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Attendance, Spending Gains Narrow Q1 Losses at Six Flags

May 12, 2022, 5:47 PM · The Six Flags theme parks today reported a 25% attendance jump in the first quarter of 2022 compared with the same period one year earlier. It's the latest example of recovery in the theme park industry as the world emerges from the Covid pandemic.

Six Flags reported a 68% increase in revenue for the quarter, driven by that attendance gain as well as increases in average guest spending. Total guest spending per capita jumped 34% in the quarter over the year prior, to $75.46. Admission spending was up 31%, to $43.28, while in-park spending rose 39%, to $32.18.

A big part of the good news was that Six Flags Magic Mountain - the chain's most popular park - was open for the first quarter of 2022 after being closed for the same period in 2021, helping to drive the attendance gains and Six Flags' recovery.

However, since most Six Flags parks are closed for the first three months of the year, expenses kept the company in the red for the quarter, with a net loss of $66 million and an Adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] loss of $16 million. That's still quite a bit better than the Adjusted EBITDA loss of $46 million in Q1 2021.

"Six Flags has been quickly executing to improve the guest experience, improving ride throughput by increasing ride uptime and implementing single rider lanes on busy days; improving staffing and training of our team members; upgrading our park appearance, including our front gates, restrooms and restaurants; providing better food quality; and offering more guest amenities such as benches, shade structures, and children’s areas," President and CEO Selim Bassoul said. "We have reoriented our culture to prioritize the guest in everything we do, and we fundamentally believe this will drive significant and sustainable long-term earnings growth."

Replies (2)

May 16, 2022 at 2:08 AM

"Six Flags has been quickly executing to improve the guest experience, improving ride throughput by increasing ride uptime and implementing single rider lanes on busy days; improving staffing and training of our team members; upgrading our park appearance, including our front gates, restrooms and restaurants; providing better food quality; and offering more guest amenities such as benches, shade structures, and children’s areas."

In the words of Kermit the Frog: You know, it's amazing. You are 100% wrong. I mean nothing you said has been right.

I just went to Magic Mountain today. The operations was lacking with many unnecessary long lines caused by sending out vehicles with empty seats (in particular I had two solo rides on Jet Stream, which had a 45 minute wait). Trash was found in many locations with nary a sign of custodial staff. And there are many decorations that are extremely faded or degrading (the decor around Full Throttle was scratched up).

May 17, 2022 at 3:25 AM

/\ Six Flags is like the Chrysler of the theme park industry, every 5 years or so they pull this "we know we suck and now we're going to fix it" song and dance and then end up always reverting back to the mean when they realize it actually costs money to run a theme park well.

SFGAm's new park president was giving a speech to the Village of Gurnee a few weeks ago and was saying how this year they are really focused on improving the guest experience, then cited some random things that would be just normal for any other business as examples, like trimming bushes and adding umbrella's to some of the tables lol. Meanwhile the first month the park has been open almost all of the popular rides have been running one train (which never ever used to happen, even in the pitts of the Kirean Burke days), Maxx Force, the parks newest coaster, has been closed (just opened a few days ago...with 1 train), Vertical Velocity was painted last fall but for whatever reason still wasn't ready to open with the park and just opened a few days ago (closed for the first month just like Maxx Force), and the place looks like total garbage. Just look at this video of Superman's queue with all the chipped paint.
https://youtu.be/IClpqiGGKdI?t=120

Totally embarrassing, in the 90s this was one of the best parks in the country.

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