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Six Flags to Close AstroWorld Theme Park in Houston and Sell 109-Acre
Site; Increased Real Estate Value Of Site Prompts Disposition
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 12, 2005--Six Flags, Inc. today
announced that it will permanently close its AstroWorld theme park in
Houston at the end of the 2005 season, and that it has engaged Cushman
& Wakefield to market the 109-acre site to the real estate development
community. The sale is subject to the approval of Six Flags' bank
The company said it expects a sale would yield significant proceeds
given the property's size and location within a revitalized and dynamic
area of the city and its proximity to so many of Houston's civic,
healthcare and business enterprises. Proceeds from the sale would be
used for debt reduction and general corporate purposes, the company
The company said a disposition compares very favorably with other
alternatives for the 37-year-old park, such as making significant
additional investment to improve the park's performance by upgrading
facilities and adding new rides and attractions. Among the factors that
favored a sale were the park's relative performance over the past
several years and continued uncertainty over offsite parking rights
related to Reliant Stadium and the Texans football team and the Houston
Livestock Show & Rodeo, the company said.
"We are always looking for opportunities to enhance shareholder value.
In assessing the performance of this property relative to the
significant increase in real estate values in the Houston market, we
concluded that the best way to unlock this value for shareholders was
to pursue a sale of the property," said Kieran Burke, chairman and CEO
of Six Flags. "While we continually review our properties in order to
determine the best allocation of resources, it is important to note
that a unique set of circumstances applies to the AstroWorld property
and this action should not be considered indicative of our intentions
for any of our other parks."
As previously announced on August 25, 2005, the company's Board of
Directors has initiated a process to seek proposals from third parties
regarding a possible sale of the company. Today's announcement
regarding the AstroWorld property has no impact on the company's sale
process, which is ongoing.
The AstroWorld site is located near Reliant Park, Houston's major
sports, entertainment and exhibition center, the museum district and
the Texas Medical Center and is immediately adjacent to the city's new
light rail system's Fannin South Station.
The company said 119 permanent jobs will be lost as a result of the
closure, with a number of employees likely to be offered jobs at other
Six Flags properties. The park also employs approximately 1,500 workers
on a seasonal basis. The 2005 seasonal staff will not be affected.
Six Flags said it retains a significant presence in Houston with its
Six Flags SplashTown water park, which is located on another site in
the city and is expected to be enhanced with equipment from AstroWorld.
Six Flags will also continue to serve the market with its parks in San
Antonio and Arlington.
"We had a great run with AstroWorld and have been proud to serve as a
family entertainment venue in the community for so many years," said
Mr. Burke. "We are grateful to everyone who visited, worked and
supported AstroWorld, and we look forward to serving Houstonians at Six
Flags SplashTown and other nearby Six Flags parks. We are very
encouraged by the prospect that the site has great potential for
economic development and are hopeful this sale will ultimately result
in significant job creation and economic activity for the city of
SIX FLAGS and all related indicia are trademarks of Six Flags Theme
Parks, Inc. (R), (TM) and (C) 2005.
VOLLMER Public Relations
Carolyn Mayo, 713-970-2100
Six Flags Public Relations
Debbie Nauser, 405-475-2500 x288
Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher
Jeremy Jacobs, 212-355-4449 x130
James F. Dannhauser, 212-599-4693