Six Flags largest waterpark operator in North America with Premier Parks acquisitions

Six Flags is set to become largest waterpark operator in North America by acquiring lease rights to parks in Houston, Phoenix, Buffalo, and Oklahoma City, previously operated by Premier Parks.

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is breaking records once again. The company is already the largest regional theme park operator in the world. Now it has entered into a purchase agreement with Premier Parks affiliates to obtain the lease rights to operate five of their parks: Wet ‘n’ Wild SplashTown in Houston; Wet ‘n’Wild, Phoenix; Darien Lake near Buffalo, NY; Frontier City, Oklahoma City; and White Water Bay, Oklahoma.

The parks in question are all owned by EPR Properties and, up to now, have been operated by Premier Parks. The new park acquisitions will make Six Flags the largest waterpark operator in North America.

Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, CEO and President of Six Flags, had announced last month that the company planned to purchase more parks in close proximity to properties it already owned. The aim is to give visitors good reasons to come back to parks, upgrading one-time guests to season pass holders.

“Today’s announcement represents another milestone in our strategic North-American growth initiative to seek out park acquisitions that expand our addressable market,” says Reid-Anderson. “These are all fantastic properties that complement our existing portfolio and provide tremendous added value and cross-visitation opportunities for our extensive Membership and Season Pass base.”

All five parks are already well-known brands in key destinations:

  • Wet ‘n’ Wild SplashTown is the largest waterpark in Houston. It spreads across 48 acres with a wide range of waterslides and attractions. There are two children’s areas.
  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix, located in the Adobe Dam Recreation Area) is the largest waterpark in Arizona. It features 35 acres of high-speed slides. A Wet ‘n’ Wild Jr. section offers child-friendly versions of key attractions.
  • Darien Lake is based near Buffalo, New York, and was previously owned by Six Flags until 2016. The stunning resort property sits in around 1,000 acres. Key attractions include a theme park and waterpark, campground, hotel, and a 21,000-seat amphitheatre.
  • Frontier City is a well-loved feature of the Oklahoma City landscape. The park boasts a western theme and is steeped in tradition. There is a wide range of rides, attractions, and shows geared to every age.
  • White Water Bay is located close to Frontier City. The waterpark offers a tropical playground with over 25 acres of waterslides and interactive water play areas.

Expanding the Six Flags’ national footprint

The five parks entertained around two million guests in 2017. So these acquisitions mean that an additional 20 million guests will be accommodated within a 100-mile radius of a Six Flags park. This expands the company’s national footprint in a substantial way.

“We are thrilled to welcome these outstanding properties and employees into our family of parks,” says Reid-Anderson. “We look forward to sharing the thrill of Six Flags with guests of all ages in these key markets.”

Closing of the transactions are expected to take place in June, 2018, subject to customary conditions.