Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Autoworld's Cousin...Astroworld!

There's no doubt that AutoWorld was an unmitigated disaster. But my friend Carlo, who hails from Texas, has alerted me that it's not the only Six Flags experiment that crashed and burned. He's talking specifically about his beloved AstroWorld in Houston. Granted, it survived from 1968-2005, but its financial collapse was as fiery as Flint's misbegotten theme park, according to a group that tried to save it:

"Six Flags was in a real mess. Kieran Burke, the CEO of Six Flags was desperate. He had the stockholders breathing down his neck and had to do something. Six Flags was in debt for 2 to 3 BILLION dollars. Burke though the could make over 100 million of the sale of the property. So he decided to sell the property Astroworld sits on, telling everyone that the value of the land was far greater than the value of the park itself. Based on the fact he entertained no other offers, it is my belief that he had deal in place to sell the land before the announcement. Since the demo of Waterworld started pretty much immediately after the announcement, I think he had a very aggressive timetable to meet to clear the land."


  1. hey! I thought the Autoworld building itself was cool! In my dreams I saw it repurposed as a child development center, with U of M-Flint or Mott using it as a training and research site for urban social issues- located right on the physical divide between the black and white communities it could have been made useful. But it became a symbol of failure instead. Love your Flint blog.

  2. my brother Bill, who moved outa state before Autoworld was build, refered to it as Wally World (from NLP's Family Vacation). Kinda funny too, i remember reading in the Flint Journal's letters to the editor about an autoworker from Ohio who piled his family into their station wagon and drove up to beautiful Flint to see the funpark. It was closed that weekend.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at www.teardownbook.com.