Some fun quotes:
"We've got to cut those lines," Shapiro said. "Get those four boats. Write that down. 'Thunder River.' "
Using the boats will increase labor costs a little, but Shapiro is rearranging spending priorities for the nation's largest chain of regional theme parks..."
The Six Flags park in Austell plans to start daily parades this spring and daily laser shows and fireworks in the summer. Roving costumed characters will increase from one or two a day to 30 every hour, Shapiro said.
The park is adding 150 garbage cans and stationing staff in every restroom.
One of his biggest moves, though, is to no longer rely on adding expensive thrill rides to juice up attendance. While the attractions hook teens, the attendance spike usually lasts just a year, Shapiro said. "They never pay for themselves."
Six Flags Over Georgia will unveil a mammoth ride this year: the $20 million Goliath, which was approved before Shapiro joined the company. He said flatly, "You won't see any more Goliaths."
Lots of good stuff in the article. If it asks you to login use:
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Uhh.. wow. I thought they were all about rides, shows, and guest experience.
Shows what I know.
You would think they would learn from Disney, which is obviously the model they are attempting to follow with characters, parades, and fireworks. Even with all those things at Disney parks, the park performance does take a hit in the absence of any new attraction. That's why Disney is almost always adding something new somewhere across their resorts, usually of a pretty high quality as well.
I have a feeling the new board will not see the error of their ways until after 2008 when attendance drops like a rock after trying to market the 2007 parks with no reason for guests to return. It would be more promising to hear them mention at least one alternative to a $20 million coaster besides relying on parades, fireworks, laser shows of questionable quality.
"He said the company also may sell some parks." *** Edited 1/26/2006 3:13:24 PM UTC by Erinys***
Never been there, but SFEG seems a little on the *urban* side as well...next candidate perhaps?
1) Flat rides.
5) Kiddie Area.
6) Waterpark expansion.
All of the above could help draw people back to parks. As was said in other SF Threads, the focus is on families. Does a new coaster draw families? No. But all of the above will help the parks.
It can, if done properly. Look at a nice family coaster like Italian Job that went into PKI of PCWonderland and soon to be in PKD. Seriously it may not have been a huge family draw but it filled in a niche where most of the family can ride together. That is the kind of coaster we need more of right now. We got the thrills to tilt already. Why not just make it fun. I am sure that there will be coasters. But I wont expect 200 footers anymore for a while. If demographically it makes sense on ROI it will be built, if not it wont!
If that's the case, then why didn't they stop buying expensive B&M mega coasters after Raging Bull?
*** Edited 1/26/2006 3:55:29 PM UTC by UBRhino***
There isn't a theme park in the world that can increase attendence year after year without at least the promise of new attractions. How do you market a theme park with no new attractions?
While they had a down year this year, IOA seems to be doing just fine and has added practically nothing since they opened.
Disney parks add shows all the time and that sometimes works to increase interest in a park. And look at Dollywood and Silver Dollar City- they are marketing clusters of new kiddie/family rides as new attractions and I'm sure they'll be very successful with that!
The concern is what is actually a marketable plan. He claims theme parks are all about marketing, but how do they re-sell the same rides year after year? A advertising campaign centered around landscaping, customer service, and adequate staffing is clearly not going to work.
Flat rides would be a nice addition, but Shapiro has said that they are not going after thrill seeking teenagers, so the odds of those flats being any better than what is typically available in a carnival is slim.
If they are concerned about the costs of a 20 million coaster not paying for itself, it doesn't seem like they would be willing to invest into a hotel properties. Of course, it would be a fantastic addition to the parks to have branded hotels at each of the larger parks. But, those guests spending the big bucks for hotels stay will want reasons to keep returning to the park year after year.
If we are talking fantasy additions that are family attractions that are popular every year, obvious candidates are dark rides (Pirates, Haunter Mansion), 4D Theater attractions (Mickey's Phill., T2, etc.), shooter rides like Buzz Lightyear as well. What all those have in common though are high price tags. So if Shapiro is freaking about a 20 million ride not paying for itself after 2 years, will they turn around and invest in more expensive "family" attractions that might take longer?
I think his corporate culture has made him expect quick results and the concept of creating qualtiy attractions that are draws for many years is lost on him.
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