Which Six Flags Parks will do best as family parks?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 6:20 PM
With Six Flags making an effort to appeal to famlies, which of their parks are most likely to be successful in reaching this goal?

My own feeling is that SFGAm, SFOT, SFOG, SFStL and SFFT will do well here. Some parks that might have difficulty (besides SFMM and SFEG) are SFGAdv (too crowded, too many big coasters), SFA (location, negative image), and SFKK (competition from other parks).


Arthur Bahl

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 6:44 PM
I think Six Flags Great America and Six Flags St. Louis will do the best. Also, if they don't sell SFDL it definitely has a lot of potential. You've forgotten SFNE. It probably won't do so well either, though.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 6:48 PM
matt.'s avatar In other words, the good parks in the chain are already models for how the rest of the chain should work. And I agree.

I do believe, however, that SFKK has the potential to be a great park. Obviously HW and PKI are two of the most reknown parks for families in the world. I see no reason why SFKK couldn't take back some of that market with some refocusing and realigning. A good start would be to round up some of the more random kid's rides in the park, create another new area dedicated specifically for families, and also beef up the ever popular (and already pretty beefy) water park. I can't think of a situation where that won't be a good investment, and I would look specifically at SFNE on how to do it.

On another note, SFNE has one of the best water parks, I think, in the entire country, but you don't really hear much about it, I think a lot of it having to do with the park's relative remoteness. Is that a word? Personally I think SFNE is doing quite well already, and the park, from what I can see, has the crowds to prove it. The absolutely massive water park is already an indicator of that. *** Edited 6/27/2006 10:50:10 PM UTC by matt.***

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 6:49 PM
There are 3 parks already operating as family parks, SFGAm, SFOT and SFFT.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 6:51 PM
As stated from the GM of SFKK the day of Holiwood Nights Event.

"Mr. Shapiro thinks highly of this parks potential as a family park even with HW and PKI in close proximity."

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 7:01 PM
The SFNE situation is interesting. Some of the problems that SFGAdv has are found here as well. Nevertheless, this park could have potential because of its location.

One thing that could happen is that LC might expand more aggressively in the future to capitalize on the park's reasonable distance from Westchester and Fairfield counties and their large populations. Right now, its attendance is nowhere near SFNE but it too has an excellent waterpark and with proper planning and growth, the park could become a formidable competitor in the future.


Arthur Bahl

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 7:26 PM
matt.'s avatar SFNE's biggest problems are from an operations standpoint, and a crowd control standpoint. This is nothing that Shapiro and Co. couldn't fix in a season or two, MAX, which really puts the park in a place to become one of the best parks in the chain. Look at it from just a hardware standpoint the park already has

- a massive, really really excellent water park
- one of the best flat ride collections in the US
- a handful of good, popular, high capacity coasters and, oh yeah
- Superman.

Just focus on your staff, your capacity, and your infrastructure stuff, and you should be set, as far as I can tell. The park has potential to draw from pretty much the most affluent areas in the entire nation - offer a premium product and I can only see business growing up in Agawam.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 8:12 PM
SFoGswim's avatar Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Welcome back, red train, how was your ride?!
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 8:36 PM
SFFT, SFGAm, SFStL, SFOT, SFMW, LaRonde, SFNO(if it ever re-opens), TGE.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 9:04 PM
I think SFNE is already doing very well as a family park, and I thing SFGAdv can also fit the new mold. SFA just needs to concentrate on themes and adding more family friendly rides.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 9:39 PM
SFGRADV is following too closely in SFMM's shoes over the past several years so it might be a hard sell trying to beef up that park's family friendly image.

SFA really needs some work but I believe it's possible for the park to be able to build on the family image that Shapiro is looking for,this park started out as more of a family park back in the WW & AW era & hasn't become a thrill park yet by any stretch of the imagination.

A good intermediate sized kids area with a small to medium sized family coaster as a centerpiece & a few more flats for both the teens & the kids would be a good start towards making the park one that family's can enjoy together.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 9:44 PM
As far as having premium parks at a premium price is concerned, this might work in some locations if Six Flags can deliver on their promise but I really only see four or five parks that could do this. Some of the others could become good family parks but need to be more affordable than they currently are.

SFGAm, SFOT and a refurbished SFGAdv are the best candidates for premium operation. They are all in or near large metropolitan areas and have high attendance. These are the parks that should get top notch family attractions and that should be able to sustain their pricing. It is possible that SFOG and SFNE (and maybe SFMW ) could also go this way successfully.

I can't see SFKK being such a park. PKI already has some of the attributes of such a park at a more affordable price. SFKK should focus on becoming a well balanced mid-sized park that has moderate prices.

SFSL is one of the original Six Flags parks but is smaller than the others. I don't believe that this park warrants the premium treatment given its size and the size of the St Louis market. It is more of a local park than some of the other Six Flags properties although it should benefit from Memphis' lack of a major park.

TGE is a smaller park that would better if it were something like Lake Compounce (with or without the free drinks).

A rebuilt SFNO could become a regional park for the central Golf coast and lower Mississippi valley. Demographics in this region dictate making this park relatively affordable.

What about SFA? This park is a big question mark. It is in big metropolitan area but has an image problem. It is also in a location that does not make it conducive to an upscale image. A premium park would be better off somewhere other than Prince Georges County.


Arthur Bahl

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 9:47 PM
SFMW is very whimpy. It's claim to be considered a thrill park is futile. It was one of my home parks. I had a season pass and only used it twice, and I lived 20 minutes from the place. It just doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Zonga was a failure. Does anyone know what happened to Zonga, anyway? I know it was old, but... yeah, SFMW lacks in the flats and kiddies area anyways...
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 9:56 PM
IF SFMW is too small, then maybe that park will have to be kept more modest in character and pricing.

I do believe that all of the SF parks could be made family oriented with the exception of SFMM which has simply gotten too far away from this image. Some of them just have to be kept more modest in attractions and pricing because they lack the large population base or because of other factors (SFAs location, SFMWs size, etc.)


Arthur Bahl

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 10:09 PM
matt.'s avatar

Austin the Ninja said:
It's claim to be considered a thrill park is futile.

Eh, 5 major coasters, pretty much all unique to the area doesn't sound too bad to me, at least from a business perspective. I know the SLC and the boomerang may not count for much in the eyes of an enthusiast, but they are still surely valuable assets to the park.

I agree though, the whole Zonga thing seems like a 100% debacle from the get-go, including the original purchase for SFAW.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 10:32 PM
SFoG has a pretty good mix of stuff. It's also one of the most "charming" of the SF parks.
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:18 PM
rollergator's avatar

DWeaver said:There are 3 parks already operating as family parks, SFGAm, SFOT and SFFT.

I'd like to add SFGE to that list...lot of charm there, despite (because?) the ride line-up is less-than-spectacular.

SFStL also has "what it takes", IMO, as does SFoG. From what I've been hearing out of SFKK, they're still making huge strides in the right direction. The *big-market* northeast parks, SFNE and SFA, and to a lesser extent SFGAdv, they have some work to do....

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006 11:51 PM

matt. said:

Austin the Ninja said:
It's claim to be considered a thrill park is futile.

Eh, 5 major coasters, pretty much all unique to the area doesn't sound too bad to me, at least from a business perspective. I know the SLC and the boomerang may not count for much in the eyes of an enthusiast, but they are still surely valuable assets to the park.

I agree though, the whole Zonga thing seems like a 100% debacle from the get-go, including the original purchase for SFAW.


This has nothing to do with this topic, but you would think after the work SF did on Zonga, Thriller or whatever you want to call it, they would want to put it somewhere rather than sell it for scraps. Have you ever read the history on that thing, and it's time in Germany? It's one of the best Schwarzkopfs left, and I loved riding it for however brief of a time it ran.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 12:26 AM
SFFT is a great family park already. They have very tame rides for kids in the Spassburg area. Also, considering they were voted to have the best shows, a great family attraction.
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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 12:29 AM
I would agree with SFGAm, SFFT, SFOG, and SFOT being the best SF at least of the ones Ive been to.

2017 Trips: WDW, Dollywood, Cedar Point, KI, SDC, BGW, BGT, SWO, Universal Orlando

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