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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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