The public will love Six Flags again
Six Flags is abolishing the old general-manager bonus plan that rewarded park executives based exclusively on performance according to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA). That plan contributed to stingy operators cutting costs late in the season at the expense of park guests. Now, the new bonus system will introduce gauges such as revenues generated per guest, patron satisfaction, and park cleanliness to go along with operating profits at the park level.
Six Flags is also contracting with SASI Consulting, a company that helped improve operations at four of the company's parks recently, to develop a universal training program. The old regime didn't emphasize training, probably figuring that the high turnover of young seasonal hires wasn't a group worth investing in. Big mistake. And a big opportunity for Shapiro.
The real smiles
Something special is happening at Six Flags. You don't see it right now, but just wait until it's early August, and your co-worker has a picture of his or her daughter with Wonder Woman taken at Six Flags. Just wait until your next visit, when you find yourself amazed that the restrooms are being tended to on an hourly basis, the "streetmosphere" is thickly enjoyable, and you're finding yourself smiling again -- in a Six Flags park.
That smile won't be faked.