Everything is up for reevaluation, [Shapiro] says. Last year he began a tour of all 30 parks and quickly demoted the gyrating, gnomelike Mr. Six, who had been the star of Six Flags' ads. The campaign, which cost about $40 million, irritated Snyder, who calls Mr. Six "creepy," and frightened little children. Shapiro says he would like to cut debt by $1 billion and is targeting several sources, including the sale of a theme park in Houston and 3,500 acres of excess real estate. To Shapiro's annoyance, much of the capital spending locked into this year's budget is pegged for roller coasters. "It has to be about the experience," he says, "not just the rides."
The article includes a quote from me, as well as a lead featuring TPI reader Pete Brecht.
Snyder and Shapiro are saying many of the right things. (If one is willing to forget that awful re-entry policy trial balloon...) And a comment on the Business Week story raises a serious question about management priorities. But the real question remains... will Wall Street and private investors retain their confidence in S&S as attendance dives and interest payments mount while new management builds a new park experience for a future audience?
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