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New CEO Big MOve - Pass & Membership Restructuring

Talk about anything that has to do with Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor here.
Postby Sven18 on January 18th, 2022, 12:42 pm
OPPENHEIMER:
The firm says it became more confident after meeting with SIX with newly-appointed Six Flags CEO Selim Bassoul and hearing about the strategy of premiumization.

Quote from Selim Bassoul to financial analysts at Oppenheimer:
""The company has been focused on attendance growth for too long and has neglected obvious pricing opportunities and customer experience improvements. The correct path to sustainable revenue growth appears to be through fewer guests (vs. cheap season passes) who are willing to pay-up for a better product/experience (e.g., fewer crowds, shorter lines, better food)."

This statement was followed up by the reveal of a new pass structure & the elimination of membership offerings at SFMM, FT, OT, &DK

The new structure is Thrill Seeeker, Extreme & Ultimate, lowest pass has blackout dates.

Thrill Pass ......$80, MM $115 ---
Exteme Pass....$170(FT.DK) $180(OT. MM)--1st level that gets you into all parks
Ultimate Pass...$300 & $330 at MM
Benefits at at each park vary slightly
https://www.sixflags.com/magicmountain/store/tickets#!

Meal plans also changing from unlimited
4 meal plan $40
10 meal plan $80

Expect these new offerings to roll out chain wide eventually. People that bought now are good, but if you haven't yet for 2022 you might want to try to get the old structure before it possibly changes like these 4 parks.
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Postby Jodon on January 18th, 2022, 2:03 pm
I haven't been paying too close attention to all the information regarding the firing of Spanos and the hiring of the new guy, but wasn't a big reason why Spanos was fired was that he was trying to change the pass structure to start getting more money per person...similar to what Bassoul just announced?
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Postby Sven18 on January 18th, 2022, 2:32 pm
Yes, but it was before Spanos really.
The reason SF starting pushing memberships 2018 under JRA was they realized that they had essentially maxed out on the number of cheap passes they could sell. The purpose of memberships was to get people to buy a season product at a higher price point. They essentially devalued the old Gold Pass & made it so you had to buy the lowest membership level to get what you used to get for the pass, with the membership about $20 more in it's first iteration. The higher level memberships were gravy, as people were mostly paying for things that cost SF nothing ie... bigger % discounts . skip the line passes, etc..

The problem SF ran into is that after the initial membership success in converting people, membership numbers started declining..ie..drop 700K from 2019 Q3 to 2021 Q3, while passes increased about 800K. People were reverting back to passes .

The pass offerings for 2022 season in my opinion have been incoherent, confusing to many looking at different boards & no ideal when a better deal could come or offerings change. They initially made it so a Gold Pass was only good at the home park & you needed a membership to go to all parks. In October, they changed that so they were offering a Gold Plus single payment they were calling a pass but you were a member & all the other monthly memberships at higher levels were intact After a test run at a few parks, Mid December they started offering chain wide pass levels(single payment) the same as memberships levels & depending on the level the monthly could be more or less than the single payment. Not to mention that varied by park. Now, they are springing this major change in January. What has happened since Aug/Sept is the epitome of not how to roll out passes/memberships for a season They keep changing the offerings & structure almost on a monthly basis. They can't seem to decide what they want to do. Now they are essentially killing memberships after just starting to offer passes w/ member levels just a month ago chain wide
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Postby JackGlass on January 19th, 2022, 11:28 am
""The company has been focused on attendance growth for too long and has neglected obvious pricing opportunities and customer experience improvements. The correct path to sustainable revenue growth appears to be through fewer guests (vs. cheap season passes) who are willing to pay-up for a better product/experience (e.g., fewer crowds, shorter lines, better food)."

Awesome! This is great news
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Postby Coaster Justin on January 20th, 2022, 3:53 am
I don't like losing the dining pass.
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Postby DejaVu2001 on February 8th, 2022, 2:22 pm
The new Season Passes have now also been rolled out at SFOG, SFA, and Frontier City. Also, the 10 meal Dining Plan is no longer available to purchase as an add-on, it is now only available as part of the Ultimate Pass.
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Postby Sven18 on February 8th, 2022, 2:41 pm
Also rolled out to Mexico.

Pricing Summary
........Thrill/Extreme/Ultimate
SFMM 115/180/330
SFFT 80/170/300
SFOT 80/170/300
SFDK 80/170/300
AM 75/150/300
SFOG 70/160/300
FC 65/160/300

SFGAm pricing for memberships is the same as SFOT so will likely get the 80/170/300 price points.
If you don't have a membership might want to do it now to get grandfathered & see how long they keep it
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on February 9th, 2022, 2:29 pm
Can a Season pass be upgraded/converted to a Membership? Also is it possible to upgrade my Season Pass for 2022 to the Gold Plus?

I thought Memberships are going away and Season Passes will be the offering going forward?
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Postby Sven18 on February 9th, 2022, 2:59 pm
CoasterRiderSC wrote:Can a Season pass be upgraded/converted to a Membership? Also is it possible to upgrade my Season Pass for 2022 to the Gold Plus?

I thought Memberships are going away and Season Passes will be the offering going forward?


Yes, a pass can be upgraded to a membership. Upgrades in the app or online portal aren't working last time I checked, which was last week.

If you send a message or call customer service it can be done. I know somebody that bought the Gold Plus 2022 pass w/ Premium dining on the single payment & they upgraded to the Platinum Membership w/ Deluxe Dining on the monthly payments. Customer service told them to first buy the monthly membership, after that submit the confirmation number for the old pass to cancel & the new one to add to the account. They received a refund of the lump sum already paid & will be billed monthly for their new membership.

SF is phasing out the selling of new memberships . 8 parks are already on the new pass system where you can't by a monthly membership anymore . That will surely come to the rest of the parks & likely without notice, like the 4 parks the other day.

Memberships for the parks that switched to the new pass system were grandfathered with their same benefits. SF has to honor any new membership terms for the 1st 12 months on benefits & price. After that they can change. The hope is they will allow those grandfathered membership to last for years, even if they increase the price to match their goal of higher price points.
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Postby Viper 88 on February 15th, 2022, 4:40 am
Thats terrific! We skrimp and save to get passes and we'll be priced right out! And the unlimited dining was nice pay once eat all year it was perfect! Not everyone wants to (or needs to) pay for those months they will not be using the park I have asthma and cold weather is not my friend! I will get sick and a regular cold will last me 3-4 weeks the flu is 5-6 weeks so Last call fall fest and HITP are all out for me! Even going to ff later than the first week cam be out for me. What they need to do is completely do away with memberships thats how all this rif raff cr@p is coming in they go and pay with a green dot or prepaid visa or amex load a little money on the card then essentially get in for a steal! I guarantee that if they got rid of the memberships park atmosphere would go up!
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Postby Sven18 on February 15th, 2022, 9:09 am
Viper 88 wrote:What they need to do is completely do away with memberships thats how all this rif raff cr@p is coming in they go and pay with a green dot or prepaid visa or amex load a little money on the card then essentially get in for a steal! I guarantee that if they got rid of the memberships park atmosphere would go up!


Memberships were started to be pushed in 2018 b/c they cost more than passes. Gold Passes were $65(2018). So, it doesn't really make sense to say memberships let in the "rif raf" when all the memberships cost more than Gold passes & significantly more when you get into platinum, diamond, diamond elite. The problems with "atmosphere" would have existed when passes were $60, that's what I got it for back in 2016 & by 2020 it was only $68
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Postby anewman35 on February 15th, 2022, 11:53 am
Sven18 wrote:
Viper 88 wrote:What they need to do is completely do away with memberships thats how all this rif raff cr@p is coming in they go and pay with a green dot or prepaid visa or amex load a little money on the card then essentially get in for a steal! I guarantee that if they got rid of the memberships park atmosphere would go up!


Memberships were started to be pushed in 2018 b/c they cost more than passes. Gold Passes were $65(2018). So, it doesn't really make sense to say memberships let in the "rif raf" when all the memberships cost more than Gold passes & significantly more when you get into platinum, diamond, diamond elite. The problems with "atmosphere" would have existed when passes were $60, that's what I got it for back in 2016 & by 2020 it was only $68


I think his point (and I don't know if it's true or actually possible) is that people would start a membership on a prepaid card with only a little money in it and keep the pass even when the money in the prepaid card ran out so they were paying a lot less.
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Postby anewman35 on February 15th, 2022, 11:57 am
Viper 88 wrote:Thats terrific! We skrimp and save to get passes and we'll be priced right out! And the unlimited dining was nice pay once eat all year it was perfect! Not everyone wants to (or needs to) pay for those months they will not be using the park I have asthma and cold weather is not my friend! I will get sick and a regular cold will last me 3-4 weeks the flu is 5-6 weeks so Last call fall fest and HITP are all out for me! Even going to ff later than the first week cam be out for me. What they need to do is completely do away with memberships thats how all this rif raff cr@p is coming in they go and pay with a green dot or prepaid visa or amex load a little money on the card then essentially get in for a steal! I guarantee that if they got rid of the memberships park atmosphere would go up!


Whatever, passes are way cheaper now than they've ever been, so if they go up a bit, they're still very cheap especially considering inflation. Cheap passes are not a right. But I really don't get the idea that you're owed cheap passes, but cheap memberships are what ruin the park. It's all very cheap compared to other chains, they really should raise all the prices if they're trying to cut out the poor people, doesn't make sense to keep cheap passes in that case.

The logic about not paying for months you don't use the park doesn't really make sense, since it basically works out the same, just divided up differently, but it looks like HITP is going away anyway so you don't have to worry about it.
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Postby Sven18 on February 15th, 2022, 12:53 pm
Exactly, other chains ie...Cedar Fair, Herschend, Hershey Park, etc..offer between 6 to 10 months payment plans on their passes if you buy the fall before. So, by the logic he's using people are paying for months they aren't using. They aren't. It's just interest free financing.

HITP if it leaves many of the northern parks is b/c of cost. Labor, cost of goods(food), etc.. are up. The attendance to cost might not be projected to produce positive cash flow. Especially, if HITP attendance is overwhelmingly pass or members.
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Postby Viper 88 on February 15th, 2022, 10:39 pm
[/quote]

I think his point (and I don't know if it's true or actually possible) is that people would start a membership on a prepaid card with only a little money in it and keep the pass even when the money in the prepaid card ran out so they were paying a lot less.[/quote]
That was exactly my point they start a membership when they wanna go for like 6.99 and basically get in for nothing then just stop payment on the card and let the membership die without needing to pay any cancellation fee. So in reality a season pass here would make more money because you have to pay the whole thing upfront where as here its 6.99 they go a few times cancel and had $300.00 of fun for like $20.00.
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Postby anewman35 on February 16th, 2022, 8:42 am
Viper 88 wrote:


I think his point (and I don't know if it's true or actually possible) is that people would start a membership on a prepaid card with only a little money in it and keep the pass even when the money in the prepaid card ran out so they were paying a lot less.[/quote]
That was exactly my point they start a membership when they wanna go for like 6.99 and basically get in for nothing then just stop payment on the card and let the membership die without needing to pay any cancellation fee. So in reality a season pass here would make more money because you have to pay the whole thing upfront where as here its 6.99 they go a few times cancel and had $300.00 of fun for like $20.00.[/quote]

You keep mentioning it though like it's some super widespread thing and I don't know that there's any evidence of that. If there was, they probably would have taken steps to not allow prepaid cards, like some other subscription things do.
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Postby Sven18 on February 16th, 2022, 11:39 am
Exactly, there is no confirmation you can use a prepaid for SF monthly payments & if you can, if this were a significant issue SF would stop via their payment processor.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on February 16th, 2022, 4:57 pm
Getting rid of the Bring a Friend Free days will help keep trouble makers out, as well as enforcing a dress code.

Also, do they keep a database of anyone that gets arrested and ejected or does that violate PII policies (like the biometrics did) ?

I know they have signs around some rides that say if you trespass (usually in the footprint of a coaster) you'll be ejected and banned for life. How can/do they actually enforce that?
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Postby BCarroll on February 17th, 2022, 7:00 pm
CoasterRiderSC wrote: Also, do they keep a database of anyone that gets arrested and ejected or does that violate PII policies (like the biometrics did) ?


The park does keep a database of those who get ejected, banned, and whatnot. If someone is banned for a year, or two, just not infinitely, the park removes you from the database as if nothing has ever happened. However, if you were to get banned for a year, there is nothing stopping anyone from buying a new pass or a new ticket. Yes, they have you in a database; no, they do not keep you picture and description posted for security to stop you. There are far too many people banned on a daily basis for the park to keep track of you. But, you could suffer harsh consequences or even have law enforcement involved if you're caught back on property.
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Postby Viper 88 on May 14th, 2022, 11:13 pm
CoasterRiderSC wrote:Getting rid of the Bring a Friend Free days will help keep trouble makers out, as well as enforcing a dress code.

Also, do they keep a database of anyone that gets arrested and ejected or does that violate PII policies (like the biometrics did) ?

I know they have signs around some rides that say if you trespass (usually in the footprint of a coaster) you'll be ejected and banned for life. How can/do they actually enforce that?


God I agree with enforcing the dress code! I belonged to a forum on facebook and they booted me for telling it like it was, they claimed I took it too far (they also claimed body shaming) I said I have been to the park on several occasions and have seen first hand several large breasted women walking around in bikini tops that are leaving little to the imagination, If some of these women went on batman or xflight they would be taking the Sears catalog experience to a new level! Likewise there are plenty more guys walking around shirtless pants 1/2 past their ass a good 80% of their boxers showing! Then there are the girls who if you looked at them wrong you'd be a s3x offend er! No parent should let their preteen daughter out of the house wearing shorts where a good 3rd of their rear ends are hanging out! It was and is completely wrong for a family amusement park! It happened to me on the carousel it was the only carousel ride I ever took where I looked at the floor the entire time! Its disgusting!! Then these moron parents wonder why such and such happened to my baby, because you aren't saying no you arent wearing this or hey no friggin way go put on something appropriate and if you dont you're NOT going! Plus seriously clothing with pot leaves, scantilly clad low rider women,and swears who is working that front gate?! Back in the 90's that crap wouldn't fly of course then people had respect!
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Postby SFGAM__man on May 19th, 2022, 3:02 pm
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 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. Meanwhile the park opened with literally ALL of the major coasters running 1 train, and Maxx Force and V2 closed. Over the past month they have slowly been adding trains (as far as I know SUF, XFlight, and Maxx Force are still all running 1 train). Keep in mind the park never EVER ran one train on anything back in the pitts of the Kirean Burke days when SF was on its downward spiral.

Add onto that the fact that the park looks like total crap. Chipped paint everywhere, the queues look terrible with the handrails and poles and everything all beat up, the asphault around the park looks like garbage. The new CEO talks a big game but came in November and has done absolutely nothing so far to back up what he is saying other than add single rider lines that SF doesn't know how to manage and will probably end up getting rid of when they realize they cost an extra nickel to operate.

I'm not going again this year, i'm done, the place is just trash. I'll get look at some TRs from early next year and if the park has its act together i'll think about going back.
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Postby Coaster Justin on May 21st, 2022, 2:26 pm
SFGAM__man wrote: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 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. Meanwhile the park opened with literally ALL of the major coasters running 1 train, and Maxx Force and V2 closed. Over the past month they have slowly been adding trains (as far as I know SUF, XFlight, and Maxx Force are still all running 1 train). Keep in mind the park never EVER ran one train on anything back in the pitts of the Kirean Burke days when SF was on its downward spiral.

Add onto that the fact that the park looks like total crap. Chipped paint everywhere, the queues look terrible with the handrails and poles and everything all beat up, the asphault around the park looks like garbage. The new CEO talks a big game but came in November and has done absolutely nothing so far to back up what he is saying other than add single rider lines that SF doesn't know how to manage and will probably end up getting rid of when they realize they cost an extra nickel to operate.

I'm not going again this year, i'm done, the place is just trash. I'll get look at some TRs from early next year and if the park has its act together i'll think about going back.



I feel the Hank stuff delayed alot of things, Plus the new GM has no previous GM experience which surprises me (I would've gotten a GM/President from another Six Flags park personally)
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Postby SFGAM__man on May 21st, 2022, 7:32 pm
I don't blame the new park president for Six Flags as a company, especially since he has been working there forever, i'm pretty sure he knows what the park is bad at and where the money needs to be spent.
Kieran Burke, Mark Shapiro, Jim Reid-Anderson, John Duffey, Mike Spanos, and Selim Bassoul all have one thing in common: they didn't grow up in the industry. Burke was a lawyer/real estate guy, Shapiro was a TV executive, Reid-Anderson a healthcare guy, Duffey a healthcare guy, Mike Spanos a junk food guy, and Bassoul a food service kitchen equipment guy. What qualified these people to run Six Flags? Ironically, the one person who actually did some things that made sense was the short-lived interim CEO Al Weber who did grow up in the industry. You can't expect someone to run a major theme park company with no experience and know what he's doing, its too complicated, too many moving parts, don't know where the bodies are buried, don't know the pro's and con's and history of decisions made in the past, etc. It ultimately leads to frustration and them leaving after just a few years.

I could understand why Six Flags parks sucked from 2000-2010 as they had way too much debt from buying a lot of parks in a short time span and building a lot of unreliable prototype rides, so they had to constantly cut cost to service debt. But after the bankruptcy and liquidating of many of their assets, here we are many years later and the parks are ran worse than ever for seemingly no reason. This company owns major parks in the three biggest markets in the richest country in the world: NY/NJ/Philly, LA, and Chicago. There is no excuse for the parks to be so poorly maintained and operated. Cedar Fair's parks are in way smaller markets and have to be bringing in less money, and they seem to be maintained and operated fine.

I truly believe the only reason Six Flags as a company is still around is because they have big established parks in major markets that have little to no competition, and such a big advantage with a massive barrier entry that would cost billions of dollars just to build a park that could compete with the local Six Flags park so no one is going to even think about doing it. So no matter who comes in to run the company, even if they run it very poorly (which many of them have), the business still does well enough to sustain itself. But make no mistake about it Six Flags parks in the last 20 years are way less successful compared to what they should be because of what they have been. I remember growing up in the 80s/90s everybody loved Six Flags and nobody ever complained about the parks being poorly ran or poorly maintained and the park was almost always packed. The past 20 years have been a big face palm, so sad that several generations of enthusiasts now have never experienced SFGAm in its heydey.
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Postby anewman35 on May 23rd, 2022, 9:22 am
When I was there last week, you could tell that they were making an effort to improve things. More paint, new asphalt a bunch of places, more flowers. Should they have done it during the off season? Sure. But I do think they're trying to live up to some of the quotes about how they are beautifying things...
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Postby staticshadows on May 23rd, 2022, 9:43 am
anewman35 wrote:More paint, new asphalt a bunch of places, more flowers. Should they have done it during the off season?


No, none of those things can be done properly in the off season unless we have unusually warm weather. I am always amazed by the amount of people that supposedly live around here and think you can paint outside in cool/cold weather.
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