Six Flags purchases Sea World of Ohio for $110 million

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

In a move that has the Cleveland area buzzing, Six Flags, Inc., today announced the purchase of Sea World of Ohio, located adjacent to its own Six Flags Ohio. The announcement comes only a week after the park announced the construction of a Vekoma Flying Dutchman called X-Flight.

Read more about the details of the sale from PR Newswire.

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This is not cheap at all, 110 mill is quite a bit of money.

Also, I would like to note that I really didn't like CP too much (maybe it was too crowded or maybe I was too hyped, but I was disappointed with the place) I like PKI. Yes it kind of a good plan, but 110 million dollars is a lot of money.
SFO now becomes a MAJOR player in the Six Flags chain, perhaps a future flagship park. How ironic this comes just days after all the SFO bashing that's been going on. What a facinating time it is to be an amusement park fan. Say what you want about SF as a company, they're breaking all the rules.

Man feeds machine, machine eats man.

-Peter Gabriel *** This post was edited by Simcoaster on 1/11/2001. ***
There are soo many comments in here that I was only able to read so many of them but here is my response to some of them. First off, like Chip said, it was only a matter of time. They even said it on Fox 8 a second ago. There was no way that one park wasn't going to eventually buy the other and SeaWorld was the one to go. To Jeff, what does CP have to say about this SF move? :) And to everyone, my only concern is going to be Six Flags ability to handle how the two parks are going to eventually come together as a unit. I am concerned but for some reason my faith is in SFO and SF to pull this off!

Matt Bleiweiss
I'm not suprised considering how close the properties are together. What I am suprised at though is that Busch would sell one of their properties to a competitor, but I guess if I was offered $110 million I'd take it too. I can only imagine that Six Flags Inc. is looking to make SFO more of a resort destination to compete more directly with CP. This may also explain some of the rumored lack of expansion at some of the Six Flags. We'll know more soon. *** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 1/11/2001. ***
Jeff's avatar
Let me being by saying this "sucks" and "rules" crap has to go. I'm not even going to issue warnings about it anymore. This isn't a playground or an athletic competition.

I knew it wouldn't take long for someone to bring up Cedar Point. However, as usual, Cedar Point has absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand. Cedar Point hasn't issued a press release since Lighthouse point. The press they've had lately was generated by the press, not the park.

The Anti-Rumor: You too, are treading on thin ice my friend. Don't insult people you don't know. If you disagree, that's fine, explain why and make your point. If you get personal, you can go away. You have absolutely no idea what education or experience members of this forum have.

The fact of the matter is I've talked to a broker about PKS, and he was of the strong opinion that their debt load was too high given the fact that the amusement industry can be touch and go due to weather and a "roller coaster" economy. I tend to believe the person that I trust to ensure I can retire early.

That aside, if it means more bang for my buck at SFO, so be it, I'm all for it. I certainly don't want them to fail, but the company is spending money like a dot-com in 1998. We know where all of those companies are now. That in the long run isn't good for any of us.

For once, just once, can we have a discussion that doesn't involve Cedar Point, personal insults or enflamed passions that make for a non-intelligent and uninteresting read?

Webmaster/Admin -
It was just a matter of time. The land surrounding the parks including the towns was just too big for the theme park giants. Residents in the area have been complaining about the traffic for years. With this acquisition hopefully a solution can come about. On the evening news they reported that Shamu and the 2 other killer whales are going to move to other parks. They were named as the only part of the deal, that was a no deal. Growing up in Northeastern Ohio only 30 minutes away from Geauga Lake/Six Flags Ohio & one hour away from Cedar Point. You really get spoiled. It is sad to see the gentle giant go but something had to give.

If one looks at what I believe is the official press release on Amusement Park News' website it states that they WILL combine the two parks but Six Flags has NOT retained the right to use the Sea World name or the animals. The killer whales penguins, and a few other animals are going to be moved to other Sea World parks or Busch's new park Discovery Cove in Orlando.

They have basically just bought the land and that's about it.

And Busch says that they are NOT going to sell in of the other Sea World parks any time soon.

So it all boils down to sort of a plus/minus deal for Six Flags and a plus/plus deal for Sea World/Busch.


Flying over metal is a beautiful thing!

All I know is you ohioans sure are lucky! I hope some of you aren't so busy speculating and analyzing that you miss it all.
Life's too short! Let's go ride some coasters!
Jeff's avatar
If the whales are going away, then that is truly very unfortunate. Those animals have been a part of life in Northeast Ohio since I was very young.

Most unfortunate.

Webmaster/Admin -
A most intelligent move by Busch. Another (?) move by PKS. I am sure SWO is the most unprofitable parks that Busch owns, and competing with a mega-amusement park next door cannot be done.

I previously said once that PKS will be 4 billion debt at the end of this year. I retract that statement. PKS will now be 6 Billion in debt. I would love to know the person or group who keeps giving them money. I would laugh at them and blame them for slaughtering what was once 2 nice places to visit.

I will continue to have Fun at FUN, since they know what they are doing.
Jeff's avatar
Just saw the evening news stories here in Cleveland. The angle on all of them: Losing Shamu. Interviews of the locals mostly complained about the "big corporate" force destroying the area's tradition and history.

Webmaster/Admin -
Can we stop this? Like right now. All i'm saying is that the only winners in this war are us, the coaster enthusiests. I don't see the point in arguing in a argument that will not solve anything. Being mad about Six Flags buying Sea World will not change anything. When we wake up tommorow Six Flags will still own that property destpite our arguments. I say we all just sit back, relax, and enjoy whats coming to Ohio in the next few years.

I'd explain it to you, but your brain would explode.
Here are some of my random thoughts on the whole thing:

- Personally, I was stunned by the announcement, because I honestly thought it would never happen. Just goes to show you how much I know :) I am excited, though, because it will really be interesting to see what they do with all that space.

- I won't claim to know the financial status of Six Flags Inc., but the sheer amount of money they've invested over the last few years does have me a bit worried about the future of their parks. Consider:
- $110 million on this purchase
- $60 million to be invested in La Ronde over the next 3 years
- $19 million on the purchase of Enchanted Parks
- over $100 million invested in SFNE over the past 3 years
- $40 million on the SFO conversion
- over $40 million on the SFH conversion
- a rumored $30-$50 million on the SF Belgium conversion
- $? million on the SF Mexico conversion
- over $100 million for new coasters this year
- over $100 million for other new rides last year
- etc., etc., etc.
That is a lot of money being spent in a short amount of time.

- I will be curious to see what they do with Sea World this season. With the whales, dolphins, and penguins all leaving, what will the park be like? With three of the main animal attractions gone, how will they compensate for it? I would think it is too late to add anything, unless they were sure the deal would go through and already made arrangements. A new ski show isn't going to cut it.

- For those who know the area: How much space is there from the back of Raging Wolf Bobs over to the edge of Sea World? What's the land like? Is it all swampy or solid ground?

*** This post was edited by RagingBull on 1/11/2001. ***
My question is how long will it be before Six Flags is deemed a monopoly type corporation and is split up into different companies. This could be another MICROSOFT type court case a brewing.
Microsoft was not the only company in that field, but was by far the largest. Thus Six Flags is not the only one but is definitely the largest. I say that it's only a matter of time before they belly up with over spending and no ROI to show for it OR they will be split up for committing monopoly like actions.


*also what did it prove by buying SWO?*
it gains them nothing but sea animals...

Scorching the Competition in 2001
Raging Bull,

There really isn't much between SFO and SWO. That's how close it is in the back by RWB. All that's in between is a modest plot of land with SFO's maintentance and construction building there.

The land is solid, not marshy and Shamu's Happy Harbor (or whatever they call it) faces it.

I am prediciting that the work that is currently going on with Grizzly Run is not only to fix that small leaky section but to also possibly re-route part of the ride to open up that area for access to SWO. This acquisition will also give SFO two gates instead of one (unless they decide otherwise).

I, too, had a feeling it was coming soon but the sudden news of it, pretty much a week after the announcement for X Flight, has me pretty stunned to say the least.

I won't miss Sea World. Never cared for the place. I'd rather go to the Cleveland Zoo than pay the outrageous price to see animals. I think SF's intention is to blend it with the rest of SFO instead of keeping it as a seperate entity, offering even more experiences for park guests.

SFO - Ohio's mini-Disney World.
Raging Bull, The land area near Raging Wolf Bobs is full of trees, by it being close to the lake I am assuming it is swampy. It is possible that they could do something with it, Hey look what they did with Batman Knight Flight. Anyway I heard the dolphins, whales and penguins are gone, but Six Flags promises to compensate them with their own family of killer whales and other aquatic life. Look at from this point, they could tear down all of the aquatic buildings not in use and build a rollercoaster or another attraction, possibly a drop tower. Sea World's lake side atmosphere is a perfect place for coasters, coasters and more coasters. The rolling hills is another location for coasters, and also near that swampy tree filled area near Raging Wolf Bobs it is best to connect the parks, and put a really great coaster there, right on the lake to entice people to crossover. Six Flags shouldn't change the name of the park, Six Flags spent lots of money on advertising for Six Flags Ohio, now people are becoming associated with the name, so it seems real crazy to change the name again after the first year.
Bigger and Better than ever...Six Flags Ohio
Also is it unlikely to plan for the 2002 season... Is another 40 million to much to ask for with transforming Sea World into Six Flags Ohio? Just imagine 3 or 4 coasters. A Hyper, Standup, Super Invertigo and wooden coaster. Watch out Cedar Point within 2 years, you've got some serious competition.

If you can beat the competition...Buy'em
I don't imagine that the land btw RWB and Shamu's Happy Harbor is all that swampy. It could probably be stabalized pretty easily because the land that RWB is on was just like that. BKF is over the land that was once occupied by a boat ride many years ago. That closed a year or two before RWB was built. All that water came from the channel that the boats used to pass through. You can see more of the boat ride's path under the entrance to the Serial Thriller.
I have 2 questions:

Why did Six Flags do it? What's the purpose of buying another company's park?

I'm baffeled????

THE BEASTtmaster

Can you take me higher? (CREED) *** This post was edited by THE BEASTmaster on 1/11/2001. ***
Well at least some traffic problems and strange dead ends in that park will finally be cleared up. This will give the park a little more personalilty. Now if we can get some improved guest relations, we may be on to something big.

Life's too short! Let's go ride some coasters!

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