Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

P. 102: CF releases Annual Report - Enthusiasts overanalyze
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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby thrillrider » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:03 am

jonskinny12 wrote:
DILinator wrote:And you know what? That's EXACTLY what Cedar Fair wants, and why they bought the park, and why there WON'T be any major capital investments there...


I don't buy this argument when Kings Island is closer to Cedar Point than Michigan's Adventure is and they regularly invest in that park.


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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby CaptainUnknown » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:07 pm

thrillrider wrote:We hit Michigan's adventure a few weeks back, and the ride side was PACKED! This was the first time I have seen this in a while. The lines for all the major coasters were full.


What day of the week did you go? Was it a holiday weekend?


But I'm still in the camp that says MiA has some great expansion potential. And that they'll get Carowinds' Vortex, a few cans of paint, and floorless trains.
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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby thrillrider » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:52 pm

We were there a week ago today.
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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby VegasBaby » Fri Aug 25, 2017 2:25 pm

Rougarou wrote:^ Stranger things have happened. 2019 May be their year. Think about it
What's left?
Valley Fair
Dorney
Worlds of Fun
Michigan's Adventure
Canada's wonderland (they will probably get something)

If CW doesn't receive a B&M then maybe yeah MA could in theory could get something!

Who knows?

What's more likely MA getting a new coaster or Rachel Madow coming out as a Republican? :airtime:


You'd think at some point that the smaller parks will get new coasters. I don't think that CF can just neglect them year over year and expect the masses to keep coming. CW is a different animal because it's in a huge market and they've made major additions there in the past. I would bet that CW gets a major addition in 2019, either a new coaster (it will have been 5 years since Guardian) or the long rumored hotel/resort. I do think 2019 will be a smaller year for CF just because they went so big in 2018. So maybe they just do the hotel/resort at CW and one new coaster at VF or MiA. If Railblazer is a big success at CGA, I could see CF putting it in the other small parks over the next few years.
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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby DILinator » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:30 pm

jonskinny12 wrote:
DILinator wrote:And you know what? That's EXACTLY what Cedar Fair wants, and why they bought the park, and why there WON'T be any major capital investments there...


I don't buy this argument when Kings Island is closer to Cedar Point than Michigan's Adventure is and they regularly invest in that park.


a) Kings Island has nothing to do with Michigan's population, which is the second largest draw for attendance at Cedar Point.

and

b) Comparing Kings Island to Michigan's Adventure is like comparing Apples to Oranges anyway...

Believe me guys... I could write a Doctoral Dissertation on this subject, that is fact based, and VERY persuasive... You can choose not to buy it if you want, but that doesn't make it any less real of a situation... :roll:
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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby DorneyKid14 » Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:59 pm

From what I was told, dorney should be getting a new coaster in 3-4 years.
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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:14 pm

http://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/Peanuts-Worldwide-and-Cedar-Fair-Extend-Peanuts-Licensing-Agreement-to-2025-1002361284

Peanuts Worldwide and Cedar Fair Extend Peanuts Licensing Agreement to 2025
Sep. 12, 2017, 06:50 AM

HALIFAX, NS--(Marketwired - September 12, 2017) - Peanuts Worldwide, a subsidiary controlled by DHX Media Ltd. (TSX: DHX.A)(TSX: DHX.B)(NASDAQ: DHXM); the family of Charles M. Schulz; and Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, are pleased to announce they have renewed the license agreement to showcase the timeless Peanuts characters, created by Schulz, throughout Cedar Fair's 11 amusement park locations. The new agreement extends Cedar Fair's North American exclusive use of Peanuts in its attractions, entertainment and sports, food and beverage, lodging and retail operations to 2025. An added five-year option, exercisable at Cedar Fair's discretion, brings the potential contract extension to 2030.

"On the heels of our recent acquisition of the Peanuts brand, further cementing our relationship with Cedar Fair assures an extensive and continued North American presence in the amusement park arena and guarantees a long-term revenue stream in this category," stated Dana Landry, Chief Executive Officer of DHX Media. "This agreement extension speaks to the enduring appeal of the Peanuts brand, and as a leader in children's content and brands, we value the opportunity to work with Cedar Fair to reach an all-family audience for Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang."

Matt Ouimet, Chief Executive Officer, Cedar Fair, said, "The renewed relationship between Cedar Fair and Peanuts Worldwide allows both companies to develop and extend their brands, creating a more immersive experience for guests through meet-and-greets, live entertainment, merchandise and themed areas throughout the parks. With more than half of our parks now offering a free pre-K season pass for children, our continued showcasing of the beloved Peanuts characters underscores our commitment to entertaining young families."

"Cedar Fair has been a long-standing and cherished partner to Peanuts, dating back many years to when Camp Snoopy first opened at Knott's Berry Farm in 1983," said Craig Schulz, son of Charles M. Schulz and President and Chief Executive Officer of Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, LLC. "On behalf of my entire family, I look forward to many more years of bringing the joy of my father's characters to the fans in Cedar Fair's parks."
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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby firebird81 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:30 pm

Snoopy can kick Mickey's A$$!

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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby DILinator » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:22 am

firebird81 wrote:Snoopy can kick Mickey's A$$!


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Re: Cedar Fair Development Discussion Thread

Postby larrygator » Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:44 pm

A nice recap of Matt Ouimet's accomplishemts as he hands the reigns to Richard Zimmerman, since we heard about the Cedar Point boardwalk a few days ago, the only new info in the article is the expectation that Winterfest will be at Canada's Wonderland in 2019.

http://www.cleveland.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/10/outgoing_incoming_cedar_fair_c.html

Outgoing, incoming Cedar Fair CEOs talk coasters, hotels and hiring
Updated on October 22, 2017 at 8:23 AM Posted on October 22, 2017 at 8:07 AM
By Susan Glaser, The Plain Dealer
sglaser@plaind.com


SANDUSKY, Ohio - In his six years at the helm of Cedar Fair, outgoing CEO Matt Ouimet has overseen the development of record-breaking roller coasters and record-breaking revenue.

But ask him about his tenure and he doesn't mention rides or money.

Instead, he talks about the revitalized Cedar Point beach, renovated Hotel Breakers, the Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center and expansion of the Cedar Point Shores waterpark.

When he was hired in 2011, the country -- and the company -- were still recovering from a devastating recession. "It was a tough time in the economy, and particularly for Cedar Fair," he said. "We were having some trouble trying to figure out what we wanted to do when we grew up."

Safe to say they figured it out: Six years later, the company's flagship park in Sandusky is the centerpiece of a burgeoning resort destination, with a newly expanded waterpark, ferry service to nearby islands, nightly beach activities and more.

Coming in 2018: An expanded beach boardwalk that will link the park's main parking lot to the beach, Hotel Breakers and Cedar Point Shores.

For the first time, according to Ouimet, the park will market itself beyond its core base of Ohio and Michigan, trying to pull guests from Chicago and beyond.

"The changes we've made at Cedar Point will last for decades," said Ouimet, 59, who announced earlier this month that he was stepping down as CEO in January and will return to southern California, where he previously worked as president of Disneyland.

He said he is not seeking another full-time job.

Ouimet will be succeeded by Richard Zimmerman, current Cedar Fair president and chief operating officer.

The two recently answered a few questions at the company's executive offices on the Cedar Point peninsula. Among the topics of conversation: labor force challenges, the success of Fast Lane, WinterFest, shuttered Geauga Lake and the company's relationship with Sandusky.

Zimmerman was the head of Kings Dominion in Virginia when Cedar Fair bought Paramount Parks in 2006. "I've been in the live entertainment biz for forever and a day," he said. "That's what gets me up in the morning."

He will continue to be based out of Cedar Fair's corporate offices in Charlotte, home of Carowinds amusement park.

Ouimet, meanwhile, will continue to play an active role in Cedar Fair's future, filling the new position of executive chairman of the board. "A critical part of my legacy is creating an organization that would thrive after I left," he said. "I think the organization is ready and I'm ready."

During Ouimet's tenure, the company - owner of 11 parks, three waterparks and five hotels - saw the value of investor shares nearly triple. The company also posted consecutive years of record revenue and attendance.

Chief among Ouimet's achievements, according to industry analyst Jeffrey Thomison, with Hilliard Lyons in Kentucky: Improvements made to the Cedar Point property - including a $50 million renovation to Hotel Breakers - that encourage families to stay on-property longer.

"Not only does the park have some major new thrill attractions, but the resort itself has undergone some major improvements," he said.

Thomison said he doesn't expect dramatic change under Zimmerman. "Primarily because the new chairman and the new CEO aren't new to the company - they already make a good team," he said.

Commitment to the region

Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser praised Ouimet's commitment to the region - citing his advocacy for a healthier Lake Erie; support of a local tax increase in 2014; and ongoing work to develop a hospitality program with Bowling Green State University.

Wobser said he had no doubt Zimmerman would maintain that same commitment: "We see them continuing to make significant investments in and outside the park that show how committed they are."

Cedar Fair and several regional partners, including the city and Erie County, recently finalized a deal to develop an indoor sports complex just east of Cedar Point. Expected to open in 2019, it will be adjacent to the outdoor facility, Sports Force Parks, which opened earlier this year on the site of an abandoned airport.

Zimmerman credited Ouimet's history with Disney company - and that company's successful Wide World of Sports - for the idea. "We will continue to look at other parks for opportunities," said Zimmerman. "This kind of tourism is happening. We can make sure it happens near us."

Promoting Ohio

Ouimet has also been a strong advocate for tourism more broadly, urging state leaders to increase the marketing of Ohio, bringing it closer to what neighboring states, including Michigan, spend. Lawmakers, several years ago, did increase funding for tourism promotion in Ohio, but Ouimet says more could be done.

"We'll continue to make that argument," he said. "I think there remains great opportunity. I have learned over time that you have to be more patient when it comes to the government driving certain initiatives."

Hiring challenges

Ouimet also has been involved in lobbying for a change in state law that would encourage school districts to start classes after Labor Day -- a change that would make it easier to staff Cedar Point and Kings Island late in the summer. He pointed out that Kings Island is forced to close during the week in late August, in part because so many employees leave to return to school.

Ouimet also commented on possible changes in the U.S. State Department's J-1 Visa program, which allows college students from overseas to come to the U.S. to work for the summer. Cedar Point employs thousands of workers every year through the program.

Ouimet said lawmakers may need to be educated about the benefits of the program. "I get concerned that it's one of those things that politically could be discussed as a negative," he said. "But I think when people sort through it - they'll see it drives the economy, it doesn't hurt the economy."

Zimmerman added that the parks have gotten creative about labor challenges, particularly during the shoulder season, when many parks, including Cedar Point, see their biggest crowds of the year.

The company is experimenting with technology to reduce the number of workers required during non-summer months. A new haunted maze at Knott's Berry Farm in southern California, for example, uses interactive technology - and requires only two workers.

Extending the park season

Another Ouimet initiative: WinterFest, the holiday-themed festival, with rides and entertainment, which debuted last year at California's Great America. This year, WinterFest will expand to three more parks, including Kings Island near Cincinnati.

And next year, look for it at Canada's Wonderland in Ontario.

What about Cedar Point? "That's the big debate," said Zimmerman. "We're trying to figure out exactly how that would work."

Finally, on Geauga Lake:

* It was Ouimet's predecessor, Dick Kinzel, who made the decision to shutter Geauga Lake in 2007, three years after Cedar Fair purchased the historic Aurora amusement park. Ouimet, however, closed Wildwater Kingdom, the adjacent outdoor water park on the site of Sea World, in 2016. "If you don't make difficult decisions, you put a company in jeopardy," he said. He did say he regrets that the land hasn't been developed more quickly. "It's proven harder than it should have," he said.

And Fast Lane:

* It was Ouimet's team that developed Fast Lane, the controversial pass that allows park goers to skip long lines at top attractions for an extra fee. Said Ouimet: "It took me a while to warm up to it. " But he said it's the revenue from the pass that allows Cedar Point and other parks to continue to build bigger and better rides.

"You have to realize that those people are paying for Steel Vengeance," he said, referencing the massive new roller coaster that is under construction at Cedar Point.

The coaster - a major, much-anticipated remake of the ride formerly known as Mean Streak - will debut in May. It will be one of four new coasters at Cedar Fair parks in 2018 - a final parting gift from Ouimet, and the beginning of the Zimmerman era.
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