didn't have a drought like the year before.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 7:35 AM
Guess this puts the kibosh on dreams of multi-coaster installations every year for SF parks that some people have talked about. What interests me is that Six Flags only owns a part of Six Flags Over Texas, what's that about?

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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
--Groucho Marx
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 7:41 AM
Premier Park or Six Flags Inc. needs the money for Movieworld Madrid. That park cost 400 million! Dollar. 450 Million Euro's. Don't be afraid, SF Astroworld, SFEG, SFKK will get it's expansion in 2002.

*** This post was edited by Rogier de Groot on 3/21/2001. ***
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 7:42 AM
slithernoggin:

I almost spit my coffee onto my monitor when I read that Groucho Marx quote in your signature. VERY funny! Biggest laugh I've had in a long time. Thanks!

Matthew
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 8:07 AM
I was wondering when they were going to chill out a little. I can't complain about what they built in my back yard, but maybe now is a good time to spend a little money on operational training. They have the expertise in house, if Great America is any indication, and some parks could seriously benefit from it.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 8:18 AM
Hey, Mamoosh, anytime.

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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
--Groucho Marx
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 8:34 AM
I can't say I'm surprised, the company seemed to be in a major hurry to stack lineups at their major parks. Now they can sit back and watch the money roll in this summer. Yikes! I don't even want to think about how crowded SFMM and the other major parks will be this summer. The great thing is that rides like Goliath, X and Deja Vu will more than fill our thrill seeking appetites for the next few years. Now the park can go back to adding a new coaster every other year, and still keep pace with the other industry leaders, smart move. Now let's hope they spent some time better training their employees.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 9:23 AM
Keep this in mind:

Most park chains don't spend that much money in a year at all, in fact some of them never have. It's good that they are "cooling off" I think they have spent quite enough:)

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God Bless Coasters!!
http://www.jccn.org/religion/grace/Default.htm
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 9:59 AM
Cool, now maybe Cedar Point can get it's record back from SFMM. Hey, let's hoping CP builds three coasters next year themselves and bring them to 17.

Seriously, Six Flags needs to focus more on operations (too many to name) and put the bucks into that for a few years. Someone stated earlier that you can build a wooden coaster for a responsible cost...that's true...and there are some great woodie's that have been built in the last 4 - 5 years.

Look at Kentucky Kingdom. They built two wooden coasters in the last few years that are Top 10 cailber and they cost less than $5 million indivdually. Yet, this park has a lot of fame for a small park. *** This post was edited by Martling on 3/21/2001. ***
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 10:01 AM
"It can't get worse than last year," said Hayley Kissel, an analyst with Merrill Lynch Global Securities.

Does he want to bet?

Gas prices, a slowing economy, and poor weather could mean worse than last year for all we know. It this year is better, that means spending less = more profits!

And where is that 110 million they shoved out for Sea World Ohio?

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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 10:23 AM
Let's have a reality check here. First let's just talk about SF theme parks here and not put their water parks into the mix [although I'd be willing to bet those are included in the 2002 improvement funds].

Why would CP spending "a lot of money in 2002" take SF by surprise? SF is still going to spend approximately $150 million in 2002 [if this news story is to be believed] and that's enough to buy a coasters for a few parks right there.

IIRC Talon's cost is $15 million and a decent sized woody can be bought for under $10 million.
Even with MF's $25 million price tag I doubt CF's total expenditures for 2000 was anywhere near the $150 million SF plans on spending in 2002. With only 5 parks I don't see them coming close to that amount in 2002, either.

While I realize its fun to fantasize about what your favorite park or chain will do in the future why dont' we just try to get thru the coasters opening 2001 before we seriously speculate on how parks are going to spend money in 2002?


Matthew
--who still gets a big laugh from all these CP vs SFMM posts.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 10:37 AM
Does this mean barely any new coasters, if any, to Six Flags parks in 2002 and 2003?
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 10:42 AM
Maybe I missed this, but where in the article does it say ANYTHING about Six Flag's plans for 2002??? The 150 Million was for THIS year, you know, 2001?!? LAST year was 2000 (250 Mil), the year before that was 1999 (300 Mil). The 2001 150-160 Mil figure includes everything that will be opening up this year, at least that's how I read it.

I saw no mention about NEXT year. For all we know, SF may up the ante amd spend another 300+ Million for '02. The plan (according to the article) was to allow a quick buildup of capital, nothing more was hinted. You guys read into things a bit far. What does Cedar Fair have to do with this?

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"X" marks the spot in 2001!
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 10:57 AM
Right Mamoosh! Even is SF slows down their spending, that doesn't mean they won't shell out $10-15 million on improvements to SFMM, SFWOA or even SFKK. As for CF, I think the last thing on their mind is worrying about a stupid record, that's our job right? There are other records that they still hold, as well as numerous awards. Stop being greedy! ;)
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Wednesday, March 21, 2001 11:41 AM
Soggy and everyone: I miss-read the article. My apologies on getting the dates wrong. I made mention of CF because as usual someone had to being up the whole SF vs CF rivalry [which still makes me laugh].

Regardless of how little SF spends I don't see why people should panic. SF will continue to buy new coasters each year and I'm sure that parks that have been "neglected" in the past will get one eventually.

What it really boils down to is market size and competition. Parks like SFMM, SFGAdv, and SFWoA get a good portion of SF funds because they're in large markets and/or have a lot of competition. Likewise some SF parks -- like SFEG, for example -- get the short end of the stick because there are no parks in the area SF considers competition [and yes, I know Lakeside is in Denver].

And the bottom line is this: parks do NOT cater to coaster enthusiasts. We make up a very small percentage of their annual attendance and profits. If a decision is made to put a new coaster into a park its done to boost that park's attendance and market share. Anyone who thinks enthusiasts are getting "screwed" when a park does not get a major new attraction needs to check their ego. *** This post was edited by Mamoosh on 3/21/2001. ***
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