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  1. #1

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    Six Flags Popularity?

    I'm just really curious why Six Flags is losing so much $$. I thought that was the place for a lot of teenagers and older ppl that loved roller coasters? Is it because of the area there in? It's just not too close to us. Like if it were in Orange County, would it be doing well? And if there losing so much $$ then how come they decided to make the Terminator coaster? What would SF need to do to make more people come?
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  2. #2

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    Re: Six Flags Popularity?

    Quote Originally Posted by monicaduy View Post
    I'm just really curious why Six Flags is losing so much $$. I thought that was the place for a lot of teenagers and older ppl that loved roller coasters? Is it because of the area there in? It's just not too close to us. Like if it were in Orange County, would it be doing well? And if there losing so much $$ then how come they decided to make the Terminator coaster? What would SF need to do to make more people come?
    I think SFMM would have ultimately done a lot better if it weren't so far north of downtown LA. Orange County really is the best location in Southern California for theme parks due to its central location to LA, San Diego, and the inland empire and desert communities. Orange County is even more centralized than LA is and this makes it a good location for things like this.

    SFMM has done well for many years because its rides offered thrills that catered to an audience that DL or Knott's didn't capture. But ever since Cedar Fair bought Knott's and Disney built DCA, more thrill rides were added to these parks. Because of this SFMM has had a much tougher time lately to attract the thrill ride audience. Especially because DL and Knott's are much easier for the majority of the Southern California population to get to.

  3. #3

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    Re: Six Flags Popularity?

    I don't think you can look at a question of "Six Flags Popularity" and single out SFMM.

    In fact, SFMM does quite well generally pulling in 2 million + visitors per year. (of course they pulled in over 3 million in the early 90's, but that's another issue altogether). Other Six Flags Parks that pull in more than 2 million are Six Flags Great America (Chicago) and Six Flags Great Adventure (New Jersey).

    But in the early 90's, SFMM and Knott's were pulling in about equal number (over 3 million). Disney was still around during that time, correct? Knott's is still pulling in about 3 million a year (although how much of that is "haunt" is what I want to know). I don't think SFMM is as effected by Disneyland as you think.

    When I was growing up, we would go to Disneyland once, maybe twice a year. We would go to SFMM 8 or 10 times a year. Not having grown up in OC, and not having a way down there alot, it was the only choice. Remember, there are almost 2 million people in the San Fernando Valley alone and SFMM is 20 minutes (with no traffic) from there.

    Some numbers from 2007 (2008 hasn't been released yet)

    2007 theme park attendance report released

    Disney remained the top chain, with 116.5 million visitors worldwide last year, followed by Merlin Entertainment with 32.1 million. Universal drew 26.4 million, followed by Six Flags with 24.9 million and Busch with 22.3 million. Cedar Fair came in sixth place, with 22.1 million visitors in 2007.
    So let's say that SFMM, SFGA and SFGADv pull in 7 million a year. That leaves the other 13 parks accounting for just over 17 million (just over a million each). I'm sure some of the other parks are in the 1.5 million rang (Six Flags Over TX and Six Flags Over GA). And I'm sure that some parks are FAR below 1 million. It's THOSE parks that are dragging down the chain.


  4. #4

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    Re: Six Flags Popularity?

    I do not think attendance is the only factor that is dragging down the Six Flags parks.

    A few years ago the company went on a massive expansion binge in the later 1990s, under the ownership of Premier Parks (which changed its name to Six Flags). The company bought a lot of small, regional parks across the world. The all time high was something around 40 properties that were either owned or operated by Six Flags.

    There was also a huge coaster binge. try to capitalize on the teenage market the company invest in a lot of large roller coasters. The teenage market is not one that can afford the costs required to operate a park. The money is simply not there to pay admission, concessions, games and souvenirs. This led to a lot of discounts being offered, even more than now. I remember getting my Season Pass book that had several visits worth of free food, games, Lo-Q, and admission for friends, all with very limited conditions. Today those coupon books have very little and all have a catch. Buying up parks and roller coasters by the handful costs a lot of money that Six Flags simply did not have, but thought they could easily finance.

    My understanding is that Six Flags, Inc. does not wholly own the original Six Flags parks. The family of founder Angus Wynn and some of the original investors still own a stake of the original Six Flags parks: Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags Over Mid-America/Six Flags St. Louis. Part of the ownership and naming agreement gives certain concessions of upkeep and reinvestment for these parks, and these people have a say in all of that. This means these parks get a level of investment that is not necessarily on par with the their attendance and the amount of revenue that they generate for the company.


    I think the other parks do play a role in the diminishing attractiveness of Six Flags in general. The company has only recently lowered ticket prices. Six Flags has always had a lot of discount opportunities, but its base prices have always been in a league that the company stopped pursuing in the 1990s. The company has created a very negative image for itself, and with the increase of technology (travel and communication) people do not see Six Flags so much as a viable alternative. It might be easier for a family to get to their local Six Flags, but a day there versus many other parks is not all that dissimilar in cost, but can be very different in terms of experience.

  5. #5

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    Re: Six Flags Popularity?

    A big problem for Six Flags is it has not been very family friendly. The rides for the single digit year crowd are almost all flat rides that one sees at carnivals. Add to that the large groups of teenagers in the park, and it's not a comfortable outing for a young family. Efforts like the Thomas Town in SFMM do not really help because they're half baked efforts. They did not build it impressively enough for my family to take the long ride from the IE. It should be clear to anyone in the business that parks that cater to families do much better, such as Disney, Legoland, Sea World... It's hard to be a coaster park and to turn good profits consistently.

  6. #6

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    Re: Six Flags Popularity?

    Quote Originally Posted by vfire View Post
    A big problem for Six Flags is it has not been very family friendly. The rides for the single digit year crowd are almost all flat rides that one sees at carnivals. Add to that the large groups of teenagers in the park, and it's not a comfortable outing for a young family. Efforts like the Thomas Town in SFMM do not really help because they're half baked efforts. They did not build it impressively enough for my family to take the long ride from the IE. It should be clear to anyone in the business that parks that cater to families do much better, such as Disney, Legoland, Sea World... It's hard to be a coaster park and to turn good profits consistently.
    When was the last time you were actually at Six Flags Magic Mountain?

    SFMM, currently, is the cleanest I have EVER seen it. Honestly, I can't remember a time it looked this clean since 10 years ago or more.

    As far as large groups of teenagers go, I see large groups of teenagers at WDW every time I go there, and that resort seems to be doing ok with young families. They seem to be able to coexist in the Value Resorts just fine. Maybe teenagers alone isn't the problem? Maybe it's more a stereotype that SFMM earned for itself from about 1999-2005, but has done absolutely zero to earn in the past 2-3 years.

    Did you know that Six Flags now ejects guests for things like excessive profanity, smoking in non-designated areas, non-compliance with dress code, line jumping, and other similar offenses? They have, they can, and they will. There are even undercover employees dressed as guests now who have the authority to enforce the Guest Code of Conduct where/if it's necessary.

    Finally, are you aware that Thomas Town sits on the fringe of one of the largest made-for-less-than-48" areas of any theme park in the USA? There's not just Thomas Town there. There's a petting zoo and Bugs Bunny World, not to mention the Buccaneer and Swashbuckler just down the path, which I regularly see kids having the time of their lives on. There's actually a great deal for families to do at SFMM, but you won't be doing any of it by sitting at home complaining about how there's little for families to do there.

    Do you know kids who like skateboarding and extreme sports? There's a new extreme sports show coming to the former Batman theatre later this year. I wonder what audience that show is aimed at?

    Honestly, I wish more people who've been driven away from Six Flags Magic Mountain in the past 6-8 years, and legitimately so, would come to see the place TODAY and see all the many improvements that have come. I'm betting a lot of you would be very surprised at what you see.
    Last edited by PeoplemoverMatt; 03-16-2009 at 04:26 AM.

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