Admission revenue was actually up 5% thanks to Six Flags pass holders and members even while attendance was down 96% in the second quarter.
>>Loyal season pass holders and members helped keep cash flowing into Six Flags coffers and reduce losses by the millions during coronavirus closures that shuttered the company’s U.S. amusement parks.
“I would like to thank our loyal season passholders and members for their commitment to our company during this difficult period,” Six Flags CEO Mike Spanos said in the latest quarterly report from the company.
Six Flags has reopened amusement parks in Oklahoma, Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Maryland and New Jersey while other locations remain shuttered due to the pandemic. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo reopened the animals-only Marine World Experience without rides or coasters in early July. Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia has not announced a reopening date.
Six Flags was able to cut its monthly cash outflow during the coronavirus closures from as much as $35 million to $25 million thanks in part to lower than expected membership cancellations and season pass refunds.
As anticipated, Six Flags sold fewer season passes and memberships while the parks were closed due to the pandemic. The number of Six Flags pass holders and members dropped 38% during the second quarter. Active Six Flags members dropped 19% to 2.1 million compared to 2.6 million at the end of 2019.
Admission revenue was actually up 5% thanks to Six Flags pass holders and members even while attendance was down 96% in the second quarter. The massive attendance losses were offset by the deferral of approximately $24 million in monthly membership revenue while the parks were closed. Six Flags also deferred approximately $6 million in monthly membership revenue from all-season dining pass and other season-long membership products.
In response to the continued loyalty, Six Flags has extended passes during the closure period, upgraded members to the next tier and offered to pause payments.
Theme parks have increasingly moved away from relying on daily ticket sales and transitioned to subscription models similar to Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime that provide a steady stream of returning customers and reliable revenue.
Season passes represented 58% of regional theme park attendance in 2019, according to Goldman Sachs. Passholders and members make up 63% of attendance at Six Flags parks.
Six Flags members and season passholders are among the company’s most loyal customers — generating more annual revenue than single-day visitors, according to a July 2019 investor presentation. Six Flags members help drive higher in-park spending and memberships make it easier to purchase all-season dining and line-cutting add-ons, according to the presentation.<<