The Internet can be a pretty viral place. It can also be a pretty gullible one. That's why folks forward emails expecting Bill Gates to send them money, or why sending over your bank account information to help a Nigerian prince launder money reeks more of opportunity than the obvious fraud.
There's one particular rumor going around, alleging that Six Flags
A little due diligence would also sink that rumor like a stone. For instance, the company operates a few year-round parks, and January has been business as usual. Oh, and season passes are being sold promising "unlimited visits" all year long.
So how did this rumor get started? Once Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder emerged victorious in his proxy battle and put former ESPN programming guru Mark Shapiro in charge, the apparent hoax was easy to concoct. Snyder promised changes at Six Flags, and since fans at a Redskins game can't be allowed to reenter the stadium, it was easier to jump to conclusions than to jump over the regional park operator's turnstiles.
It's flawed logic, of course. Disney
Besides, it's not a really good rumor anyway. More creative firestarters could have gone with something like:
- No beer sales will be allowed after the third quarter -- of a funnel cake has been eaten.
- Bottles, jugs, thermoses, cans, coolers and corny "I Survived" t-shirts will not be allowed inside the parks.
- Tailgating is permitted, as long as it is within a 10-foot radius of the churro cart.
- If you need to use a restroom, sign up at the appropriate waiting list.
- Joe Gibbs has carte blanche on line-cutting and demanding the front seat on every coaster.
Now watch one or more of those start circulating around the Internet as if it's the real deal. Just my luck.
Personally, I'm excited about what Shapiro and Snyder have to offer. Investors seem to agree, since the stock has continued to inch higher despite the company pulling itself off the bidding block last month. Unless I miss my mark, I should be at three different Six Flags parks in early June, so I'll be back with my field research.
Amusement park investing can be a pretty rewarding experience. Six Flags is on a roll and Cedar Fair
So let's see about Six Flags. I'll offer a new batch of rumors if this "no reentry" rumor bears fruit. With Shapiro and Snyder realizing that customer service is one of the former chieftain's greatest shortcomings, I expect the slate of rules for 2006 to be more guest-friendly, not more restrictive.
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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 as he owns shares in Disney and units in Cedar Fair. 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.