The future of Six Flags' parks is unclear after the company warned that it could face bankruptcy in the near future.
The company, which operates parks across North America, is seeking a deal to restructure its debt, with a payment of $300 million due to holders of preferred stock this year. It has struggled for years with interest payments on its massive debts, which were built up when previous owners Premier Parks invested hundreds of millions in expanding the chain.
What does this mean for readers planning trips to Six Flags parks this season?
- If forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Six Flags will be able to keep operating while it seeks to agree a deal with its creditors. The parks could remain open during that period.
- If a deal can't be reached then the company will be liquidated and its assets sold off. In that scenario, the fate of each park could be different. Profitable parks may be quickly sold on to new owners, who won't be saddled with existing debt. Others may be closed for good, with the rides being removed and sold off.
There are recent precedents for the Six Flags situation. Hard Rock Park collapsed last year, and was forced into liquidation. However, it has been rescued by new owners and will reopen this year. Other parks have not been so lucky, with Cypress Garden's 2007 bankruptcy ultimately leading to the closure of the theme park (although the attached water park and botanical gardens survived).
Keep watching TPT news for further updates on the future of Six Flags and its parks.