Six Flags is planning to increase its attractions portfolio in 2018, with the operator revealing discussions with a number of potential new partners as its waterpark acquisition strategy starts to pick up steam.
In April last year, Six Flags announced its ambition to make a bigger splash in the waterparks sector, with acquisitions of existing properties allowing the operator to expand capacity and attendance with minimal investment, providing a quick payback and high return on invested capital.
“We’re speaking with a number of promising potential partners,” said Six Flags president and CEO Jim Reid-Anderson during an earnings call.
“The timing of the deal is hard to predict, but our goal would be to add parks in 2018.”
Last year Six Flags opened its newest waterpark in Oaxtepec, Mexico, and also reacquired Waterworld California in April as its 20th property. Under the strategy, the operator is looking to buy or develop waterparks near its existing theme park assets in North America, with the goal of boosting revenues at both locations.
“In the right circumstances, you can bring these parks online very quickly,” said Reid-Anderson.
“In the case of Concord, we were able to do that, while in the case of Oaxtepec it took a little bit longer because we were reconfiguring a park that had been shut down.
“The opportunity does add this incredible driver to leverage the large and growing Active Pass Base that we have and to accelerate growth. It's proven with regard to both those parks. Mexico sold record season passes and Concord actually achieved its highest attendance days in history under our leadership.”
For the full financial year, 2017 represented Six Flags’ eighth consecutive year of record financial performance as revenue grew US$40m, or 3 per cent, to US$1.4bn. Growth resulted primarily from the success of the company’s pricing strategy and international licensing programme, according to Six Flags, as well as an increase in the number of guests visiting Six Flags parks.