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Flea

Six Flags Taking Over?

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http://www.themeparkinsider.com/news/respo...nse.cfm?ID=1210
Have heard a couple of whispers coming from within Warner Bros. Movie World Theme Park here on the Gold Coast - Australia that it has been sold to Six Flags. As the whisperers have stated, co's CEO has moved back over to SeaWorld to manage the Park and MovieWorld Senior Management and all departmental Head and supervisors within each department will have to reapply for their jobs. As what was done to Warner Bros. Movie World in Germany which was sold off as well. Nothing is concrete yet, as only rumours as far as I am aware. Just seems a bit odd though as Warner Bros. Movie World, Seaworld and WetandWild are all part of a 3 way venture between Warners and Village Roadshow a movie production house here in Australia. As It was always stated the Parks would never be sold off individually. Just ads to the rumours which resurface every 18 months or so that the Park/s are up for sale.   Could this be break up of the Group. Has anyone else heard or know of more whispers coming from the parks?
Well, this could certainly mean more coasters from WBMW.. especially B&M's! :) ~Liam

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i know ay six flags has the best roller coasters. how kool is this. well im from sydney so lets hop six flags buys wonderland. lol
Well let's just hope if this is true, we would get 'special treatment' as all the international Six Flags parks do. We wouldn't want our most beautiful park, WBMW, to turn in a crap hole like all Six Flags parks in the US are. ~Liam

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havent heard anything and if it was true its not a good thing as six flags are bad at running parks yes they may add rides but WBMW atmosphere would be lost. Cedar point would be great thou. If you dont beleve me take a trip to sfmm then go to Knotts Berry Farm or Cedar point or universal and you will see what I mean

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Flea, the "special treatment" that international Six Flags parks get is pretty much standard everywhere else. Six Flags taking over is not a good thing, and I'm baffled by anyone who says it is. As a last resort, then Six Flags taking over would be fine, but as the parks are still quite successful, I can't imagine why you'd want to sell to Six Flags. I have to question how much validity this round of rumours have. After all, their is still a great deal of talk going on about next year's projects like the relocation of Paradise Country & Aussie Spectacular. If they were planning on selling up shop, then I'm surprised that they aren't finishing off the current big projects. Don't forget as well, that Paradise Country will almost certainly have to be moved as the land its on isn't owned by Warner Village. Still, Six Flags being the financially stable company they are might be interested in the VWTPs, as they are rumoured to be $30million debt for major expansion at the 3 parks (A fair slice of that has gone into Shark Bay, another slice out to Movieworld for Matrix Revealed, and some more money is going into Paradise Country).

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Flea, the "special treatment" that international Six Flags parks get is pretty much standard everywhere else.
I was comparing the treatment to American Six Flags parks, as most would agree, they are crap holes. I'm sure if Six Flags took over, they would give extra attention to the park as it would be the only SF in Australia. Take WBMW Spain for example, that park looks excellent! We can easily say that WBMW is our best park, much better than the cliche 'we have more rides than you' park, Dreamworld. If Six Flags took over and maintained the park as it is now (along with a few extras), then the park would still be successful. But to be safe, let's just hope they don't take over. Make sense? :) ~Flea

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These rumours are here every year around this time almost without fail. Six Flags is several billion dollars in debt. Their current goal is to reduce that debt, hence reduced expenditure in the short term (or long term?) future. That's why we only saw new rides at their major parks this year. That's why the only park they've bought recently was one that's probably already paid itself off twice over this season. It's also why we're hearing about customer service improvements, and other general (but vital) improvements in many of their parks. Now, Australia's dollar is around 2/3 of the US dollar. That means that every dollar they make here is worth only 2/3 to them. Movie World, a year-round park, is currently doing its best to bring in somewhere in the vicinty of a million guests each year. Take your bottom Six Flags parks, say Kentucky Kingdom or Elitch Gardens - both of which beat out Movie World for attendance (I don't believe that many, if any Six Flags parks don't beat out any Australian parks - and they're all, bar SFMM, seasonal). It's not exactly screaming out "Look at me, this is a great deal!" Perhaps someone along the lines of joz can confirm this, but I'm under the impression that John Menzies (WVTP CEO) basically lives at Sea World (in the little turret atop the main entrance building according to reliable sources :)), despite his 'official' office, along with the WVTP management, being located at Movie World. Cedar Fair (owners of Cedar Point, Knotts, Dorney Park etc.) would be even worse. They have a strict policy of return on investment (ROI). Essentially, they've got to be guaranteed that a park will gain significantly from any capital expenditure - quite unlike Six Flags' "build it and they will come" philosophy. This is why all their parks bar Knotts and Cedar Point are somewhat lacking in the new rides department (Knotts is number one for attendance, followed by CP, but that's location more than anything, which is why CP gets most of the money). I'm not getting terribly caught up in the worry etc. that everyone associated with Six Flags coming here. What ruins their parks is the individual parks' management, who are dictated by company policies. Like Six Flags Europe, if they came here, they'd be fully structured as a different sub-company of Six Flags, and would make decisions based on the Australian market. Still definitely don't see it happening though... :) And just seeing as it's come up here, I'm going to say that I'm undecided as to which is my favourite park - Sea World or Wonderland Sydney. Probably for entirely different reasons, which we don't need to go into here.

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Perhaps someone along the lines of joz can confirm this, but I'm under the impression that John Menzies (WVTP CEO) basically lives at Sea World (in the little turret atop the main entrance building according to reliable sources :)), despite his 'official' office, along with the WVTP management, being located at Movie World.
I know he spends allot of time at SW, but I'm not sure how much that is in relation to the other parks. All I know is that he probably never goes to Wet 'n' Wild. Thats more of a Steve Peet thing :D But back on John, yeah, I see him just about every week. Sometimes with other managers, but most of the time he just wanders through the park by himself, keeping an eye on things and picking up the odd bit of litter. Other then that I think if he does stay at SW for so long, it might be since he's been there for 32 years now, and most importantly, that the helicopters are based at SW.

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from what I know at movieworld havent heard this news so I doubt it. seen the bosses like steve and john weekly on park walk abouts. only thing that would even makes this rumor seem remotley likely is I heard from a property developer that hotel and a hospital were planed for oxenford, next to the parks now if this was to come about say in the next 5 years just like how Dreamworlds owners Mcquarrie trust (sp) are building this supercity (which is confirmed) then when that happens attendance would go up for sure as foreigners who have not been to Australia would not know they are 20 mins from surfers and 30 min from brisbane. so then six flags would become intrested. but as i said thats dowm the road not now. ************************************************************ now on to other stuff news from the park alot of digging has happen next to harry potter for the Matrix. also over the past few week attendance has been big around 6500 daily which is great. as these are normally figures for the week after xmas starting boxing day.

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I have some good contacts at Six Flags and they are looking to buy new parks all the time. Even in bad times, they don't care. Last year they opened a new park in Spain and took over Jazzland (now Six Flags New Orleans) in the USA. However, if Six Flags takes over WB in Australia, don't count on anything spectacular. A B&M is made in Europe and it's expensive to transport one to Australia. For example, in Europe, we only have a handful of Arrow coasters...because they are expensive to transport from the USA to Europe. Anyway, if some day the park would be managed by Six Flags, I hope they respect the parks atmosphere...we have some bad maintenance here and some of the new 'bold' coasters don't fit in. They did a fairly good job in Spain, but look at the differences between Rio Bravo and Wild West Falls...many many original details missing. I hope it stays a real Warner Bros., good luck if it becomes Six Flags.

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Six Flags only holds management rights for Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid, and only a 5% stake in the park - contrary to popular belief, they don't own, nor were they responsible for much of the development and construction of the park from what I can see. And with Jazzland - Six Flags really would have been stupid not to buy the park. With a $5 million price tag, plus $20 million invested into the park, the place will have paid itself off within two or three years maximum. The difference in this situation is we've got a park that will cost them far more than $5 million (more in the realm of US$50 million I'd expect), and wouldn't have returns quite as luring as Jazzland. And really, if Six Flags did come along, they'd still have to put up a fight for market share. With what would be two directly competitive parks all within around a ten minute drive, as well as one water park right next door that'd be competitive to a certain degree, they'd certainly be putting up a fight for their share (and then some) of the market. They could do this with flashy new coasters every year breaking their own records, but I'd like to think that they'd continue with their own unique movie edge. The fact is that those faceless Six Flags managers you hear about that are responsible for every bad Six Flags park won't just appear here and start running the place. The park would largely be run by the same team of management. Sure, they'd be answering to different people, and be given different budgets to work with (higher or lower is anyone's guess), and have different agendas, but at the end of the day, I don't think we'd see too much change - certainly not for the worse. I thought it'd be useful to mention, while I'm rambling, that B&M subcontracts their steel work. Giovanola does their European steel as I'm aware, and an Ohio-based company does it in America. BHP has done many of Australia's coasters, and I'd expect them to be doing any future coasters where trackwork isn't done in-house. Consequently, additional costs would probably only be for things like trains, electronics, etc. :bert:

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Loads of off-topic and nonsense in your post, Richard... Anyway, Six Flags did many things for Warner Bros. Madrid. They used their contacts to change a Premier Rides coaster to two B&M coasters. And a woodie clone was changed to a huge custom design. They also made our Giant Inverted Boomerang (SF Belgium) go to the park. :( We got a normal one instead. Jazzland was good value yes, but it IS a new park. And believe me, there are more coming soon. They are finishing some new deals. About competition, they might compete with Dreamworld. Six Flags Magic Mountain is competing with Cedar Point, a park that is hundreds of miles away. If they can keep the contacts with the waterpark and SeaWorld (or buy it, like they did with SeaWorld Ohio), they can make the Gold Coast a good themepark vacation destination ! About the managers...you say they're faceless. Well, in Europe, you can meet one of the big bosses every week. The park managers usually walk around in the park in the morning, vice-presidents of the European 'chain' are often seen in the parks too and the park manager of Warner Bros. Germany is the former Six Flags Marine World manager. Also, the big boss of the European parks was the manager of Six Flags Great Adventure. They're definately not 'faceless', they're friendly people who you can meet and talk to about their parks, about the good and the bad. B&M...Walter Bolliger and Claude Mabilard are engineers, nothing more actually. They design and calculate rides, mostly with the help of extra engineers such as the people at the Stengel bureau in Germany. They make very detailed blueprints which can be made by several companies, depending on the customer's location. For the United States, most parts are made in Ohio. For Europe, the big parts come from Spain I've heard. GTec makes some things, also for Intamin, the launch system of the Rocket Coaster for example. Small things, such as wheels are made by companies who don't even know about the destination of the product they're making. Polyurethane wheels for Intamin and B&M are made in Belgium for example, about a half hour drive of my house. 8) Anyway, as mentioned before, good luck with a Six Flags management in the future. It could be great, but also less great. They are known to build great thrillrides, themed to the max, but coasters can be bold and dirty. Grand openings are a huge funfilled party, they're festivals rule bigtime, but maintenance can be awfull. Much depends on the people who work at the park, but remember they only get to use a limited budget.

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Anyway, as mentioned before, good luck with a Six Flags management in the future. It could be great, but also less great.   They are known to build great thrillrides, themed to the max, but coasters can be bold and dirty. Grand openings are a huge funfilled party, they're festivals rule bigtime, but maintenance can be awfull. Much depends on the people who work at the park, but remember they only get to use a limited budget.
Indeed, but still It's a big risk. Ofcourse we hope that Six Flags will keep WBMW goldcoast as good as it is right now, but the chance stays big it will go the same way as WBMW Germany. Anyway, if I could choose I won't choose for Six Flags to run the park.

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Regardless of what Six Flags did for Movie World Madrid, the fact remains is they only invested 5% of the total into the park (under €20 million). I don't know what the exchange was back then, but it wasn't really a great deal. Certainly when they spent more than that on SFMM's 2001 coasters alone. The Jazzland deal came along and was good value. $25 million to add a new park up to the standards of their "midrange" regional parks - they'd have been crazy not to go with such a deal. I don't know what attendance they're projecting, but I'm guessing that if they don't make back their investment this season, it'll happen some time next sason. A deal like that won't come to them too often. I didn't say that they're not buying parks. They put in a bid for Tussauds in England, and I think they looked seriously at the Vivendi (Universal) properties. Just I really doubt that they'll be buying a park that will cost them USD$75++ million, that will only make them USD$5 million each season. They've kept clear of Orlando Florida, and I'm going out on a limb to say that the Gold Coast parks are in a very similar position to those in Orlando (obviously on a smaller scale etc.). They could probably raise an equivalent park to Movie World in another part of Australia (just a few hours north of the Gold Coast is the Sunshine Coast - which is currently experiencing the growth of the Gold Coast of 20-30 years ago), for a lower price than they'd pay for an existing park. I didn't say that the managers were faceless, I said that that is the perception of them. I was speaking about the USA market then. Of course trying to disect that statement I made is irrelevant to the point I was making in that paragraph. I never said B&M did anything more than engineering. Though they are still responsible for every part of the ride's construction, from the very early phases up until the opening day. The park is quoted a price by B&M, and from there they make it happen. The fact is, the competition between these parks is, and certainly would be more so if Movie World was bought out, very tight. It's nothing like the "competition" that SFMM and Cedar Point experience. As I said earlier, this is more up on the levels of the Orlando competition. They may have mutual agreements etc., but the fact is, if Dreamworld really wanted to (and got the finance from Macquarie Leisure (i.e. $100's of millions), as well as scrapped the town center etc.), they could have WVTP on their knees begging for mercy. Just as WVTP could do the same back to Dreamworld (with the same sort of finances, but also some serious changes to the entire structure of the parks). Of course, John Menzies probably meets with Tony Braxton-Smith for lunch every now and again, and they're well aware that they're currently operating such that they benefit each other to an extent, but there is the really potential for serious competition, but neither parties either have the finances available, or see the benefits too short-term to be of any use. A bit off topic, but hey - I only go as far off topic as the person above me. Where the discussion goes, it goes (unless we start talking about watermelons, which I think is a little too far from home).

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Back on-topic then ;) It would be cool to have Thorpe Park become Six Flags London and Heide-Park become Six Flags Germany... but I'm very sure Six Flags won't buy Tussauds. As a matter of fact, Tussauds has said they are not selling anything right now. Keep an eye on Hansa-Park ;) But I don't think Six Flags would buy Warner Bros. in Australia. However, they might build a new park in Florida or California. Warner Bros. on the other hand should look around in Japan, people are crazy about American themeparks and they adore movies. Universal Studios and Disney are both a huge success ! But Six Flags in Australia, not tomorrow...it's like expecting a "Six Flags South Africa" or "Six Flags over China".

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Guest Cokecool

I don't thank Six Flags would invest in Australia, they more than likely invest in Europe, be cause of the Stronge Euro!

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