Six Flags CEO: Amusement Parks Poised for Profit
High gas prices and a weak economy may have knocked Six Flags' stock to less than $1, but the park is poised to have a productive summer season, CEO Mark Shapiro said.
With the majority of its target guests living within 50 miles of the park, its proximity and special deals have continued to lure consumers, even through gas prices continue to sky rocket.
"Families want entertainment, and they want entertainment as a family," Shapiro said. "The difference this year is they want the words 'value' and 'convenience' attached to that entertainment."
To bring consumers this value, the park is offering extended hours, free concerts, fireworks shows and an electrical light parade.
And although the stock is down, the company is on its way to a turnaround, offering a long-term plan for shareholders, Shapiro said.
"We've repositioned the brand, we've repositioned the product, and the people are coming back," he said. "They're spending more, and they're staying longer."
When Shapiro took control of Six Flags about three years ago, it was $2 billion in debt. And while the weak economy has slowed the comany's projected three-year growth, it is still close to the 20 percent increase in guest spending increase it projected.
"If this season continues to play out the way that it started," he said, "we can put this company in the position to be free cash-flow positive for the first time in the history of the company."