Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, the world’s largest regional theme park company, has announced its plans for opening a water park, theme park, and adventure park in Nanjing.
The amusement park operator has been offering hundreds of roller coasters, thrill rides and family attractions to guests in the United States, Canada and Mexico for the past 55 years. At present, Six Flags and Riverside Entertainment are already in the process of opening Six Flags theme parks in Zhenjiang and Chongqing.
“Nanjing is a major centre of culture and tourism, and the perfect location for these three new parks,” said Riverside Investment Group Chairman, Zhe Li, according to a Six Flags press release. “We look forward to having visitors throughout China experience the thrill of Six Flags and create lifelong memories with family and friends”.
The theme park and waterpark will boast state-of-the-art roller coasters, rides, water slides and attractions, along with elaborately-themed sections celebrating time-honoured Chinese and American traditions. The theme park will also feature live performances along with exclusive, one-off special events. Both parks will offer an extensive collection of culinary and retail locations.
For the most daring enthusiasts, Six Flags Adventure Park, another of which is being built in Chongqing, will be the region’s top destination for high adrenaline, action-packed thrills. From motocross bicycle races along rugged terrain, to whitewater rafting and ziplining or rock climbing high above the ground, guests will have the opportunity to reach beyond their comfort zone and take on new challenges in a beautiful, natural environment.
The Nanjing parks, like their sister properties in China and North America, will have a distinctive look and feel with one-of-a-kind experiences that will only be available at those locations. In addition, Nanjing’s close proximity to Zhenjiang will will also add value for Season Pass holders across the Yangtze River Delta region.
The world-renown amusement park company will be working with its development partner, Riverside Investment Group Co. Ltd, as part of a long-term strategy to reinvigorate the company after mounting debts at the company led to near bankruptcy in the mid noughties.
Problems at Six Parks began emerging at multiple levels. Debt became unsustainable after a slew of parks were acquired from other operators in the late 1990s, while the cartoon characters with which Six Flags was often associated had begun to go out of fashion.
American expat in Nanjing, Rosalyn Reilly, told The Nanjinger, “It became a tacky-ish attraction to go to. The Loony Tunes was the ‘face’ of the brand… and it was no longer ‘the thing that you did’. All the parks were also a bit run down, I remember.”
As part of the turnaround, CEO at the time, Mark Shapiro, cleaned up the parks, removing troublemaking teenagers, making them more family friendly and introducing a new face for the brand. While Loony Tunes was downplayed, TV advertising for “Mr Six” was an immediate hit, making him the new defacto mascot.
At a corporate level, Shapiro also saw the need to look to the long term, eyeing the international market and beginning talks to open parks in not only China, but also Dubai, India, Panama, China, Qatar and South Korea. In 2016, the once-stalled project in Dubai was up and running again and official announcements were made regarding parks in China, specifically Chongqing and Zhenjiang.
Six Parks are hoping to open these parks, together with the new additions in Nanjing, by 2021. The Nanjing parks are to be located in Wuxiangshan that will be the southern terminus of the under-construction Metro Line S7.