updated 8/8/2006 4:45:39 PM ET 2006-08-08T20:45:39

New York’s largest theme park said it will end its summer season four weeks early this year as its corporate parent continues to suffer financial problems.

Six Flags Darien Lake, located between Rochester and Buffalo, is one of six properties being considered for sale by parent company Six Flags Inc. because of financial losses. As of July 31, the park had already reduced operating hours five out of seven days and closed two rides, including a major roller coaster. The new closing date is Oct. 1.

The amusement park is one of Genesee County’s biggest employers, with about 2,000 workers during operating season.

Six Flags spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said Tuesday the decision to move October’s “Fright Fest” event to September and close early was based on weather and attendance projections.

“It’s a seasonal business,” she said, and the company decided moving the Halloween-themed event earlier would “allow more people to attend and enjoy the experience.”

Goldberg declined to comment on this season’s attendance at Darien Lake, saying the company does not break out numbers at individual parks in its reports.

Six Flags Inc. has been plagued with financial troubles, announcing last week in its second quarter earnings report that attendance and revenue continued to be down from a year ago. The company also faces more than $2 billion in debt and tried to change strategies this year under a new management team in an effort to increase the family appeal of its parks.

In June, the company announced plans to sell six of its 30 theme park properties, including Darien Lake, Six Flags Elitch Gardens in Denver and Six Flags Splashtown in Houston.

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