In effort to shore up its sagging finances, Six Flags Inc. said last week that is considering selling or closing six of its financially weaker properties, including Magic Mountain in Valencia.
If New York-based Six Flags, the world's largest regional theme park company, is unable to find an industry buyer for Magic Mountain and the adjacent Hurricane Harbor water park, the 262-acre Los Angeles area attraction potentially could be converted to developable residential land.
Six Flags Magic Mountain is not the company's flagship park, but the 35-year-old site has 17 rollercoasters, more than any other amusement park in the world, according to the company.
Lower park attendance and rising costs are blamed for the company's plans. The other five properties under consideration for sale are Six Flags Waterworld in Concord; Six Flags Darien Lake outside Buffalo, N.Y.; Six Flags Elitch Gardens in Denver; Wild Waves and Enchanted Village outside Seattle; and Six Flags Splashtown in Houston.
Six Flags announced on June 22 that it would be "extremely difficult" for the company to meet its prior earnings outlook. The company, which is in the midst of restructuring its business under new management, also said it was at risk of not complying with certain financial covenants in its bank credit agreement and intends to seek amendments to those covenants.
Since March, the company has sold off or announced the sale of properties in Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Illinois, Missouri, and exercised the right to terminate the lease of its Sacramento water park after the 2006 season.
The company said it could not predict if or when it would undertake any transactions, which could include selling them as going concerns or dismantling them and marketing the land for real estate. The decision is part of the company's move to dispose of assets to reduce debt.
"We're making progress with our strategy to focus on the growth of our strongest assets, reduce the company's debt, and generate increased value for our shareholders," said Chief Executive Mark Shapiro, who took office in December.
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