Marine World to become Discovery Kingdom
Sources say park will re-brand, designate park into three areas
By Matthias Gafni, Times-Herald staff writer
Article Launched: 01/12/2007 06:54:16 AM PST
After decades showcasing sea life in its name, the Marine World branding will soon be sleeping with the fishes, the Times-Herald learned Thursday.
On Wednesday, Six Flags President and CEO Mark Shapiro is scheduled to visit the
"It's the whole re-branding thing," says Tim Baldwin, a writer with Texas-based amusement park trade magazine Amusement Today.
"They're trying to capture a little niche with each part of the park offering a different experience," he said.
Six Flags officials remained tight-lipped Thursday on any name change or improvements.
"We don't want to confirm anything right now," said park spokeswoman Nancy Chan. "Everything is under a shroud of secrecy."
Speculation grew last week when park officials mailed out press fliers announcing Wednesday's press conference with Shapiro, touting a "landmark announcement."
"We are aware they intend to change the name of the park," said Jim Reikowsky, of the Vallejo Convention and Visitors Bureau, who hadn't heard the new name yet.
"The park has changed a great deal, so I think it's a natural thing as it evolves. Š It may need to be re-branded and time to change the name," he said.
Six Flags Marine World originally came to
In addition to the name change and new park design, the park plans on adding a
"It's a themed-Christmas operation. They put up millions and millions of Christmas lights, have Christmas-themed shows, Christmas decorations Š" Slade said. "It's like their Halloween event (Fright Fest), but for Christmas.
"It's a good way for Six Flags to stretch the season to make more money and stretch their revenue, but at the same time it also keeps your kids employed Š offering more economic assistance to your community," Slade said.
The name game
The Marine World theme park evolution has brought a flurry of names, including:
• Marine World Africa
The park's plans came to light as Six Flags, Inc. announced Thursday it agreed to sell three of its water parks, including
"We're pleased with the sale price for this portfolio of parks, particularly since we were able to retain the
The company is attempting to shed several hundred million dollars in debt over the next several years, and improve operational and financial flexibility, according to a Six Flags statement.
However, industry analysts say the
"I would anticipate at this time, with them adding the holiday park and the name change that this is a park they want to hang on to," Slade said.
E-mail Matthias Gafni at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 553-6825.