The Six Flags Comeback?

Friday, June 24, 2005 1:39 PM
With more enthusiastic employees, overall better customer service, more FAMILY attractions being added, and cleaner parks, do you think Six Flags may actually be making a comeback? They also seem to not be blaming attendance on the weather this year. Are they doing better than previous seasons this year?
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Friday, June 24, 2005 1:51 PM
I wouldn't hold my breath on the weather thing just yet. They haven't made an earnings announcement yet and that's when they usually blame things on weather. I also think it will take SF a good long while to get over the whole SF Sucks" sterotype that is associated with the chain.

SF says attendance is up 4% to date as a couple of weeks ago. If history repeats itself, they will see a big drop off in June/July like they did last year.

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Friday, June 24, 2005 2:05 PM
Darien Lake sure isn't making a comeback, I am visiting two other sf parks soon. *** Edited 6/24/2005 6:05:56 PM UTC by eightdotthree***
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Friday, June 24, 2005 2:10 PM
Not yet. I hope they do, but most every park still has a LONG way to go.
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Friday, June 24, 2005 2:19 PM
Why do you guys think Magic Mountain still ahsn't done anything to improve? Is it the general manager, maintenance staff, all of the above?
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Friday, June 24, 2005 2:40 PM
Six Flags America in DC is a total dump!!! Very disapointing trip there last summer. Trash everywhere garbage cans over flowing and very lazy employees. Not to mention the rides needed maintence.I will never go there again! I have season passes to both darion lake and ceder point. Darion lake is not to bad. But SF has a long way to go before it reaches the way Ceder Fair runs there parks.
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Friday, June 24, 2005 2:47 PM
The difference between Cedar Fair parks and Six Flags parks is mostly how they upper management acts and that trickles down from there. You will see the CEO of Cedar Fair picking up trash at Cedar Point. You wont at any SF park!
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Friday, June 24, 2005 3:00 PM
Well Six Flags wanted the record sooooo baaaaaad. To the point of obsession, they just had to have it. And the funny thing is I really don't fault them for that. After all, Cedar you make a Fair Point has put more than a little inferiority complex on them over the years. Now granted, they did mooch off of Intamin/CP's idea a little, but ultimately I think Kingda Ka will prove to be a superior move, one of the all time greatest things Six Flags will ever do.

Right now, however, I can only picture those good people at Great Adventure sitting around the park after hours, drinking a beer (or two), listening to that guy named Bruce from just up the road in Freehold, and maybe even singing along quietly as he utters those famous words, "Before you choose your wish, you better think first. With every wish, there comes a curse."

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Friday, June 24, 2005 3:06 PM
Well, if the rest of the country is having weather like we are in western PA (which I think is safe to say for the midwest), they won't be able to use weather as an excuse this year.
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Friday, June 24, 2005 4:12 PM

JDB said:
ultimately I think Kingda Ka will prove to be a superior move, one of the all time greatest things Six Flags will ever do...

... for Cedar Fair, Viacom, etc.

KK is what could kill Six Flags in my opinion. After the X disaster which ate one company and threatened their own (if I remember right), they went after another unproven technology? I think this one has the potential to toss them into the abyss, regardless of what other parks do, regardless of customer service, regardless of any of that. If they have to sink enough money into KK for lawsuits, upkeep, etc., not to mention all the money they've already wasted on an advertising campaign that had to be pulled, it could do some serious damage.

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Friday, June 24, 2005 5:18 PM
Not only that, but there are also STRONG rumors floating around that they purchased a rocket for next year....before KK opened. I hope they're not true because it could mean trouble
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Friday, June 24, 2005 6:35 PM

beast7369 said:
The difference between Cedar Fair parks and Six Flags parks is mostly how they upper management acts and that trickles down from there. You will see the CEO of Cedar Fair picking up trash at Cedar Point. You wont at any SF park!

I actually saw John Odum, General Manager, at SFOG (and another manager walking with him) picking up trash a few years ago. I have no doubt that the new lady in charge would do the same thing. Of course, that is why SFOG has one of the better reputations in the chain.

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Friday, June 24, 2005 7:50 PM
Impul-sve I think SF is already dead...the selling of SFWOA and the European parks was a major sign of this. They did a lot at SFWOA, and underestimated the general public, trying to make people believe SFWOA was better than CP. If you live around CP you know that it is the number 1 event every summer..heading out to CP with your friends. The average local is extremely educated about the industry...most know about SFMM and Kinga Ka...most know that they have the best.

SF comeback? please give me a break...a comeback would take many years and would need to start not with a record breaking coaster but cleaner parks, just average empoylees, and lower prices...$48 for SFGADV and SFMM give me a break...

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Friday, June 24, 2005 8:11 PM
jar, GAdv may be $48 but it has a very diverse collection of coasters, flats, and shows . It also offers free concerts most saturdays by acts on the national radar, if you like country or music from the past. Oh Yeah it also has a free drive thru safari included in that price. So I don't know about you but that whole experience seems to make it worth the cost of a visit to the park. Plus most people who visit GAdv buy a season pass and it cost them $90 for a summer of fun. Unlike CP which costs $100 for a season pass. Also all the other gripes you have have disappeared from GAdv on all my visits this season. So get off your CP Fanboy high horse and realize there may be a turn around at SF as a whole in the not too distant future.
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Friday, June 24, 2005 8:12 PM
I have no problem with SF as far as their coasters are concerned! But I'm one of those people who goes for the whole park experience too. So naturally I notice things from multiple ride-shutdowns to garbage and rude employees, (SF's reputation!).

I've had good and bad experiences, it's just that nowadays I'm doing my best to just concentrate on their coasters when I visit a SF park.

As far as their financial situation. They had no choice but to sell off a bulk of their parks, they weren't turning a profit and continually report losses. They had a good plan for Geauga Lake IMO, (give folks a Florida-type experience for less $, by giving them the rides, animals, waterpark, ect. for a cheaper price...but it just never worked!).

And since they aren't willing to do what needs to be done to improve, I'm afraid park after park will meet the same doom as SFWoA. Don't think I hate SF, I don't. The biggest thing I love about SF parks though is that they will sometimes take major chances with new coaster designs, (X, Medusa, and the lot of Superman coasters, for example.) I cannot bring myself to say the same thing about Kingda Ka though. That was a mistake!

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Friday, June 24, 2005 8:32 PM

JDB said:
Well Six Flags wanted the record sooooo baaaaaad.
Nonsense. They built the ride because it would be a good ride to market off of. There is no ego or feelings anywhere in the equation.
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Friday, June 24, 2005 9:00 PM
I really want to see SFA rebound, but I have severe doubts considering my visit the other day. As my trip report spells out–New year, same problems. I had a lot more fun in Hurricane Harbor than I did in the themepark, and to me they should be equally fun. I think they need to cut some of their losses with some of the rides that have proven to be undependable each and every year. Iron Eagle, for example, is a visually stunning ride. It also has the Six Flags name which has a light sequencer at night, but the damn thing is just so unreliable. I would put it and the Chaos up for sale. There are so many better flats that are more reliable.

Obviously, Superman it not going anywhere, but when will this coaster have a season without problems? To me, it just doesn't make sense. It is one of the simplest designs in terms of a coaster, without any other lifthills or midcourse brakes causing problems, but yet it seems to have problems that shut it down all the time. Even the control panel is ridiculously simple. I don't know if there's money in the budget, but if they could get the bugs out of ROS, Two-Face, and Batwing–like they did with Typhoon Seacoaster this season–it would make a world of difference in how people would view the park, I think. With TS, they put in a simple photoelectric (I hope that's the right term) blocking system in the station. Surely, someone could come up with solutions to the others' problems.

But the last thing, and the most important thing, that dogs the park each and every year is the employees and the dirtiness. You can't have a park where only some of the employees are good, and where some sections are clean and others aren't. It has to be consistent all the way through.

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Friday, June 24, 2005 9:22 PM
Jeff, I know that you know many of those in the industry personally, so you must have your reasons to say it was purely a marketing decision made without ego or emotion. And while people from different companies may be friendly at conventions, you also know that the industry is fiercely competative, much like a professional sports league. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that the KK decision makers were not motivated at least in part by the pride of being "Number 1", and that does not have anything to do with money.
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Friday, June 24, 2005 9:36 PM
"Number 1" is 100% to do with marketing angles. Do you think if they built something that tied with or was shorter than TTD that they'd have received the same media frenzy surrounding the ride (when it gets several spots in Australian news, that's media frenzy). Of course they intentionally took the record, but only because it is one hell of a marketing approach.
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Friday, June 24, 2005 10:16 PM
Being "Number 1" does involve elements of marketing, but not nearly as much as you might think. Do you seriously think that athletes (and coaches and management) compete for the World Series Championship, or Super Bowl Championship, or Australian Rules Football Championship or Little League Championship for that matter just for the money prize or for how many team jerseys they will sell?!? Being "Number 1" involves pride, pride of achievement. You can argue whether or not pride is a virtue, but you can't discount it as a motivating factor for alot of what happens in life, including building the world's tallest and fastest coaster.
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