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Thread: Frontier City

  1. Far North Frontier City

    While I wear my Oklahoma City pride on my sleeve, always upbeat about the change happening in our community and the fact that Oklahoma City is on the move, I couldn't help but express my frustration toward Frontier City Theme Park.

    Some of you may not be aware, but five years ago Frontier City bought and dismantled a steel roller coaster from Astroworld in Houston. Today, it still sits in pieces at Frontier City on their storage premises. The roller coaster was called the Excalibur, and if erected would have been Oklahoma's tallest, largest and fastest steel roller coaster (although not much taller than the Silver Bullet). Furthermore, the park, owned by Oklahoma City-based (at the park) Six Flags, had another 80 acres of undeveloped land. Just what in the hell are park officials waiting for on this ride... or any other potential new roller coasters?

    I am a coaster enthusiast. Spending my life (I'll soon be 26) in Oklahoma City, I as well as many other locals have grown tired of the same four roller coasters Frontier City has offered for THE LAST TEN YEARS! Not to mention the number of rides always closed visit after visit.

    It is no surprise, that with park attendance dwindling (and don't give me that post 9/11 crap, or "it's been a slower season because of weather"), and what is in my opinion high admission fees for rides I have ridden a thousand times, Frontier City officials have ignored my letters of complaints, refusing to communicate regularly with roller coaster magazines and sharing no information with the local press.

    Frontier City Theme Park has lost its appeal as a community attraction and citizen, which no doubt contributes very little to Oklahoma City as an entertainment option, and presents itself as a cheap "kiddie park" with no sign of any drastic improvement or major expansion plan down the road. If any of you Frontier City officials are reading this... are you catching my drift? Get the hint? You have short-changed me as a customer, let me down as a roller coaster enthusiast, and let this community down by keeping to yourselves out there on I-35. Six Flags has in no way benefitted Oklahoma City by being based here, other than to keep its investments going out of state.

    So, I will no longer spend my money or time at Frontier City, and will no longer purchase a season pass. Oklahoma City's renaissance has left you behind, and so have I.
    Last edited by Pete; 12-06-2011 at 10:22 AM.

  2. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Six Flags is having problems; they're not meeting expectations:

    Six Flags down on revenue slump
    Attendance at amusement parks off in first half of year
    By William Spain, CBS.MarketWatch.com
    Last Update: 4:10 PM ET July 16, 2004
    E-mail it | Print | Alert | Reprint | RSS

    CHICAGO (CBS.MW) -- Shares of Six Flags flew down more than 25 percent Friday after the company reported slumping revenue and attendance at its amusement parks.

    Late Thursday, Six Flags reported that park-level revenue for the first six months of the year is down almost 1 percent, while attendance dropped 4 percent to 12.8 million.

    Six Flags (PKS: news, chart, profile) need with a loss of $1.60 at $4.72 after scraping as low as $4.62 during the session.

    Revenue for the six months ended June 30 is expected to come in between $400 million and $402 million, down approximately $3 million and $5 million from the same period in 2003. Earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization will be about $30 million, down almost $11.8 million, the company said.

    Chief Executive Kieran Burke said in written release that "while our performance in the initial part of our season has been uneven, we were generally tracking slightly ahead of prior year through mid-June."

    However, the company "experienced a sharp decline in the last two weeks of June" and was "negatively affected by the later Memorial Day holiday which resulted in significantly fewer operating days in the 2004 period."

    He also cited bad weather in certain key markets for the decline, although "the attendance shortfalls we have experienced have been offset somewhat by very strong per capita spending growth through June 30."

    The company's Northeast parks were hit by bad weather in 2003; while conditions have been markedly better there this time around, Mother Nature turned her ire to Illinois, Georgia and Texas in 2004.

    Things have picked up slightly in July with a 0.5 percent blip in revenue for the first few weeks of the month, Burke added.

    The declines come in the face the company's most aggressive ad campaign in years.

    In a note to investors, Bear Stearns analyst Glen Reid wrote that results were a disappointment as the "the trends were softer than expected. Despite the improvement in the economy, the new ad campaign and the better weather in certain key markets, clearly we underestimated the negative effects of certain other factors."
    Continue the Renaissance

  3. Cool Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    The biggest problem with Frontier City is that it is not in good enough condition to be in the big leagues. Oklahoma City needs a big league theme park. Disney or Universal would be ideal.
    Frontier City, to me, is a dump. They need better rides, better shows, and to be updated and remodeled, as well as a major expansion program.
    A Universal walk concept or the Disney equvilant would be good. Plus rename it Six Flags-Oklahoma City, and incorporate some of the same attractions as the other Six Flags parks across the country.
    Get rid of the Frontier City concept.

  4. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    From a PR point of view, naming the park Six Flags Oklahoma City would be a two-fer. More out-of-state visitors would be interested (because of the brand name), and Oklahoma City would look much more major league.

    But Six Flags usually doesn't name parks after cities. What about Six Flags on the Great Plains , Six Flags Oklahoma, or Six Flags Native America?
    Continue the Renaissance

  5. #5
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    I think the reason Six Flags hasn't changed the name of Frontier City, is because they're drawing so many Oklahomans to Six Flags in Arlington.

    You know, I've had several friend in the past that were managers out at Frontier City. They said the rumors were always the same....that Six Flags was holding on to the 80 acres of land to the west of the park to someday expand the park.
    Well, I have to say, I've been hearing this crap for too many years now. It's about time Six Flags did something with that land and make Frontier City a better theme park.

    I know Tulsans would tell us we shouldn't complain because Frontier City is a heck of a lot nicer than Bells Amusement Park (or should I say carnival park!!!! ) but I still think we could do better. The international headquarters for Six Flags is at Frontier City, for crying out loud. Seems like they'd want their nices park to be where there headquarters is located.

    OKC Pulse, I was fully aware of the Excalibur ride that you were referring to. It is sitting in storage on the grounds of the park. And my friends out there told me that it was supposed to be part of the redevelopment plan at Frontier City. But you know what? I was told that about 4 years ago, and I haven't hear anymore about it since.

    I think it's kind of strange that Six Flags bought Excalibur from Astroworld, because they now own astroworld! But, I guess they bought it back when they didn't own Astroworld. Beats me why the ride is sitting in storage now!

    You know, I read an article similar to the one that floater posted, only it went further to say exactly why Six Flags was in the financial problems they were in. For the past few years now, Six Flags has been pocketing the profits instead of reinvesting it in new rides and attractions. Theme park-goers have grown tired of the same old rides and have simply stopped going.

    I think OKC Pulse hit the nail on the head when he said that he was tired of going to Frontier City and seeing the same 4 roller coasters out there. If Six Flags expects to make money off of their parks, they're going to have to invest in them. And I don't mean by buying little sucky rides like he Tomahawk either.....I mean new coasters, bigger thrills.

    Back in the days when Six Flags was still owned by the original Six Flags, and not by OKC based Premier Parks (the old name of the OKC-based corporation), they used to have a new major ride at their parks every season. Doesn't seem like OKC-based Six Flags has kept up with that tradition.

    I don't think getting someone in here like Disney is necessarily the answer. I think Six Flags is a good brand and name in theme park entertainment. I think they're currently just in a phase of pure mismanagement. They're stock is showing it.

    Until management changes their attitude about all of this, nothig is going to change.

    You know...this reminds me a lot of the fall of old Shepherd Mall. You know...a lot of people blame the fall of Shepherd Mall on the expansion of nearby Penn Square Mall! Or some blamne it on the declining neighborhood around Shepherd Mall. Although both of those factors played some role in Shepherd Mall's demise, they aren't the main reason the mall died. At the time Penn Square was going through expansion (1986-1988), Shepherd Mall was still the main shopping destination in town. Problem was the mall was owned by a guy from out of the country that cared little about the mall, and cared mostly about his pocket book. He charged high rents, pocketed the money, and didn't reinvest any of the money into the mall. If he had taken the profits he was making from high rents, and reinvested it back into the mall, he could've added on a second floor at Shepherd, updated the mall, and been able to compete with Penn Square.
    Well, he pocketed the money, and in the meantime, all of the tenants moved to the newer and better Penn Square Mall, and Shepherd Mall became history.

    Well, currently, Six Flags is Shepherd Mall. If they don't get their act together soon, they're going to be history!

    Oh.....and people could care less about ads. Face it.....people know the parks are there. Why do they have to spend the money advertising so heavily. I think people would rather they take the money they spent on advertising and divert it to improving their parks!

    Face it.....back in 1992....OKC could've put on as many commercials across the country as it wanted to, promoting our attractions. But it wasn't going to change the fact that back in 1992 OKC sucked! Instead, OKC was smart and reinvested money into itself! Look at the results! People around the country know about OKC not because we've spent a lot of money on ads, but because we've invested money into our city and made it a premier destination.

  6. #6
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Just wanted to add...I think OKC Pulse's message clearly states Six Flags' problem.

    "Frontier City Theme Park has lost its appeal as a community attraction and citizen, which no doubt contributes very little to Oklahoma City as an entertainment option, and presents itself as a cheap "kiddie park" with no sign of any drastic improvement or major expansion plan down the road. If any of you Frontier City officials are reading this... are you catching my drift? Get the hint? You have short-changed me as a customer, let me down as a roller coaster enthusiast, and let this community down by keeping to yourselves out there on I-35. Six Flags has in no way benefitted Oklahoma City by being based here, other than to keep its investments going out of state.

    So, I will no longer spend my money or time at Frontier City, and will no longer purchase a season pass. Oklahoma City's renaissance has left you behind, and so have I."

    That's the exact reason Six Flags is losing customers. They're not offering their customers anything new. They're choosing to pocket their money instead. I would say it's just Frontier City, but it's not. I went to Six Flags in Arlington awhile back, and it wasn't nbearly as nice as I had remembered it prior to Premier Parks buying it.

    OKC Pulse, you might consider sending your post to the Six Flags Headquarters. Mail it to them, Six Flags, Attn. Kieran Burke, CEO, 11501 NE Expressway, Oklahoma City, OK 73131
    Or you can call them at (405) 475-2500

  7. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Thank you very much for the suggestion, Patrick. I will do just that, and I hope that in some way it will get their attention... let them know that their poor management is currently being discussed on a growing forum.

  8. #8
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    You might put c/o Frontier City on the envelope if you decided to send them a letter! I'll try to send them a letter to. The more letters (and complaints) they get, the better!

  9. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    The reason Frontier City will never change, and should never change its name is because Six-Flags claims it as their original park. So the name is never going to change for that reason. I am really not sure why everyone on the forum wants to see a generic, non-unique name come to the theme park. Every single Six-Flags is almost exactly the same...I would hate to see our uniquely themed park change into something tasteless and boring like Dallas, Atlanta, and others are so proud to show off.

    I'll try to find the story, but I can't believe none of you heard, especially since you are so sensitive to this subject. Anyway, the story was announced by Six Flags, and I even emailed them a few months ago in response to their story and got a reply. The story stated that Frontier City does have current plans to begin expansion onto the 80-acre site, adding several new roller coasters and other rides, along with the purchase of even more land for more future expansion. It was the best theme-park news I had heard in a long time. I live close to Tulsa, and I really enjoy coming to Frontier City, it puts Bells to shame(one wooden roller coaster, few other rides, and the fear of ending up like the people who rode the wildcat!) Although I think the price is currently a little steep, there is nothign to be ashamed of in Frontier City. Almost every time I drive by there, it is so packed that people have to park on the grass in front of the park to fit in.

    I don't think OKC needs "six-flags" to move into the big leagues...I don't even think OKC needs a major theme park for that. Take Austin...to me Austin is a city that is making real progress...even over the almighty Dallas...but I couldn't tell you the name of the Austin theme park, or even if they have one. OKC needs to focus on the attributes that will make it different from other cities...not the ones that will make it the exact same. Forget the theme-park, and forget all the major league sports(even though it would be nice). OKC needs to focus on city-wide beautification, cleaning the trash off the streets(paper trash, not people) and more downtown improvements. Once it can accomplish these things, and do it without copying other cities, then OKC will becom major-league. A park alone will not attract tourists and young entepreneurs, but a unique, cosmipolitan, vibrant city will.

  10. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Wow, thanks for the update and info, nuclear 2525. And again, welcome to the Oklahoma City forum.

  11. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    P.S., does anyone know what happened to the skin options. I personally preferred the plasma skin!

  12. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Glad to be a part of the "Rennaisance"...especially since this will be my city too for the next 5 years! Maybe longer! I guess I am probably the perfect example of what OKC and Tulsa should be fighting for. When I get out of college, I will go for the city that has the most to offer. Right now? It would be OKC, but the recent Vision 2025 is going to put Tulsa right up there, especially since Tulsa followed OKC and investors are being more risky early on with Tulsa's vision. It took OKC a while to get everyone interested when Tulsa's took right off...but like I said, that is only because OKC was the pioneer and Tulsa followed suit. Anyway, back on subject, OKC and Tulsa will forever compete for the young professionals along with every other city, so I guess it's an eternal race to see who can put up the best fight!

  13. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Looks like you've got a split decision there, nuclear (he-he)!

    Continue the Renaissance!

  14. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    That was a very confusing post, even when I was typing it! Oh well...just hoped it would come out better than what I was thinking...guess I really didn't accomplish anything with it!

  15. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Actually, it made sense to me.. and I'm three beers sour! But, I better hit the sack soon, or my wife's gonna kill me for staying up so late! Our two year wedding anniversary was on July, 20, so things have been both busy and celebrating.

  16. #16
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Hey OKC Pulse....congrats on your 2 year annniversary! She actually put up with you that long??? Just kidding!!!
    I just got engaged, and I still can't believe she said yes!!!!! LOL Just kidding! We've been dating or 8 years, and if I didn't ask her there was going to be a homicide around the NW 63rd and May Ave. area (I live around that area)!!!

    Nuclear, you are so true when you say OKC needs to strive to be unique. It's just so easy at times when you'e thinking big, to want to copy off your bigger neighbors.

    I guess the main reason many here in OKC have really pushed to get the Six Flags name stamped onto Frontier City is for national recognition. People in this city are really trying to put OKC on the national radar screen! That's why we're pushing for pro sports teams, nationally known theme parks, and even theme restaurants in Bricktown like Hard Rock Cafe and the like (although Randy Hogan, developer of Lower Bricktown has recently changed his mind---he originally proposed a Dick Clark's American Bandstand Grill for Bricktown---but now he fels that such attractions would ruin Bricktown's unique local flavor, so he has moved away from those concepts in favor of more local concepts......like the Toby Keith restaurant and theater for example!

    In regards to Frontier City, that's great news to hear. I knew Six Flags had plans of one day expanding Frontier City, but those have been rumors for many years now. I'd love to see the story you're referring to! I'm sure Steve Lackmeyer, with the Daily Oklahoman, a frequent reader of this site, would probably like to see the info as well!

    From reading this, it might give him a tip on a news story, as he sometimes gets ideas from forums such as this one.

    Yeah, I know Frontier City is way nicer than Bells, but you know how things go.....you always want something better and you covet what your neighbor has. Well, as some Tulsans look to OKC and KC for ideas, we (not me, but Oklahoma Citians in general) look to Dallas and San Antonio for ideas! It's like trying to keep up with the Jones's.

    One thing I do wish.......the 40 or so acres to the west of White Water Bay were recently up for sale....the land were on the market for 5+ years! I thought for sure that Six Flags would buy the land! There's a strip mall sitting there now. I think Six Flags missed an opportunity there for future expansion of White Water Bay!

    Anyways, if you can fnd that story on Frontier City, we'd love to see it!

  17. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Welcome to the forum, nuclear. Good to have some Tulsan perspectives. Thanks for the contributions you've made already.
    Continue the Renaissance

  18. #18
    Todd Guest

    Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City


    Sorry about that. We had to narrow down the skin selection because most of them were not compatible with the forum software upgrade.

    Take Care,

  19. Default Re: Disappointment with Frontier City

    Darn it Oh well, at least it wasn't the hybrid skin

  20. #20

    Default Hope for Frontier City?

    I just heard that Six Flags AstroWorld in Houston is closing, and they are going to be sending their rides to other Six Flags around the country. I hope they send a few up this way.

  21. #21
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Hope for Frontier City?

    If my mind serves me correctly, I think we have one of their rides already here in storage. okcpulse, correct me if I'm wrong. I don't really see Six Flags expanding Frontier City anytime soon, especially since they're in such huge debt. They'll probably send the rides to larger parks with open space already available that won't need clearing out.

  22. Default Re: Hope for Frontier City?

    Patrick, you are correct. A roller coaster that once belonged to Astrowold, the Excalibur, is in pieces at Frontier City's storage grounds. And, unfortunately, no sign of the park resurrecting the ride.

    Well, now that we'll be leaving for Houston in 3 1/2 months, I am going to be living in the country's fourth most populated city with.... no theme park. How about those apples!
    Continue the Renaissance!!!

  23. #23
    Patrick Guest

    Default Frontier City up for sale?


    "What does the Six Flags sale hold for Oklahoma City?
    by Brian Brus
    The Journal Record

    Even with Six Flags' planned divestment of Houston's AstroWorld announced this week, industry analysts said they are no closer to determining the most likely buyer of the Oklahoma City-based amusement park giant.
    However, the sale of the single Texas park, seen by many as an attempt to cash in on real estate values over diminished park ticket returns, suggests Six Flags may be willing to sell off individual, smaller properties instead of a full, 30-park sweep, said Amusement Today magazine publisher Gary Slade and Motley Fool senior stock analyst Rick A. Munarriz.

    Slade believes that puts Oklahoma City's own Frontier City in a bad position. The park on Interstate 35 has served as Six Flags' nominal headquarters since the company was bought from Time Warner by Premier Parks in 1997, even though Six Flags also operates out of New York.

    "It's one of the properties that should be sold. Absolutely," Slade said. "It just doesn't have the attendance; it can't produce more than a half million people a year; and it takes too much time and effort to run a park like that when you could be concentrating on a park that's doing 1.5 million people or 2 million people a year. The smaller properties should be cut loose."

    Munarriz agreed in part: "I don't think all the smaller parks are at risk. It's the parks that are sitting on valuable real estate and aren't producing that well. When you look at AstroWorld, for example, they realized that land in the middle of the city had appreciated in value and they hadn't put a lot of money into it.

    "But in Oklahoma City? I just don't see that happening for the same reasons. It would almost be a symbolic surrender to give up Frontier City, and I don't think they're ready for that," he said. "Oklahoma City may actually even get an old AstroWorld ride or two for next season."

    Market watchers are still unsure of stockholder Dan Snyder's intentions. The Washington Redskins owner prompted Six Flags' move to the auction block last month by trying to secure a 34.9 percent stake in the company, effectively giving him control. Snyder has aggressively pushed for Kieran Burke's ouster as chairman and chief executive of Six Flags.

    "It's almost like they're two people playing poker, and now that Six Flags has called his bluff - if it is a bluff - they're waiting to see if they can get a third person to join the game," Munarriz said.

    Munarriz told The Journal Record that although Disney might seem a logical choice to consume competitor Six Flags, in truth the Mickey Mouse empire can't afford to dilute its current brand nor risk converting a park to its own standards of quality. At most, Disney might look at a single park in Maryland to develop an American Heartland theme.

    Dennis Speigel, president of the International Theme Park Services Inc. consulting firm, also put Disney at the top of the list - and promptly dismissed the company as a buyer.

    "Really, we have no idea. It's not a highly desirable company as it's currently operated. The major operators in the industry are not clamoring at the door," Speigel said. "If I had to guess, I'd say you're looking at private equity firms such as Blackstone and Apollo. They've been in the business; they know how to operate a company."

    Like others in the industry, Spiegel said he expects to see parts of Six Flags fall away before the company decreases its $2 billion debt load to a more defensible position. That's not necessarily a bad thing for a smaller park - it could still be profitable in its own right as a local venue, he said, just not necessarily at the national level as part of Six Flags' chain.

    Other big names considered potential suitor material include: Cedar Fair, a smaller theme park competitor; Time Warner, the entertainment media conglomerate; and Anheuser-Busch, which already owns Sea World and Busch Gardens and could use the parks as marketing venues for its other products.

    "It's going to have to be some investment-minded person or group from outside the industry that comes forth. I just don't see it being anyone from within the industry," Spiegel said.

    Munarriz agreed: "In the end, I don't know if someone is willing to absorb the entire 30-park chain and pay the $3 billion to $4 billion it would take to close that deal. If Six Flags wanted to, they could find suitable buyers for many of their properties and still stay in the game. Or maybe it'll be a private equity firm that will come in and break off parts piecemeal for them," he said.

    New York investor Simon Glick recently upped his own investment in Six Flags to nearly 10 percent, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. Over the past three weeks, Glick paid $64.4 million for a 9.7 percent stake, placing him among the largest 10 shareholders. Snyder is the company's largest investor, currently with 11.7 percent. Other major investors include Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Omaha investor Wallace Weitz's investment fund.

  24. Default Re: Frontier City up for sale?

    Gates is a major investor in Six Flags. Hm, I only wish he would revolutionize the parks in the same way he as done with computers. Can you imagine?
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  25. Default Re: Frontier City up for sale?

    Oh, and leave the hq in OKC.
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

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