Melinda Ashcraft, president of Six Flags’ two Cobb County parks, said Thursday she could not reveal how much of those earnings came from her parks, but did say that Six Flags Over Georgia is one of the corporation’s top parks year after year and had an “excellent year” in 2011.
“I think with our new company restructuring, we put our sole focus on operating a regional theme park and focused on what we did best,” Ashcraft said. “We had expanded in other areas, but getting back to our basics has made all the difference in the world. We put our primary focus back on our guests to make sure they had a great day at park, and as a result, we had a phenomenal year.”
Ashcraft said the year also came with major capital infusions into the parks, although she also could not disclose how much was invested. The major attraction, however, was the opening of the new Dare Devil roller coaster at Six Flags in May 2011, she said.
This year will also come with new attractions at the parks. Ashcraft revealed Six Flags Over Georgia will welcome a new show featuring America’s Got Talent finalists iLuminate, and White Water will bring back its “Dive-In Movies” series.
The iLuminate shows will run May 26 through Aug. 12 in the Crystal Pistol entertainment venue and will feature a “full sensory experience equipped with electro-luminescent wiring and LED lighting, a huge musical score and incredible performances.”
The Dive-In Movies series will allow White Water park visitors to stay after the park’s normal closing hours on certain dates to wade in the wave pool while watching a family movie. Ashcraft said the park did the series many years ago, and she and other executives decided to take it to the next level this year with a much larger screen and better movies. That series will run for eight days in the summer, she said.
Ashcraft also revealed the 2012 calendar for the two parks Thursday. Six Flags Over Georgia will open its 45th season on March 17 and will be open only on weekends until May 25, excluding its spring break week, which will run March 31 through April 8. After May 25, the park will be open throughout the week and will close on Oct. 28.
White Water will open on May 19 and close on Sept. 3.
Ashcraft said ticket prices would stay the same this year, at $58.29 for adults at the main gate after tax and $42.39 for children 48 inches tall and shorter after taxes.
Cobb Travel and Tourism CEO Holly Bass said last summer that Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags White Water were the county’s top tourist attractions, and Ashcraft said the two parks continue to see growth year after year and have a positive impact on the county’s economy.
“We continue to have a very strong season every year. I think that’s inherent of the fact that we’re always making sure we do what we do the best, which is taking care of our guests and constantly adding new attractions that are innovative and exciting,” Ashcraft said.
Follow Katy Ruth Camp on Twitter at twitter.com/KatyRuthC.