A fatal accident on a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas may cause consumers to rethink a trip to the amusement park—or any amusement park—this summer. But it's unlikely to keep people off roller coasters in the long term.
Six Flags has said it is investigating the death of a woman who fell from its Texas Giant roller coaster Friday. On the company's second-quarter earnings call Monday, CEO Jim Reid-Anderson said the ride "will remain closed until we are certain it is safe to ride."
The park, in Arlington, Texas, has not seen any immediate effect on attendance.
"History in this industry would suggest there is a lag in reaction time after an accident," Reid-Anderson said. "There could be a short- to medium-term attendance impact at the affected park." He declined to comment on any future financial impact, saying that executives would have more information for the third-quarter earnings call.
Serious incidents often prompt more consumers to stay home for a while or, if they attend, reassess which attractions they take in, said Nima Samadi, a senior analyst with IBISWorld. The effect is more pronounced at the park where the accident occurs, with some ripples to sister parks and to competitors.
Regional parks, which attract primarily local, drive-in traffic, are more likely to get smaller crowds. "Those visitors—it's a lot easier for them to reconsider," he said.