Published: August 2, 2007 at 6:52 PM
There's actually some more history to this.
When the park was still Marine World/Africa USA, and still owned by the Marine World Foundation (with Mike Demetrios having the primary controlling interest), the arrangement with the city of Vallejo was essentially the same: They loaned the foundation (and thus the park) big bucks, and were also granted controlling interest that would persist until the debt was paid off.
When the original park started to go downhill, the MWF ended up defaulting on the loan. The only way the people involved could get out of the situation with their skins (and bank accounts) reasonably intact was to, essentially, sign the entire park over to the city.
Since the City of Vallejo had not the slightest clue about how to run an oceanarium/wildlife park combo, they started looking for a buyer who (supposedly) knew what they were doing. This, if I recall correctly, is where Sick Flags stepped in.
I'm sad to say that the current park is a horrible travesty of what it once was. I still believe it would be better for the few animals that remain (and, most likely, the park's attendance figures) if they would simply send the rest of said critters to proper facilities at other oceanariums and zoos, and finish turning the place into JATP (Just Another Thrill Park).
I would add that the park will still likely be a revenue source for the city of Vallejo, in the form of property taxes.