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Cedar Fair seeks buyout.


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Bottom line is that even if they do sell or even go 50/50 with a company like Blackstone, you won't see any parks being flattened and becomming condo's.. unless your name is Geauga Lake.. however, I wouldn't worry about Cedar Fair closing down shop and even if something does happen, i doubt anyone visiting the parks would even know.

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Honestly, that is what they should do anyway regardless if they sell out. It was quite obvious when I visited the park, what was the draw of Geauga Lake. I still think that building up the waterpark and throwing in the towel on the ride side would be the best thing for this park. There is plenty of rides on the ride side that could be distributed throughout the chain at the other 10 (I'm leaving CP out of this) parks in the chain that they wouldn't have to spend additional capital next year on anything "new". The only costs would be the removal and transportation to the other parks. Once that is done, sell that side for condos. There is a lake there, why not make it lakeside condos. I KNOW you can make more money with condos then that ride side of the park.

 

Also I'm not just saying that because I want Dominator at Worlds of Fun, it just makes good business sense. Cedar Point is never going to have a huge waterpark, and Geauga Lake cannot compete with Cedar Point -- so MAYBE a huge waterpark would be the best fit?!?! I don't know, makes too much sense.

 

Wow, you know...I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say how tired I am of everyone talking about how Cedar Fair is going to close up shop and close Geauga Lake after 4 seasons. First of all, I'm just going to tell you how fed up I am with hearing all this bull crap that Geauga Lake can't compete with Cedar Point and blah blah blah. Listen, if YOU knew anything whatsoever about Geauga Lake you would know that back in 2001 when X-Flight first opened, that Geauga Lake had a yearly attendance of about 2.5 million. And guess where Cedar Point's attendance was...over 3 million. Hm, that right there tells me that yes, both Geauga Lake and Cedar Point can both have great years without Geauga Lake having to steal the spotlight from Kinzel's baby.

 

And about that rides side that you make sound like it's so damn pathetic. Maybe if back in 2004 when Cedar Fair took over the company or last year when they invested a lousy 3 million dollars on the park, the company could have invested in a few flat rides to spruce up the rides side. Hell, the rides side hasn't received any attention since 2001 when X-Flight was first built, you think Cedar Fair would have recognized that and invested in the area regardless if they are trying to keep a family park image. You know, back in 2003 I was very excited when I heard Cedar Fair had acquired the park and everyone heard Bill Spehn tell us that he wanted to eventually build a coaster "like Magnum" at the park. The sad thing is, that'll probably never happen now because of Kinzel's paranoia that people are going to go to Geauga Lake instead of Cedar Point. Hell, I guess I would be scared too since their attendance has been falling for the past several years. Not to mention it drops every year that the company doesn't build a new coaster (see 2004-2006). But in all seriousness, I really don't see what Cedar Fair has done so great to the park that Six Flags didn't do...except maybe build a mediocre water park that only has two slide complexes and gets boring after being there for an hour.

 

All I'm trying to say is, regardless of how much money Geauga Lake is bringing into the company right now, do they seriously think anything is going to improve when they don't add some sort of attraction in the ride's side. I mean, seeing the same damn things year after year on their advertisements surely isn't going to make people jump up and drive to the park. The whole idea to running a business is to spend money in it so in the end you make a profit. As it stands right now, Geauga Lake has invested very little in the park. If they added something worth while to the ride side that could attract some guests then maybe we'd see the park turn around, but that's absolutly impossible with Dick Kinzel at the reigns of the company. I mean, just look how crappy of a park Dorney Park was before Cedar Fair took it under control, several years later and a few million dollars invested into it, it's now a pretty decent theme park and seems to bring in profits for the company.

 

I'm sorry I drifted totally off topic, but I just wanted to get this out of my system and seeing all these remarks about how it would be such a good idea to just close Geauga Lake down makes me feel sick inside. My whole point is maybe if the company actually spent some money on the park to improve it we would see some sort of turnaround, but like I said, we all know that Dick Kinzel is worried that Geauga Lake might take a few thousand guests away from Cedar Point. I just don't want to see a company ruin what was a great amusement park to go to, so that the flagship park has the whole Cleveland area all to themselves.

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Wow, you know...I'm just going to go out on a limb here and say how tired I am of everyone talking about how Cedar Fair is going to close up shop and close Geauga Lake after 4 seasons. First of all, I'm just going to tell you how fed up I am with hearing all this bull crap that Geauga Lake can't compete with Cedar Point and blah blah blah. Listen, if YOU knew anything whatsoever about Geauga Lake you would know that back in 2001 when X-Flight first opened, that Geauga Lake had a yearly attendance of about 2.5 million. And guess where Cedar Point's attendance was...over 3 million. Hm, that right there tells me that yes, both Geauga Lake and Cedar Point can both have great years without Geauga Lake having to steal the spotlight from Kinzel's baby.

 

Now why don't you tell us how you really feel.

 

2.5 million down to ~700,000? That's pretty darn bad, if true. I think the point is that Geauga Lake is just a dump right now as far as the rides side goes. And this won't change. The park has maybe one good coaster. The rest is garbage. They supposedly re-tracked Villain in the off season, but it still runs like hell. Raging Wolf Bobs was so neglected that it derailed. Considering the financial situation at Cedar Fair right now, they aren't likely to re-invest in Geauga Lake. At least not enough to make a difference. Major investments are going to come at a trickle until they can service their debt down a bit. They could expand the waterpark for a lot less money than it would cost to install a few major coasters. Maybe this is the best way for them to go from here since that seems to be what people want out of Geauga Lake presently.

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I don't know about GL ever getting 2.5 million. I do remember 6Flags consistently hitting 1.7 million visitors.

 

The whole 6Flags to CF transition went like this: 6F having Gl with Animals (SW) vs. CF with no animals:

1.7 million vs. 700,000 tops. You lose a million people a year. That's real bad. Why did they lose it? Hmmmm, no animals, no shows no entertainment whatsoever.

 

And CF gave us another waterpark and what else?

CORNHOLE????

 

yeah, right.

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...... and the fact that no one wants to ride the Villian, Double Loop, their boomerang, and Big Dipper more than once every 10 years because they are like being in a car wreck. Dominator, X-Flight, and Steel Venom (which ran awful last year in May) were really the only reasons to go there and now all but one of them are gone! 700k is probably wishful thinking this year.

 

edit - That separate huge waterpark/lake front resort idea sounds pretty cool. I don't know how popular bussing Cedar Point guests would be (an hour and a half bus ride.. blah), but if they expanded the waterpark and made it Schlitterbahn quality you would see a huge backing by locals and tourists. I don't see much of a future for Cedar Points waterpark.

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...... and the fact that no one wants to ride the Villian, Double Loop, their boomerang, and Big Dipper more than once every 10 years because they are like being in a car wreck. Dominator, X-Flight, and Steel Venom (which ran awful last year in May) were really the only reasons to go there and now all but one of them are gone! 700k is probably wishful thinking this year.

 

The Big Dipper was running Grrrrreat when I rode it two years ago...

 

Why don't they sell something like Disney's Park Hopper Passes? People visiting from outside Northeast Ohio could add another day to their trip and do multiple parks. Just a thought- I mean if the attractions in the Cleveland area would work together this area could be a super power tourist destination- two major theme parks, two water parks, a neat little kid park, our zoo, the R&R Museum, our National Park- complete with a fun train ride, plus University Circle's Museums- do something like they do in many European Cities and offer a Card that gives admission to everything for a deep discount or free- but of course that's not the American way- everyone has to charge full price even if that means fewer people over all...

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I actually hope this goes through, and I hope Blackstone acquires CF as they could do some amazing things with the parks.(they also own Tussuads and Legoland) Maybe more attention will be placed on theming, quality, food, and atmosphere instead of $21 million on a "family" coaster. I'm not saying coasters shouldn't be added, but a real family, and actually noteworthy coasters can be added instead of just having a coaster to break a record.As for GL's future, I believe that it will change within a few years, and rides will soon be added to the ride park. Who knows, maybe a coaster will be added by 2010, but they need something big since CF screwed the park up.

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Back in 2001 when X-Flight first opened, that Geauga Lake had a yearly attendance of about 2.5 million.

 

Yes for one season, but also they did not MAKE any money off that season either. Think about it, you add three large coasters to the tune of almost $100 Million, you are not going to get that back in one, let alone three seasons.

 

And guess where Cedar Point's attendance was...over 3 million.

 

...and guess what, Cedar Point MADE money that year.

 

 

And about that rides side that you make sound like it's so damn pathetic. Maybe if back in 2004 when Cedar Fair took over the company or last year when they invested a lousy 3 million dollars on the park, the company could have invested in a few flat rides to spruce up the rides side.

 

Hell it had 9 coasters and about every flat ride in the book, what did you want? Honestly, if you cannot keep your audience occupied with that, then there is nothing you can add that will.

 

You know, back in 2003 I was very excited when I heard Cedar Fair had acquired the park and everyone heard Bill Spehn tell us that he wanted to eventually build a coaster "like Magnum" at the park. The sad thing is, that'll probably never happen now because of Kinzel's paranoia that people are going to go to Geauga Lake instead of Cedar Point.

 

I thought that was a problem with the township, that was made very apparent at the Q&A this year, where you not there this year?

 

except maybe build a mediocre water park that only has two slide complexes and gets boring after being there for an hour.

 

That mediocre waterpark is probably the best in the northern Ohio area. Also since it is as YOUR park, I wouldn't dog it too much. It is definitely a step up from Hurricane Hannah's which was a huge dump -- still is.

 

All I'm trying to say is, regardless of how much money Geauga Lake is bringing into the company right now, do they seriously think anything is going to improve when they don't add some sort of attraction in the ride's side.

 

Ahh, but here is where you are confused. Adding something to the waterpark is still adding something to the park. Especially when they parks are 2 for 1.

 

If they added something worth while to the ride side that could attract some guests then maybe we'd see the park turn around, but that's absolutly impossible with Dick Kinzel at the reigns of the company.

 

Again I throw out the point that you had NINE coasters. Almost every single type of coaster that most major player have and you still could not keep people at the park. You have more flats then most parks do and you still could not keep people there. WHAT POSSIBLY COULD THEY HAVE ADDED THAT WOULD HAVE MADE A BLOODY DIFFERENCE?

 

I mean, just look how crappy of a park Dorney Park was before Cedar Fair took it under control, several years later and a few million dollars invested into it, it's now a pretty decent theme park and seems to bring in profits for the company.

 

Apples to Oranges, completely different market and situation

 

I'm sorry I drifted totally off topic, but I just wanted to get this out of my system and seeing all these remarks about how it would be such a good idea to just close Geauga Lake down makes me feel sick inside.

 

We understand the whole loyalty to your homepark, but then again perhaps you should take a breather and reread what we are talking about. We want GL to be successful, however we are not dilusional in thinking that it will survive in its current state. Being a major waterpark is what will save this place.

 

I just don't want to see a company ruin what was a great amusement park to go to, so that the flagship park has the whole Cleveland area all to themselves.

 

That was done before Cedar Fair bought the park. Six Flags ruined it by buying SWOhio. They tried to make a small regional park something it was not and in doing so gutted the park of any charm it had left.

 

That separate huge waterpark/lake front resort idea sounds pretty cool. I don't know how popular bussing Cedar Point guests would be (an hour and a half bus ride.. blah), but if they expanded the waterpark and made it Schlitterbahn quality you would see a huge backing by locals and tourists. I don't see much of a future for Cedar Points waterpark.

 

See here is someone with a clear head thinking. YES, this is what will make GL successful. Make it the Schlitterbahn of the north -- or even take a page from the new one being built in KC and make it a destination park with condos and such -- on the ride side.

 

2.5 million down to ~700,000? That's pretty darn bad, if true. I think the point is that Geauga Lake is just a dump right now as far as the rides side goes. And this won't change. The park has maybe one good coaster. The rest is garbage. They supposedly re-tracked Villain in the off season, but it still runs like hell. Raging Wolf Bobs was so neglected that it derailed.

 

There is the major reason why GL is doing so poorly -- they have the rides, just they are crap. Also that drop in attendance was happening before CF bought the park from SFI. Actually that was one of the reasons SFI was so eager to get rid of GL -- the attendance was crashing downward very quickly.

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^But the last year SFlags owned WOA/GL, they intro'd the new whale and the place was always packed. We had passes and went there over 15 times that year. Even Weekdays the place was packed. They'd have to turn people away for the shows, which always hit capacity crowds.

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Hell it had 9 coasters and about every flat ride in the book, what did you want? Honestly, if you cannot keep your audience occupied with that, then there is nothing you can add that will.
Every flat in the book? Where'd you hear that from? We have Chance Inverter, Huss Topspin, 1001 Nahts, Himalaya, Pirate Ship and a Wipeout. IMO, we lack ANY decent flats.

 

That mediocre waterpark is probably the best in the northern Ohio area. Also since it is as YOUR park, I wouldn't dog it too much. It is definitely a step up from Hurricane Hannah's which was a huge dump -- still is.

WWK is the ONLY waterpark in Northern Ohio besides Soak City and the soon to be closed Pioneer Water Land.

 

 

We understand the whole loyalty to your homepark, but then again perhaps you should take a breather and reread what we are talking about. We want GL to be successful, however we are not dilusional in thinking that it will survive in its current state. Being a major waterpark is what will save this place.
No. Being a waterpark and a ride park is what will save this park. Dude, the waterpark isn't anything new. We had the concept with the 80's and you can't tell me that since the old water park was built in the early 80's, that was what was saving GL.

 

2.5 million down to ~700,000? That's pretty darn bad, if true. I think the point is that Geauga Lake is just a dump right now as far as the rides side goes. And this won't change. The park has maybe one good coaster. The rest is garbage. They supposedly re-tracked Villain in the off season, but it still runs like hell. Raging Wolf Bobs was so neglected that it derailed.

Actually, only enthusiasts say that Villain is crap. Almost all of my friends LOVE Villain and the only thing they know about coasters is that they run on tracks. They never retracked VIllain, they replaced the trick track and did some work on the bottom of the first and second drop. I hardly ever hear anything bad about that coaster except when I read posrts from here, TN, CB etc.

 

2.5 million down to ~700,000? That's pretty darn bad, if true

Did you forget that CF ripped out the animals, pissed off alot of union workers and discoutined the parks most popular event? You can't tell me that after all of that, you'd expect to see 2.5 million.

 

 

Fact is, Geauga Lake could be perfectly fine. CF is holding it back by taking out rides and not replacing them with anything but a wooden fence or a cornhole game. I mean, the parks coincided for almost 100 years and GL was lingering at 1 Million guests back in 99.

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I didn't know Pioneer was closing, but it doesn't surprise me.

 

WildWood Water Park (columbia station ohio: Closed about 10 years ago.

Dover Lake: Closed Two years ago.

 

With Pioneer closing, which is the last water park in this part of Ohio, GL should be doing great, but isn't. I would say waterparks just don't do well around here.

 

Would anyone like to speculate as to why waterparks don't do well here, but 100 miles west they do just fine?

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Actually, only enthusiasts say that Villain is crap. Almost all of my friends LOVE Villain and the only thing they know about coasters is that they run on tracks. They never retracked VIllain, they replaced the trick track and did some work on the bottom of the first and second drop. I hardly ever hear anything bad about that coaster except when I read posrts from here, TN, CB etc.

 

Yeah, and some people loved SOB in its glory days of untrimmed ultra violence. That's the corporate park woodie scam in action. If they all are too cheap to properly maintain their wood, people will just assume that karate chops to the kidneys are normal for woodies. Note that I don't think there is actual collusion going down.

 

The beaches? I know Lake Erie is nasty but Headlands Beach is always packed when i'm there.

 

Maybe that explains why people up there love Villain.

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Here's the odd thing- in 1997 there was this company called Premier Parks and they bought the Six Flags chain from Time-Warner and changed the name of their company (like when Nations Bank bought Bank of America) and in the past 10 years they have sold off almost all of the parks that were not Six Flags parks prior to 1997 so it was like what was the point? I wonder if a similar thing will happen with Cedar Fair- their lower producing parks get sold off/closed...

 

No one ever thought in a million years a major theme park staple like Astroworld would ever be bulldozed over for any reason, but it happened. Management just simply sat by and did nothing, allowing the park and attendance to decline, sound familiar?

 

I also wouldn't be surprised to see that prime lakefront property in Aurora sold off for luxury condos. Sell off the land and make a hefty profit rather than dumping the multi-millions it's gonna take to turn around the mess GL has become. CF has no need for GL, they've already got the market and region locked, the multi-millions needed to turn around GL would be better spent on their other parks/markets. Not being cold here, just stating the reality of business, which this ultimately is. The writing's already on the wall here for GL, just a matter of when.

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Would anyone like to speculate as to why waterparks don't do well here, but 100 miles west they do just fine?

 

Well to start with GL's target audience is Cleveland and it really is more of a locals park than say Cedar Point or Kings Island where more people are likely to come from farther away and stay at least a night or two- and Cleveland is not doing very well- we were voted what the poorest big city in the country?! And for the people who say that this is not true overall, let me say from my perspective- since I moved up here from Columbus in June 2006 I have been making $3 -$4 less an hour and pays $100 more in rent a month and even little things like groceries are higher up here- fewer people have the extra spending money to pay $10 for parking and then $25 for the park.

 

I myself do not really like waterparks- waterslides have low capacity and there are more kids running around unattended there- why am I going to pay $35 (parking and ticket) to go to GL when there are only two coasters left there that I like? That's $17.50 per ride- what is that? Las Vegas?

 

Yes I wish GL wasn't turning to crap but wishing isn't going to help anything. The fact that my #8 woodie is there makes me hope CF will at some point grow a brain- but I'm not putting money on it. I have to remind myself this is the same company that fired me in 1999 because I needed time off to go to my ex-boyfriend's funeral!

 

You know I used to say that Disney should buy Coney Island (NYC)- they wouldn't have to do anything- just put their name on it and people would show up and love it just because its Disney. I think that CF has that same mentality that people will love any park that they own just because they own it- even if they sap out anything unique or fun about it and continue with the same overly high admission price (you can buy a whole season at your local pool for less than the cost of GL and many of them have slides).

 

Okay- done ranting...

 

PS: After a full year away I am back to working in a call center so I am glad I did not change my singnature...

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