Six Flags

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Six Flags
Financial Crisis

Capitalistic Enterprise Business 10A Edward Bayone May 7, 2010

Table of Contents
A. Introduction B. Financial Crisis C. The Economic Environment D. Competition E. Changes F. Conclusion G. Exhibits H. Work Cited 3 5 8 9 10 12 13 15

“This year is very much about stabilizing the company and keeping it on the rails while at the same time pursuing growth avenues on the marketing and international front.” -Mark Shapiro, Six Flags CEO

A. Introduction Founded in Texas, Six Flags is the world’s largest regional theme park (by the quantity of properties it owns) that provides world class, thrilling entertainment for families, teens, and young adults. Since 1961, when Angus G. Wynne started the chain, millions of families have trusted Six Flags to offer friendly, clean, and safe service. Today, they boast that more than 25 million guests attend the parks annually. The name is a reference to the six flags that have been flown over to the state of Texas throughout history: Spain, France, Mexico, Republic of Texas, Confederate States of America, and the United States of America. Six Flags offers various forms of entertainment ranging from amusement parks, theme parks, water parks, animal parks, and festivals. However, the amusement park is definitely what Six Flags is most notable for with its record-shattering roller coasters that will have consumers’ adrenaline pumping. In each park, other products and services are offered through high-profile corporate partnerships with marquee global brands including Kodak, Kraft Food Inc., Nintendo, Papa John’s, Johnny Rockets, and Cold Stone Creamery. Six Flags constantly attempts to diversify its products by trying to offer new and safe roller coasters annually. As a direct result of its strategy of providing great service and a diverse array of entertainment, its key guest satisfaction scores reached all-time highs in 2007 for categories such as overall visit, park cleanliness, employee service, diversified entertainment, ride safety, intention to visit, and intention to recommend to a friend. However, with all these notable

characteristics of Six Flags has been struggling in debt for the past years and almost went into complete bankruptcy this year. Although its current CEO, Mark Shapiro, says that the financial problems will not affect park operations, it is questionable whether in the long-run, Six Flags will survive. The company definitely needs to make some changes in order to survive through this recent crisis and to assure that financial trouble like the one it recently experienced, will not arise in the future. There are currently 19 parks across the United States, Mexico, and Canada. In the age of globalizations, the goal for the coming years is to expand beyond North America to become a major global player in the entertainment business regarding theme parks.1 The first expansion is now in the works for Dubai, which will be named “Six Flags Dubailand.” Dubailand is projected to be about five million square feet, a multi-billion dirham theme park within the world’s largest tourism, leisure and entertainment destination. Other nations that are under consideration for expansion currently include China, South Korea, and India. Shapiro is in talks with the developers in these nations. In the United States, park locations are mainly situated in the east coast along with California and Texas. Six Flags’ choices of locations have been mainly around suburban areas that are next to major, highly populated cities such as Springfield, Massachusetts and Baltimore, Maryland. This strategic placing of the parks ensures that they will always be at full capacity when the parks are opened so that no resources are wasted. For the parks that are less profitable than Six Flags had intended for them to be, the company sold them or

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closed them down in 2006 including parks in...
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