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Six Flags Great Adventure (SFGAdv) Discussion Thread


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Exactly my point. How many people you think actually knew Six Flags went bankrupt? I'll wager that a large amount of the GP doesn't know that.

 

Six Flags went bankrupt because their attendance nose dived and the brand bordered on toxic. It wasn't some strange and unforeseen series of events that led to that. They ran their parks like crap and people stopped going.

 

The park attendance has been rising every year since 2010. Thats more than half a decade, so please explain that to me.

 

Six Flags Great Adventure claimed an attendance of 3.8 million people in 1999. In 2009, Six Flags Great Adventure ended the year claiming an attendance of 2.6 million. They lost 30% of their overall attendance in a decade. Yeah, as of 2014, they gained back 150,000 of that 1.2 million people that used to go. Even if extending the season with the new Holiday In The Park event gets them to 3 million, that's not even halfway to where they were in an era where the cost of a season pass, adjusted for inflation, was something like 30-40% higher than what it is now. You could say that Six Flags is still in the process of rebuilding their brand. You might also say that Six Flags has simply decided to take a different sector than everyone else in the market by intentionally running crummy parks that don't cost anything to get into.

 

To put these numbers in perspective: Six Flags Great Adventure lost a number of guests during their operating season (while keeping prices stable or dropping them against inflation!) than total number of turnstile spins at Worlds Of Fun or Valleyfair.

Edited by DirkFunk
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They've been selling a product of questionable and sometimes miserable quality for the same exact price for roughly 20 years (no lie, just compared season pass prices at SFGAdv and they're lower now than in '99 for top tier, SFA is only $2 more) to a stagnant/shrinking consumer base. They're gonna take low bidder and not care when the work gets done.

 

The pricing structure of their season passes is a huge problem. Also prices are roughly the same as 20 years ago (cheaper due to inflation) there are nowhere close to making up for it with their parking fee increases.

 

 

Six Flags went bankrupt because their attendance nose dived and the brand bordered on toxic. It wasn't some strange and unforeseen series of events that led to that. They ran their parks like crap and people stopped going.

 

Attendance is not indicative of profit when a park is so reliant on season passes. Was the drop in attendance chain wide? The biggest problem was the unmanagable debt load with insane interest rates which siphoned so much of the revenue that profits could not be achieved.

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Six Flags' strategy is to get as many people into the park as possible, which is why their season passes are so cheap and why they give away the "Thrill Pass" during the summer so that people who purchase a single day ticket can come back for free for the remainder of the summer. They attempt to make up for the lost admissions revenue with expensive parking, in-park food, and merchandise, as well as the advertising that covering the park. The more people they get into the park, the more they make from advertising.

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They've been selling a product of questionable and sometimes miserable quality for the same exact price for roughly 20 years (no lie, just compared season pass prices at SFGAdv and they're lower now than in '99 for top tier, SFA is only $2 more) to a stagnant/shrinking consumer base. They're gonna take low bidder and not care when the work gets done.

 

The pricing structure of their season passes is a huge problem. Also prices are roughly the same as 20 years ago (cheaper due to inflation) there are nowhere close to making up for it with their parking fee increases.

 

The pricing structure exists because the assumed value of a day at Six Flags is negligible. Like I pointed out before: compared to the rest of the sector, all of those players have been looking to go the opposite direction as far as season pass pricing is concerned. You could buy over a decade of entry to SFMM for the cost of a single 2015 Disneyland annual pass. This wasn't always the case.

 

Attendance is not indicative of profit when a park is so reliant on season passes. Was the drop in attendance chain wide? The biggest problem was the unmanagable debt load with insane interest rates which siphoned so much of the revenue that profits could not be achieved.

 

Attendance is absolutely indicative of profit when your business plan is entirely centered around repeat business on cheap season passes spending money in park. Attendance dropped for years and was often severe; Worlds of Adventure and Six Flags America are the most glaring examples. I'd argue Astroworld is dead because of the poor planning and execution of their expansion plans at other parks, not because of any tremendous failings at that specific one. It just happened to be on real estate worth money and the management of the company at the time was desperate for cash flow to ward off an otherwise imminent bankruptcy. As we know now, that decision got shareholders to back Redzone and depose them, and the rest is history.

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Six Flags' strategy is to get as many people into the park as possible, which is why their season passes are so cheap and why they give away the "Thrill Pass" during the summer so that people who purchase a single day ticket can come back for free for the remainder of the summer. They attempt to make up for the lost admissions revenue with expensive parking, in-park food, and merchandise, as well as the advertising that covering the park. The more people they get into the park, the more they make from advertising.

 

They need to make season passes cheap because the buying public thinks Six Flags is crap and won't pay the kind of prices they will for comparable players in the market there. They'd do all of the exact same things with regards to increasing parking/food/merch prices and various in park upcharges even if the season passes weren't as cheap because increasing prices and creating new revenue streams with existing customers is how a mature industry like regional theme parks continues to show growth even when attendance is generally stagnant. If you need proof, look at everyone else. At some point, Six Flags will hit a ceiling on the number of season passes that they sell at present pricing and they'll need to start selling the same (or nearly the same) number for more money in order to establish revenue growth.

 

TL;DR Six Flags isn't "subsidizing" season pass cost with high food prices. If they thought they could sell season passes for $200 instead of $75, they'd do it in a heart beat and still tag you for $17 for a hockey puck burger and fries. They can't though because the market won't bear the cost.

Edited by DirkFunk
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I won't ignore the fact that Six Flags has put in policies that can make visitors really upset, but opening new rides around summer doesn't seem to impact most guests I've spoken to. The biggest complaints we get are about the loose articles policy and having to pay for lockers. And of course when rides break down (especially Kingda Ka).

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I won't ignore the fact that Six Flags has put in policies that can make visitors really upset, but opening new rides around summer doesn't seem to impact most guests I've spoken to. The biggest complaints we get are about the loose articles policy and having to pay for fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo. And of course when rides break down (especially Kingda Ka).

 

There have a ton of issues historically and presently which affect the brand image of Six Flags. Delaying opening of rides until 2-3 months of the season has passed is not something that positively affects this, I'm fairly certain of that.

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I won't ignore the fact that Six Flags has put in policies that can make visitors really upset, but opening new rides around summer doesn't seem to impact most guests I've spoken to. The biggest complaints we get are about the loose articles policy and having to pay for fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo. And of course when rides break down (especially Kingda Ka).

 

There have a ton of issues historically and presently which affect the brand image of Six Flags. Delaying opening of rides until 2-3 months of the season has passed is not something that positively affects this, I'm fairly certain of that.

 

We can be fairly certain of your dislike of Six Flags and its policies

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Attendance is absolutely indicative of profit when your business plan is entirely centered around repeat business on cheap season passes spending money in park.

 

And here is where I disagree the attendance is indicative of profit because I believe many of the season pass holders who frequent the park most often do not spend money in the park. I know families who will spend more in one day at a park than I will spend in 20 visits. Just look at how many times in this thread that frequent season pass holders tell people interested in SFGAdv to leave the park for lunch and eat at Wawa

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Attendance is absolutely indicative of profit when your business plan is entirely centered around repeat business on cheap season passes spending money in park.

 

And here is where I disagree the attendance is indicative of profit because I believe many of the season pass holders who frequent the park most often do not spend money in the park. I know families who will spend more in one day at a park than I will spend in 20 visits. Just look at how many times in this thread that frequent season pass holders tell people interested in SFGAdv to leave the park for lunch and eat at Wawa

 

Everland is in the top 20 for attendance and lots of that is made of season pass holders. I do notice a lot of pass-holders (including whole families of my students who go almost every other weekend) tend to just go for a few hours grab a quick few rides and then leave without spending anything. The shuttle buses are always packed even in the evening with families showing up with season passes for a free night parade and fireworks show.

 

The cost for a normal annual pass here is just under 4 trips. I'm told a daily fireworks show and constant parades are actually quite expensive and a lot of the crowd are people in the area who can pop in for the last 3 hours. Attendance with season passes doesn't always mean profit. Most of their money will come from day trippers who will drive for hours to go to "Korean Disney" and will treat their kids to dinner in the park and souvenirs to remember the day, not the locals who will pick up maybe 1 or 2 gifts a year.

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Attendance is absolutely indicative of profit when your business plan is entirely centered around repeat business on cheap season passes spending money in park.

 

And here is where I disagree the attendance is indicative of profit because I believe many of the season pass holders who frequent the park most often do not spend money in the park. I know families who will spend more in one day at a park than I will spend in 20 visits. Just look at how many times in this thread that frequent season pass holders tell people interested in SFGAdv to leave the park for lunch and eat at Wawa

 

That's a great philosophical argument, I suppose. As far as actual pertinence to a company that is using season pass sales as their primary growth driver:

 

http://investors.sixflags.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=61629&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2098324

 

..it doesn't actually mean anything. Like I've said, I dunno, 10-15 times already, what you're talking about is the model everyone else is using, and what Six Flags is doing differentiates from that model significantly. I don't think it is particularly intelligent; you point out the fact that season pass holders don't necessarily spend more per visit, and that's true and also shows up in their model. But they seem to think that they have a better shot of showing revenue increases each year by selling more season passes and seeing those people return often and spend less (because that's precisely what happens) than by trying to sell a premium product at a premium price.

Edited by DirkFunk
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Attendance is absolutely indicative of profit when your business plan is entirely centered around repeat business on cheap season passes spending money in park.

 

And here is where I disagree the attendance is indicative of profit because I believe many of the season pass holders who frequent the park most often do not spend money in the park. I know families who will spend more in one day at a park than I will spend in 20 visits. Just look at how many times in this thread that frequent season pass holders tell people interested in SFGAdv to leave the park for lunch and eat at Wawa

 

Everland is in the top 20 for attendance and lots of that is made of season pass holders. I do notice a lot of pass-holders (including whole families of my students who go almost every other weekend) tend to just go for a few hours grab a quick few rides and then leave without spending anything. The shuttle buses are always packed even in the evening with families showing up with season passes for a free night parade and fireworks show.

 

You just described nearly all amusement and theme parks in the world, even Disneyland. Only the Orlando Disney parks are any different.

 

The cost for a normal annual pass here is just under 4 trips. I'm told a daily fireworks show and constant parades are actually quite expensive and a lot of the crowd are people in the area who can pop in for the last 3 hours. Attendance with season passes doesn't always mean profit. Most of their money will come from day trippers who will drive for hours to go to "Korean Disney" and will treat their kids to dinner in the park and souvenirs to remember the day, not the locals who will pick up maybe 1 or 2 gifts a year.

 

The bolded is the difference here. A Busch Platinum Pass at the cheapest park in the chain is $200 USD. A Cedar Fair Platinum Pass is, last I checked, $209 USD. Disneyland annual pass w/no blackout dates is $779, I believe? Six Flags America gate price is $62.99. Their gold pass (includes parking, entry to all parks in chain, etc)? $66.99. Their quarterly reports over the last two years push that memberships (basically layaway season pass sales) and season pass sales are their primary points of growth in place of per cap spending (which has decreased). This is not some wild conspiracy theory.

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Spins are triggered by magnetic (Eddy current) fins placed along ride circuit. Each ride will be different depending on weight distribution. You can see in image below an example of an off-the-shelf design that S&S offers.

freespin.JPG.b9fc2a28c0cf6ecfaeff8c5541780b5f.JPG

Source: S&S Website

ss.JPG.e66c0459269881728a9d26ad5d8240b2.JPG

"Spin-Inducing" fins go through devices shown

Edited by DJeXeL
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It's great to see it going up so quickly. For one I'm also very happy with the season pass pricing. We are still regularly getting new rides and it's way more affordable than other chains. Not sure why anyone would complain. If you prefer to pay more than go there instead of just bashing SF.

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Screamscape posted about how one of their readers stated that the crew who tore down the stadiums are now demolishing the chiller station structure. What's going on over there? Does this mean no more asylum during fright fest?

 

Could this also be the removed attraction everyone has been speculating about?

 

*edit: also could this mean a new attraction for that area in the coming years? Such as a T-Rex maybe?

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Screamscape posted about how one of their readers stated that the crew who tore down the stadiums are now demolishing the chiller station structure. What's going on over there? Does this mean no more asylum during fright fest?

Coaster feed posted about that, apparently it's not true

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