Six Flags dumps Oklahoma City HQ, moves to NYC
Published: January 27, 2006 at 11:02 PM
In a move that should surprise no one who does not count "Boomer Sooner" among his favorite songs, Dan Snyder's Six Flags today announced that it was pulling its headquarters out of Oklahoma City. The company's new brass, including CEO Mark Shapiro, will continue to call New York home. To add to the snub, Six Flags also announced that it will close its Oklahoma theme and water parks, Frontier City and White Water Bay. (Six Flags late last year closed Six Flags Astroworld in Houston.)
The company's press release said:
"These moves mark further efforts in the company's strategy to streamline operations and focus on major market parks which have the most opportunity for growth.
"'We continue to evaluate every asset in the Six Flags portfolio with a mission of improving shareholder value,' said Mark Shapiro, Six Flags President and CEO. 'We're beginning a drive to implement operational strategies that will help reduce debt load and strengthen our brand.'"
Today's entry will now engage in baseless speculation and blatant rumor-mongering simply for the purpose of your weekend entertainment. So in that spirit let's translate the press statement:
Say, goodbye, Lake George, N.Y.'s Great Escape, Columbus, Ohio's Wyandot Lake, Sacramento's Six Flags Waterworld and Six Flags New Orleans.
You're on thin ice, Springfield, Mass.'s Six Flags New England, Buffalo, N.Y.'s Darien Lake and Louisville, Ky.'s Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.
With 10 parks out of the way, the company would presumably would be able to better concentrate its capital investment amoungs the 11 remaining U.S. theme park complexes. (Plus Montreal's La Ronde and Six Flags Mexico, assuming that the company wants to remain in these non-U.S. North American major markets.) Or, maybe, even to fund new major-market acquisitions.
After all, wouldn't Six Flags rather be in, oh, say, Cincinnati than Louisville? Toronto than Montreal? San Jose rather than Vallejo? And to pick up a park in Charlotte, N.C.? Gee, I wonder how that could happen....