Monday, November 18, 2002

South Dakota to be Rebranded as Six Flags Upper Midwest

In a breathtaking display of aggressive branding, the government of South Dakota and corporate executives from Six Flags Inc. announced today that the entire state of South Dakota will be renamed Six Flags Upper Midwest. Along with the rebranding, the state will receive a Vekoma Rollerskater coaster, a used Huss Frisbee, and a Zipper last used at the Washington County Fair in northeastern Oklahoma.

The state, which was launched in 1889 with a combination of private and public funding, had fallen on hard times of late. "Back then, the feasibility studies indicated that, with minimal promotion, the state would receive seventy-five million visitors per year. Based on that, the state readily agreed to fund the project," said Tim Jones, spokesman for the state. "Now that I think about it, the people doing the feasibility study were the same people who wanted the money...hmm. That can't be right."

"In any event, attendance has fallen far short," continued Jones. Not even the huge capital expenditures going towards Wall Drug billboards have turned it around. So we were thrilled when Six Flags stepped in and offered to take over the state."

Six Flags has reportedly paid $18 million for the state, compared to $1.3 billion spent in public funds over the past twenty years. When Jones is confronted with the contrast, he emphasizes Six Flags's other investments: "Those rides they're installing -- those aren't free! And the rebranding of the state will have enormous benefits for the whole state and both of our restaurants."

Six Flags has also reportedly purchased North Dakota for parking, which will cost $8, and estimates put the gate price at $34.99, with a special season pass for Six Flags Upper Midwest citizens (now called "Customer Satisfaction Representatives") costing $399 per year, with an additional ten percent tax added onto all non-Six Flags income.