Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Six Flags Expects Another Strong Halloween Season

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Six Flags Expects Another Strong Halloween Season

Article excerpt

OKLAHOMA CITY (JR) -- Six Flags is using "Fright Fest," its trademark monthlong Halloween event, to extend the season at its parks well beyond summer.

Within the industry, Six Flags pioneered the concept of parkwide Halloween-themed events, said Kieran Burke, chairman of the Oklahoma City-based company.

"For nearly 70 years, theme parks closed their gates on Labor Day," he said. "Today, we use special events and attractions at our parks to attract visitors and extend our season. Using Halloween as a backdrop to produce imaginative special events and attractions, Six Flags has been able to attract guests of all ages, driving both ticket and in-park spending."

October attendance at Six Flags parks has increased 57 percent since 1995. In 1999, Six Flags benefited from the introduction of a teen-oriented haunted experience, Brutal Planet, as well as new Halloween-themed live action shows and an enhanced family entertainment product.

"In 2000, with our one-of-a-kind haunted experience Brutal Planet and exporting our Fright Fest concept to our international properties, we are looking forward to another strong Halloween season," Burke said.

Six Flags played a pioneering role in the industry's development of a Halloween season. In the early 1970s, Six Flags and a small number of amusement parks experimented with extending the season by hosting small fall weekend festivals. Later, fall festivals led to special Halloween-oriented events, including the introduction of haunted experiences. In 1989, the Six Flags Over Texas park attracted national attention with its expanded and enhanced Halloween event.

For regional theme parks, such as Six Flags, incremental operating days per season translate to incremental revenues and earnings.

"Halloween's emergence into a national seasonal event has enabled us to extend the season and extend operating hours at a number of our U. …

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