This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about everything that goes on at Darien lake, this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion. For pictures and videos of the park as well as past updates, see TPR's Park Index Page.
At this point, I would not be shocked to see them close down SFMM for part of January and February! I know Shapiro mentioned it in the interview we had with him, and seeing other parks change their schedules mid season...could be interesting!
I would imagine that it would remain a theme park if it is sold. The land can't be worth much to any kind of commercial development. Maybe some $1,000,000 homes (waterfront property anyone), but that is about it.
I could be completely wrong, but I think I remember reading somewhere that the original owner was very much interested in re-purchasing the park.
// Edit: Added some Wiki data
The park first opened as just a campground without any amusement rides. In 1964, a pair of water slides called "Hydro Force" were added to the campground. Eventually, rides were added to the mix when investor Paul Snyder invested amusement rides into the park and called it "Snyder's Darien Lake." At first, the park had a country theme, earning it the nickname Darien Lake Fun Country. During the Fun Country years, the park became the showcase for Huss' flat rides. The park's first Roller Coaster, The Viper, was built by Huss and the now-defunct Arrow Dynamics and opened in 1982. At the time, it held the record for most inversions on a coaster. "The Ranger", another Huss ride, was added in 1982 as well. Eventually, in 1983, Snyder sold the park to Funtime Parks. The "Fun Country" theme, along with Snyder's name were dropped and the park operated as simply Darien Lake. The Funtime era brought the park numerous improvements, including the Vekoma-built "Fun Wheel" ferris wheel in 1983, which was the showcase of the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the time, the largest ferris wheel in the world. Other improvements of the late 1980's include a Kids' Area called "Adventureland" in 1987 and the Grizzly Run Rapids in 1989. The 1990's brought more improvemends such as the addition of the the Barracuda Bay waterpark and the wooden roller coaster The Predator in 1990. In 1995, Funtime Parks was purchased by growing park chain Premier Parks (now Six Flags). Throughout the Premier era, the park experienced the most additions. Upgrades included three new coasters: the now-defunct Nightmare at Phantom Cave in 1996, Mind Eraser in 1997, and Boomerang: Coast to Coaster in 1998, along with the Popeye's Seaport themed kids area, and two major waterpark additions (Hook's Lagoon and Crocodile Isle).
In May, 1999, the park opened for the first time under the Six Flags name after the numerous upgrades from the past few years. Millions of dollars were spent on adding Looney Tunes and DC Comics themed attractions. The most notable addition was Superman: Ride of Steel, the world's first Intamin Hypercoaster. A criticism of the Six Flags years at the park though were the lack of rides being added and poor customer service. However, with new management, the park will be adding a new family water slide and a Intamin/Giavinola Stand-Up coaster that previously operated at the defunct Six Flags Astroworld. Recently, Six Flags has announced that they may put Darien Lake, as well as five other theme parks, up for sale. It is unsure at this time who the buyers would be, although in a radio interview on Buffalo, NY radio station WBEN on June 26, 2006, the park's original owner, Paul Snyder, told the interviewer that he has been in contact with Six Flags and would like to bid on the park if Six Flags decides to sell it.
The park is the second largest in the Six Flags chain, along with the only on site campgrounds, and one of only two in the chain with their own hotel on site. The park also holds concerts at its performing arts center, the "Darien Lake Performing Arts Center".
With the new management annoucing that the park may be sold the original owner Paul Snyder looked into buying the park.
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