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Six Flags Corporate Discussion Thread


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It looks like a key word here is "without the parents permission." So in the future, they could probably do it as long as the parents attend with the kid for at least one visit, go to guest relations, and fill out some brief forms. So I don't see this really being huge blow to Six Flags. Truth be told, I think it makes sense to have some parental or guardian supervision for 14 year olds at parks anyway.

When I read about this situation, I just had this image of a distracted mom and a bored, teenage Six Flags employee ushering guests through and instructing the 14-year-old to put their finger on the scanner before the mom realized what was happening. What I don't get is how you go from the moment when you realize your kid put their finger on the scanner without your consent to filing a lawsuit against Six Flags. Seriously, do you have something to hide or are you just that money-hungry/American white butthurt about everything (assuming this lady was white, but maybe not)?

I mean I don't have kids and obviously I go to a lot of theme parks but is it that difficult to realize that a. your kid is getting their finger scanned "without your consent" and b. Six Flags does this as well as Disney and a lot of theme parks?

 

Actually, the issue is that Illinois law required AFFIRMATIVE consent, meaning you have to actually answer "YES" to having your biometrics (or your kid's biometrics) on file. From the legal standpoint, it requires that consent is noticed or called-out and not buried in the TOS or other contract and the person actually says that yes, they consent to it. It's usually a seperate form or it's in a call-out box that's differentiated from the rest of the contract. Other states rely on implied consent, meaning that they can just stick it in the user agreement with no bells and whistles.

 

Also, the mother is a privacy advocate nut. She's not looking for money. And if you are looking for money, a class action is a crappy way to get some unless you're the lawyers arguing it. Most settlements end up being split 70-30 between the lawyers and their clients, with the clients splitting the 30% among themselves. If you join the suit, you essentially end up with a check for $2.68 at the end of the day in cases like this, were the "harm" is hypothetical as opposed to real. Obviously, other class actions that concern personal injury or monetary injury (you know, like the local utility poisoning your wells or your bank opening fake accounts in your name and then charging you fees for them) are a bit more lucrative, but even then you rarely get back all that you lost monetarily.

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OK, if it was the violation of a law, that's a different story. But knowing Six Flags, it was probably due to ignorance of the law as opposed to them really hoping that they could break a low and get away with it. Its a company that's headquartered in Texas that can barely even fully staff its parks. I doubt that they execs are really studying every state's case law and legal code from cover to cover before they make decisions.

 

As for the law itself... I think its unnecessary. I'd be OK with making the law so that it prohibited the company from selling your data or giving it to anyone else, but I think that guests already have the ability to opt out -- they just choose not to go to the park. I'm sure that Six Flags would make other accommodations if they just explained that they weren't OK with biometric scanning.

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OK, if it was the violation of a law, that's a different story. But knowing Six Flags, it was probably due to ignorance of the law as opposed to them really hoping that they could break a low and get away with it. Its a company that's headquartered in Texas that can barely even fully staff its parks. I doubt that they execs are really studying every state's case law and legal code from cover to cover before they make decisions.

No, they hire lawyers who study the relevant laws in jurisdictions where SF operates pertaining to the decisions the execs want to make.

 

I know you've got it in for Six Flags, but they do know what they're doing here. You don't have to be incompetent to find yourself in a court case. Sometimes people just interpret the law differently.

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OK, if it was the violation of a law, that's a different story. But knowing Six Flags, it was probably due to ignorance of the law as opposed to them really hoping that they could break a low and get away with it. Its a company that's headquartered in Texas that can barely even fully staff its parks. I doubt that they execs are really studying every state's case law and legal code from cover to cover before they make decisions.

No, they hire lawyers who study the relevant laws in jurisdictions where SF operates pertaining to the decisions the execs want to make.

 

I know you've got it in for Six Flags, but they do know what they're doing here. You don't have to be incompetent to find yourself in a court case. Sometimes people just interpret the law differently.

 

"Have it in for Six Flags." Saying that about the guy who has a Diamond Elite membership for the chain. You just completely overestimate companies in America. They obviously have a law firm on retainer, but I doubt that they have in-house lawyers like a bank or a Fortune 500 company would. When you're paying the law firm by the hour, they can't be perfect. Mistakes will be made, and you can't keep on top of every little law in every state in the country. You do what you can, but the law all comes down to what you can reasonably do.

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OK, if it was the violation of a law, that's a different story. But knowing Six Flags, it was probably due to ignorance of the law as opposed to them really hoping that they could break a low and get away with it. Its a company that's headquartered in Texas that can barely even fully staff its parks. I doubt that they execs are really studying every state's case law and legal code from cover to cover before they make decisions.

 

Not really. Believe it or not, laws are very much open to interpretation, which is why we have courts and judges. And companies rarely rely on their in-house legal staff for that sort of expertise. They retain local counsel in every jurisdiction their parks are in to make sure that their ducks are in a row. Additionally, when you're a national company, you don't tailor your contract to each and every jurisdiction. You simply can't, not when you're selling your passes nationally and internationally. You draft it as best you can to meet the requirements of all the laws. I'm sure SixFlags - much like Alphabet, who'd had a similar issue with their Nest doorbells (and lost and had to disable a feature that would unlock the door based on facial biometrics) - thought they'd sufficiently met the requirements of the law based upon their own interpretation of the law and advice of local counsel. And since none of this happens in a vacuum, you also look at how your competitors or other using biometrics are structuring their disclosure.

 

As for the law itself... I think its unnecessary. I'd be OK with making the law so that it prohibited the company from selling your data or giving it to anyone else, but I think that guests already have the ability to opt out -- they just choose not to go to the park. I'm sure that Six Flags would make other accommodations if they just explained that they weren't OK with biometric scanning.

 

Again, that's not what the law or the suit is about. The issue is that the contract does not meet state affirmative consent requirements - they were not informed that it was being collected, nor told how that data would be used or stored. It has nothing to do with the ability to opt out of having your biometrics collected. Her complaint is that the contract does not ask for Affirmative Consent to collect biometric information as required by the state of Illinois. And quite frankly, unless you're an IL resident, it really doesn't matter how you feel about it. If you think it's too restrictive, don't open a business that collects biometrics in Illinois.

 

"Have it in for Six Flags." Saying that about the guy who has a Diamond Elite membership for the chain. You just completely overestimate companies in America. They obviously have a law firm on retainer, but I doubt that they have in-house lawyers like a bank or a Fortune 500 company would. When you're paying the law firm by the hour, they can't be perfect. Mistakes will be made, and you can't keep on top of every little law in every state in the country. You do what you can, but the law all comes down to what you can reasonably do.

 

I know this isn't directed at me, but they absolutely have in-house counsel - their GC's name is Lance Balk - as well as they retain Perkins Coie in NYC. They also contract with local law firms in every state they have parks and in Delaware (where they're organized), as well in the localities their international parks are in.

 

BTW, that's public information if you know where to look, namely the SEC's website.

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OK, if it was the violation of a law, that's a different story. But knowing Six Flags, it was probably due to ignorance of the law as opposed to them really hoping that they could break a low and get away with it. Its a company that's headquartered in Texas that can barely even fully staff its parks. I doubt that they execs are really studying every state's case law and legal code from cover to cover before they make decisions.

 

Not really. Believe it or not, laws are very much open to interpretation, which is why we have courts and judges. And companies rarely rely on their in-house legal staff for that sort of expertise. They retain local counsel in every jurisdiction their parks are in to make sure that their ducks are in a row. Additionally, when you're a national company, you don't tailor your contract to each and every jurisdiction. You simply can't, not when you're selling your passes nationally and internationally. You draft it as best you can to meet the requirements of all the laws. I'm sure SixFlags - much like Alphabet, who'd had a similar issue with their Nest doorbells (and lost and had to disable a feature that would unlock the door based on facial biometrics) - thought they'd sufficiently met the requirements of the law based upon their own interpretation of the law and advice of local counsel. And since none of this happens in a vacuum, you also look at how your competitors or other using biometrics are structuring their disclosure.

 

As for the law itself... I think its unnecessary. I'd be OK with making the law so that it prohibited the company from selling your data or giving it to anyone else, but I think that guests already have the ability to opt out -- they just choose not to go to the park. I'm sure that Six Flags would make other accommodations if they just explained that they weren't OK with biometric scanning.

 

Again, that's not what the law or the suit is about. The issue is that the contract does not meet state affirmative consent requirements - they were not informed that it was being collected, nor told how that data would be used or stored. It has nothing to do with the ability to opt out of having your biometrics collected. Her complaint is that the contract does not ask for Affirmative Consent to collect biometric information as required by the state of Illinois. And quite frankly, unless you're an IL resident, it really doesn't matter how you feel about it. If you think it's too restrictive, don't open a business that collects biometrics in Illinois.

 

"Have it in for Six Flags." Saying that about the guy who has a Diamond Elite membership for the chain. You just completely overestimate companies in America. They obviously have a law firm on retainer, but I doubt that they have in-house lawyers like a bank or a Fortune 500 company would. When you're paying the law firm by the hour, they can't be perfect. Mistakes will be made, and you can't keep on top of every little law in every state in the country. You do what you can, but the law all comes down to what you can reasonably do.

 

I know this isn't directed at me, but they absolutely have in-house counsel - their GC's name is Lance Balk - as well as they retain Perkins Coie in NYC. They also contract with local law firms in every state they have parks and in Delaware (where they're organized), as well in the localities their international parks are in.

 

BTW, that's public information if you know where to look, namely the SEC's website.

 

This is a fantastic summary. Thanks for that!

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you can't keep on top of every little law in every state in the country.

No, and they don't need to. They keep on top of the specific laws in the specific jurisdictions where they operate pertaining to how Six Flags wants to run its business. Keep up with us.

 

There's an entire sub-industry built around making sure that lawyers are completely up-to-date on the most current laws pertaining to their fields of expertise, as well as the fact that all states require Continuing Legal Education.

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Oh yeah, totally. I'm just making it clear that the reason Too Fast for Comfort keeps trying to make the point that it's impossible for Six Flags to know what laws apply to them is because he has no idea what he's talking about.

 

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Not entirely sure why a ton of people seem to have it out for me on this board. I'm giving my opinions and you can agree or disagree. No reason to get personal and think everything I say is automatically stupid. I love coasters and I love talking about them, but I don't think that requesting some civility and respect is unreasonable.

 

Clearly whoever is in charge of Six Flag's legal team -- whether in-house or a firm on retainer -- did not know the law in this case, and now they're getting sued because of it. Like I was saying in the first place. I don't see how any of the unnecessary negative words that were slung towards me disproved this fact.

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Clearly whoever is in charge of Six Flag's legal team -- whether in-house or a firm on retainer -- did not know the law in this case, and now they're getting sued because of it. Like I was saying in the first place. I don't see how any of the unnecessary negative words that were slung towards me disproved this fact.

 

A lot of big companies are facing lawsuits over this law. It doesn't mean they "didn't know the law", it means they interpreted it differently than the lawyers representing the person who brought suit. You're earning every negative word slung your way because you're being willfully ignorant when others are trying to elucidate you and confusing your ill-informed opinion for fact. Stick to discussing coasters and let the legal people natter over legal matters.

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Why the fuck were people confused when I brought up the relatively bad acting in the Justice League: Battle for Metropolis ride? My God, there's no need to be confused. Cyborg sounds like a little kid on a swing and The Flash sounds derpy. That's it. They need to hire better voice direction. I don't want to know how Grid will sound like in Cyborg: Hyper Drive at SFNE (but considering I do like Cyborg's "little kid" voice, and think it's actually pretty savage at some points, chances are I'll like Grid's voice.)

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^ I'm guessing Guest Services has heard this complaint exactly 0 times (unless you stopped by on the way out) -- nobody really cares that much?

 

Perhaps we are too busy enjoying the ride(s) to notice? *shrug* at least I am.

 

Does anyone else think the voice of Cyborg in Battle for Metropolis is fucking adorable?

 

I am not attracted to the voices of animatronics and CGI. Different strokes for different folks?

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Not entirely sure why a ton of people seem to have it out for me on this board. I'm giving my opinions and you can agree or disagree. No reason to get personal and think everything I say is automatically stupid. I love coasters and I love talking about them, but I don't think that requesting some civility and respect is unreasonable.

 

As a moderator on this site, I'll tell you the main problems once and let you know that if your writing style doesn't change you will continue to be treated the same way.

 

1) You say you are stating opinions, but you write them as facts. That is it that is the main problem, you come off as a know-it-all. There are people on this site that have been in the industry for decades, and they rarely write in the same manner as you.

 

2) When you are corrected you get defensive and try to weasel you way out of your prior statements.

 

They are people on this site, including moderators, who have made stupid comments over the years and we still take occasional abuse from it. If you can't deal with people having a differing point of view, it is best to not post.

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^ I'm guessing Guest Services has heard this complaint exactly 0 times (unless you stopped by on the way out) -- nobody really cares that much?

 

Perhaps we are too busy enjoying the ride(s) to notice? *shrug* at least I am.

 

Does anyone else think the voice of Cyborg in Battle for Metropolis is fucking adorable?

 

I am not attracted to the voices of animatronics and CGI. Different strokes for different folks?

It's Cyborg as a whole I'm attracted to, like in the comics, etc. I'm 16, for crying out loud!

 

And his Battle for Metropolis voice is the voice I imagine him having in the comics.

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Does anyone else think the voice of Cyborg in Battle for Metropolis is fucking adorable?

 

I am not attracted to the voices of animatronics and CGI. Different strokes for different folks?

It's Cyborg as a whole I'm attracted to, like in the comics, etc. I'm 16, for crying out loud!

 

And his Battle for Metropolis voice is the voice I imagine him having in the comics.

I don't think this is the right website for you. Would you be more interested in finding a forum for loud fangirls?

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Does anyone else think the voice of Cyborg in Battle for Metropolis is fucking adorable?

 

I am not attracted to the voices of animatronics and CGI. Different strokes for different folks?

It's Cyborg as a whole I'm attracted to, like in the comics, etc. I'm 16, for crying out loud!

 

And his Battle for Metropolis voice is the voice I imagine him having in the comics.

I don't think this is the right website for you. Would you be more interested in finding a forum for loud fangirls?

 

Mary - Please excuse jlp94, just like many teenage male roller coaster enthusiasts, he appears to have a little difficulty finding the right words to use around women.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cedar Fair, hold my beer...

 

Record Revenue for Ninth Consecutive Year at Six Flags

 

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world’s largest regional theme park company and the largest operator of waterparks in North America, today announced that 2018 represented its ninth consecutive record year as revenue increased $105 million or 8 percent to $1.5 billion. The full-year revenue growth was primarily driven by a 5 percent increase in attendance; a 2 percent increase in guest spending per capita, driven by a 4 percent admissions per capita increase due to improved pricing on all admissions products and sales of memberships with premium tiers; and a 7 percent increase in sponsorship, international agreements and accommodations revenue. Attendance at the company’s parks grew to 32.0 million guests in 2018, primarily driven by five domestic parks acquired in June 2018, the benefit of 365-day operations at Six Flags Magic Mountain, strong growth in Mexico, and growth at the company’s waterparks.

 

Net income1 for the year ended December 31, 2018, increased $2 million or 1 percent, driven by the growth in the business described above and a reversal of stock-based compensation expense related to the company’s Project 600 target not being achieved, partially offset by the positive cumulative effect of tax reform realized in the fourth quarter of 2017. Diluted earnings per share for 2018 was $3.23, representing an increase of $0.14 or 5 percent compared to 2017. Adjusted EBITDA2 for 2018 increased to a new high of $554 million, up $34 million or 7 percent compared to prior year, and Modified EBITDA3 for the year was $594 million. The company’s 2018 Modified EBITDA margin of 40.5 percent continues to lead the theme park industry. Foreign currency translation4 had a negative impact on full-year 2018 Adjusted EBITDA of $2 million.

 

“I am very proud that we have achieved our ninth consecutive record year,” said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. “Our exceptional operating performance in the fourth quarter demonstrates the strength of our pricing power, membership strategy, and in-park spending programs, all of which, together with our domestic and international park expansion initiatives, will provide a strong platform for growth for many years to come.”

 

Record fourth quarter 2018 revenue of $270 million grew $13 million or 5 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. The strong revenue growth was primarily driven by a 6 percent increase in guest spending per capita and a 3 percent increase in attendance. This growth was offset by an unfavorable revenue adjustment of $15 million related to the company’s international agreements due to delays in the expected opening dates of some of the parks in China caused by a challenging macroeconomic environment. This resulted in a 38 percent decline in sponsorship, international agreements and accommodations revenue compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

Guest spending per capita for the fourth quarter increased $2.35, with admissions per capita increasing $1.74 or 8 percent and in-park spending per capita increasing $0.61 or 4 percent relative to the same period in 2017. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2018 was $79 million, a decrease of $19 million from the same period in 2017 due to the favorable impact of tax reform that was realized in the fourth quarter of 2017, offset by the 2018 reversal of stock-based compensation expense related to the Project 600 award and continued operating earnings growth. Adjusted EBITDA of $95 million represented an increase of $8 million or 9 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2017.

 

Guest spending per capita in 2018 was $42.58, an improvement of $0.97 or 2 percent compared to 2017, primarily due to sales of premium membership tiers, ticket price increases and higher in-park spending driven by members and by sales of all season dining passes, partially offset by lower guest spending per capita in the five newly acquired parks. Admissions per capita increased $0.93 to $25.30, and in-park spending per capita increased $0.04 to $17.28.

 

Deferred revenue of $146 million, a year-end record high, increased by $4 million or 3 percent compared to December 31, 2017, primarily due to incremental sales and higher prices of memberships and all season dining passes. The Active Pass Base, which represents the total number of guests who are enrolled in the company’s membership program or have a season pass, increased 8 percent year-over-year as a result of the company’s continued success in upselling guests from single day tickets to memberships and season passes. The mix of memberships in the Active Pass Base increased significantly as a result of the company’s early 2018 roll-out of a new membership program with premium tiers. Members are the company’s most loyal and valuable guests, with higher retention rates and higher revenue—especially from the premium membership tiers—compared to traditional season passes. As the company is successful in growing memberships, it expects cash receipts to be delayed due to members making payments monthly versus traditional season pass holders, who pay for the entire season in advance. In addition, as these members are retained beyond the initial twelve-month compulsory period, the company expects deferred revenue growth to be muted as revenue is recognized monthly.

 

In 2018, the company generated $293 million of Adjusted Free Cash Flow5. The company invested $133 million in new capital projects and $23 million, less net working capital and other customary adjustments, to acquire the lease rights to five new parks; paid $267 million in dividends, or $3.16 per share for the year; and repurchased $111 million of its common stock. The authorized amount available for additional share repurchases as of December 31, 2018, was $232 million. Net Debt as of December 31, 2018, calculated as total reported debt of $2,107 million less cash and cash equivalents of $45 million, was $2,062 million, representing a net leverage ratio of 3.7 times Adjusted EBITDA.

 

I don't have the time to read too much into this right now so I'll just leave this here. Jesus...

 

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Remember when reading about the "records" that they acquired 5 new parks in Q2, Magic Mountain went to daily operations and they added Holiday in the Park to Six Flags Great America. All of that makes these numbers (to put it lightly) less than impressive.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think they will eventually, Darien Lake is the only one branded as Six Flags, I don’t see Frontier City getting the IPs because the other two “a Six Flags theme parks” parks don’t have them (Great Escape & La Ronde)

 

 

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Don't Frontier City, Great Escape, and La Ronde all have weird historical agreements in place that keep them from being fully branded as Six Flags parks? I know Frontier City especially has some kind of weirdness to it, stemming back from when it was moved off of the Oklahoma City fairgrounds. I just can't remember what the details were.

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