TEXT OF STORY
LISA NAPOLI: Theme park chain Six Flags has just announced a new strategy for boosting attendance rates that dropped 14% last quarter. It’s a new code of conduct, but not for employees. It’s for customers. Ashley Milne-Tyte has more.
ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: The idea is to attract more families to the parks and fewer rowdy teenagers.
Starting next year, customers must arrive wearing a shirt and shoes, and that shirt should be free of offensive language or risqué graphics.
Line jumping and place-holding will also be banned.
Theme park consultant Dennis Spiegel says appealing to families rather than teens makes financial sense.
DENNIS SPIEGEL:“They will stay longer, they will spend more money, and actually produce a more quality experience for the park.”
But Robert Niles of themeparkinsider.com says there’s one problem: Six Flags parks are full of high-thrills roller coasters that don’t necessarily appeal to younger children
ROBERT NILES:“So they’re running a risk at this point if they drive away all of the teenagers before they have new family friendly attractions in place, they could be left with no market at all.”
And building kid-friendly rides, he says, will require an investment of many millions of dollars.
I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.
Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.
In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.
Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.