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Six Flags finds a buyer for AstroWorld; debuts Tatsu

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Published: May 11, 2006 at 12:35 PM

Six Flags has sold the land under which the former AstroWorld park stood for $77 million to a Texas land development firm.

No official word on what will become of the site, but local planners (hey, I didn't know they had those folks in Houston....) envision a urban, mixed-use development of homes and commercial development, taking advantage of adjacent highways and a light rail line.

The bigger news from Six Flags today is the media preview for Tatsu at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Sorry, I wasn't there to bring that to you but... Six Flags didn't invite Theme Park Insider. From a recent e-mail I got from Magic Mountain's PR rep, it seems that Six Flags isn't happy with what I and the readers of this site have said about them in the past. So I guess they've decided to pass on this opportunity to reach out the more than 10,000 daily readers of the most award-winning theme park site on the Web. (That last communication I got from Magic Mountain's PR crew was a curt, accusatory e-mail after a previous L.A. Daily News article in which I was quoted. I sent what I thought was a very gracious, yet honest, reply... and never heard back.)

Something to consider there, Mr. Shapiro, as you try to reach the family market that's shunned your company in recent years.

I'll post press release information from the wire later today. And, as always, TPI readers are invited to post their trip reports, ride ratings and photos on the Tatsu page. As I've said before, TPI doesn't need PR access to the parks, when we have thousands of readers and employees doing our reporting!

Readers' Opinions

From Jessie Phillips on May 12, 2006 at 5:41 AM
I think it sucks that astroworld may be used for other than a themepark. as for 6 flags, i think it is typical of the current management to be out of touch with the average 6 flags families, especially since they have excluded theme park insider. The worst thing that could have happened was that the person (shapiro) that is wanting to turn 6 flags into disneyland, is actually turning 6 flags into more of a cheap daycare center, than ever before. They have increased prices on EVERYTHING and have made the average adult to want to go other places for family vacations. HEY 6 FLAGS, DUE TO THE HIGH COST OF GAS, PEOPLE CAN'T AFFORD YOU AS MUCH, if people want disney, they will go to disney, but leave 6 flags alone.
they want to make 6 flags profitable, but they move operations from Oklahoma to NY. How much extra is that costing......
IF disney or Universal were to ever move into the Dallas/Ft Worth area, 6 flags over texas would become a thing of the past.
From M F on May 12, 2006 at 9:01 AM
It is unfortunate that Magic Mountain can only see fit to invite those media outlets who have been friendly to them in the past. Apparently change hasn't come to Six Flags Magic Mountain as quickly as Dan Snyder and Mark Shapiro would like to have everyone believe. For all of Mr. Shapiro's grandstanding about changing the Six Flags parks, this petty act sure seems mired in past practices. It's worth noting that people would not have bad things to say about Magic Mountain if Magic Mountain didn't have bad things happening at the park (the lists are well documented and too long to revisit here - do a Google search). Just about every tv station, radio station, website, newspaper, and other media outlet in the Southern California area has reported something negative about the park. Additionally, I saw advertisements on our local tv station, KNBC, for some kind of promotional tie-in with Tatsu. KNBC did a report a few years ago about racism at the park. How's that for negative press? One would think that reporting racism at the park is particularly egregious given that Magic Mountain's demographic is heavily minority. Six Flags' letter to you, Mr. Niles, seems a bit disingenuous and I think you took the high road in your comments. Maybe one of the characters in Magic Mountain's park and parades should be the Cowardly Lion or, better yet, the Scarecrow. Congratulations to you, Mr. Niles for a website that allows people to post their opinions despite the consequences.

Mark

From Josh Counsil on May 12, 2006 at 9:37 AM
Banned from press releases because of your beliefs, eh?

Guess that kinda makes you a martyr, Robert.

From Stephen Tuday on May 14, 2006 at 11:19 PM
I had the pleasure of visiting Astroworld twice (in 2002 and 2003) and like many am disappointed to see it go. At the same time, this was strictly a business decision. Six Flags, like any other business, has to turn a profit. While this was really bad for Houston, it will be good for the rest of the Six Flags chain in the long run as they pay off corporate debt.

As for the PR incident with Magic Mountain (another park I have visited before), I feel the management of Six Flags is trashing a great resource...candid and honest comments from all of us! We have been to the parks and have ridden the rides! And we offer our honest opinions! Getting this kind of reader response could be obtained with in-park surveys, but that costs $$$, however, opinions from this site are FREE! Six Flags management still has a (magic) mountain to climb to win back guests and families, but I think they are trying. To their credit, my home park, Six Flags over Georgia is now cleaner, friendlier, and run more efficiently than just one year ago. It may take a while for their efforts to spread to the far reaches of the rest of the chain, but I have noticed a huge difference in Georgia.

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