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Impact of Arlington Tragedy on Theme Park Business Seen Limited

Impact of Arlington Tragedy on Theme Park Business Seen Limited

So what impact will the tragedy at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington have on the tourism industry in Texas?  As it turns out, not too much, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  "It will have an immediate impact in the next week or so, but it will wear off," said David Bojanic, the Anheuser-Busch Foundation Professor of Tourism at UTSA.  "You will probably see attendance start to pick up again in August."

 

  A 51 year old woman was killed as she rode the Texas Giant hybrid roller coaster at the Six Flags Arlington park Friday night.  Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio indefinitely shut down it's Rattler hybrid coaster on Monday, saying it was a precaution and no problems had been detected on the Rattler, which opened to great fanfare this past spring.

 

  Bojanic said he would be surprised if the tragedy has much of an impact on park attendance, or on people interested in riding the coasters.

 

  "Most people know that the odds of being hurt on a roller coaster are pretty staggering," he said.

 

  In fact, you have a far greater chance of being injured or killed driving to the theme park than you have being injured on a roller coaster.

 

  Also, experts point out that at the major theme parks, guests pay to get into the park, and don't pay for the specific rides.  So even customers who want to shy away from the big roller coaster will still be paying full price to see the other attractions.

 

  Bojanic says the tragedy won't have a major impact on the development of the next generation of roller coasters, which coaster enthusiasts continue to demand.

 

  "People want those rides," he said.  "They want to go on the tallest, the fastest, the largest drop."

 

  He says Six Flags Arlington could see a hiccup, but he says the park is handling the situation well, by conducting a full investigation.

 

  He points out that airplanes are full of passengers the day after plane crashes, and there is no reason to believe it will not continue to be a strong summer for theme parks and tourism.

 

  Parks like Six Flags don't release daily attendance, but it is believed to be a banner year for the theme park industry.

 

  But Bojanic warns that if there is another accident like this in a theme park in the USA this summer, all bets are off.  If people see a 'pattern' he says customers will shy away from parks and rides.

 

 

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