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January - December 2002
November 14, 2002
According to a press release from Six Flags, Jazzland is now officially branded Six Flags New Orleans.
Along with the name change, Six Flags is investing $20 million in upgrading the park for the 2003 season. The major additions to the park will be 2 roller coasters, a new themed land, a rethemed land and new shows. One of the coasters is Batman: The Ride (click here for an animated video of the new coaster in action at Six Flags New Orleans) which will be in a new DC Comics themed area. The other coaster will be in the Mardi Gras themed area. Along with the DC Comics themed area will be a new Batman themed water stunt show on the lake and a few flat rides. Kids' Carnival will be rethemed Looney Tunes Land and a new show featuring the Looney Tunes characters will take the place of the Swamp Critters show.
August 8, 2002
The following article was taken directly from the Amusement Today website:
B&M coaster track, other rides, now arriving at Jazzland (August 7, 2002, 1:30)
Sources confirm that B&M inverted coaster track has started arriving, along with several
other flat rides, at Jazzland in New Orleans, La. The coaster and several other rides were
part of a package of rides purchased by Six Flags from the closed Thrill Valley Amusement
Park in Gotemba, Japan. The inverted coaster is the first B&M coaster to be moved. It is a
mirror-image Batman layout, similar to Six Flags St. Louis. The ride was originally installed in
1995 as the Gambit. It is not known what other rides are planned for the La. themer. The
coaster and other rides are part of a $25 million, three year investment to Jazzland that
will see the park branded with the Six Flags name.
Check out some photos of the ride parts that are at Jazzland.
May 23, 2002
According to the Times Picayune, WAC International is making a last minute push to outbid Six Flags to take over the ownership of Jazzland.
I am hoping that Six Flags becomes the new owner of Jazzland for many reasons. The main reason is because Six Flags is the only successful amusement park operator of the bunch. Jazzland does not need anymore "deadbeat" owners (see comments from February 26, 2002). Jazzland needs the expertise and care that only Six Flags can give. Let's all hope that WAC International does not muck up the works.
May 21, 2002
According to the Times Picayune, Six Flags is now the front runner to take over the management of Jazzland if approved by the Bankruptcy courts.
February 26, 2002
According to the Times Picayune, Jazzland has filed for bankruptcy. The are being bought out by
a group of former Jazzland and theme park executives. The group, called Entertainment Associates, confirms that Jazzland will not put any new rides in for this year but will spend $3 million on capital improvements. They have plans to add a few rides
over the next four years at a cost of $20 million. In the meantime, they have negotiated with the city of New Orleans to reduce or delay several taxes owed them. Plans call for the season to start
on April 13, 2002.
I am dissapointed to here that the buyer was not Cedar Fair or Six Flags. These two theme park chains have the deep pockets necessary to fund new rides and projects for Jazzland. I guess the only thing we can do is give this new ownership
time to do their best to keep Jazzland afloat. My only disappointment is that some of the new buyers were associated with Jazzland in the past and we all know the problems that arose under their tenure. I hope some of the new blood
will change the philosophy that ran the park in the past. I am also disappointed that Alfa Smartparks abondoned the park after only one bad season. They were obviously taking advantage of Ogden's decision to abandon the entertainment
division and make a quick buck. I really don't think they were interested in growing Jazzland into a great regional park. Let's just hope that this is not another stop gap owner/management group that will repeat the mistakes of Alfa Smartparks.
February 16, 2002
According to Screamscape.com, Jazzland and the entire Alfa SmartParks company may be for sale. All speculation points to Cedar Fair as the potential buyer.
Cedar Fair owns parks such as Cedar Point in Ohio, Knott's Berry Farm in California,
Dorney Park in Pennsylvania and Worlds of Fun in Missouri.
Cedar Fair is one of the largest theme park operators in America, along with Six Flags which owns nearby parks such as
Six Flags Astroworld in Houston and Six Flags over Georgia.
Cedar Fair does not have a presence in the south. In my opinion, Jazzland would make a great addition to the Cedar Fair theme park chain and Cedar Fair would make a great addition to Jazzland (i.e. rollercoasters).
Cedar Fair is known for building top of the line and record breaking roller coasters. This is exactly what Jazzland needs. A company that knows what the public wants and gives it to them. If this rumor is true,
then Jazzland would instantly be put on the theme park "map". With Cedar Fair's money and New Orleans party atmosphere, Jazzland could become a roller coaster enthusiasts ultimate destination. Let's keep out fingers crossed.