A Good Buy-out?

Six Flags New Orleans: We've talked about Six Flags' purchase of so many parks, most recently Jazzland. But are there any examples where one company buying a park, or a group of parks, would be good from all involved?

From Ben Mills
Posted November 16, 2002 at 8:26 AM
Okay so we've now all got over the fact that will soon be 'Six Flags New Orleans'. While some people would be happy to see this happen, the general feeling is that it is a bad move for what is currently quite a good park.

Here's my question.

Is there such a thing as a good buy-out? I know this is slightly off the subject, as Jazzland had already been a Premier Park for a while, but I'm talking about the bigger picture, the wide spectrum of theme parks worldwide, if you will.

What are the pros and the cons of a situation like this? Is it possible for a different company to add their influence to a park without ruining what the park is about?

One last thing: please, PLEASE don't turn this into an extension of the 'Jazzland Gives Way To Six Flags New Orleans' thread.

From Anonymous
Posted November 17, 2002 at 10:59 AM
I would like to see bill gates buy out disney.

From Robert Niles
Posted November 17, 2002 at 2:03 PM
Too late. He's already buying Six Flags.

From Robert Niles
Posted November 17, 2002 at 2:03 PM
This isn't about a single park, but I've long thought that Viacom/Paramount should buy Six Flags. Given the way Six Flags' stock has tanked in the past year, Viacom could probably do the deal, too.

Viacom could kick out the Warner Bros. characters and re-do the Six Flags' kiddie lands as Nick Jr.-themed areas. And go with Nickelodeon for some family rides.

Six Flags' teen thrill-ride crowd is a perfect match for Viacom's MTV. And I'd love to see a "Survivor"-themed challenge area in a theme park, as well.

Owning Six Flags would allow Viacom to use theme parks to reach its target audience in many, many more markets than it can with its few existing Paramount parks. And it would do so without overlapping any current parks, save for Great America and Marine World in the Bay Area (which might support the two parks, anyway.)

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 17, 2002 at 5:09 PM
Yeah, both parks are doing fine in the area. If either is suffering at all, it would be Paramount's park, since general consensus is it is a lame park.

Which is MY problem with the buyout you suggested. Paramount rarely seems to put much effort into new attractions. Tomb Raider is probably the ONLY exception to the rule. If they get an innovative ride, like a flying coaster, then they build one that is way too short.

If ANYONE should be buying other parks, I think it should be Busch. Busch is the only company out there that is building SF-worthy coasters with Disney-worthy theming. But this would be a major investment for Busch. There are plenty of parks out there that they would have to COMPLETELY retheme, due to their current half-hearted themes. These would be parks like PGA.

But they would have been a great alternative when Marine World and Jazzland were bought. Marine World (and I assume Jazzland was in a similar situation) was already nicely themed, but needed high-quality attractions.

But, the difference between a SF buyout and a Busch buyout would be time. SF could add several coasters in a short timespan (if they don't, that is usually due to attendance) while Busch would have to add them at a much slower pace since the theming would take lots of expense.

With ANY buyout, there are going to be compromises made. And I would think any compromises would be better than a park going under.

From Anonymous
Posted November 20, 2002 at 4:37 PM

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 21, 2002 at 2:34 AM
Well, don't get too excited yet. I read that SF will spend $25 million on improvements INCLUDING this coaster (most likely a Batman inverted clone). Considering coasters cost about $15 million, the other $10 obviously won't buy much. Expect a Looney Tunes themed kiddie area and some flat rides for the near future.

From Ben Mills
Posted November 21, 2002 at 12:44 PM
Hey anonymous, what did I say?



From Derek Potter
Posted November 21, 2002 at 12:41 PM
I suppose it depends on who the buyer is. I remember when Kings Island wasnt "Paramounts Kings Island", and Fiesta Texas wasn't "Six Flags Fiesta Texas". It seems as though the some theme parks. If you go Take this coming year, Many or the parks are getting ride clones of their sister parks. I have always had my opinions about corporations and their ever going scheme to make more money for themselves. Now they have gotten their hands into the theme park business, and it has been ugly. While there have been some awesome rides built on six flags and paramount property, the bought out parks have taken on the look of uniformity...kind of like army soldiers on the march. They make sure that their logo is all over everything in the park, and games that cost 50 cents or a dollar anywhere else, now cost 2 or 3 to play. The parks that used to be kept so neat and tidy, now need help (would someone please paint the vortex at PKI?) Rides are fun, but I also go for the atmosphere. Six Flags and Paramount could learn something from Universals IOA, who makes the park absolutely spotless every night...even to the point of touching up the paint. That kind of care is a prime example of how things should be in the theme park world. Unfortunately its not that way.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 22, 2002 at 4:16 AM
Like I said, there are compromises. Many Six Flags parks get new rides annually or every other year. IOA hasn't had a new ride since 2000, and that year only gave us StormForce and Flying Unicorn. So all that paint comes at a price.

Still, that doesn't excuse some places that are filthy or ignore upkeep. Even Disney, who should know better, has ignored this. Which is why I said Busch would be the best company to buy other parks out. The theming isn't on the Disney/Universal level, but it sure beats Six Flags or Cedar Fair. And it builds the rides faster than Disney or Universal.

From Derek Potter
Posted November 27, 2002 at 10:09 AM
Right about Disney and Universals slow rides, but as for IOA, the fact that it doesnt add new rides each year doesnt seem to hamper its constant number one ranking on most lists (including the one on this website). There has been a big emphasis on theming in recent years, but I suppose you could call me old school. Theming really doesnt matter that much to me as long as the ride is good. Cedar Point is a good example. The park is spotless, they have some of the best rides in the country with minimal theming, and it works. Now if the park was filthy like Six Flags WOA about 50 miles to the east, then maybe it wouldnt fly so well. Theming is all well and good, but all I ask is that they take care of the park by cleaning it and making it look spiffy.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted November 28, 2002 at 11:54 PM
Well, that theming IS important though. People haven't put all those Orlando parks on the Top Ten Attendance chart for just the rides.

We have posted in many threads on here about the different types of parks and the different types of people who go to them. There are highly themed parks that don't have too many thrills (the Disney parks). There are relatively non-themed parks that have loads of thrills (Six Flags and Cedar Fair). Then there are the parks attempting to combine the two (Universal and Busch). Yes, IOA seems to be the most successful such hybrid park, but that is still only on websites. USF next door is still whomping it when it comes to attendance. As are the WDW parks.

So my problem with IOA is that it should be building, but isn't. For some reason Universal has chosen to focus on USF. Still, there is a finite amount of money that can be thrown at a company's parks in a given year, which is why I think Universal buying any park wouldn't work.

Busch builds a little more rapidly, but tends to do so at the expense of theming sometimes. Kumba at BGT is basically themeless, but fortunately hidden. Montu has some good theming for a coaster, but it is far from hidden. Rhino Rally has excellent theming, but isn't very good. Gwazi is completely unthemed, except for the queue, and can be seen everywhere.

So there is another problem right there with Busch buying out a park. Like I said, I don't think there is a perfect buyout. Good? Yes.

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