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Champion of amusement parks dies

Gary Story, Edmond-based former president of Six Flags Entertainment Corp., died Saturday at 58.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: September 25, 2013

Gary Story, who brought Oklahoma City to Wall Street on a roller coaster, died on Saturday. He was 58.

Story was the former president and chief operating officer of Six Flags Entertainment Corp. from 1998 until he retired from the company in 2004. He, along with his partner Kieran Burke, was the driving force behind the success of Premier Parks Inc., which began with just Frontier City in its inventory and later grew into the largest regional theme part company in the world with the $1.9 billion agreement to acquire Six Flags.

Soft-spoken and always preferring to remain low-profile, Story, however, was bullish on the business side of an industry he worked in since high school — sweeping streets at Six Flags in St. Louis.

“We've proved ourselves to be an aggressive, well-financed company that has obviously experienced very good growth and — we don't want to blow our own horn — but we have aggressive, good management,” Story told The Oklahoman in 1997 after announcing a deal that would allow Premier Parks to become a managing general partner of Six Flags Over Texas.

The company became based in New York and Oklahoma City, as Story continued to live in Edmond.

Story remained an adviser to Six Flags after stepping down from his executive role and left the company in 2005 after Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder won a proxy vote earlier that year. At the time, Story who suffered from Type 1 diabetes, said he was looking forward to spending more time with his wife, Lorena, and their three children.

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