‘We became a cheap day care center for teenagers’

‘We became a cheap day care center for teenagers’

Six Flags revealed it has shed almost 2 million clients through the previous yr – a drop that got here partly due to an initiative to weed out “rowdy youngsters,” in response to the corporate’s CEO.

The Arlington, Texas-based theme park’s shares tumbled 18% to $21.12 on Thursday after it disclosed that attendance at its 27 parks was down 22% from a yr in the past to six.7 million within the quarter ended July 3. 

The drop got here partly as a result of Six Flags has been steadily climbing ticket costs this yr, Chief govt Selim Bassoul instructed analysts on a Thursday earnings name.

We grew to become an inexpensive day care middle for youngsters,” Bassoul stated.

In response, Six Flags has been climbing costs to cut back the numbers of “rowdy youngsters working round,” he added.

Movies posted on social media confirmed younger girls viciously attacking one another, roofs of automobiles being trampled on and other people smashing home windows on the Six Flags in Maryland.CBS Information Baltimore

The rowdiness has sometimes turned violent. Final month, a teen was arrested for aggravated assault of a police officer at Nice Journey in Jackson Township, NJ when he pushed a cop who’d been known as to the park due to reviews of a combat.

Final yr, on the Six Flags in Prince George’s County, Md., a number of fights broke out within the parking zone throughout Fright Fest. Movies posted on social media confirmed younger girls viciously attacking one another, roofs of automobiles being trampled on and other people smashing home windows, in response to CBS Baltimore.

And in 2017, on the Gurnee, In poor health. Six Flags, police had been known as to the park after youngsters “sucker punched” a 12-year-old when the boy’s mom requested them to tone down their swearing. The teenagers then attacked the boy’s dad and mom, punching and kicking them, in response to media reviews on the time.

A number of fights broke out.CBS Information Baltimore

Now, Six Flags is ratcheting costs larger because it focuses on “elevating the visitor expertise,” Bassoul stated. Accordingly, the corporate now expects attendance to be down by between 20% and 25% this yr. Complete visitor spending per particular person, nonetheless, has elevated to $63.87 from $51.94 in comparison with a yr in the past, the corporate stated.

“We realized that we had discounted an excessive amount of and we had been filling the park” with the flawed varieties of consumers, stated Bassoul, who grew to become CEO in November after serving on the board since 2020. In the meantime, the variety of households attending the parks has elevated by “a number of share factors” Bassoul stated.

Selim Bassoul was named CEO in November 2021.Takreem

“We wish to be a park for the center class and even the decrease center class,” he stated. “We consider our demographic is the common earnings of the US and I’m migrating somewhat bit from what I name the Kmart, Walmart [customer] to possibly the goal clients, if I wish to say that.”

Sea World in Orlando, Fla. fees $116 per ticket, in response to its web site whereas a ticket to Nice Journey in Jackson, NJ prices about $45, in response to the Six Flags web site.

“This can be a transitional yr for Six Flags, as we reset the foundations of our enterprise mannequin to deal with delivering a premium visitor expertise, whereas on the similar time, correcting for many years of heavy worth discounting,” Bassoul stated in a Thursday assertion.

Six Flags can also be seeking to enhance wait occasions at its parks which may add up from as much as half-hour to park, as much as half-hour to clear safety, 15 to 25 minutes to make use of the restrooms and one to 2 hours to get meals and get on a journey, Bassoul stated.  

In July, an influence outage at its Nice Journey park in New Jersey pressured park goers to attend for greater than 90 minutes within the scorching warmth to enter the park.

The corporate is attempting to draw extra households to the parks and enhance the general wait occasions for all the things from rides to parking.
MediaNews Group through Getty Photos

Six Flags is actively courting households and moms.

Through the previous yr, the corporate stated it has misplaced about 2 million season ticket holders who didn’t renew their membership Consequently, complete income for the quarter decreased by 5% to $24 million, fueled by the the decrease attendance and $5 million discount in sponsorship revenues. 

Six Flags officers didn’t reply to requests for extra remark.

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