The latest white-knuckled Six Flags
Arguing that the company has failed its investors by underutilizing its assets, Snyder also wants to be brought on as the company's chairman. He's not alone. He wants a former Disney
Snyder's cronies aren't accidental appointments. Having a real estate magnate on board is a way for the company to assess the value of its 3,500 unused acres, as well as the market value of some of its underperforming parks. Disney's executive doesn't come from the theme park side of the company -- Mark Shapiro was vice president of programming and production at ESPN -- but that's just as well, given that the best-run theme parks are also purveyors of quality entertainment.
Well done, Snyder.
Back in January, I took Snyder to task for bailing on the company. "In light of what we believe will be a disappointing future for the Company, we have determined that continued investment in the Company is not in our best interest," Snyder wrote in a kiss-off statement filed with the SEC.
After the upheaval that Snyder caused at Six Flags when he demanded change last year, I figured he was giving up too easy. I blasted the regional park operator for ignoring Snyder's suggestions, but then I turned on him, too:
You're not off the hook, either, my friend. If you bought into the company because you saw the untapped potential at Six Flags, the current board's closed-minded ways shouldn't have been a deterrent. If anything, it should have confirmed your convictions. Instead of walking away, you should have simply held your stake, nibbled while you quibbled, and eventually acquired the company in its entirety. Vindication never comes cheap, but it ultimately provides a delicious return.
Thirty million annual parkgoers can't be wrong, but they can be wronged. It's a pity that pride got in the way of logic hand-dipped in petulance.
So here's to Snyder's willingness to put his money where his mouth was.
Timing is everything, as Six Flags was already piecing together an impressive comeback, with revenue and attendance growth outpacing rival Cedar Fair
Six Flags has taken some baby steps in the right direction over the past year, but the potential is still so much greater than what the company is currently achieving. Next week, I'll come back with some ways for Snyder to help remedy some of Six Flags' ills.
For now, hold on to those lap bars, investors. It's going to be a bumpy -- and possibly exhilarating -- ride from here on out.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves to take his family to new amusement parks every summer. He practices what he preaches -- owning shares in Disney, Cedar Fair, and Six Flags. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.