Jazzland Tries To Lure in Mississippi Gulf Coast

Jazzland officials say they are looking forward to a better, brighter future. The New Orleans based theme park has had a bumpy ride since it opened. Earlier this year, Jazzland filed for bankruptcy. Since then Six Flags has stepped in to manage the property and is in negotiations to buy it.

Ocean Springs resident Brenda Walker enjoyed watching her husband and son try out the rides at Jazzland. For the Walkers the two hour trip to New Orleans was worth the drive.

Brenda's son Chad said, "I think it's an excellent place. I think everybody should come. All the rides are fun."

The fun and games began here at Jazzland two years ago, but since then the park has been a financial roller coaster. Now that Six Flags has come on board, Jazzland may be ready to take off.

"What we didn't have was the management on a corporate level before with our old ownership," said David Wright, director of marketing. "Six flags has 38 parks around the world. They bring a tremendous amount of expertise and they bring economies in scale, not only with rides but with purchasing power that will help make this park more profitable."

To bring in more people Jazzland launched a marketing campaign with radio and television ads and offered major discounts People who buy season tickets at Jazzland can also get into any of the 15 Six Flags theme parks around the country.

Jazzland visitor and Hattiesburg native Charles Hancock said "I think it'll work. It'll take a little time to catch a hold. It's fun for the kids and grownups."

Officials say if Six Flags is allowed to take over this theme park, the company will make more investments into Jazzland's future and he says part of that future includes luring people over from the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

"That's a very important area for us," said Wright."We've started some TV and radio advertising in that market. Also [we're] working with companies because group business is another important component and there are a lot of large business on the Gulf Coast that we're talking with."

Officials won't give specifics but they say attendance numbers are growing and they're waiting for another shot at making Jazzland a first class operation. Wright says he should know in a couple of weeks whether or not Six Flags will be allowed to purchase the New Orleans park.