Gary Story, the former president and chief operating officer of Six Flags, has died. He passed away on 21 September at his home in Edmond, Oklahoma. He was 58.
Born on 14 August 1955, Story began his theme park career while still in high school at St Louis Six Flags. After graduating from University of Missouri, he held various positions at the company before leaving to operate independent theme parks in Mexico City, Sydney, Australia and Oklahoma City. He and his business partner, Kieran Burke, founded Premier Parks in the mid 1980s, with the acquisition of Frontier City Amusement Park in Oklahoma City. He drove the growth of Premier Parks from one park into the largest regional theme park operator in the world, acquiring the Six Flags chain of parks in 1998 and two years later rebranding the company Six Flags Inc. At its peak, the group operated 39 parks and waterparks in eight countries.
Story, a 40-year industry veteran who retired from Six Flags in 2004, served as an active and passionate volunteer for many years with IAAPA, including a spell as chairman in 2004/5. More recently he returned to the industry through his participation in the ownership. together with Burke. of Nashville Shores water park, Tennessee; Ocean Breeze Water Park, Virginia; and Clementon Park and Splash World, New Jersey.
Gary Story is survived by his wife, Lorena, and three children, Paul, Katherine and Scott.