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We’ll have to wait and see if this “culture change” we keep hearing about really has developed out at Redskins Park. But change, if not culture, is surely in the air at Six Flags.
The local outpost of the nation’s largest theme park chain, Six Flags America in Largo, opens its season today.
It’s the first opening since Dan Snyder got booted out as chairman of the board of the company that he steered straight toward bankruptcy after taking over in late 2005. I was out on paternity leave when Snyder got the official heave ho, and I think he got off easy.
Six Flags creditors knocked the crap outta Snyder.
Snyder to the end acted as if he was the man to run the company after it got back on its feet. In the original reorganization papers filed on July 8, 2009, by Six Flags with the federal court in Delaware that was overseeing the company’s bankruptcy proceedings, Snyder planned on staying in charge. The reorganized board of directors, spelled out in the 8K entered with the SEC, must include “Daniel M. Snyder (who shall be designated Chairman of the Postconfirmation Board).”
But the big money people who took a bath during Snyder’s reign at Six Flags would have none of that. Creditors crafted an agreement of their own that let pretty much everybody who had a hand in the debacle that Six Flags was stay on — even Mark Shapiro, Snyder’s hand-picked CEO who from Day One smiled for the cameras and blew smoke at investors about what shape the company was in.
In a deal drawn up in early April and approved by the court at the end of the month, the creditors said Shapiro would be allowed to choose a director to put on the board after the reorganization, with one hilarious caveat: “[P]rovided, however, that such remaining director shall not be Daniel M. Snyder[.]”
One sign of the animus toward Snyder: The italics are part of the filing.
So, Snyder’s gone. But, he’ll have a Tom Joad like presence at Six Flags for a while now. Wherever folks are paying a $5 “convenience fee” to print out their Six Flags tickets at home, he’ll be there. Wherever rollercoaster enthusiasts are paying to store all the items they can’t bring along on the ride — a service that used to be free — he’ll be there. Wherever kids are paying $12.99 for a Johnny Rockets single burger, fries and a Coke, he’ll be there. Wherever parents are paying $112 (on top of the Six Flags admission price) for the right for their kid to jump to the head of the line of the leg-chopping Superman Tower of Power ride, he’ll be there.
What a ride he had.