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  1. #1

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    New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/051213/six_f...piro.html?.v=2

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Former ESPN programming director Mark Shapiro is the new president and chief executive officer of Oklahoma City-based theme-park giant Six Flags Inc., the company announced on Tuesday.

    At a board meeting in New York, Six Flags directors voted to replace longtime CEO Kieran Burke with Shapiro and decided not to sell the company, Shapiro said in a brief telephone interview with The Associated Press.


    "The sale process has concluded," Shapiro said. "The board didn't see any bid that was attractive enough to proceed in that direction."
    Shapiro said the board also voted to expand from seven to 10 members, adding former Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp and Michael Kassan, an entertainment and media consultant.


    "We're going to unleash a new creative energy from this company and we're going to make Six Flags a destination instead of a field trip," Shapiro said.

    Shares of Six Flags fell 10 cents, or 1.4 percent, to close at $7.15 in trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

    The installment of Shapiro as the company's president marks the end of a contentious proxy battle that started in August when Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who owns about 11.7 percent of the company's stock, launched his bid to take over the company.
    Six Flags responded by putting itself up for sale at auction.
    Shapiro said his first order of business is to visit each of the company's nearly 30 theme parks over the next month, evaluate the current management structure and "light a fire under this company."


    He said a top priority of the new management team will be to target young children and families and not just thrill-seeking teenagers.

    "It's become a company that has targeted teenagers as its core audience ... but it's been done at the expense of young families," Shapiro said. "We want to make the parks more attractive to families and restoring family confidence in the brand.

    At the end of the day, our consumers have to see Six Flags as clean, safe, friendly and fun."

    Dennis Spiegel, president of International Theme Park Services, an Ohio-based consulting firm, said he believes Shapiro's philosophy and the new additions to the board are a move in the right direction for Six Flags.
    "To move a company in this industry forward, they have to reach outside the ride-attractions envelope into the major entertainment world," Spiegel said. "To put in another roller coaster, that's not the answer. We've been doing that for the last 20 years in our industry, and our industry is basically stagnant."


  2. #2

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    I hope they do something good with the place. I won't go because I hear of gang problems and drugs being done in restrooms.

  3. #3

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    It's about time. I always worried about going there and getting shot!
    ...it's been a long time.

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    He said a top priority of the new management team will be to target young children and families and not just thrill-seeking teenagers.

    "It's become a company that has targeted teenagers as its core audience ... but it's been done at the expense of young families," Shapiro said. "We want to make the parks more attractive to families and restoring family confidence in the brand.

    At the end of the day, our consumers have to see Six Flags as clean, safe, friendly and fun."
    I remember before Magic Mountain was bought out by Six Flags, I'd go with my parents and even my grandmother or elderly uncle, and everyone would have a great time. There would be rides and shows for everyone, and it was clean, well-maintained, and a safe environment that attracted people of all ages. The Six Flags dancing geezer wouldn't have been out of place there.

    The last time I went to SFMM was over ten years ago. I was still in my late 20s, but soon realized that I was now just too old for the park, which was in jaw-droppingly bad condition anyway, and I felt like a gang war was going to break out at any moment. I'll sometimes drive past and look longlingly at it, but I really can't imagine ever going into the park again now for any reason. All of the things my parents enjoyed are long gone now, and everything else screams "if you're not a teen, why are you here?" And somehow, the whole park just felt creepy and unsafe. I wish him luck in trying to bring back the families.

  5. #5

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    Basicly they are saying Disney is getting more money because they have a much broader audience, and now they want the same. Nothing wrong with some good competition I say!

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    Six Flags Magic Mountain HAS had gang wars break out--every summer for at least the dozen years that I've been in SoCal, there's been stuff on the news about killings in the parking lot, etc. That's why they installed the metal detectors--a very near killing INSIDE the park.

    That, and the fact that I prefer a little variety to my day, not just a contant stream of 'thrill' rides of questionable thrillability is why I haven't been to SFMM in 8 or 9 years.

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    ^ Is that a fact??? Gang Wars ... EVERY year???

    That is 100% un-true.

    Yes SFMM has problems. When you price Season Passes as low as Six Flags does the parks become hang-outs.

    We have gone at least once a month for the past 5 or 6 years. We were only going once a year between '96 and '99 because we had small children who had no reason to go to SFMM. But prior to that I have been visiting SFMM consistently (At least 6 times a year) since 1982.

    So since 1982 I have probably had well over 150 visits to SFMM. NEVER in those visits have I seen a fight, Gang War, Shooting, etc. Sure I have seen gangs there, I have heard things about fights and I'm sure they happen. I did know somebody who was at one of the riots at the park ... IN 1994!!!

    But I also know that they have problems at Knott's, USH and yes ... EVEN DISNEYLAND.

    SFMM is not perfect. FAR from it. I will bash the park with everyone else, as long as it is justified. IMO in this case it isn't.

    The park has improved since the added security has been added. It's a sad fact that they need to have that level of security but it has helped.

    But to come out and say that there are Gang Wars Every year, even as you posted you haven't been to the park in 8 or 9 years is false. I'd like to see you back it up with fact (news articles, etc).


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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    I guess there is some controversy over the authenticity of a "leaked" memo during the planning of DCA that stated, "If it's good enough for Six Flags, it's good enough for DCA." Well, apparently even Six Flags doesn't even believe that anymore!
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
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  9. #9

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    I can't speak for the other SF parks, but I avoid Magic Mountain because just looking at the place I can't see anything I could enjoy as a slow ride fan. I've been when Colossus was the big new thing which was a long time ago, and the place was decent but not tops on my list to return again.

    Nowadays I'd consider it a theme park for the Hot Topic crowd. If I wanted a slice of Magic Mountain (and I don't) I'd go north to Great America instead, which I'm sure has some fights but doesn't have this big reputation for them.

  10. #10

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot
    But to come out and say that there are Gang Wars Every year, even as you posted you haven't been to the park in 8 or 9 years is false. I'd like to see you back it up with fact (news articles, etc).
    To me, unsupervised Santa Clarita brats are a bigger problem at the parks than possible gang warfare.

    I was at the park yesterday and it is badly mismanaged. I hope the new guys follow through with their plans.

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    ^ Like I said ... I'm not saying there are not problems with the park. Anybody with eyes can see that. But there is not Gang Warfare going on at the park on a daily basis.

    MickeyMania ... if you don't like high speed XTREME rides don't go to SFMM. I'm also hoping that what the CEO is saying happens and that the parks become more than just thrills. Most visits to the park for us last no more than 3 hours and some not as many as 2. I think the longest we have spent inside SFMM (not including Hurricane Harbor) is 5 hours this year.


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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    Last time I was at SFMM, my wife complained of dizzyness and headaches after riding a few of the coasters. Haven't been back since. Five years. It's also a long way to go to get headaches. The older one might want to go soon, but he's going to wuss out on the bigger rides, and I don't know if I even want to go on them anymore.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  13. #13

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    Here is the thing guys...

    The Six Flags theme park here in the San Francisco Bay Area is a PERFECT case in point as to everything that has been wrong with Six Flags for YEARS...

    Essecially it is, at it very core and heart, an Animal Theme Park... And it once was a pretty good one too... Marine World Africa USA.... It was moved to Vallejo California from a GREAT location in Redwood City... But it did so for property issues...

    The Animal Theme Park back in the early 80's while it was in Redwood City incorporated a water theme park, long before WDW added a water slide... It was very forward thinking... However it seemed to be outclassed by SeaWorld in San Diego... Partly because they had a STRONG media presence by sending an Ambassitor to the Tonight Show...

    The park essencially was family oriented... Combining Zoo, Circus, aquatic animals and land mammels of every kind...

    Kids love animals...

    When Six Flags bought the park after it was moved to Vallejo, it became all about the Roller Coaster... It was a postage stamp of a park almost the same size as Knotts, maybe smaller... basically four color "Zones" little theming...

    The national marketing campaign was in my mind problematic as well... It said that "Old People are creepy" and combined with the artistic conception of the million dollar new Dolphin Experiance showing familys interacting with the animal, seemed to me to be more than a bit incongruent...

    I have told this to the head of Marketing at Six Flags Marine World, TO HIS FACE... He laughed at me, as I didn't know jack about running a theme park... (It is true, I don't have the experiance...) but I do know that families have more money than teenage kids... A teenager doesn't want to by theme park swag... they just want a thrill and be on their way... Grabbing families with Children work to do just this...

    When I told the gentleman in charge of Marketing that many investors and critics thought the price of a season pass was TOO LOW... He looked at me cross eyed and said, are "you sure that is a complaint? Most people would compain about prices being too high..." Looking at me as a potential customer...

    They now have a CEO who is saying what I told this gentleman... Now he has to DO it... Not just laugh...

    It could be his laughing because he knew it was true...
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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    I read in Variety today that Harvey Weinstein (former head of Miramax) has joined the Board of Six Flags.

    That makes two ex-Disney execs on the board.

    This could get interesting......
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  15. #15

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    Re: New Six Flags CEO seeking to change image ...

    I wonder how Knott's feels now...
    "Yesterday, a man walked up to me and said, 'Isn't it a shame that Walt Disney couldn't be here to see this?' and I said, "He did see this, that's why it's here."
    -Art Linkletter July 17, 2005-


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