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Veteran theme park executive named president of Six Flags Magic Mountain

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Neal Thurman, a theme park veteran, has been named president of Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor.
(Kevin Brown / Six Flags)

A veteran theme park executive has been selected to run Six Flags Magic Mountain, replacing the president who started at the Valencia theme park flipping burgers.

Neal Thurman, who has worked at several Six Flags theme parks across the country over the last 22 years, was named president. He most recently headed the Six Flags park in Jackson, N.J.

Thurman takes over from Bonnie Sherman Weber, who has been promoted to senior vice president of in-park services at the Grand Prairie, Texas, headquarters of the park’s parent company, Six Flags Entertainment Corp.

She started at the Valencia park more than 30 years ago, flipping burgers as a 16-year-old high school student. In 2010, Weber was named president of the park.

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Thurman previously worked at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia for seven years, starting in 2007, as director of operations. In addition to working at the Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey, Thurman has held several management positions at parks including Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Six Flags Over Georgia and Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom.

With 19 roller coasters, Six Flags Magic Mountain has more coasters than any single park in the country. Thurman now oversees 3,000 employees in a 250-acre facility that includes a water park, Hurricane Harbor.

On Jan. 1, the park began to operate 365 days of the year as part of a plan to transform from a niche regional attraction to a major Southern California destination, rivaling competitors such as Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

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