Paramount Parks - Park Acquisitions

Park Acquisitions

The Paramount Parks were not built by Paramount, but rather were pre-existing and purchased as a whole, rebranded with the Paramount name. Effectively, it seemed Paramount was attempting to enter into the movie-based theme-park business popularized by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Universal Parks & Resorts.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Taft Broadcasting created a division called KECO Entertainment (King's Entertainment Company), which was formed in order to build theme parks nationwide. In 1972 and 1975, KECO built Kings Island and Kings Dominion respectively. In 1975, KECO led a forced purchase on the Carowinds Corporation, a bankrupt company, leaving them no choice but to sell Carowinds theme park in North & South Carolina. In 1981, KECO opened Canada's Wonderland in Vaughan, Ontario, Canada. Additionally, hotel company Marriott, owner of two parks (both named Great America) put their parks up for sale. The California park retained the Great America name, and was purchased by the King's Entertainment Company. The Illinois park became Six Flags Great America, as it was purchased by Six Flags.

In 1992, KECO Entertainment sold their six of their seven parks to Paramount Communications (which was later purchased by Viacom). Subsequently, in 1993 the "Paramount's" prefix was added to six of the parks, save Canada's Wonderland which, to avoid the use of a double possessive noun, was simply "Paramount Canada's Wonderland." Thus, the first five parks of the Paramount Parks were established: Paramount's Kings Island, Paramount's Kings Dominion, Paramount's Great America, Paramount's Carowinds, and Paramount Canada's Wonderland.

In 2000, Paramount Parks purchased the majority of shares in Spanish theme park Terra Mitica (Land of Myth), branding it Terra Mitica: A Paramount Park. In 2004, Paramount dropped its shares in the park, and the name was reverted without the Paramount suffix.

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