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what is going on with sfmm? is it going to close?

Six Flags Magic Mountain: what the heck is going on with sfmm??

From rafael guzman
Posted July 27, 2006 at 8:27 AM
i cant find anything about this on this website, an with this subject, i can not believe that it is not the number one topic. is sfmm going to close down?? is it going to be replaced by houses? please let me know and discuss what is going on.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Robert Niles
Posted July 27, 2006 at 8:28 AM
Can't find anything on this website?

Did you even try?

http://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/200607/165/, which this the latest of, oh, probably more than a hundred threads, columns, blog posts and comments about Six Flags' and Magic Mountain's business situations.

From rafael guzman
Posted July 27, 2006 at 8:42 AM
well thank you very much, i really could not find it in here, also, i really am surprised that it is not the number one topic on SFMM. my questions are, dosent six flags have cheap, non profit parks to sell first, i know the realstate is the real reason at sfmm, but sell the parks that are losing money first, and focus your number one profit parks. 20 lets say that sfmm is closed, the wrecking ball is warming up, would people be protesting tos top this and keep it alive?? (i would) finally, do you think this is a publicity stunt?? i mean im going to to sfmm more just to make sure they make a little more money. again thank you for your help, im new to this site, i love it so far.

From Darrell Shimel
Posted July 27, 2006 at 10:00 AM
Yeah, it is pretty tough to find something that is on the front page. True, it is a couple days old, so has been pushed to the bottom of the front page.


Go read my comment on the above provided thread. All your questions are answered.

In short, they are trying to get out from under debt, and SFMM is on the chopping block, not becuase it is unproiftable, but becuase it is valuable. The aren't looking to cut costs, they're looking to make big money to pay down their debt.

And, they are looking to trasnform from thrill park operator to family park operator. Six Flags may be too far gone to transform, and it has too much competition in the family market, and its reputation may be damaged beyond repair.


Publicity stunt? Nope. Honest attempt to keep Six Flags out of bankruptcy as their bonds drop further into junk status, driving up their interest rates, making thier costs jump, driving them further into junk status.....

They're in a viscious cycle that feeds itself. This is a possible drastic move to break out of the cycle.

From John Smith
Posted July 29, 2006 at 8:20 AM
i get asked that question alot, since i work there. i know as much as anyone else knows, just what i hear on the news. it's not like the CEO is going to call all the ride operators and tell them anything.

From Shemoni Patel
Posted July 29, 2006 at 3:34 PM
God I hope it doesn't sell..what i don't understand is can't they just enforce more security rather than shut down the park..I mean come on..its the best Six Flags out there and it holds a Guiness World Record...get real Mark Shapiro and change ur decision

From Dustin Kern
Posted July 29, 2006 at 5:17 PM
I don't think that they will close the park, that park makes a lot of profit (or at least it seems to). Also, no offense to those people who love SFMM, but I don't think that they deserve that record of having the most coasters at one park because one of them isn't even operational. I mean, I'm sure that if that park is still open with in the next 10 years, I myself will be making a trip out there because they do have a world class collection of coasters. It would be a shame to see that park close down.

From rafael guzman
Posted July 29, 2006 at 10:15 PM
your right, i really dont care about the roller coaster record, i could care less, but lets say they actually sell and close and they are going to start to scrap the park. wouldn't someone step in to stop it!!!! the city?? the people??? why would anyabody buy that and then shut it down?? why would you do that??? just so you can build some damn houses!! build them somewhere else!!! there plenty of space elsewhere!! i know it has alot of problems, but so did disney in the 70s and they rebounded!! it pisses me of that someone is even thinking of doing this!!

From joe blow
Posted July 31, 2006 at 3:18 AM
I heard that six flags is not selling the park just the land. The rides would be sold to other buyers or rellocated to their other properties.

From Darrell Shimel
Posted July 31, 2006 at 10:13 AM
Joe,
Six Flags is exploring options. They are willing to sell the park as a going entity. Or for a lesser amount, they may sell just the land and move the rides.

Or, they may not do either.

Just exploring options. Nothing decided. No plans set.

From Emerson Galicia
Posted July 31, 2006 at 12:20 PM
I just went to SSMM two days ago. I think if i could describe my experience in one word i would say "Ridiculous". To start off ticket prices are really expenisive. The park was very dirty (cups bags and trash on the floor. This is all bad but hey i can deal with it and still have a good day in a dirty park but what really bugs me about six flags is all the punks and gangsters that overcrowd the park. I was stared down by a couple of morons who seem to think that six flags is their block back in Watts. Another thing... yeah im a big coaster fan and thats the reason i go... to go on Goliath, Batman, etc. However having so much coasters and so little family rides i think is what has caused the park to fail. I guess they have to realize that 30-50 year old grown ups don't want to go run around riding rollercoasters. They would much rather take their kids to DisneyLand or Knotts which are much more family oriented parks. So if the parents dont want to go to the parks and kids from ages 1-12 can't even ride the rides that pretty much leaves them with teenagers 13-16 who run around unsupervised messeing around, littering,17-21 year old gangbangers who do whatever the hell they want and all other sorts of people who have don't respect public rules. I think MM should start building more family features if they want to survive... look at disney they renovated Pirates Of The Carribean so the characters Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Turner, etc. came out on the ride. And since the movie was such a huge succes there's people rushing to ride a ride thats been there a looooooong time... thats Genius. I think if six flags really wants to survive they need to improve in personel, efficiency, family rides, restaurant... and the only reason i dont throw in prices is because if you have a nice park with all the right ingredients people will pony up the dough... But this is just my personal opinion...

From Darrell Shimel
Posted July 31, 2006 at 1:20 PM
Emerson,
I really hope you didn't pay gate price. No one should ever pay gate price. Bring a soda can and get 2-for-1. Buy through a group. Buy on-line. There are SOOOO many ways to get in for WAY less than the gate price. Heck, if you're gonna pay gate price may as well spend the extra $20 and get an annual pass.

Yeah, the park is overrun by unsupervised teenagers and gangstas. A few years bakc they tried to hastle the gangstas at the gates in hopes they'd quit coming. The result was a law suit over racial profiling which they had to settle out of court.

Yes, they need families to return. They need family friendly attractions. Problem is, they don't have the money. It is said Disney spends $70 million to $100 million for an E-Ticket attraction. For their 6 U.S. parks, 2 water parks, and 2 shopping districts they have a $500 million to $600 million a year capital budget for improvement, refurb, long-term maintenance.

In comparison, Six Flags spends about $100 million a year on capital improvements for its 30-ish parks.

And thanks to last management's long-term deals with coaster manufacturers, $80 million of that $100 million a year is locked into buying coasters.

Doesn't leave much for anything else.

From rafael guzman
Posted August 1, 2006 at 8:39 AM
thanks everyone for your info, first, i never said six flags is perfect, but i always think that it is funny that when i go, pretty much everything is open and i never see gans in there!! i know six flags is not the best, and it could be better. but still dosent mean that it should be shut down!! the park is dirtier that disneyland, but not cause the "teenagers" or the "gang members" it is because six flags does not have enough people working. the samething happens at disneyland, but they have more people working there, hense it "looks" better. im a huge disney and sfmm fan, but it anoys me when people say there are alot of "gang members" there, ive never had a problem or an incident.

From sherri arnaud
Posted August 1, 2006 at 2:12 PM
I am so glad to see people talking about this subject. The first I've heard of the park closing was from my friend last Sunday. I hear it's to sell the land for more residential building.

The property that lies in the park perimeter is real-estate gold. They no doubt will make a hefty profit. When the park was first purchased by Six Flags from the original owner, it was quite isolated - just surrounded by rolling hills and oak trees. Now 25-30 years later it is surrounded by thousands of homes. You can imagine the profit they are sitting on! It makes sense that they would do this given the operating costs to run the theme park.

I actually haven't been to SFMM in over 15 years. I've heard of the gang activity and poor conditions. Plus my kids are still young and enjoy Disney just fine. However, I was looking forward to the day when they're tall enough to go on the thrill rides of SFMM with me!

So, if anyone hears more news - please let us know. I may have to hustle over there and get my last thrills.

From Darrell Shimel
Posted August 2, 2006 at 9:38 AM
If anyone hears anything, the news will be EVERYWHERE.

There may be an update in today's Six Flags earnings conference call. I doubt it though. Probably just a "we're still exploring all options".

From rafael guzman
Posted August 4, 2006 at 12:02 PM
BIG SHOCKER!!!!! i went to knotts yesterday, dang, where do i start. its not the "people" cause you still have "gangmembers" there, but they are the ones with a wife and kids. i never cared about the people anyways. knotts is not disney, but it is not sfmm. its cleaner and it looks better than sfmm. they have some really good roller coasters. the point of the story is that you can still have high class roller coasters and have a decent park. it seem that knotts puts money in cleaning and maitananace, whwere sfmm just puts it in roller coasters, i still like sfmm, i just hope they can turn thnigs around fast, so that they can pull in some more people so thatthey can make some more money, so that they dont have to sell the darn thing.

From rafael guzman
Posted November 4, 2006 at 11:33 PM
just wondering if anyone knows any more new news about SFMM. its been kinda quite about this topic.

From Greg Shilton
Posted November 5, 2006 at 4:14 PM
There is another one on here which I stated that I've talked with several workers there and they stated the park is not closing.

Plus, the 2007 season passes are up for sale now, and they would not do sell them if they were closing. So, it's at least around for another year.

From John Smith
Posted November 7, 2006 at 6:47 AM
in the daily news, the major newspaper for the area, there was an article on the front page that there were no buyers for magic mountian as of yet. there you have it folks.

From mike brunson
Posted November 29, 2006 at 10:32 PM
i think it was just a gimic to get people to come they won't close it it is to popular of a park for teenagers for them to close it

From rafael g
Posted November 30, 2006 at 1:01 AM
i once said if it was a publicity stunt, and i was told no on here. i think its both, where they looked into selling the park, and then they got all this publicity, and they went along with it.

From Greg Shilton
Posted December 3, 2006 at 8:24 PM
"it is to popular of a park for teenagers for them to close it"

That's one of the problems. It's popular for teenagers. What about kids? Adults? Families? Teenagers don't make that much money as do adults, and teenagers can only go so much.

Someone said they should close it for a year, do major refurbishment, and fix it. I think that's a great idea, but instead of the whole park, do it in sections. Like, one area closed and redone while the rest is open, and just lower admission to 20, so they still make some income.

From John Smith
Posted December 15, 2006 at 8:04 AM
the LA daily news had an article this week on the subject. it looks like the park will not be shutting down. and, it may be sold to another theme park company instead of a developer. reason being is that home prices here are not going up as they were in the past.

From Miguel Delgado
Posted January 5, 2007 at 5:16 PM
I think we should protest like other people above said. We can't let SfMM down. WE cant just sit down while one of the best theme parks is being destroyed

From Shemoni Patel
Posted January 7, 2007 at 6:37 PM
i hope it doesnt close
i heard this is the last season or something
but maybe they are just pulling a publicity stunt to get more people to come visit the park or something

From Miguel Delgado
Posted January 7, 2007 at 8:42 PM
No they really do have a finicial problem why do you think they raised prices?

From Rosa De La Cruz
Posted February 22, 2007 at 12:22 PM
Hey guys, great news, check out their website! There's a press release that was published about a month ago saying that they are NOT going to close. They mention plans for the future and will continue in business this year and beyond. Yipee!

FYI: They also have info on rides closed for maintenance so you know what to expect when you go.

Enjoy!

From rafael g
Posted February 22, 2007 at 7:51 PM
at first i was mad that it might close, but the funny thing, i still did not go to the park. i am excited that it will be around, and that it might improve. i really do hope that it does.

From G G
Posted March 16, 2009 at 10:45 PM
I'm sorry, but Magic Mountain was never intended to be a "family" orientated amuzement park. That's what Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and all the others are for. Magic mountain is a park for people who want to ride really great rollercoasters. That was the whole point!!! The biggest problem with the park is getting there, since it is a little ways out of the way. Not only that, but the place it is closest to is Los Angeles which is a nightmare to deal with in a perfect world, let alone any "real" day of the week. It is, and has always been, the only place to go if you really love riding rollercoasters. If you want family fun, fine dining or entertainment shows, go to Disneyland, etc., because I have a serious problem with all these negative comments about the Park not being a "family" geared park. IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE!!!. And, I'm sorry, but the fact is, little kids are too little for these types of coasters, so if you want to go, hire a babysitter or drop them off at you Mom's. Don't try to ruin it for the rest of us, it's the only place left for the true "Rollercoaster" enthusiast. If the Park is a little dirty, who cares? the rides are great. So the food isn't the best, who cares? the rides are great!!! That's the point. We go for the rides and that's it!!! Hell, I don't even break for meals. My mission when I'm there is to ride as many of the rides as many times as I can (except for a couple of the rides which I think suck). And still, there's never enough time in the day to satisfy my coaster thirst. Of course, another option for a cleaner park might be to throw the trash away. The Park is not the reason or the cause of the trash and dirt, it's the people visiting the Park. So instead of blaming Magic Mountain maybe people should pick up a mirror once in a while!!!

From James Rao
Posted March 17, 2009 at 7:23 AM
Hmmm...what is up with all these old threads being resurrected? Guess this one is a little more pertinent because of the Six Flags issues going round....

Anyway, Six Flags MM has/had numerous issues, not the least of which was/is a perception by customers (the people that pay the bills) that the park is run by teenagers for teenagers. Which is fine, unless as a park park manager, you want to make money. You see, teenagers in general don't have a lot of money to spend per visit. Mom and Dad usually buy them a season pass (a once a year investment), drop them off at the entrance (no parking fee), and give them $20 for food. So, on average, a park like MM makes very little income with all those fancy thrill seeker attractions.

What MM would like to accomplish (and Six Flags as a whole is trying to accomplish), is to attract the lucrative family dollar: you know, that $400 a day that Disney pulls in from mom, dad, son, and daughter as they travel the park together. The way theme park companies achieve that goal is by making their parks more family friendly.

Now, that doesn't mean you can't have big time coaster thrills (see Cedar Point, King's Island, Hershey Park, and Busch Gardens for four examples of thrill parks that also cater to the family unit), it does mean, however, that you have to offer more things to do than your standard Six Flags park was offering back in 2006.

Families don't like trash, rude employees, rude customers, broken down thrill rides, long lines, lousy food, and parks where their under 54" kids can't ride anything while their older siblings have a blast. Sadly, at MM in 2006 when this post originally hit the net, all those issues were considered features. Not to mention a significant gang element had moved into the park chasing away anyone but the staunchest of thrill seekers.

So, Shapiro joined Six Flags (after a somewhat hostile management takeover), and he immediately set out to right the ship and start trying to make money by cleaning up his parks, hiring better employees, instituting a customer code of conduct, and catering to the lucrative family dollar (sadly SF hasn't done much to improve the food quality, yet).

What Six Flags found out (and Shapiro already knew) is it doesn't make sense to have the most coasters, or the fastest and tallest coasters, if no one wants to come to your park except thrill seeking teenagers and gang bangers. And for those parents who do come to the park, the $50 they are spending on a babysitter so they can go to the park without their little ones, translates into $200 of revenue if they were to bring those same kids with them to the park! At some point, a park needs to make money to keep building those coasters, and they are not going to make that money off someone who has maybe $20 to spend per trip.

It is a true feat to please both thrill seekers and families, but it can be done. Many parks have been able to accomplish it and make money. It is a balancing act, but at the end of the day, it is still about providing unique destinations that are clean, accommodating, customer focused, family-friendly, and in good working order. Once Six Flags Magic Mountain has all that covered...well, then...the sky is the limit!

No one is opposed to a theme park having a host of great roller coasters, but the park better have more to offer than a 500 foot drop if it wants to stay in business.

From Nick Markham
Posted March 17, 2009 at 7:10 AM
That is exactly what I was thinking! Why are people bring up these threads all the way from 2006! I keep having a heartattack when every day a post comes up saying SFMM is closing or Universal Express passes are gone! Why would someone even care about a post from such a long time ago? I can't even stand some posts from two months ago!

From James Rao
Posted March 17, 2009 at 7:23 AM
I agree, Nick, but in this case I think the topic has new legs in light of everything going on at Six Flags. MM may not be in danger of being sold anymore, but it certainly will be impacted if the parent company declares bankruptcy.

A new thread would probably be better, but in this era of "going green through recycling", I guess reusing old threads makes some sense!

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