Marriot's Parks

Saturday, March 31, 2001 7:16 AM
How were the Marriot's Parks. Were they good coaster parks? Do you know of any sites on them where I can see pictures and get info?
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Monday, April 2, 2001 8:33 AM
Marriot's Parks were the Great America parks. One was sold to Six Flags, which is now Six Flags Great America in Illinois, and the other became one of the Kings Entertainment parks, which were sold to Paramount and is now Paramount's Great America in California. As far as I know, the parks were identical when they opened but have since changed. You can probably check out any coaster site and find pics and info on these parks. A third Great America park was planned for Washington D.C. but was never realized.
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Monday, April 2, 2001 9:08 AM
The parks were indeed identical, same rides, same shows, everything. Marriott wanted to, besically, be the McDonald's of the theme park industry by building identical parks across the country. The idea was, guests could visit a Great America park wherever they were and would know what to find, where. No surprises. They never got any further towards that goal than some planning for the DC area park.

It only took a few seasons for Marriott Corp to drop the idea of completely identical parks in favor of giving each park unique, and thus promotable, attractions. The American Eagle was built at the Chicago park for that reason, I forget what the California park got.

Marriott later decided to get out of the theme park business entirely, I want to say this was in the early 80s but I'm not sure. The Chicago park was sold to Six Flags Corp (I think Six Flags was owned by Bally's back then, but I'm not sure). Marriott had obtained the license to the Warner Bros characters for the Great American parks, so it was this sale that led to Six Flags holding the license for the characters.

The California park was sold to a company that wanted to raze it and build a housing development, but the city government stepped in and took over the park to stop that; they wanted to keep the tourist dollars flowing in. They hired Kings Entertainment to manage the park, and KECO later bought it as noted in Rob's post.

My. Sorry to go on, I'm at work and it's slow!

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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.
--Groucho Marx
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Monday, April 2, 2001 1:56 PM
Chicago go the American Eagle....CA got nothing... :( :( :(

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Decisions determine destiny; Destiny determines decisions. *** This post was edited by janfrederick on 4/2/2001. ***
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Tuesday, April 3, 2001 10:56 PM
Marriott got out of the Theme park business for 2 reasons. 1, to focus on the hotel business, and 2, the California park was not very profitable. At the time, Marriott also owned Roy Rodgers and was the leader in In-flight catering. By the early 90's, they had sold everything off so that they could focus all of their efforts on hotels. If you read Mr. Marriott's book, he makes mention of the theme park sale...in 1982 or 1983.
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