Six Flags has announced that it will reopen its remaining American parks, even as it reports another tough quarter of financials today.
The amusement park chain's last U.S. theme park without an announced reopening date - Six Flags New England - will reopen to members and passholders on May 14, followed by a public return the next day. In addition, Six Flags will reopen its Hurricane Harbor water park in southern California on May 15, followed by its northern California Hurricane Harbor in Concord on May 22.
That leaves only Montreal's La Ronde as the only Six Flags park not yet to have a reopening date. In perhaps related news, Formula 1 announced today that it has canceled this year's Canadian Grand Prix, which was to run on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Île Notre-Dame, next to La Ronde's Île Sainte-Hélène in the Saint Lawrence River. Québec and the rest of Canada are being hammered by Covid right now, making the reopening of theme parks and major events such as the Grand Prix unlikely for the foreseeable future.
Meanwhile, Six Flags reported a net loss of $96 million in the first quarter of 2021, which ran from January 1 through April 4. Six Flags welcomed 1.3 million guests in the quarter, compared with 1.6 million in the same period in 2020 - when parks were beginning to close - and 2.2 million in the same period in 2019. Spending per guest was down slightly, from $56.60 to $56.16, due to lower admission spending not quite made up for by higher in-park spending.
Six Flags reported $82 million of revenue and an Adjusted EBITDA loss of $46 million for the quarter.
"We continue to make progress on our transformation plan as we implement new technology to modernize the guest experience and drive operational efficiencies. We are already seeing significant benefits in 2021," President and CEO Mike Spanos said. "We expect the transformation to result in meaningful profit growth once our plan is fully executed and we return to a more normal operating environment."
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Six Flags should have gotten rid of the membership program because they’re not making any money, especially with all the upgrades they been giving to all members(They’re practically getting everything free.).
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The losses here and across the entire industry are expected. However, as consumers, we need to make sure that we are not fleeced or forced to pay premiums so these companies can make up for lost time too quickly. We're already seeing some of that at Disneyland (elimination of APs), and I'm wouldn't be surprised to see other companies try to find ways to squeeze extra revenue out of their guests immediately to start delivering value back to shareholders by the end of the year.
While the bottom dropped out of the market very quickly, executives need to allow for a slow, steady, and gradual rebuild of revenues, and not expect a flood of money coming back in just because parks are reopened.