Monday, February 29, 2016

Six Flags turns focus from families to teens to sustain its record ride

Patrons ride the Flashback, foreground, and the Texas Chute Out, in the background at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington on Monday, September 3, 2012. Monday is the last day both rides will be open to the public. The rides will be cleared out to make room for the world’s tallest swing ride next spring. (David Woo/The Dallas Morning News)
Updated: 2 p.m. with focus on Arlington park

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Teen appeal is behind three new park rides set to launch this summer at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington.

The kiddie and family rides to purchase with lower price – two new and one redesigned ride – bring the original Six Flags location closer to offering some of the thrills of sister parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain near Los Angeles.

The rides were announced late last year. The Arlington park’s president talked Thursday about how the moves will help Six Flags over Texas expand its customer base.

Each year Grand Prairie-based Six Flags Entertainment announces new small grand carousel rides or attractions for each of its 18 parks in the United States, Mexico and Canada. This year, the Arlington Park’s president Steve Martindale said, the aim is to be more attractive to teens.

“Every year we look at: Where do we want to put our money to try and drive more business?” said Martindale, who also is president of nearby Hurricane Harbor. The company looks at what “kinds of  thrill rides …are out there that we don’t have already, and what would appeal to different segments.

That focus is “certainly targeted at a teen audience for 2016,” he said.

That contrasts with three years ago when “we focused all of our efforts on young families when we put in Bugs Bunny Boomtown. So it’s very intentional as to what we put in each year and who we’re really trying to target,” he said.

The park launches the 2016 season on March 5, with Saturday and Sunday hours that stretch from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The park also will be open for spring break March 10 through 20 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, except March 10 when the park will close at 7 p.m.

It opens for daily operation May 13.

The new rides, which are being launched in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products and DC Entertainment, won’t open ’til the summer, Martindale said.

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