The New York Stock Exchange-listed parks company has signed a definitive agreement with local partner Riverside Investment to build a theme park and a water park in Bishan, near Chongqing. The pair are expected to open in 2020.
The same two companies are currently constructing a Six Flags-branded theme park and water park in Haiyan, Zhejiang province, near Shanghai. The parks will feature roller coasters, live shows, water attractions and open in 2019. The scale of the investments was not disclosed.
China, which has a booming tourism sector, has become a magnet for foreign theme park groups. Having operated a Disneyland park in Hong Kong for a decade, Walt Disney last year opened its first in mainland China in eastern Shanghai. Universal Parks & Resorts has begun construction of a theme park that is expected to open in 2020 near Beijing. The U.K.’s Merlin is also partnered with China Media Capital to build parks in China.
(DreamWorks Animation, now part of NBC Universal, and its local partners are expected to open Dream Center in Shanghai in 2018. The $2.4 billion site is less theme park and more dining, entertainment, live events and shopping venue.)
Local companies are also competing. Dalian Wanda has opened three major parks and has unveiled plans for several more. Movie group, Huayi Brothers is also building parks.
Six Flags currently operates 18 parks across the U.S., Mexico and Canada with combined annual revenue of $1.3 billion. Riverside, which was established in 1993, has expanded from garden communities to a range of finance, tourism, cultural, real estate, media and advertising activities.