Jazzland park set to file bankruptcy

Posted Tuesday, February 26, 2002 5:18 AM | Contributed by Shawn

Jazzland will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today and Alfa SmartParks, the current owner, will sell to a group of investors that includes a former Six Flags executive.

Read more from the Times-Picayune.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 5:40 AM
Shame.  The park has a gem of a CCI in MegaZeph and two S&S towers.  Something to build around, but the staff was reprehensible.  Hopefully they can turn it around.  However, they can't do it by lying to the people about the SLC they promised 2 years in a row.
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Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like bananas.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 5:53 AM
Here is a better, more detailed article.

http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/newsstory/jazzland26_2.html

 

True, the SLC was a bust, and case in point that you DONT ADVERTISE A NEW RIDE until the footers are poured.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 7:12 AM
This is GREAT news for Jazzland. Larry Cochran is a great guy who really knows his stuff. Larry kept Six Flags open for years when it probably should have gone away. Mr. Cochran will make this Park work. A thriving Park in New Orleans MIGHT be good news for Astroworld. SFTP may not deem a park in New Orleans as competition-then again they may. It couldn't hurt. How about a 4D as a draw-

Good luck Jazzland!!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 7:52 AM
True Fierce, but that article is the exact same one.  :o) 
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Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like bananas.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 8:41 AM
So it is.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 9:54 AM
This article is much more "informative" than what we had last night....which was cool too, served as a sort of "appetizer" for the real info...

Cooler still, I now KNOW a park that needs me, and (for a price) I'd LOVE to help turn Jazzland into a real regional "destination park"... *** This post was edited by rollergator on 2/26/2002. ***

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 9:57 AM
Wow, interesting article.

It seems odd to me that everyone involved with the purchase is so sure that Jazzland will turn a profit as soon as they are at the helm. Even though they paid only about 22 cents on the dollar (31 million compared to 138 million) the park is still in the same place. People (well, most NORMAL people) who vaccation to Newe Orleans don't go there for theme parks, they go there for the French Quarter and Burbon St.

Don't get me wrong, I WANT Jazzland to succeed! But it just looks like one of those cursed locations that will not ever truly succeed. And yes, Mega Zeph is a real gem, I loved it!

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 10:18 AM
sounds like this bankruptcy could benefit Jazzland as it says that 20 million will be poured into new rides over the next 4 years. some of that 20 million definitely going into a new coaster. Thats pretty enticing, wouldn't you say!

Also, I am glad Alfasmart is not running the park anymore. That group just doesn't know how to properly run a park, the whole fiasco with cancelling the SLC is the epitome of their incompentence. Looks like a great park that just needs some new management and new way to attract customers.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 10:25 AM
Not only did they get the park for a steal, they negotiated away some of the park's debt to the city.  Randy and Larry got a good bargain, now they just need to figure out how to get people through the turnstiles. 

Doubt they'll use that money for a second wooden coaster, not that CCI or any of us would object, but the park really needs a signature steel ride.  Unfortunately a hyper/giga probably exceeds the budget they've got for the next couple years.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 10:59 AM
Maybe they could pick up an Anton shuttle-looper...I *understand* there's one sitting idle virtually next door at SFoG...:) 
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 11:10 AM
I don't know if I like the idea of "Six Flags Brains" coming into the operation.  I was planning on a trip to New Orleans this summer too.  I got to say that despite my name on the site, I am very disappointed with SFGAm.  The rides are spectacular, but the food prices are outrageous and the lines are outrageous and I never really felt that way until I went to BGW and saw the improvement SFGAm could make.  I got to say that from what I've heard about other Six Flags parks, I'd rather have the previous owner stay even though this is not going to be an official Six Flags park.  IMO I'd rather go to Knoebels than to SFGAdv even though I'd love to ride some of the rides at SFGAdv, Knoebels just sounds like it would be more FUN!
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Milwaukee Wisconsin, we bring you beer, brats and cheese. But don't be fooled, "Milwaukee truly is a special secret getaway that I will be sure to tell my friends about!" Erin Brockevich, not to mention that we are an hour from SFGAm........
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 11:42 AM
Remember, this is an ex SF exec. As much as I am *not fond of* Six Flags, this guy probably is the only one would could get this park to survive.
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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
http://www.woodencoaster.com
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 12:44 PM
I think you are being a little too hard on all SF folks. Larry comes form a day and time when SF was a very good place to work. The staff had fun and the guests were treated like royality. I frequent Six Flags over Texas and Fiesta Texas and they are fine parks - as good as any I've visited. I too have heard some disturbing things about other SF parks.New Orleans is a good place for a park. True, Bourbon Street and a Family park do not sound compatible but, then again neither does Las Vegas. How come everybody thinks they knows how to run a park ? It is not the same as running software on a PC. I know Larry will do a great job at Jazzland. He took a little park in St. Louis and made it work. I think he can do it again.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 1:09 PM
I just hope this doesn't become on of those Premier parks without the Six Flags names(like Wyandot Lake, Great Escape, and Frontier Land) that are bought and then just left alone.  If they are planning to squeeze in a SLC or boomerang and then ignore the park for a decade, then I'd rather have then leave it to another buyer.

 

It seems as if Alfasmart's frist "theme park" has turn to the worst in there porfolio, geuss they'll just stick to the water park and golf/arcade complexes for now.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 1:11 PM
With less debt burden the park will have gained a major advantage.

While tourism may add some to the revenues of the park, a park this size in this location should probably concentrate on the regional business.  With proper promotion and style, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and environs should be able to support a park on their own.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 1:43 PM
Vertigo, it is not being sold to Six Flags; it is being sold to someone who left SF and has started his own company. (wow! a flashback to Funtime!)
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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
http://www.woodencoaster.com
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 2:15 PM
::I just hope this doesn't become on of those Premier parks without the Six Flags names

Well, it certainly won't - Six Flags/Premier Parks did not buy Jazzland!  Private investors. 

Besides, the way Six Flags is run now by the Premier crew is very different than the way it was under Cochran's tenure.  That Frontier City mentality has nothing to do with this.
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*** This post was edited by Fierce Pancake on 2/26/2002. ***


*** This post was edited by Fierce Pancake on 2/26/2002. *** *** This post was edited by Fierce Pancake on 2/27/2002. ***

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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 3:45 PM
Heh, well Vertigo, they're halfway there, they already have a Boomerang.  ;)
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Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like bananas.
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Tuesday, February 26, 2002 8:37 PM
Help me out here, the park is bought for 138 million and sold 2 years later for 31 million to a investor group lead by the present management?  Doesn't sound like an arms length deal to me ...  Do you think anything close to this deal was offered to Cedar Fair, Six Flags, Paramount, Busch, etc. assuming they were interested?

So who's holding the bag on the 'lost' 107 million?  Alfa SmartParks? If that's true, they should change their name ...  it sounds like the city of New Orleans is taking a sizable hit, there's the 10 million state grant (not a waste as long as the parks open) and there's the HUD loan which will still be repaid.

So the new owners (largely the same management that  has been running the park with some new blood brought in; better hope the new guys are more than window dressing) get the park for 31 million while there's waivers of fees to be paid to the city, and while the city guarantees their HUD loans.  And you wonder why public financing of projects like this is a bad idea ...

It's going to be interesting to see whether this management team can make Jazzland profitable.  If successful, then it's a prime candidate to be sold, at a much higher price, to one of the companies previously mentioned.  If not, then perhaps the city of New Orleans will take it over ...

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