The Baltimore Sun has uncovered a leaked memo from Penn Central that suggest they are interested in adding Kirkmen Island to their portfolio of amusement parks under the companies ‘Six Flags’ brand. An acquisition team visited the park and produced an exhaustive report outlining a controversial acquisition plan that has some wondering will the Family owned park go corporate?
To: Board of Directors
From: Diversification and Acquisitions Committee
Subject: Kirkmen Island Amusement Park Report
Date: July 22, 1974I. Recommendation Summary:
Kirkmen Island, located in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area will be a great fit for our ‘Six Flags’ amusement park division and should be given significant consideration. Kirkmen Island is a large family owned park with land available for future expansion. This report outlines, in detail, the benefits of acquiring the Kirkmen Island assets and any potential liabilities. II. Assets and Liabilities1. Assets- Kirkmen Island is a family owned and operated park that started on land owned by the Kirkmen family at their summer residence in Gibson Island, Maryland. The park has grown from a family owned board walk and natural beach to a large seasonal amusement park. While the park has grown it still maintains its small park feeling. There are a few major assets to the park.
A. Kirkmen Island Boardwalk- The boardwalk is still largely in tact and houses a modest aquarium, many shops and rides. It is the heart of the park because it is where the park began.
B. Rides and attractions- The park is home to 4 roller coasters, more than any park in the Six Flags chain. The park has a healthy mix of rides for the entire family. Their newest ride is Grasshopper
, a wild mouse ride that is perfect for a family of four.
C. Frontier Village-This well themed Western Area aligns well with the origin of the Six Flags brand.
D. Kirkmen Grand Hotel- The Kirkmen Grand is a 175 room luxury hotel with convention and meeting space. The hotel stays open year round hosting guest, weddings, conferences and events. The hotel is walking distance from the park.
E. Location- Kirkmen Island is located squarely between Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. and is 15 minutes from the newly renovated Baltimore Washington International Airport. Also there are no Six Flags parks in the northeast.2. Potential Liabilities- the park has liabilities that should also be considered when purchasing the park.
A. Under developed property- The park lines the coast of the property primarily. Much of the land is undeveloped and not set up for infrastructure.
B. Financials- the park has some debt from mortgages on the property and debt from the hotel; the park is however cash flow positive. III. Rebranding and Acquisition Plan
1. Rebranding- Kirkmen Island is located close to Washington D.C. therefore a rebranding that celebrates America seems appropriate and can help with marketing and advertising. Below is an idea and rough rendering of the proposed new logo.
2. Kirkman Grand Hotel- The hotel is profitable but it would be more profitable it is appealed to customers looking for a value brand and should be converted to a hotel targeting families looking for a value similar to a Holiday Inn.
3. Closure of White Lightning- White Lightning is the parks oldest roller coaster and consequently the ride requires daily labor intensive maintenance and yearly major off season refurbishments.