He hit the nail on the head at the end of that report...most Six Flags parks offer a "lousy experience that lacks any value". I have been to some good Six Flags parks, but a lot of bad ones too. I always expect the worst when I go into Six Flags, and I hope the day comes when my expectations change (my day at SFGAdv is a step in the right direction).
Just the other night my friend told me that SFA may finally get a new coaster next year (fingers crossed). When he mentioned the source and the stories that he told my friend were matching dead-on to what I knew, I had no reason not to believe him. So, I don't think it's their last summer.
One of the problems we're having in Baltimore/D.C./Viriginia area is either it's been raining/storming like crazy, or it's been too hot. So if the management does want to blame bad performance on weather this year, I think they have every right.
I know some people would like to see the end of the Six Flags chain altogether. So what would happen to all the rides? All the sudden you'd have this glut of rides on the market, and who has the money to buy what would be available?
I don't doubt that most if not all of the SF parks will be operating in 2009. The question is will current managment be able to stay in place following their same strategy. Some think the company may file for bankruptcy possibly leading to a mass sell off of parks.
After just returning from several days at Cedar Point I agree. Examaple 2hours 3 rides on Maverick, 2 on Millennium Force, 2 on Dragster. A meal at a full service Johnny Rockets, full menu. Dancing with wait service and real flavorers added to your drinks. VS. Six Flags Great America, 2 hours just standing on a slanted floor to get 1 ride on Dark Night. Then you go to a in name only Johnny Rockets counter service, no wait staff at all. Soda can only be bought as is flavoring not offered. Cold burger with a slice of hard unmelted cheese. So where did I receive the better deal? I only hope Cedar Fair buys Gurnee's Great America. The truth is in how each chain runs their parks.
I don't think Six Flags is going anywhere, no matter what the financial arena looks like at this point. Point IS taken about the waits and the service that Willh51 experienced, but at the same time, Dark Knight is a new coaster. Do we really expect anything less than a 2 hour wait for a new ride? Anywhere (except Dorney Park apparently....ehehehehe). Perhaps Six Flags also just needs to keep the wallet closed for a while, work on keeping their rides and their cleanliness and their staff in order, and we'll see a resurgence. I mean, they've been around forever, right? This is not the end, I am sure. And if it is, I will weep for eternity for El Toro. Heh...
Also, this guy that wrote this report DID have a valid point that I think will not just affect Six Flags parks but also other parks as well: People are into different forms of entertainment. There is such a trend of people being into computers and gaming. The rise of obesity and decline of social skills in young people today shows an alarming trend: No one wants to "play" outside. So many more people watch football on TV or they play football video games rather than going outside and actually getting dirty. Cell phones provide distractions with music, gaming, internet...we're so technical at this point that amusement parks may some day go the way of the dinosaur so we can play Roller Coaster Tycoon version 503. I've only been to one Six Flags park, and my visit was excellent. I don't think I've ever been to a park that hasn't had minor problems, Six Flags or not, but I think from what I've seen, SF is no worse or better than other parks. To call an amusement park an experience with no value is really a biased and unfair opinion. I value it, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
Ummm just cause there adding stuff does not mean they are not trying to sell.
A larger invested park means a park has more value. On smaller level think about it, you make any needed improvements to your house before you place it on the market, you clean your car before you take it in for trade.
To me it looks like they are heading into bankruptcy. They already sold off properties and there in a stagnant stage. Termination is not too far away.
A company can post good numbers and still be on the way out. Remember Kmart, they had their highest grossing year before they filed bankruptcy.
Honestly I wish no ill will to Six Flags. I remember in past years the wonderful rivalry of the Chains. Now is the time to reignite the flames of competion. Example Vortex led to Shockwave which led to Magnum XL 200. Those where the fun times. Now unless your home park is Cedar Point, what do you have to look forward to? We can only hope surveying being done on Vu's former spot leads to an new era of coaster wars. We all benefit from that.
If I remember correctly, the two original Six Flags, SFOT and SFOG, are partly owned by someone in addition to the Six Flags company itself. Because of this, even if the worst happens, the Texas and Georgia parks are likely to survive.
Intamin Fan said: One of the problems we're having in Baltimore/D.C./Viriginia area is either it's been raining/storming like crazy, or it's been too hot. So if the management does want to blame bad performance on weather this year, I think they have every right.
I'm so tired of this.
Every year at least one of the major operators blames the weather for a soft quarter, or soft year, or whatever, and SF has pretty much made an art of it.
If you run a business that is so contingent on good weather you need to either do SOMETHING to compensate, or get out of the business. Weather doesn't go away. There is always, always going to be bad weather, and if it's really impacting your bottom line THAT much, either modify your business model or stop using it as the lame-ass excuse that it is.
I know it's shocking to think SF could have taken some pages out of the Disney playbook at some point, but it's "too hot" in Florida 75% of the year and in those same months there are violent thunderstorms every other afternoon. Hence, you provide guests with several major attractions which are indoors, can operate in rain, and are air conditioned when it's 90 degrees and humid outside. It's a business miracle! Hooray! It's raining but the entire park isn't shut down are still having a good time! *** Edited 6/29/2008 2:00:47 PM UTC by matt.***
Weather is a factor, regardless of what investors want to cry about. It's just not the only factor. I can be certain this year that Cedar Fair's northern parks are going to have a crappy 2nd quarter because there has been a forecast for rain practically every day. Heck, it's the reason my visits to driving distance parks have been so infrequent this year.
But yeah, weather isn't the only reason, and with Six Flags having so many parks in so many markets, they can't all have bad weather.
Yeah, but it *does* depend on ehich parks are having the bad weather. If it's 80's and sunny the whole quarter in Chicago, Jersey, and Dallas then I would imagine it wouldnt matter much if Louisville and St. Louis are in a monsoon. Flip that around though, and we all know that SFKK & SFStL cant 'carry' Gam & Gadv.
I think the worst thing is, just due to the jet stream, Chicago and Jeresy pretty much get the same weather a day or two apart, so the effect of 'northern' rain is doubled.
On topic: The parks will continue past this summer and the brand will continue too. The only possiblity I see is that some of the parks will continue without the brand (divesture). lata, jeremy
Their pricing shows the signs of a company that is going under trying to bilk every last dollar out of the customers who are supporting them. I am still in disbelief at their Admission/Parking/Fast Pass/Locker/etc pricing.