Sunday, January 14, 2007

Heard On... Six Flags Park Sell Update Call

On Friday, Six Flags had a conference call to give some details of their selling of 7 parks to PARC Management and to give an overall update on their operations and goals. Here's what I heard:

• Regarding Magic Mountain - Attendance was up at the park just with the announcement that the park would STAY a park regardless of whether or not they sold it. Season pass sales at the park are up 33% year to date. They wanted to keep it because they wanted a west coast presence, and the park is showing sings of moving in the direction they want. The park was only ever really offered for sale because interested parties wanted a 'big' park thrown in with the sale. Six Flags is not saying they will never sell it.

• Without the parks that were just sold being counted, attendance for 2006 for Six Flags was a total of 24.9 million, which is down 13%.

• Total Revenues without the parks that were sold for 2006 is $940 million, down 2%.

• Of more note, 2006 EBITDA is $190 million, where in 2005 it was $260 million.

• 2007 with the parks that were sold is expecting $38 million in sponsorship revenues.

• They are increasing marking spending by $25 million to a total of $130 million.

• Although it's early, currently group sales are up 34% over 2006 and season passes are up 50% more than ever has been sold before in SF history.

• Extra land at the St. Louis and Chicago properties are already on the market, extra land in NJ is still being worked on (zoning and such) before they try to sell, and the Maryland land is not on the market yet.

• New Orleans property - They took down the B&M, it will appear as a new for 2008 attraction at one of their parks. They are now formally suing the insurance company over payment for Katrina losses.

Six Flags has a lot of really good looking plans in place and they seem to be receiving an early response from the market. However, they can have all the best plans in the world in place and if people just continue to not go and not care about the parks, well then they are screwed. I think that the 2007 season is going to be very, very important for them.