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Six Flags Entertainment added another project to its China portfolio, bringing the number of planned parks in the region to 11.
The latest addition, Six Flags Kids World, will be developed with a specific audience in mind. Developed for “younger thrill-seekers,” the park will include “scaled down versions of some of Six Flags’ most popular roller coasters, rides and attractions,” the company said in an announcement Tuesday.
Without offering details, the theme park operator said there would be play zones based on “popular domestic and international intellectual properties” as well as entertainment with a math, science, and fitness focus.
The park will be part of an entertainment complex in Nanjing that was announced in April. Six Flags and Beijing-based development partner Riverside Investment Group already said the project will include a theme park, water park, and adventure park.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates our growing commitment to a diverse park portfolio in China,” said David McKillips, president of Six Flags International Development Co. in a statement. “There is a huge, untapped audience for the type of innovative, thrilling entertainment Six Flags is known for, and we look forward to welcoming guests from throughout China to experience all of our parks with family and friends.”
North American operators have been eager to open overseas locations to serve China’s growing middle class as projections call for the country to be the largest theme park market in the world by 2020. Disney built a large (and growing) resort in Shanghai, while Universal has a huge Beijing park under construction. SeaWorld agreed to advise a major shareholder on new parks in China.
Six Flags is taking a regional approach, as it has in North America. Other park complexes are planned for Zhejiang and Chongqing.
And in an earnings call in April, CEO Jim Reid-Anderson sounded like he was looking for more opportunities.
“We will not be stopping at 10 parks, I can assure you,” he said. “And our partner is very excited about being able to expand further with us.”
At the time, Reid-Anderson said he expected to continue to move forward despite China’s recent cautionary statements about overzealous theme park development.
“They’re mostly focused on the real estate aspects of theme park development but also touch on enhanced theme park standards,” he said. “They’re not laws, but they do portend greater regulation of theme park development in line with what we have in North America or Europe or around the world generally.”
He added: “And I think it’s really good to have regulations that makes sense.”