I'm trying to find something definitive, but a number of industry types have said on Facebook that Gary Story, the former Six Flags COO, died Saturday. Again, I haven't found anything official about it.
Story was well-known for his operational leadership in Six Flags in the boom years, when they went on a roller coaster building binge. His buying power was so serious that people would literally track him around the IAAPA floor. He resigned from Six Flags in 2003, citing health issues at the time. Most (maybe all?) of his career to that point was with Six Flags/Premier Parks. Most recently he reunited with form Six Flags CEO Kieran Burke to form the management group running a number of water parks and other smaller attractions.
I didn't know him personally, but had a number of e-mail exchanges with him back in the day. Seemed like a solid guy, even if the cap ex binge of Six Flags ended up being a pretty bad idea.
I ran into Mr. Story once on a visit to Six Flags St. Louis. He must've sensed he caught my eye because he stopped to say hello and we had a brief chat. He seemed like a nice guy, and very approachable, but I doubt that anyone else in the park would've even known who he was. I'm trying to recall now, I think he was with a couple of suits but his family was there with him too.
So I'm sorry to hear it if he indeed has passed. He certainly in no small way left his mark on the Six Flags chain.
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