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What's up with Six Flags?

Six Flags America: I called the SFA head offices for info about the parks future, and I found some weird "facts"... I'm not sure if it's true. Can someone help me out?

From Eli Katzman
Posted March 20, 2009 at 4:02 PM
Ok, so today (3/20/09) at around 4:20 eastern time, I called the SFA offices, from the number on their website. When I got a person, they said that they had not heard of SFA or even six flags itself going bankrupt or out of business.

...-- does this mean that- SF employees are not being told, are being told to lie, or something other than that? She said that she heard a small rumor on six flags going out of business, but not SFA, if anything. She said that even if Six Flags (the corporation) closes down, SFA will still hold on as its own park. I sure hope so, but I have no clue what to believe. As I know, she told me that Six Flags America wasn't owned by six flags some years ago, so Six Flags just owns SFA, not actually operates it...

CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHAT OF THIS IS TRUE AND WHAT IS FALSE?!!?!? Please, I'm really curious, and am troubled by what's going on... PLEASE?!


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

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 20, 2009 at 5:43 PM
Six Flags Great America and Six Flags St. Louis seem to be going on like nothing is going down. Perhaps select parks will survive on their own.

I mean SFGA is getting a new and sizable attraction.

From James Rao
Posted March 20, 2009 at 7:49 PM
According to Shapiro (the guy who run Six Flags), it will be business as usual at the parks this season while the company works to restructure its huge debt. I don't think anyone expects SF to go under completely, although certain parts of the chain could be sold off or closed to pay debts.

Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Over Georgia are somewhat insulated as they are not owned by Six Flags but are instead owned by limited partnerships that license the Six Flags name.

All the other Six Flags parks except for Magic Mountain, Great Adventure (NJ), Great America (Gurnee), and probably Fiesta Texas (very famous for its award winning shows) should be worried about their respective futures unless Shaprio can work some real magic.

From Eli Katzman
Posted March 21, 2009 at 7:57 PM
Yeah, James, that's probably true for SFA.

In my statement above, I forgot a very important thing-- the person said they expect a ride, most likely a coaster for '10 and most likely '11... LETS HOPE!!!

From Josh M
Posted March 25, 2009 at 7:02 PM
They're a publicly traded company, they're not going to tell anyone that they're going under, or closing parks until they have no other choice. They have to retain confidence in their stockholders, creditors and not to mention the ticket buying public. No one's going to buy season passes or make plans to visit if they're hearing that their park is going to close. I was at Circuit City back in early December and the topic came up with the girl we were talking with and she brushed off the idea of bankruptcy as people asked her about it and if they were going to have a huge going out of business sale. She had no idea that a month later that all was going to change.

From James Rao
Posted March 26, 2009 at 3:27 AM
According to a recent Shapiro interview on THIS website (check the Blog Flume for the article), Six Flags is NOT going under, and in fact you will continue to see improvements at each park (especially the bigger, more profitable ones like Magic Mountain). Shapiro even went so far as to say that the chain will still be operating 50 years from now!

From Derek Potter
Posted March 26, 2009 at 7:14 AM
Six Flags may or may not be going under. If they are though, they likely won't tell their employees that. They may tell the higher ups, but mid/lower management and the people in the trenches won't be told until reckoning day. There will be a positive spin on everything until it all comes crashing down. Some will know, most won't. It's the corporate way. They want to avoid the possibly of mass amounts of people walking out.

I wouldn't get my hopes up if you are asking park employees for information. They probably don't have it. If they do, than it's probably wrong.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 26, 2009 at 7:31 AM
I highly doubt the entire park system will collapse on one day! I think they are set for the summer since thats when its a cash cow, but who knows afterwards.....

I think they will be ok with only a few, if any, closing down.

From Eli Katzman
Posted March 26, 2009 at 5:34 PM
Thanks, guys. I appreciate it. And Derek, you're most likely right about who gets told.

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