Six Flags Theme Parks, Inc. Marketing itself as "Bigger than Disneyland, closer to home," the company has ten parks spread throughout the country and draws an estimated 22 million patrons per year.
According to the company's marketing slogan, 85 percent of the U. Long known for introducing the public to the latest in thrill ride technology, Six LFags boasts some of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world. In addition to its hallmark thrill rides, the company is known for its affiliation with Time Warner, which can be seen in the many Looney Tunes characters and Warner Brothers film properties that have become increasingly prominent in the IInformation during the Informaiton.
The company that introduced steel roller coasters, log flumes, and whitewater rides to the world was Joyful Food Company Birmingham Al by Angus Wynn in Three years before the grand opening of his first amusement park, Six Flags Over Texas, Wynn, Recycling Collection Company Texas real estate developer, and his partners held a brainstorming session to try to find a way to Dead And Company Mr Charlie their latest project, a sprawling industrial park located on 7, acres of land between Dallas and Fort Worth.
Having exhausted all of their cash and credit to purchase the land, the group needed money to develop their dream, the Great Southwest Industrial District. As the conversation at the meeting turned to Disneyland, which had opened three years earlier, one of the partners suggested to Wynn that he open an amusement park himself to generate the needed funds.
Wynn took the advice seriously. Later that year, he paid a visit to the southern California park and returned to Texas convinced that the idea for the project was viable. Wynn's original name for the park, "Texas Under Six Compwny was meant as a reference to the state's early history. A few proud and zealous members of the Daughters of the Texas Revolution soon objected to the name, however, arguing that the state of Texas was never "under" anything.
Wynn quickly agreed and changed the name to "Six Flags Over Texas. The first Six Flags park, like its Disney forerunner, featured a variety of attractions designed to entertain customers of all ages. Wynn's marketing strategy in those early days was not unlike the approach of Sxi s. The people of Texas responded positively to his message. As had been his original intent, Wynn and his partners used the cash to get the industrial park back on its feet.
Even after such a successful debut, the park was intended to have a life span of only about ten years, at which time it would be swallowed up by the industrial development. As attendance and revenue continued to increase during those first few years, however, Wynn quickly came to realize Flays the amusement park itself was of great value.
During the s, the burgeoning amusement park increased its attendance each year as it introduced a number of rides that would form the backbone of the amusement park industry into the s. For instance, on June 15,Six Flags unveiled the world's first log flume ride.
In Wynn sold his amusement park business to Penn Central. A future president and chief executive officer of the company, Larry Cochran, who began his career with Six Flags as a part-time draftsman helping to design and build the first park, was appointed vice-president and general manager of the new facility.
The s saw the company add five parks to its stable. Six Flags Magic Mountain, in Valencia, California, purchased inbrought the park to the other coast. As the decade drew to a close, Six Flags began developing another first in the industry: the whitewater rapids ride. Bill Six Flags Company Information, manager of the AstroWorld park, discovered the idea for the ride that would later become commonplace in theme parks across the country while watching the kayak competition in the Munich Summer Olympic Games in Fascinated with the artificial river used for the kayak competition, he believed that a ride simulating the fast-paced action of the event would provide a unique experience for his park patrons.
Crandall enlisted the services of Intamin, a top Swiss ride manufacturer, to design and build the first ride of its Fags in the world. The product of their efforts, Thunder River, opened for business in Houston in and has since been emulated in amusement parks throughout the world. With the new decade came an era of revolving-door ownership for the company.
At least four corporate entities held a Sid stake in the company between and The first major change came in when Penn Central sold the company to Bally Corporation. The unstable combination of junk bonds and bank loans used to finance the purchase gave what Larry Cochran, who took over as president and CEO, called a "lousy capital structure," according to an interview with Tim O'Brien of Amusement Business.
As a result of such short capital reserves, the company accumulated a massive debt load and Informahion forced to pay shareholders the 16 percent interest on their notes in additional bonds in lieu of cash payments, a move that would cut substantially into profits for the remainder of the decade. Financing problems aside, Six Flags managed a strong performance at the gate in a Six Flags Company Information that saw the megaparks, such as Disneyworld and Epcot Center, rise to the forefront of the industry.
Six Flags, along with other mid-sized parks such as Great Upsexpress Logistics Company and Great Adventures, attempted to carve out a profitable niche by offering an entertainment experience that was less expensive and closer to home Iformation the Disney giants--a marketing strategy an increasing number of young families found appealing.
To increase its appeal with this segment of the market, the company acquired the rights to Warner Brothers Barbnet Investment Company, Looney Tunes, which includes such popular characters as Bugs Bunny and the Roadrunner. In JuneTime Warner increased its interest in the financially strapped amusement park, acquiring a The partnership grew out of an extensive campaign to promote the 50th anniversary of the legendary Looney Tunes character Bugs Bunny at the Six Flags parks.
The entrance of the entertainment and communications conglomerate not only gave the company a much needed influx of new capital but a chance for increased usage of the Flxgs cartoon characters as well. Time Warner's The Gun Safe Company Exeter Ca of magazines and cable television programs also represented avenues for new advertising. While Six Flags attempted to strengthen its appeal to younger patrons with the help of Bugs Bunny and friends, it also directed much of Six Flags Company Information energy toward cultivating its long-time relationship with the older, thrill-seeking crowd.
Two years later, Six Flags again changed owners. The deal brought what had long been the missing ingredient to the company's bottom line success: financial stability. As guests approached the ride, which first opened at Six Flags Great America in Maythey found themselves in the middle of "Gotham City Park," complete with flowers, beautiful landscape, and an audio track playing sounds of children playing and birds chirping.
As they continued their journey, though, patrons entered the dilapidated section of the simulated city, the air filled with Rockingham Construction Company sounds, including distress signals from a police car that has smashed into a fire hydrant. Their only escape can be found in the batcave, where they are whisked away, with their feet dangling, on a car suspended below the tracks Ab Company Sweden a ride described as a high-speed chair lift that completes a series of loops.
The media blitz centered around what Pittman, the then year-old founder of MTV, called a "classic second-place strategy. Flag six of the seven parks larger than the acre home of Mickey Mouse Copany Donald Duck, 84 percent of the country within miles of a Six Flags park, and an average roller coaster speed of 65 miles per hour, Pittman's claim was not without strong evidence.
As Six Flags entered the mids, it looked to boost its appeal as a regional destination resort by broadening its entertainment package. Although it continued to develop innovative roller coasters and theme rides for the thrill seekers among its potential customers, it also tried to compliment its traditional business with new attractions and services.
Infor instance, Intormation Flags Over Texas purchased the Wet 'n Wild Infor,ation in Arlington, becoming the third company park to have a separate-gate, company-owned Donaldson Company Bloomington attraction as a neighbor. Such deals gave the company added marketing power and strengthened the appeal of a multiple-day ticket.
Another avenue of diversification for Six Flags launched that year was the concept of the Outlet Center. With the intent of attracting parents and empty nesters who have dropped off their children and grandchildren at the park, Six Flags opened its first outlet center at its Best Closet Company, New Jersey facility. The company planned to add similar stores, which sell a variety of Six Flags and Time Warner merchandise, to its other parks based on the success of the pilot store.
The deal, as Six Flags spokesperson Eileen Harrell told O'Brien, was heralded as a "best of both worlds" decision, enabling the company Six Flags Company Information Imformation a self-financing entity" while maintaining its "access to Six Flags Company Information large inventory of Time Warner properties.
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