Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email Newsletter

Six Flags sells Elitch Gardens and Darien Lake, plus others, for $312 mil

2007-01-11

By Robert Niles: Six Flags today announced the sale of six of its properties to a group led by one of the founders of the original Six Flags Over Texas theme park.

PARC 7F-Operations Corp. of Jacksonville, Florida, will buy Elitch Gardens in Denver, Darien Lake in Buffalo, N.Y., Wild Waves and Enchanted Village in Seattle, Frontier City and White Water Bay in Oklahoma City, SplashTown in Houston and Waterworld USA in Concord, California for a total of $312 million. The chairman of PARC is Michael Jenkins, a former vice president of Six Flags Over Texas.

Money from the sale will go to help reduce Six Flags' $2.2 billion in corporate debt, accumulated when the former Premier Parks bought the chain and name from Time Warner, then went on an expansion spree just before the economy tanked in 2001.

Full report from Bloomberg

The sale does not include Six Flags Magic Mountain, which will remain open for the 2007. A Six Flags spokesperson said that the company is not actively looking to sell more parks, meaning that Magic Mountain will remain a Six Flags park for the near future... unless somebody with big bucks makes the company a huge offer.

Readers' Opinions

From Deidre Dennis on January 11, 2007 at 11:22 AM
Less of a comment and more of a question: What does this mean for those particular parks? Are they closing down or will they just be under new management?
From Robert Niles on January 11, 2007 at 12:00 PM
PARC will manage the parks (which, in a complex financial move, they are selling to a Canadian investment firm, which will lease the parks back to PARC).

The parks will lose the "Six Flags" name when the sale completes, in March. But annual passes bought at those parks will be honored at all Six Flags parks for 2007.

From Scottland Jacobson on January 11, 2007 at 1:39 PM
I'm bummed we're losing Wild Waves/Enchanted Village in Seattle as part of the chain as it made it convenient for season pass purchases. All in all, it's a lame park, but I'm glad PARC 7-F will keep it running.

I'm thrilled Six Flags is keeping Magic Mountain. I hope they clean that place up and make it a premeire park. It certainly has world-class coasters.

I wonder if Six Flags will lift their season pass purchase policy (whereby you have to live within 100 miles of a Six Flags park) due to the loss of certain geographic locations. We Northwesterners don't want to get left out in the cold!

From Greg Mills on January 11, 2007 at 5:48 PM
Jeez, man...Six Flags is really selling off a LOT of their parks lately. It's starting to get a little worrying, because if one of the largest amusement park companies in the US are faltering this badly, is it a sign of things to come for other parks and amusement park companies?

On the plus and business side of this, this sort of thing keeps monopolization of parks from ever occuring, but still. I don't want to wake up one morning and learn that Cedar Fair has sold off to some obscure third party that destroys them in three months' time, or that Six Flags has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy or that Busch Gardens has been purchased by We Know Nothing Ltd., yanno?

From Adrienne McDonald on January 12, 2007 at 9:31 AM
YIPPEEE!!! :):):) Perhaps this now means at least THOSE parks will get some long overdue upgrades, (hince SF Frontier City). I haven't been to the other parks listed but maybe since a former 'owner' is taking over there'll be some good changes for those parks at least.
From Dustin Kern on January 12, 2007 at 10:41 PM
Darien Lake could be such a great park for many reasons. It has it's own onsite campgrounds and a nearby hotel. It's in the middle of almost no where with plenty of land to spare. Last, there are really no parks of great size nearby except for Canada's Wonderland. If they put the money into the park it could turn into the next Cedar Point. Well maybe not quite that big, but they could easily turn that park into their flagship park. It doesn't have that bad of a collection of coasters, but it is in desperate need of an upgrade.
From JIMMY TOVAR on January 15, 2007 at 10:07 AM
ALRIGHT!!!!!!! Magic Mountain is one of the greatest amusement parks around. Being a Los Angeles native, this park has brought me and my family some good times. I can remember my dad taking me there for the first time, I was seven, and got on the mighty Collossus. That ride changed my life forever. Since then I became such a roller coaster enthusiast that as a teen I made about 4 trips per year. As an adult I started taking my nieces and nephews, you know, get them into it. and as an adult, I now take my kids. Which brings to the great memories from that park.
to see it go just like that would break my families heart. I'm glad Magic Mountain will remain open, for now.
From JIMMY TOVAR on January 15, 2007 at 10:17 AM
ALRIGHT!!!!!!! Magic Mountain is one of the greatest amusement parks around. Being a Los Angeles native, this park has brought me and my family some good times. I can remember my dad taking me there for the first time, I was seven, and got on the mighty Collossus. That ride changed my life forever. Since then I became such a roller coaster enthusiast that as a teen I made about 4 trips per year. As an adult I started taking my nieces and nephews, you know, get them into it. and as an adult, I now take my kids. Which brings to the great memories from that park.
to see it go just like that would break my families heart. I'm glad Magic Mountain will remain open, for now.

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.


Theme Park Insider: Orlando 2014

Theme Park Insider: Orlando 2014

Get all of Theme Park Insider's reader ratings, tips, and advice for planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, or SeaWorld, in our new 2014 Orlando guidebook! It's more than 200 pages of well-tested, insider information that will help you get the most from your vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)