Apex Parks Group mourns unexpected death of President and Chief Executive Officer, Al Weber, Jr.

By | November 10, 2016

al_weber__apex_parksALISO VIEJO, Calif. — Apex Parks Group announced on Nov. 9 that Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Al Weber, Jr. died suddenly on Nov. 8 while vacationing in the British Virgin Islands.

“Al was a gifted leader and a great friend to all who knew him. He was a visionary who led the growth of Apex since its inception,” said Tyler Zachem, chairman of the board of Apex Parks Group. “We are saddened by this monumental loss and extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Bonnie, and his family.”

“He was well liked and respected by everyone in this business, from ride operators to other CEOs,” Doug Honey of Apex said. “He often said his goal was to create a strong culture where people could grow to be successful industry leaders, and he meant it.”

Prior to forming Apex Parks Group, Al Weber, Jr. was the interim CEO of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation and a leader on the team that successfully turned around the business. Previously, he was the CEO of Palace Entertainment and earlier served as President and CEO of Paramount Parks. He began his career as a seasonal ride operator at the age of 16 and never left the amusement park industry. He was widely recognized for his innovative spirit, leadership and energy.

Gregg Borman, Apex senior vice president of operations, said he and Weber conceived of starting Apex four years ago by acquiring properties that experienced managers could grow by focusing on family fun, close to home. “Al was a true friend and a great mentor. He was always passionate about this industry and instilled his enthusiasm in everyone he encountered,” said Borman. “Though the company is grieving this devastating loss, Al’s vision for Apex was clear and fully embraced by our team. With our collective efforts, we are determined to realize it.”

“We are confident the management team at Apex will continue to follow Al’s blueprints for success and build upon the company’s great collection of parks,” Zachem said.

Longtime friend, Jim Seay, Premier rides told AT, “The many successes that Al achieved early in his career meant he never had to work. He only worked because he was so incredibly passionate about our industry that he truly loved every day he was part of the magic. Al was a driven entrepreneur, corporate CEO, creative inventor, and beloved mentor all wrapped into one amazing person that will be dearly missed. His loss truly hurts.”
Weber was the most recent member addition to IAAPA’s board of directors and had just been announced as the association’s second vice chairman, that would have made him the association chairman in 2019.

IAAPA president and CEO Paul Noland said, “We have lost a visionary, an advocate, and a friend. Al was the embodiment of everything that is great about this business, and his impact on our industry will live on for generations to come. On behalf of IAAPA, our board of directors, staff, and membership, we send our deepest condolences to Al’s wife Bonnie, Al’s family, and his industry friends, especially his colleagues at Apex Parks Group.”

Prior to his role at IAAPA and Apex he was the former COO for Six Flags Entertainment for many years.

In a statement to company employees Six Flags President and CEO John M. Duffey said, “Al was instrumental in the turnaround of our company, leading Six Flags in its difficult period after emergence from bankruptcy. He has been in the theme park industry for more than 45 years and was not only well-respected, but deeply loved. He will truly be missed. Our industry lost one of its beloved titans, and it is a truly sad day.”

AT will have more details as they become available.