I don't see anything there that says they have ruled out selling the park. They will keep it open since that will at least make them some money, but if someone came along and offered them the right price, they would sell.
The article, and Screamscape's recap of the conference call, mention that yes SF could sell the parks on the list but that they will remain theme parks and not be sold off for land. So I assume that if sales do take place, the parks are going to wind up as part of another chain's portfolio. I think it's great that they learned a lesson in public relations this summer.
The LATimes article seems to contain some truth, finally. It's good to know they won't sell off the park as housing development - I think that can wait some more years until more of the coasters have become too rough to ride. *g*
So "Santa Clarita Auto Center Parkway" to replace "Magic Mountain Parkway"? I'd say they should first rename "Valencia Boulevard" into "Santa Clarita Mall Parkway". :)
I highly doubt that a decrease in attendence was a result of people thinking it was going away. Seriously...do you think this is a realistic scenerio:
"Let's go to Magic Mountain!"
"You know...I heard this may be it's last year"
"Oh...well....let's not go then"
Seriously....if anything...I bet they picked up a few people vs. if no announcement had been made. I wouldn't have gone when I wasout there in June for business...but I went to grab Tatsu in case it was going away. The 12% loss has better explainations if you ask me.
IIRC, they received 3 bids for the properties they were trying to sell. Two were from real estate developers, and the third was from HFEC, who didn't include SFMM in their proposal. So to whom could they be selling the park who would keep it operating as a park?
The skeptic in me says this news is more for Heinz and the Wiggles to hear than anybody else.
Next year's press release: "Uh, attendance at Magic Mountain was down 12 percent. But we attribute that to the changing of the name of the road in front of the park. On a positive note, ketchup use increased 14 percent."
Honestly, the few times I visited the park this year, it had the look of a park about to raise the white flag (so to speak). It was depressing. As if no money were being invested into running the place. I can imagine that a lot of people decided it wasn't worth going to a park that the owners had given up on.
That's the thing about California that differs from other places. No one wants to ride on a sinking ship. Cali is full of fair weather AND fair weather people.
^ Location also plays a big part, SoCal families have a choice between what's arguably the most incredible immersive best run family park on the planet, plus a few inbetween parks, and then there's SFMM.