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Six Flags Corporate Discussion Thread


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^^You could say the same for letting that money sit in an interest-earning account, too, though. Even though interest rates are typically low, I find that can be a good minor incentive to find ways to defer purchases or to split up payments in a way that doesn't cost me more (or where the extra cost is painless or justifiable).

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I get why enthusiasts make jokes about rides like these or Cedar Point's Pipe Scream that but since my son started riding things I've been a lot more forgiving on the naming. He sees it's called a coa

I keep hearing “Super Loops” thrown around and I’d love to hear the justification for why Six Flags would want to remove a reasonably popular flat ride that they just bought a million of that basicall

Oh come on now.  Pick 15 Six Flags rides that are past their prime or never should have been purchased in the first place is a fun game.  If they didn't want us to play, they would have given us the l

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figure out if you come ahead with the extra time that your money could be in the stock market.

I agree with most of what you've written, but I do take issue with this last statement. For the vast majority of people, their only interaction with the stock market is a 401(k). They don't have the option to invest in the stock market for a bit then pull their money out when they want. Once it's in there, it's in there until they retire. So they're going to be weighing between paying all at once and having the peace of mind from no obligation beyond that, or paying a bit at a time and having greater flexibility that comes from not having to come up with all the money at once.

 

Right, I feel like if more people used index funds or ETFs this wouldn't be as much of an issue. With Vanguard funds, you can put more in and out pretty easily. Granted, they do lock you out of a fund for two months if you make a withdrawal, but as long as you have 10-15 funds, you can go in and with glee and it doesn't matter for liquidity and harvesting losses. Obviously there's risk with the Beta, but as you're mimicking the market, its not nearly as volatile as if investing individual companies. To me, not having the money in the market money for me is the huge risk and opportunity cost.

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I feel like from a reporting standpoint, it wouldn't matter if cashflow came in over the winter months or not. The nature of the industry would be factored into the stock price, and financial analysts and accountants would understand the reason behind the spikes in the cashflow. They're not stupid enough to get excited over the same or less cash spread out over 12 months instead of 8-9.

 

Short answer: no

 

Long answer: By distributing money over a 12 month period rather than just the three month peak summer run, it insulates the company from risk related to poor weather or events that might cause tourism shock (terrorist events, for example). It also helps the companies in their financial reporting as right now increasing revenue in Q1, 2, and 4 year over year can be seen as offsetting any potential losses in the usually most important quarter (3, July-September). Is the market that stupid? Kinda sorta.

 

Additionally: If I hand you $100, you might want to budget your spending or saving of that $100 over a long time frame. But these are publicly traded corporations. That money shows up on the quarterly ledgers and federal reports. They in turn have to describe what it is to their shareholderst that they will do with the money, whether it's dividends to shareholders, capital expenditures, or paying down existing debt. Six Flags could try to pile up cash on hand, but there would be an investor revolt right now if that happened.

 

But the problem with your line of reasoning is that for a firm that is publicly-traded company, that must confirm to US GAAP on an accrual basis, you cannot legally treat the revenue differently based on whether season passes are ratably charged over 12 months, or paid out at once. Refer to my journal entries. With a season pass, upon sale, they're unearned revenue. It doesn't make a difference when the cash is paid. Revenue is still recognized over the expected life of the season pass, as are the expenses. You don't just magically get to create piles of revenue out of nothing.

 

And OK, if you want to play the "shareholder be trippin' " card, then I'll give respect to that. I'm thinking in terms of my own business acumen, where I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that money is better just because its paid over 12 months instead of at once. I care about raw cash received, I don't necessarily care when it comes in. But I know that most people don't have great business acumen. Although.... one problem I have with that is that 99%+ of the trades are made by supercomputers who have all of the data and think like computers. And almost all of the equity is held institutionally: index funds, mutual funds, retirement funds, endowment funds, non-profits, hospitals, schools, etc. So we're still talking about almost all of the transactions with material equity being decided on by a heartless bot making trades every nanosecond and who thinks like I do and just thinks logically.

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but based on our 1st trip of the year to SFFT? I'm guessing this is the final year for Season Pass option.

1st thing we noticed (different from our trips in Dec 2017). . the 3 gates that had been for Season Pass entry, are now for "Membership" only.

 

I noticed the same thing at SfoG.

 

I much prefer paying once during the flash sales at the end of the season and be set for next year when to me psycoloically all my visits are now "free" and totaly paid for (do dining plan to so most visits I pay zero). If I don't go a month I don't worry since not going doesn't cost my anything. If I was paying mothly I think I'd feel I need to go each month since I paid that month for the service. Kinda like I am with moviepass ($10/month unlimited movies) where I feel I need to make at least one movie a month to pay for the card.

 

If memberships are all that were offered I would have to think a lot harder about doing it but I wouldn't have to worry about it for a year. Like I said, I normally hit their Aug/Sep sales times (and yes get some overlap on passes) but if I'm going to be forced to membership I wouldn't start it until next March.

 

I hope they don't remove the pay one model. If you do it in Aug/Sep you can normally get some great deals.

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I also see a future of gradual price increases. The pass may start out at $10/month (example), but would any members care if it were raised to $11 dollars the next year? Or, even $12 and some bullshit perk of another skip the line pass which costs the chain virtually nothing. How many of those people who are too lazy to cancel their memberships in the off season are going to care when their membership then jumps from $12-$13? The budget conscious people who would drop the membership after a three dollar price hike aren't the ones who are spending money in the park anyway, so you can probably bring in less clientele for more money in the long run, which means less wear and tear on the utilities and rides.

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I also see a future of gradual price increases. The pass may start out at $10/month (example), but would any members care if it were raised to $11 dollars the next year? Or, even $12 and some bullshit perk of another skip the line pass which costs the chain virtually nothing. How many of those people who are too lazy to cancel their memberships in the off season are going to care when their membership then jumps from $12-$13? The budget conscious people who would drop the membership after a three dollar price hike aren't the ones who are spending money in the park anyway, so you can probably bring in less clientele for more money in the long run, which means less wear and tear on the utilities and rides.

 

I had some questions about the new memberships and chatted with a SF representative. Once you purchase the membership, you are locked into that price forever. So even if they raise the monthly price, it will only affect new memberships and not current membership holders. So it makes sense to get a membership now and lock in the low price going forward.

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From the FAQ (I went to SFOg as it is my closest SF park):

 

Does the Membership fee change over time?

 

Your Membership fee will remain consistent from one month to the next.

 

We of course reserve the right to raise our monthly fees every once in a while. However we will not raise your fees during your initial 12 month commitment and if we do raise your monthly fee we will give you plenty of notice to cancel (if that is what you want to do).

 

Our web price for Memberships -- that is, the price that new Members pay -- is definitely subject to increase over time. Unlike our Season Passes which regularly go on sale at different times of the year, we have already reduced the cost of our Memberships to the lowest possible level and do not plan to have Membership "sales."

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From the FAQ (I went to SFOg as it is my closest SF park):

 

Does the Membership fee change over time?

 

Your Membership fee will remain consistent from one month to the next.

 

We of course reserve the right to raise our monthly fees every once in a while. However we will not raise your fees during your initial 12 month commitment and if we do raise your monthly fee we will give you plenty of notice to cancel (if that is what you want to do).

 

Our web price for Memberships -- that is, the price that new Members pay -- is definitely subject to increase over time. Unlike our Season Passes which regularly go on sale at different times of the year, we have already reduced the cost of our Memberships to the lowest possible level and do not plan to have Membership "sales."

 

That's interesting as it goes against what the SF rep told me, which is not a surprise as the memberships are so new and the reps might not have all the info. I would expect them to keep the old membership prices pretty steady though as they don't want cancellations. I've been paying $6.50 a month for my current gold membership and that price has been steady for about 3-4 years.

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I'm sure they'll probably have some sort of price guarantee to incentivize keeping your membership for an extended period and reward loyalty. Even a company like Netflix, who is always raising rates, has a price guarantee for some members before their rates also go up. Six Flags already has other stipulations in place that require you to commit for 12 months, like a hefty fee if you cancel sooner.

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I also see a future of gradual price increases. The pass may start out at $10/month (example), but would any members care if it were raised to $11 dollars the next year? Or, even $12 and some bullshit perk of another skip the line pass which costs the chain virtually nothing. How many of those people who are too lazy to cancel their memberships in the off season are going to care when their membership then jumps from $12-$13? The budget conscious people who would drop the membership after a three dollar price hike aren't the ones who are spending money in the park anyway, so you can probably bring in less clientele for more money in the long run, which means less wear and tear on the utilities and rides.

 

 

Bingo!

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Once you purchase the membership, you are locked into that price forever. So even if they raise the monthly price, it will only affect new memberships and not current membership holders. So it makes sense to get a membership now and lock in the low price going forward.

That's not strictly true. I've had the membership for a while now and they did raise the monthly price once, by about a dollar a month or so. I got about 2-3 months' notice, but I had to either accept the new price or cancel.

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Six Flags Entertainment to acquire more US parks

 

Six Flags Entertainment is looking to acquire further properties in the US even as it continues its international expansion throughout the Middle East and China.

In an earnings call this week, Jim Reid-Anderson, CEO of Six Flags Entertainment, said that the company plans to accelerate its strategy to purchase water parks and theme parks close to properties it already owns.

 

“There are dozens of parks within reasonable driving distance of our existing portfolio in the US and these parks generate hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue,” he said.

 

“As with the two recently acquired parks, we will seek to acquire water parks and theme parks at low prices and then realise substantial revenue and cost synergies.”

 

Six Flags opened two rebranded water parks last year. Waterworld Concord in California became Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Concord while an abandoned water park in Oaxtepec, Mexico that the company acquired in 2015 was renovated and reopened.

 

The strategy of purchasing parks close to its existing properties was revealed in April last year by the previous Six Flags CEO, John Duffey. The reasoning behind it is to give visitors a reason to keep coming back to the parks and to upgrade one-time guests to season pass holders.

 

Reid-Anderson said: “We’re laser focused on converting folks to membership, whether they’re single-day visitors or season pass holders. It is a company-wide, park-specific, detailed approach to make sure that whether it’s online or live in-park, we convert folks. And we have been seeing a noticeable change in the way that we have been converting members.”

 

Six Flags released its first-quarter earnings report for 2018 earlier this week, which showed record revenues of $129m for the period, an increase of 30% on 2017.

 

In addition to its US acquisitions, Six Flags is also pursuing an aggressive licensing strategy internationally. At the start of April, the company signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund to develop, design and license a Six Flags-branded theme park for Qiddiya entertainment city near Riyadh.

 

This was followed by the announcement of three new parks for Nanjing in China. The multi-million-dollar development will include a theme park, water park and an adventure park. The company already has two theme park developments in China – Six Flags Zhejiang and Six Flags Chongqing.

Link to article here.

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What parks would they buy? Cedar Fair is definitely not selling and I doubt any park worthwhile would sell for cheap.

 

That's what I was thinking. I'm having a hard time thinking of theme parks that are reasonably close to existing Six Flags parks that the company would consider purchasing.

 

I personally would love to see Elitch Gardens and Darien Lake become Six Flags parks again, but I highly doubt that will ever happen. Maybe Alabama Adventure, since it is a 2.5 hour drive from SFOG? Or something up near SFGAm like Indiana Beach or Wisconsin Dells maybe? I really have no idea.

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I'd kinda like to see them re-acquire Wild Waves. It's so weird to me that that rinky-dink little place used to be a Six Flags, and in light of that maybe it's less strange than I think it is that no one ever seems to talk about those days.

 

There are at least a couple smaller to mid-sized parks that have kind of a "potential [larger-] chain park vibe" already, IMO. Will be following this development.

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What parks would they buy? Cedar Fair is definitely not selling and I doubt any park worthwhile would sell for cheap.

 

Magic Springs is complimentary to both STL and Arlington. A solid water park and a perfect place to send older steel coasters.

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Six Flags Tampa (Previously Busch Gardens Tampa)

At least the rumored Sky Rocket II would be lap bar only.

 

RMC would certainly be in the house as well

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