Walk through Six Flags Great Adventure w/ Mark Shapiro.
Motley Fool has a great article here where Mark Shapiro takes a tour of SFGA (Jersey) and frankly, he makes some sense. He calls out the old regieme for not planning ahead...or spending the money to see things through to the end.
It is a good read...and this (unlike past articles) has made me think that he is starting to get a good idea of what he is running.
Though his comments on ticket pricing are still off...he's out of touch with his fanbase on that one.
I like his mentioning of SFNE as coming along "spendidly".
Re: Walk through Six Flags Great Adventure w/ Mark Shapiro.
This Shapiro guy is a crack-up. He's never worked for a theme park division before, and suddenly he thinks he's Walt Disney walking around some trashy Six Flags picking up cigarette butts.
Shapiro will be gone in three years, moved on to the next new firm that offers him a higher salary and a newer Escalade company car. Maybe he'll sell toothpaste for Procter & Gamble? Time share condos in Dubai? Sweater sets for Target? And Six Flags will still be junky old Six Flags, with the remnants of the Shapiro Age being only a few pathetic parades, a kiddy train ride in New Jersey, and overpriced "brunch" with cartoon characters who haven't been on TV in decades.
A year ago I saw for myself how low they let Six Flags Magic Mountain slip. It will take at least five years and a hundred million dollars of capital expenditure each year just to get Magic Mountain back to the level it was at in 1985. And from what I remember of Great Adventure from 10 years ago, that same scenario is going to have to play itself out at nearly every Six Flags property in the chain. Then of course there are those famous Six Flags employees.... those kids look like they are being filmed for a bad training video in how not to dress and act while on the job. Scary stuff!
Shapiro can't get the kind of money his properties desperately need, his honeymoon with the board will be up by Labor Day, and by 2009 he'll be gone to the next company that dangles a golden parachute in front of him. But these media interviews he's been giving to the press since last February are a laugh riot! I hope he doesn't stop talking before he leaves, because that's about all he has to work with; cheap talk.