Six Flags announced that they had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Southern Star Amusement, which has been pursuing the opportunity to take over the former Six Flags amusement park property in New Orleans, has indicated that the move does not come as a surprise.
Danny Rogers, founder of the company, and long time amusement park veteran, stated, “We wish the company well in their restructuring efforts and hope that they are able to continue the progress that the current management has achieved.” Rogers continued to say, however, that this action will only speed up his company’s efforts in obtaining the park property. “The facts are that the City of New Orleans is still the owner of the park and all equipment and improvements. Having the park continue to sit dormant is not in anyone’s best interest.”
Southern Star Amusement has plans in place to transform the shuttered property with new themes and attractions. Plans include restoring the remaining major rides, including the Mega Zeph wooden rollercoaster, adding several new rides and shows, as well as new water park rides and attractions. Efforts are underway to create attractions that appeal to the entire family. Rides meant for the youngest guests will be appealing, and comfortable to ride for all family members. Many new jobs will be created for musicians, performers and artisans. Even the food will be upgraded to compete with the world renowned New Orleans cuisine.
Southern Star Amusement, Inc. has been negotiating to acquire control of the former Jazzland/Six Flags New Orleans amusement park property. The property, city owned but currently still under lease to Six Flags, has sat dormant for the past three years. Six Flags has stated that they have no intention of re-opening the shuttered property. Yesterday’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is yet another action by Six Flags that places them in a default position in their lease agreement with the Industrial Development Board.
The city currently owes in excess of 16 million dollars on HUD loans from the original Jazzland development. With Six Flags’ Chapter 11 filing, the city may soon be wholly responsible for this debt, without the benefit of receiving sales tax revenues while the property sits dormant. Rogers stated, “We are prepared to move immediately to take over a revised lease so that the park may be re-opened for the 2010 season. We believe that we are the only viable option that is available. Our plans offer the city of New Orleans a way to satisfy their current HUD loan obligations, brings in new jobs and tax revenues, as well as reinvigorates the area.”
About Southern Star Amusement
Southern Star Amusement, Inc., is a location based entertainment development company dedicated to creating quality, family friendly attractions. More information can be found at http://www.southernstaramusement.com.