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Six Flags CEO Faces Tough Climb to Put Theme Parks Back on Track - LATimes - 7/7/06

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  • Six Flags CEO Faces Tough Climb to Put Theme Parks Back on Track - LATimes - 7/7/06

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-f...-home-business

    CLARIFICATION:
    Six Flags: This article described a letter received by Six Flags Chief Executive Mark Shapiro in which a parent wrote about a visit to an unindentified park marked by long lines, closed rides, rude employees, rowdy teens yelling racial slurs and a couple having sex on the Ferris wheel. The visit occurred in October 2004, before Shapiro and his management team arrived at the company.

    "This is the best example I have of what we're up against," Shapiro said. "We're going to win this guy back."

    In the process, he's winning fans.

    Shapiro's tough assessment of his company and willingness to unload troublesome properties brought cheers from industry experts even as some fretted about the potential loss of Magic Mountain's unmatched collection of thrill rides if real estate developers were to end up with the land.

    "It's difficult to see much more room to disappoint," Bear, Stearns & Co. analyst Glen Reid wrote in a note to shareholders. "This remains a long-term turnaround and we continue to be optimistic."

    Even Six Flags' competitors are happy with the recommitment to the parks, said Dennis Speigel, president of consulting firm International Theme Park Services Inc.

    "Shapiro took a body that was on the table that didn't have a heartbeat after the other management team left and he's got the heart beating again," he said. "Morale has never been higher."

    But Shapiro said that Six Flags' reputation had been "squandered away" and families were not returning at the pace he had hoped. Attendance is down 12.5%.

    To speed progress, he has instituted major changes: a no-smoking policy at the parks and new characters, parades and entertainment. To strengthen finances, the company has sold assets and brought in a new management team, replacing six park general managers.

    "We have a lot of work to do here and we're going to do it," Shapiro said.


  • #2
    Re: Six Flags CEO Faces Tough Climb to Put Theme Parks Back on Track - LATimes - 7/7/06

    I think one of the things Shapiro needs to focus on is working with Time/Warner to make certain that they are properly maintaining strenght of the carracters...

    I mean, it is no use to focus on caracter brunches when kids are not exposed to Bugs Bunny... Rather they abandoned him for Buzz Bunny...

    It may seem minor... But this contractual synergy still needs to be better developed...
    Check out my other blog:

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