Monday, June 15, 2009

Not Worth the Trip

As the summer heats up and the kids start getting bored with the neighborhood pool routine, some parents will opt for a day trip to the Six Flags amusement park in Largo. The park is an easy 35 minute drive from Howard County and features a water park called Hurricane Harbor.
Sounds like great fun doesn’t it?

That’s what I thought last summer when I packed up Peanut and two of her friends and headed on over there for the day. The bottom line is that Six Flags is the least happy amusement park I’ve ever been to. I can’t recall a single staff wearing a smile. I can only assume that it isn’t a very nice place to work either. The place was dirty too.

Today, according to this story by Mike Spector and Jeffrey McCracken in the Wall Street Journal, Six Flags has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“Six Flags' bankruptcy is a setback for Daniel Snyder, the Washington Redskins football-team owner who took control of the Six Flags in a proxy fight in 2005 and installed his own management team. The bankruptcy would likely wipe out Mr. Snyder's 6% stake.”

While it would be easy to explain their problems as just another case of too much debt, I personally think their problems go much deeper.


Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, Six Flags was Wild World, and it was actually not bad (or I was a kid). It has, however, been not worth the trip for at least 10 years, if not longer.

It's better to go to Hershey or Kings Dominion and deal with the long drive.

Dave W said...

I also went more than a few times when it was still called Wild World and it was always a great time.

I never went back when they changed the name to Adventure World or eventually Six Flags.

CJB said...

A real treat was driving up north to Six Flags New Jersey many years ago with the kids. Jammed with young girls barely dressed mingling with some of Jersey's finest teen Soprano wannabes, it was a real mess. The kids got some visual lessons in trash talk, fighting and the adolescent human anatomy, all for a single entrance fee and long lines.

One has to marvel at well run parks like Disney and Busch Gardens and the effort and result that can occur when it is done right.