Friday, April 10, 2020

Six Flags Posts Company Updates + Possible Cancelled 2020 Attractions?

© Six Flags
Six Flags Entertainment has sent out a press release that gives updates on a variety of topics, including their corporate response to the pandemic, capital spending and their financial health.

First up, like most companies, Six Flags is using their revolving credit loans with banks for survival, and they have increased their lines from $350 million to $481 million.  They estimate that they will be able to handle their bigger debt payments until the 4th quarter of this year, even if worst case the parks do not open until September.  They have also recalled their EBITDA forecast for the year and cancelled their investor day which was scheduled for late May.

They have cancelled the dividend payment for the second quarter as well (and going forward until they pay back and cancel the additional credit lines).  That's on top of reducing seasonal labor to nearly zero, having full time staff take a 25% pay cut and suspending all marketing programs for the time being.

They also will cancel or defer $30 - $40 million of "discretionary capital projects" planned for 2020.  These "increased investments" were "announced in its fourth quarter 2019 earnings release to improve the guest experiences."  Understandable, but this is a bummer as that money was probably mostly to improve aesthetics, food, operations, etc.

© Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
They also will defer or eliminate $40 - $50 million of capital projects for the 2020 season.  That's where things get dicey.  This means items already announced as new for 2020 will be pushed back a year, or never happen at all.  No details on this were revealed as of yet, but browsing around Six Flag's websites I noticed some oddities.

For starters, the page on Six Flags Discovery Kingdom's website for their new coaster, the Sidewinder Safari, is now Access Denied.  The What's New page now links to the Batman coaster, so it seems like Sidewinder Safari is maybe not happening any longer?  Somewhat similarly, Six Flags Darien Lake still has a page up for their new slide, Wahoo Wave, but when you click on What's New it links to last year's SkyScreamer and Six Flags Fiesta Texas also still has a page for Dare Devil Dive, but the What's New page links to 2019's Joker pendulum ride.  These could just be sloppy website maintenance, or something more - I can't confirm either way.

I expect this to be the first of many updates from all theme park operators as tough decisions are made to preserve the parks for the future.


parker23 said...

What Happened to the Dare Devil Dive Flying Machines at Fiesta Texas?

mugnezz said...

in fact, the only novelty canceled (for now) and the discovery kingdom.
on the homepage of the parks mentioned, the news is still there

NewsPlusNotes said...

Yes, I noted that the SFFT and Darien rides are still on their website, only the New For 2020 pages link to last year's additions. This is speculation for now.