Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Emerging from bankruptcy, Six Flags Corp. looks ahead

Times-Herald staff report
Posted: 05/04/2010 01:48:52 AM PDT

Even as its parent company emerges from bankruptcy, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom's summer season begins daily operations this month. This year's season starts May 28 and runs through Aug. 22.

In anticipation of the birth of two dolphin calves this year, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has designated 2010 the Year of the Dolphin, with a dolphin swim program and dolphin experiences, park spokeswoman Nancy Chan said. Along with the debut of several new shows, guests also will find new food vendors throughout the park, she said.

This announcement comes after Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (formerly Six Flags, Inc.), completed a yearlong restructuring, Chan said. Emerging from Chapter 11 with its debt reduced by about $1.7 billion, the company also is backed by $725 million in equity committed by new shareholders, she said.

"This reorganization constitutes the final step in the repositioning of Six Flags globally," Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Park President Eric Gilbert said. "While the day-to-day operations of our park were never impacted, it's very exciting to envision a future that will allow us to rapidly grow and expand the array of services and entertainment for every single guest." Investing in park infrastructure will remain a top priority, he said.

"For Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, that means continuing to improve and upgrade all elements of the park and planning for new rides, attractions and special events over the next several years, including, of course, our highly-anticipated 50th anniversary season in 2011."

Discovery Kingdom has recruited more than 1,400 employees for the 2010 season and the park's special Season Pass price of $49.99 has been extended until May 31, according to the announcement.

The firm plans to apply to list the new common stock of Six Flags Entertainment on the New York Stock Exchange, it notes.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. is a New York-based publicly-traded corporation with 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada.