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Are Snyder and Shapiro the 'Batman and Robin' of Six Flags?

Written by
Published: May 2, 2006 at 12:06 PM

Business Week has an article in its May 8 edition on The Batman And Robin Of Six Flags, Dan Snyder and Mark Shapiro.

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?

Readers' Opinions

From Ben Mills on May 2, 2006 at 12:37 PM
And how much did TPI being described as "a Web site for roller-coaster buffs" make you want to throttle the author's throat, Robert? Hee.
From Robert Niles on May 2, 2006 at 12:49 PM
Well... I'm gonna rationalize that by believing that he did not mean to imply that TPI isn't also a site for many, many more folks, too.
From Tombraider Ty on May 2, 2006 at 5:35 PM
I liked Mr. Six! He was cool!
From Jessie Phillips on May 3, 2006 at 6:11 AM
Since shapiro took over, I have seen a different air about 6 flags. They are more like the lex luther and joker. Implemented policies that have made 6 flags, an even more kids daycare center. Parents dropping off their kids, while they go to work, shopping or just want a day off from the kids. What a cheap babysitter, 6 flags has become. $60 a year for a babysitter? what a deal. Also about their re-entry policy, it is just another way to soak the customers and season passholders can only use their passes 1 time a day. Do they not know about what it costs to go to a theme park for vacation with gas prices and all? I am fortunate enough to live within 15 miles of the one in Arlington Texas and do have season passes, but if they don't go back to the way they were before the idiot policies added this year, it will be my last year to have season passes
From Robert OGrosky on May 3, 2006 at 8:34 AM
My daughter went to our local Saturday for the opening and Season passholders are allowed re-entry as they left the park to go eat.
I can see the park wanting to become more family friendly, but you dont do it by increasing parking fee's to $15 per car and invite Papa Johns Pizza into the park and increase the food prices and reduce the pizza quality, also not family friendly to increae the gate pricers like they did this year.
SF could learn alot from Holiday World about becoming family friendly and not gouging your guests!!

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