According to Mark Shapiro, President and CEO of Six Flags, “The current management team inherited a $2.4 billion debt load that cannot be sustained, particularly in these challenging financial markets. As a result, we are cleaning up the past and positioning the Company for future growth.”
Shapiro said this is a plan to cut off all of the debt so that Six Flags can rise back up and be as competitive as ever.
“No one should be confused about what a bankruptcy process means for Six Flags. Following a record year of performance in 2008, which completed the three-year turnaround of our system-wide park operation, this action to clean up the balance sheet paves the way for a full revival of the company. We will emerge from this process stronger and more competitive than ever. ”
Bankruptcy does not mean that the company is defunct or that the parks are closing down. It simply means that a court will oversee the restructuring of the company's debt, instead of the company trying to do that on its own, as it has for the past many months.
Update from Robert: Here is a statement that Magic Mountain President Jay Thomas just e-mailed:
Just to remind you, this is a back of house issue of our parent company that will have no impact on Six Flags Magic Mountain & Hurricane Harbor, or any of the Six Flags Parks. We will be open each and every scheduled operating day and continue to plan for our future. In fact, we are actively planning for our 50th celebration in 2011 - guaranteed to be the biggest celebration in our company's history.
The progress we have made at Six Flags Magic Mountain over the past three years continues to impress the guests who visit. We set all time records in our Guest Satisfaction Scores at our property in 2008. With additions such as X2, Thomas Town and the ALL NEW coaster Terminator Salvation The Ride, we have a product offering for thrill-seekers of all ages.
We are the absolute best value in town, hands down! We are here to stay, and thanks to the restructuring, we will be staying for many years to come.
Also, for first-time visitors to Theme Park Insider, we are the news source that first broke the news of Six Flags' debt difficulties, way back in June 2002 when the chain was run by management from the former Premier Parks.
Here is some other, more recent, coverage from TPI on Six Flags' finances:
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