Premier Parks to Buy Waterworld USA Parks

Article excerpt

Amusement park fans should hold on to their hats as Premier Parks Inc. prepares to take them for another ride -- or several for that matter.

Premier Parks Inc., owner of Frontier City and White Water Bay, announced Friday it has entered contracts to purchase Waterworld USA adventure water parks in Sacramento and Concord, Calif., near San Francisco.

The acquisition also includes the purchase of Paradise Island Family Fun Park located next to the Sacramento water park. Premier Parks is purchasing the three properties from San- Francisco-based FRE Inc. Terms of the deal, expected to close within the next two weeks, were not disclosed. The news follows two recently announced pending acquisitions that are part of Premier Parks' continued growth plan. Late last month, Premier Parks officials said the company signed a definitive contract to acquire assets of Elitch Gardens Amusement Park in Denver. This acquisition is expected to be completed within a few days. In late August, Premier Parks entered an agreement to acquire The Great Escape and Splashwater Kingdom, a combination theme and water park located in Lake George, N.Y. Premier Parks expects to complete this transaction within the next 30 days. The California water parks resemble the company's stand-alone water adventure park, White Water Bay, in Oklahoma City in terms of size and types of attractions, according to Gary Story, Premier's president. "These are two very fine water parks with strong operations and solid customer bases located in growing market areas," Story said. The Sacramento water adventure park features more than 20 wet ride attractions, including a six-story-tall, dual speed slide featuring interlocking, corkscrew-like flumes. The park also features Breaker Beach, a water ride where guests body surf on three-foot-high waves. In addition, the park includes a children's interactive water playground called Treasure Island and an 800-foot-long lazy river ride called Calypso Cooler. Waterworld USA in Concord features several of the same rides as those at Waterworld USA in Sacramento. …