Six Flags letting go of Wyandot Lake

Posted Wednesday, April 19, 2006 9:00 AM | Contributed by SF Critic

Wyandot Lake's operator, Six Flags Inc., has decided not to renew its contract to run the park and is finalizing an agreement to sell its assets there to the neighboring Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for about $2 million, Business First has learned. The zoo would take over the park's operations at the end of this season.

Read more from Business First via MSNBC.

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006 10:23 AM
Thats great news for the Zoo, and better news for the waterpark. Swim with the dolphins in the wave pool, ride the Sea Dragon with Bongo the chimp. Good times ahead.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 12:50 PM
Hey did anyone happen to notice if Six Flags management is auctioning off their children yet on ebay?
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:03 PM
With the 2 million, SF is that much closer to paying off Shapiro's 5 million signing bonus! Is the SF updated with a ticker so we can watch the number of parks in the chain drop monthly?

Sarcasm aside, it's good to see the waterpark live on as part of the zoo. That is a pretty good combo with some nice potential. I hope the future owners of the liberated waterparks and other properties do well.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:30 PM
So does this leave Concord, CA as the only standalone waterpark (i.e.: no next-door theme park), or does the Houston one still exist, too?
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 1:40 PM
The Houston one is still around.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 2:42 PM
All I can say is FINALLY! it is about time Six Flags did noting to WL for the past 10 years. I know the zoo will help WL alot
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:47 PM
I can totally agree with Elf on this one. SF never dropped a cent into this great little family park. I'd heard weeks ago about this whole deal, and I hop CZ stays true to it's plans to keep the park open as part of the zoo experience, and not use it for expansion of the zoo.

I love CZ, still one of the best out there, and Wyandot Lake would just add to the experience.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 3:48 PM
I second that. With WL being my home water park this is the best news we could hear!
Wednesday, April 19, 2006 8:02 PM
considering the lack of water parks in Franklin county I think they will keep some of the things, but the zoo does desperately need more space to compete so we shall see
Thursday, April 20, 2006 12:11 AM
Six Flags sells off another just to stay afloat. I'm going to Kennywood and Cedar this year, no Great Adventure for me.
Thursday, April 20, 2006 12:11 AM
As a devout fan of the combined concept of animal and amusement parks, I will be heading to the Columbus Zoo/Wyandot Lake compound in 2007 and beyond :)

Zoos & Animal Parks for the families with younger children and grandparents combined with the Waterpark and Amusement Park atmosphere, for a special combination of fun that allows every family member to enjoy something, is what I'm glad to see making a return in Ohio.

*** This post was edited by midwave 4/20/2006 12:24:44 AM ***

Thursday, April 20, 2006 12:16 AM

Six Flags doesn't break out attendance figures for its parks, but it said in a 2003 regulatory filing that Wyandot Lake's attendance that year was about 370,000. Nearly 1.3 million people visited the zoo in 2005.

Can somebody explain how Six Flags couldn't figure out how to attract even a fraction of the people who went to the zoo. Granted, I know that they posted figures from 2 different years, but I'd be willing to bet that Wyandot didn't have half of the 1.3 million people who went to the zoo in 2005. That's just extremely poor management. Thank God the zoo bought the park, because Six Flags would have put into extinction.
Thursday, April 20, 2006 1:57 AM
I will be happy if they put in a couple more water slides, esp. if they put in a bowl! I would like to point out that Six Flags did replace the bumper cars after the fire, and didn't they add shark attack? But for this year, for the first time, I will get my six flags pass at Wyandot since it is the closest six flags to me.
Thursday, April 20, 2006 8:53 AM
Part of the difference in reported attendance would have something to do with the length of the operating season. Where WL is only open during the Summer season, the Zoo is open everyday except Christmas. (The holiday lights event at the Zoo draws a pretty good crowd during the month or so it's open...) The other factor would be just pure capacity...whereas the Zoo is on a few hundred acres, the current WL is only 18 acres.

I will say that everytime I've been to WL I've found it uncomfortably crowded (granted that was almost always a hot, sunny, weekend day). I seldom go there because of that reason. But, again, I'm sure that's a matter of capacity and crowd flow.

If it wasn't for the Sea Dragon, I'd be a big proponent of getting rid of all the dry rides and expanding the waterpark offerings. (The historic significance of the Sea Dragon complicates that somewhat...)

I hope the zoo changes the name, dumps the (limited) "Christopher Columbus" themeing, and replaces it with more zoo-oriented themeing. Attractions that the zoo has "themed" (i.e., Austraila and the Islands) have been pretty impressive.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 3:24 PM
I think this is a great move for the zoo (although I looks to me like Six Flags is loosing the park for a real cheap price). I do hope they keep the name, and expand both the rides and water sections. I bet they'll keep two gates, but move them together (someone said they had already shown plans for that).
Thursday, May 4, 2006 4:40 PM
It may seem like a cheap price... but remember some key points:

1) The Columbus Zoo already owns the land that Wyandot Lake occupies. The land was leased from them by Six Flags.

2) Most of the "dry" rides are owned by the City of Columbus, and you guessed it -- leased by Six Flags.

So for their $2M, the Columbus Zoo is basically getting a 20 year old wavepool, a couple of water slides, Christopher's Island, and the buildings on the property. So when you think about it, $2M is the correct figure.


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