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Six Flags Corporate Discussion Thread


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The most recent example of this is Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disney's Hollywood Studios - it had a bunch of delays but was eventually confirmed for March of this year back in December, and, sure enough, FastPass booking for a March 4th opening just opened up a few days ago (I didn't get one, sad face).

 

I have bad luck with this one. We check out Feb 29.

 

Also have to sneak in Splash Mountain and Test Track at the end due to refurbishments.

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A whole bunch of angry crap that makes him feel superior

 

You OK, guy? Because you seem irrationally angry about mechanical flippy-doo contraptions.

 

I like his condescending term "coaster nerds," which he feels the need to use repeatedly. We're all "coaster nerds," yet this dude is triggered by a difference of opinion in roller coaster industry business practices.

 

We're nerds. He is not a nerd. Reality check time.

 

I feel that a lot of average consumers would be slightly let down if they visited a park and saw that the brand new advertised attraction wasn't open, yet. Six Flags' estimated new ride opening dates: "Eh... Whenever." I guess if it wasn't such a budget oriented chain people might have more of a reason to be upset. You get what you pay for, I suppose. Either way, people have a right to disagree with their business practices. It doesn't make them entitled to express their opinions on a discussion forum. There's no reason to get upset or come off as irrational.

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Interesting discussion but man some people need to chill out a bit. Relax, it's not that serious.

100% agreed. I was close to hitting the "ban button" on a couple of people who were getting a bit too emotional, but I'll wait and see if they can chill a bit and start acting a bit more "normal." (looking at you Lemur...)

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You OK, guy? Because you seem irrationally angry about mechanical flippy-doo contraptions. All we're trying to say is that when a park uses a large new attraction to drive annual pass sales, then fails to open said attraction in a timely fashion, they're kind of a dick and toes the line for false advertising laws.

And even then, annual passholders wouldn't have been able to ride it in 2019, right? Didn't they only open it for people in their membership program?

The first preview weekend (Dec. 21 and 22) was members only, but both members and season passholders were able to ride it every day after that. I have a Gold Season Pass and rode it on Christmas Eve.

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

Anyway, so I read the transcript. Honestly it wasn’t the most interesting conference call (is that an oxymoron?) because while the sky isn’t falling I don’t think they have much of a plan to correct their issues either. The cliff notes version of most answers is “The plan is to sell more single day tickets. We already have a strong business model that we don’t need to change so we have no substantive plan on how to do that. I’m new here anyway, I’ll give you an actual plan in May.”

 

That said, here are the takeaways:

 

- They’re blaming Mexico and Magic Mountain for the 3% Q4 Decline. The issues that they pointed out in Mexico were a reduction in government sanctioned school group visits and the accident at La Féria which scared people away from the industry for a brief period. At Magic Mountain they blamed weather, nearby fires and the West Coast Racers delay. These things are all true but probably way overstated, they just need to blame something.

 

- Revenue is up but costs are up more. They also noted that while higher priced memberships were a good thing, it was offset with too many bring a friend discounts and promotions early in the year.

 

- The six new parks have outperformed expectations.

 

- The active pass base is down 3% since last year which is alarming

 

- They want to focus more on attracting single day guests

 

- They know that their different pass options are a bit convoluted and aim to simplify it.

 

Honestly there wasn’t much that came out of this which is kind of weird with such bad numbers. They did nothing to help themselves on this call.

Edited by coasterbill
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No, and while this was a Q4 call I’m sure that if they could have taken a page from the Cedar Fair playbook and mitigated some of this stock market bloodbath by announcing strong Q1 numbers so far they would have focused on that more. They did say that Magic Mountain has done better since West Coast Racers opened but they didn’t mention the Q1 impact of SFOT.

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We're nerds. He is not a nerd. Reality check time.

 

Exactly. It's like I've said before, and I'll say again: If you're posting on TPR, or any coaster enthusiast website, you're a "coaster nerd". This is not something the GP do with their free time!

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Six Flags is almost down 50% from the high in the past year when it topped out at $59.52. They cut the dividend today from $3.32 per year to $1.00 per year or a 70% cut making the new yield to 3.14% based upon a $31.89 share price. I thought it would take a recession to get an almost 50% off sale on their stock, but it only took good corporate leadership.

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That makes me want to put some play-money into SF stock, but there are way better more and safer investments to be made.

 

I like the sound of getting rid of some of the fffking bring a friend free and other discount days. At SFStl, those were the most rowdy crowds we've seen, right down to the girl literally pissing herself in the line for The Boss. I've made repeated mentionings of that, but I still can't get over it. I feel sorry for the person who sat in that seat when she got off.

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Amazing that they can not just come out and say "our insanely low priced season passes are not sustainable and we need to follow the hard decision CF made a few years ago to raise season pass prices and have a tiered structure for those who want to visit byond their home parke"

 

Who is SF going to entice to pay for only a single visit when they just turn the single visit guests into season pass holders for an extra $20?

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^This was my first thought as well. Their single day prices are absurdly high, especially compared with how cheap their passes are. It makes getting a pass the absolute way to go if you plan to go to a SF park, and then, they're practically giving away the gate, if people use them more than once.

Edited by DILinator
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^This was my first thought as well. There single day prices are absurdly high, especially compared with how cheap their passes are. It makes getting a pass the absolute way to go if you plan to go to a SF park, and then, they're practically giving away the gate, if people use them more than once.

And SF likes to say "pass holders and members are their most valuable guests". Hmmm....

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With a majority of guests being pass holders, I wonder if in-park spending is down then. Since people are "regulars" now, they don't spend on food and merchandise. For most people, they learn after a few visits how the parks work and that it's usually better to go to a fast food joint 10 minutes down the road because you save both time and money.

 

People that are willing to spend on a day pass haven't figured that out yet.

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For most people, they learn after a few visits how the parks work and that it's usually better to go to a fast food joint 10 minutes down the road because you save both time and money.

Money, sure, but not time. Think about how long it takes to get all the way to the entrance, hop on the tram, go to your car, drive all the way out, go to your local McDonald's, drive all the way back in, re-park your car, etc etc...

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For most people, they learn after a few visits how the parks work and that it's usually better to go to a fast food joint 10 minutes down the road because you save both time and money.

Money, sure, but not time. Think about how long it takes to get all the way to the entrance, hop on the tram, go to your car, drive all the way out, go to your local McDonald's, drive all the way back in, re-park your car, etc etc...

 

 

At SFGAm, you are looking at 50-60 minutes one way or another. Granted I'll plan my day and work my way back towards the front of the park at some point in the middle of the day. I'll concede the fact that this park may be one of the most convenient to go off property for food (you have 6-7 chain restaurants and a few local places within 1/4 mile of the main park entrance). It's not like SFGAdv. Far from it actually. SFGAm also seems to consistently have some of the slowest moving food lines. It's rare to see your food in under 30 minutes on an average crowd day.

 

I get the convenience factor. But I think people are starting to change their habits based upon the situation they are put in, at least at this park.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Everyone criticized Mark Shapiro when he added Wiggles and Thomas and Parades to the parks and tried to make them more family friendly in atmosphere. Looking back it seems quite similar to the strategy Cedar Fair has in place now (that seems to be working according to financial reports). Maybe he was just ahead of his time. Nobody is going to care one bit how amazing your 30 second rollercoaster ride is if the park looks like crap. I’d be pissed if I was a day ticket visitor. “Welcome to Six Flags, fork over $30 to park in a crumbling parking lot with weeds poking through and no tram.” You are selling a complete experience, not a collection of rides. Parks like Dollywood seem to understand this concept well.

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