Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Six Flags Agrees to Sell Seven Parks for $312 Million


Recommended Posts

  • Replies 100
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Oh my god. Thank you. I live about 1 mile away from Six Flags Magic Mountain and I am so glad how it's not closing. A few months ago I was horrified that it is closing but now I bought an Xtreme Play Pass and I get to go all year. Yay!

 

good thing SFMM decided to be stayed on, not kind of closed down since

TPRers and other thrill seekers really love SFMM aka the collection of

mighty thrills!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I have only been to SFKK and SFGA, I can't tell you that this is no real surprise since when I went to SFKK Chang, T2, and Twisted Twins were all broken down the two days that I was there. And on the second day, Greased Lightnin' and Hellevator were down. I think that Six Flags just needed to set back the number of parks like this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a nice start, but Six Flags still needs to dump MM to raise funds and catch up on their debt... so BOOOO to SF management for not further pursuing the sale of Magic Mountain.

 

Yeah, boo to Six Flags for succeeding in dumping a whole slew of second priority properties so that they can better focus on their more marquee parks that have acted as cash cows even with questionable operations.

 

It's amazing to me how some enthusiasts act as though they were in Times Square yesterday looking over financial records.

 

Bottom line- this deal (provided it goes through which looks as though it will) is the smartest/best move the new management team have been able to put together. SFDL is the only park I may have looked into keeping, but that's mainly due to the stellar concert facility and on site lodging. The others were weights holding down the rest of the chain.

 

This is *far* more of a smart deal than the tragic dumping of Astroworld over a "parking lot" issue. Not only does it seriously take a bite out of the debt, it gives them more capital to (hopefully) invest in sprucing up parks like Magic Mountain, Great Adventure, Over Georgia, Over Texas, and Great America- you know, parks that already make boatloads of money in their current state!

 

Just an opinion.

 

-Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, boo to Six Flags for succeeding in dumping a whole slew of second priority properties so that they can better focus on their more marquee parks that have acted as cash cows even with questionable operations.

As well as their parks with potential, like SFFT and SFA.

 

Bottom line- this deal (provided it goes through which looks as though it will) is the smartest/best move the new management team have been able to put together.

I agree. Baby steps, folks.....baby steps. Also, nowhere in the statement did it say that MM couldn't still be sold at some point in time. It's simply not included in this deal.

 

 

So does this mean that we can cross off a few parks that won't be getting the New Orleans Batman clone?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, boo to Six Flags for succeeding in dumping a whole slew of second priority properties so that they can better focus on their more marquee parks that have acted as cash cows even with questionable operations.

I wasn't booing the deal that was announced, I was disappointed the company doesn't want to sell Magic Mountain - it seems the quote "We're pleased with the sale price for this portfolio of parks, particularly since we were able to retain the Magic Mountain parks" indicates that they want to keep the place. That could have brought in a lot of money, that is the only thing I am disappointed in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All joking aside, I don't understand all of this "sell Magic Mountain" talk! Magic Mountain's biggest downfall is its current condition, general operations, and other various entities all the fault of prior ownership. The park is still a cash cow, it is a great property in the second largest market in the country, and is far from beyond repair.

 

I'm willing to take a wait and see approach, giving Shapiro and Co one more year to be hero or zero. This will be their first real season, having the full offseason to put their plans in order.

 

-Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ And even still. It might take longer than one season.

 

I was in the position once where I had to turn a company around, and it took two years, a cancelled game, lots of restructuring, etc, until we were in a position to produce one of the most successful games our publisher had released!

 

I agree with Mark, it does take time, and it's not something many people are going to understand.

 

--Robb

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My numbers are completely made up, but I want to try to explain debt and how it works to some of the our audience. Finance is confusing and I don't profess to be an expert, but let me try to help.

 

If SF has $2,000,000,000 (2 billion) of debt, their interest payments might be $200,000,000 per year. If the earnings that SF uses to pay down the debt each year amounts to $175,000,000 their debt is going to keep growing by $25,000,000 per year, plus interest.

 

Using $350,000,000 from the sale of 7 parks to bring down debt to $1,650,000,000 (1.65 billion) may allow SF the renegotiate interest rates and bring yearly interest down to $150,000.000 per year. Applying $300,000,000 each year to the debt (assuming same revenue and less capital expenditures) allows for a $150,000,000 reduction in debt each year.

 

Hope that helps somebody out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I really agree on the whole Hero or Zero thing with Shapiro. I remember hearing his preechings on how he would turn the brand of otherwise subpar quality parks (in particular atleast Magic Mountain) into something noteworthy atleast in the eyes of the public, and yet all we've seen is a bunch of sales and more and more of the same thing.

 

A famous quote made by Ray Kroc states "Take care of the customer and the business will take care of itself" and it seems this should be atleast speaking volumes to Shapiro, especially in an industry where guest satisfaction is paramount along with having attractions that aren't on a several year hiatus. (Superman: The Escape anyone?)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really see anything wrong with this business move. Six Flags needs to start taking vital steps in repairing their train-wreck of a business, and selling some superfluous and expendable parks is definitely one of these steps. I do NOT see Magic Mountain as expendable just yet. I think it would have been a huge mistake to sell that park. If they can turn that place around, I'm sure they will be very happy they didn't sell it off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting how on this mornings confernece call, although Shapiro made the point more than once emphasizing that SFMM will be kept in the chain, it was always followed by the words "for now". And his BS about SF realizing that it should be kept in the family, more like no one else wanted to inherit the mess for the price they were asking, "for now".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SFDL is the only park I may have looked into keeping, but that's mainly due to the stellar concert facility and on site lodging.

-Mark

 

9-14-00 Suzy, Drowned, Crosseyed Jam

"It's really fun playing under this big tent"

 

I wasn't there (saw the Japanese Antelope a week later in Chitown) but know of this amazing show...just curious if you were there...as I know you were once a big Phan

 

But yeah...Six Flags...good stuff :>)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

SFDL is the only park I may have looked into keeping, but that's mainly due to the stellar concert facility and on site lodging.

-Mark

 

9-14-00 Suzy, Drowned, Crosseyed Jam

"It's really fun playing under this big tent"

 

I wasn't there (saw the Japanese Antelope a week later in Chitown) but know of this amazing show...just curious if you were there...as I know you were once a big Phan

 

But yeah...Six Flags...good stuff :>)

 

Only went to one Phish show at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center back in 1996 or 97 can't recall. Living on Long Island made it more convenient to hit gigs at the Jones Beach Theatre- another amazing outdoor concert venue, with the benefit of being right on the ocean. The best location had to be at the Brooklyn Cyclone's stadium back in '04, though with the Parachute Jump hovering over the venue. I went to college at SUNY Oneonta, and even from there Corfu is a good 4-5 hour drive.

 

-Mark

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Only went to one Phish show at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center back in 1996 or 97 can't recall. Living on Long Island made it more convenient to hit gigs at the Jones Beach Theatre- another amazing outdoor concert venue, with the benefit of being right on the ocean. The best location had to be at the Brooklyn Cyclone's stadium back in '04, though with the Parachute Jump hovering over the venue. I went to college at SUNY Oneonta, and even from there Corfu is a good 4-5 hour drive.

 

-Mark

 

I did the entire '04 tour....you can see my shiny head about ten rows back, Pageside throughout the DVD. Sported my GD SUmmer '93 roller coaster tie-dye for my first ever Cyclone rides that day. Good times!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I knew Deadheads had a hard time staying on track, but I didn't know Phishermen (or whatever your called) had the same problem.

 

Six Flags sold 7 properties, OMG!

 

So, when is CF going to get around to pulling Paramount off all those park names, 6F included that issue in the language of the sale...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe CF gets to keep the liscencing on the paramount parks if they choose to continue with that.

 

A famous quote made by Ray Kroc states "Take care of the customer and the business will take care of itself" and it seems this should be atleast speaking volumes to Shapiro, especially in an industry where guest satisfaction is paramount along with having attractions that aren't on a several year hiatus. (Superman: The Escape anyone?)

The problem is you need to spend money in order to do that, and at this moment in time, SF really doesn't have all that much money to use on fixing up places.

 

Look at this sale as a move in the right direction. I imagine that once SF is financially on track, then Shapiro will crack down on other things. Though there are things that he could do without having to spend too much money, ie making sure the parks are staffed with proper management.

 

I believe that if SFMM had managers that went out of thier way to deliver the best experience they can, the employees themselves will keep up (or risk losing thier job) Simple things such as not talking on the cell phone while working would greatly increase guest satisfaction because then employees would start focusing on the guest more instead of thier friend. And I'm sure such issues would start to decrease if mangers/supervisors who actually cared were put in the proper spots.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If Six Flags lacks capital; where did it find the $135M to pay Red Zone's acquisition costs? Six Flags isn't anywhere near defaulting on its loans. As long as they can keep making their interest payments, they're fine. The parks sold were not vital to the chain's success. Magic Mountain on the other hand, is a cash cow. You really want to send a company south fast? Sell off your profitable arms! Weaken your company's overall value, and watch your borrowing ability be flushed down the toilet. It's been said, SFMM, SFGAdv., and SFGAm, bring in 50% of SFI's profits. I bet you SFMM is the largest of the three in terms of that lion share profit. Certainly being in a climate that enables year round operations is a huge bonus. When you shrink revenues, no matter what the reason, stockholders take notice. Terms like liquidation and merger appear.

 

Red Zone wants to dump Magic Mountain for real estate value. I don't care what Mr. Doublespeak Shapiro said today. The man has been contradicting himself constantly since day 1 (Red Zone lambasted Burke & Story badly only to make many of the same mistakes.). Red Zone didn't get the price they thought the Magic Mountain property was worth. They realized it's better to sit on that property now, because even with their ABYSMAL management at that park, it makes TONS of cash. When the real-estate value returns, or an offer is made they can live with, it's toast. Shapiro only stopped bashing the park because it seriously hurt attendance and dissuaded buyers. I'm sure this season the park will continue to be ignored, and will be sold when people forget Shapiro's comments.

 

I'll take Burke & Story back in a second. At least they brought coasters to the party. Burke had a real vision and tried to buy his way there. Sadly, he tried to build Rome in a day. Had they perhaps flagged a single park each year, and spread the coaster wealth around over a period of years; I think it would have succeeded beautifully. I do believe SFI would have gone towards upgrading customer service when the parks were where they wanted ride/coaster wise. Towards the end, Burke had mentioned this needed to happen, citing SFMM.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Give me a parking structure, then I'll go to Six Flags.

 

I mean, seriously - this park's idea of making money is in short term season bursts where you spend 4-6 months putting up a new generation rollercoaster, so you can be ready for a summer crowd. But even in its 45th anniversary, this park is the same dump its been for decades now. And i know I'm preaching to the choir - but i have to get my thoughts out.

 

Honestly, this park is not all that bad - but add on the hour and a half drive to southern central californian hell (july in full heat), theres just no tangible reason that you even want to visit. It's location is the reason its still there, but its also its biggest crutch. In full heat, the park becomes rediculously sticky, where it feels like you're walking in the sweat and dried up gum of everyone around you. And thats enough to keep me away from the park. I absolutely love roller coasters (ever have since i was little), but this is no grand empire of beasts. This place is like Las Vegas - flashy attractions all around that distract you from noticing the slum you're really in. It's not a place to admire the view - it's a place to ride everything you can in a small amount of time while dodging loads of sweaty people. haha.

 

So the first thing that SFMM should consider is not a Maverick, or an X-tend coaster (please no) - it should be a closed parking structure (well, as closed as you can with seismic building codes) that gets you from your car to the entrance without the use of a rickety tram system. Something about waiting 15 minutes for a tram that can't accomodate everyone waiting at the gate in a 100 degree dry heat, just isn't the best way to start out your fun-filled day. Taking the walk from colossus, or scream! is just as bad, but usually more desirable! Imagine, having a structure that could accomodate at least 75% of the total space currently in the parking lots. Having that as your first experience instead of the Sarahan trek would be so much more desirable, at least i think. And it gets better: There would be enough parking so that no-one has to park in the dirt!

 

Imagine that.

 

Before theres a huge "placement" plan (haha, we've heard that how many times?), they need to just start with the basics of customer service. That starts all the way at the beginning - treatment of their staff. I don't know too much about how SFMM treats their staff, but from a customer standpoint, not all that well. But i think I'm talking too much soo...

 

Its good its not getting sold, and while i would like to see my plan go into action - it probably won't. And all these promises will not get realized. And Six Flags will fall ever deeper into debt.

 

Not that I'm a pessimist or anything - but its been 10-15years of the same gameplan. I can't see them using a radically different strategy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/