The 6 best SF "no touch " parks

Monday, July 17, 2006 6:01 PM
Not sure about SFNE, The Great Escape or Over Georgia, but SFGam, SFFT and SFoT are pretty land locked. The only thing SF could do is sell them or close them.

What I'm trying to say is, I think some parks were left off the list because of the ability to sell the land around them.

A day at the park is what you make it!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:25 PM

Krypton said:

rc-madness said:

And Six Flags can't take much credit for Fiesta Texas. It was a great themed park long before Six Flags purchased it. The company was smart enough not to dismantle what was already a great park.

I agree with this one hundred percent. I didnt believe that I was inside a Six Flags Park when I first visited back in 2002. The place is surreal, and with all of their random purchases of parks this one proved to be a real winner.

The park is VERY family oriented, and really, should be how EVERY Six flags park looks, feels, and operates. Hell, they havent even added any new large attractions in 5 years or so and it still is being touted as a money maker for the chain. Of course, its all speculation, but I wouldnt be surprised.

SFFT rocks.

I will agree with you on one point--that Six Flags can't take credit for the theme. It's a little bit hard for a themepark to take credit for a rock quarry. As for the rest of the statements, I'd think you should reconsider them. Fiesta Texas was not a random purchase, as it was purchased by Time Warner controlled Six Flags in 96', and not Premier. The Premier change wasn't until 99'. The park was a big money loser from what I read under the Operyland Management and they sold the park.

Six Flags (Premier-controlled) poured a huge amount of money into the park to make it what it is today. I remember stopping by guest relations and commenting on how much I liked how the park looked and the lack of grafitti, and the woman said that they confiscate markers at the entrance. Try to imagine the park without Scream, Poltergeist, S:KC and all the flats they added. It wouldn't be anywhere near as impressive.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:50 PM

Shaggy said:
Thanks Gator.

I don't have any facts to back that up, I just know that I have been privvy to a few conversations with folks in the industry that are all speculating this.

Again, what I have overheard/been told is simply chatter centered on SFGADV "suffering the same fate as SFMM."

Apparent high operational cost, and overhead debt loads attributed to years of costly installs (that have yet to pay for themselves) are huge concerns. Not to mention the whispers that SFGADV has a reputation for being a "rough" park... a BIG Shapiro no-no.

"SFGAdv has hundreds and hundreds of undeveloped acres of land. It's not in any danger of closing and/or being sold off."

With all due respect, that is a contradiction. What effect does having "hundreds of undeveloped acres of land" have on a decision to not close a park? Seems to me that hundreds of portions of undeveloped land would seem ripe for the dumping in SF's eyes. Isn't SF selling off unused lands in other markets?

Please, feel free to change your opinion.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 11:10 PM
rollergator's avatar I don't think either of us was saying we're *in favor* of selling of SFGAdv, or that it's "next year's project". Merely that there has been CHATTER about the idea. Personally, I grew up with an annual visit to GAdv, and want the place to DO as well as Shapiro suggests in the article. FOUR MILLION guests would be sweet, no doubt. And GAdv certainly has infintely more *proft potential* than SFMM did....

Two *billion* in debt forces you to EXPLORE options you might not otherwise consider, though, and GAdv would fetch a VERY high price. The land surrounding the park is no SFMM to be sure, but it would seem HIGHLY likely that *if* Shapiro and Snyder were to bail, that SOMEONE would try to run the place as an amusment park...not gonna hear THAT in Valencia... ;)

Seriously though, I think it's fairly evident that SFMM will be gone, as will SFEG, and that the proceeds are NOT going into anyone's pocket (ridiculous concept)....they're going to CREDITORS. Once the lenders see that the new guys have: 1) paid off about a quarter of the total debt, 2) have rising in-park spending *and* guest satisfaction, 3) seen the EARLY results of spreading GOOD word-of-mouth, and 4) cut back drastically on ludicrous expenditures...then, you'll see a better RATING of the chain, and the debt load *servicing* will be reduced through better interest rates.

THAT is when the company is on its way to financial health... all goes like that, and the *chatter* about GAdv will die down, the company will list a couple more "no touch" parks, and maybe even a few that DON'T catch up will be sold off. HOPEFULLY for us, to park operators and not developers.

I don't care too much for the cut-throat business decisions that put profits above people, but it doesn't mean I *ignore* it either...

*** Edited 7/19/2006 3:17:47 AM UTC by rollergator***

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 11:23 PM
Don't forget that a lot of SFGAdv's land is unusable for expansion. There is a lot of lake/wetland area that can't much be used for expansion, unless maybe to build a coaster out over.

coastin' since 1985

Tuesday, July 18, 2006 11:37 PM

rollergator said:
FOUR MILLION guests would be sweet, no doubt.

And just when, praytell, will these 4mil peeps be at the park? GAdv is already bursting at the seams on summer Saturdays. Does Shapiro have some magic way of ensuring that the extra mil come in on weekdays? ;)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 9:21 AM
"Please, feel free to change your opinion."

JC... and you should feel free to re-read my posts.

It wasn't my opinion, I was repeating speculation that I heard from three seperate conversations I had with / was privvy to among industry folks. I don't think I could have made that any more clear could I?

This part WAS my opinion:

I haven't been to SFGADV in years, and when I went I enjoyed it. I wish good things for it's fate. But I also think that Shapiro is streamlining hard... he has to... such a dramatic debt load causes dramatic outcomes.

I stand by that. I really enjoyed the park's attractions. I don't want to see it close, or demolished etc.

But since we're obviously showing our girdles here... when I was last there, although I still had a good time, half the rides and attractions were closed, the park was in a poor state of cleanliness, and the crowds were chock full of rude teenagers.

My perception when I left the park was that I had a good time, but it was not a park I would rush back to. In the meantime, even the installation of mega rides has yet to draw me back.

Now, if I, as an "enthusiast" have that opinion, then imagine what the novice guest thinks.

That, my friend, is the war that Shapiro is waging... it's a battle against an overwhelmingly poor perception from the past. It's a legacy that has done horrific damage to the company's reputation.

His dramatic public statments about park closures (that include what many consider to be a major component to the chain) have lent themselves to TONS of speculation among industry folks, and well... enthusiasts.

Of course a rumor is a rumor until somthing shocking happens to proove how serious things may be. I'd say the closure of Astroworld was, at the least, shocking.

My point, again, is that anything is possible these days... whether we like it or not.


*** Edited 7/19/2006 6:41:56 PM UTC by Shaggy***


Wednesday, July 19, 2006 1:09 PM
rollergator's avatar ...and just to reiterate that this isn't "just Shaggy and gator", read SHAPIRO'S words:

"What we couldn't have realized, candidly, was that this brand is much more damaged than we previously thought," Shapiro said during the conference call June 22. "What we couldn't realize is just how many families have literally given up on Six Flags."

Shaggy certainly has better *insider info* than I do, but it doesn't take good contacts to read what Shapiro had to say...the chain remains in trouble, even after SFAW and the six newer *up for grabs* properties...

oh, and jeremy, *I* will be there on a weekday...Columbus Day, though, so I'm expecting a ZOO. Hopefully a better-run zoo, with fewer line-jumping experiences, but we'll see... ;)

bill, just realized he put "Columbus" and "Zoo" in the same paragraph...make that seven newer properties...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 4:01 PM
I went to Gadv. once during Frighfest with a friend of mine, and there's no way we would've gotten much down without our Q-bot. It was downright scary how many people were in the park. Again, the old management screwed up so badly. They added all these flats to better distribute the crowds, and then year after year they started stripping them out while adding coasters. It was a really bad decision that the current management needs to do something about.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 5:17 PM
john peck's avatar I wonder what Sharpiro would have said about Geauga Lake if it were still owned by Six Flags today, out of curiosity.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 5:21 PM
matt.'s avatar Before the Sea World purchase and the whole Six Flags Ohio thing and SFWOA thing? Probably that it was a rather nice park with some good potential.


It would have ended up in Mr. Kinzel's hands eventually anyway.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 7:08 PM
SFWoA could have been one of the best parks in the country, and some major competition for Cedar Point. It's truly unfortunate that Six Flags messed up so badly in customer service, advertising, and promotions. I think that if someone else had been in charge from the beginning, it would be in fine shape today. I do agree, though, that after one year the damage had been done.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006 9:42 PM
What is going to happen to SFEG? What I would like to see happen in Denver is for Kennycorp to buy Lakeside and some of the rides at SFEG. Meanwhile, Six Flags sells the SFEG land to pay down some of their debt.

Now, move the SFEG rides to Lakeside, spruce up and overhaul the existing park while maintaining the traditional flavor, and tear down that old racetrack (if this hasn't already been done) for park and parking expansion. Change the pricing arrangement for better crowd control and set the pricing somewhere between the the current Lakeside and SFEG levels. Open the park earlier on weekdays and encourage school groups to come in late May and early June. Continue to stay open late in the evening so that visitors can continue to enjoy the park's nighttime beauty.

Basically this results in a park that is another Kennywood. Realisticaly, I don't expect them to show an interest in a park that is 1500 miles away but then, who would have expected them to be interested in a park in New England before they acquired LC.

Another interesting possibility -- convert part of that adjacent mall that has seen better days into an indoor waterpark.

. *** Edited 7/20/2006 1:49:02 AM UTC by Arthur Bahl***

Arthur Bahl

Wednesday, July 19, 2006 11:06 PM
rollergator's avatar Ironic watching all of Shapiro's statements about how HARD it is to erase the past bad experiences and how *surprising* it was to him to see how MANY people had simply given up on Six Flags...

Didn't he ask Kinzel about his *experience* with Geauga Lake? ;)

If Snyder and Shapiro thought this was a 2-3 year project when they got IN it, they're thinking 3-5 MINIMUM now...


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