Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

Recommended Posts

  • 1 month later...

Cedar Fair exec (Falfas) should get his job back, court rules





SANDUSKY — A longtime executive could return to his job running operations for the parent company of Cedar Point amusement park, according a court ruling.


In June 2010 Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. announced the resignation of Jacob T. “Jack” Falfas, the chief operating officer who had worked for the company for 39 years.


But Falfas challenged the end of his employment with Cedar Fair and this month a court ruled he should be reinstated to the job. The decision came out of the 6th District Court of Appeals in Toledo.


“The court of appeals said that Jack Falfas is ordered reinstated to his job as chief operational officer of Cedar Fair,” said his attorney, Richard Panza of Avon.


About June 10, 2010, Falfas had a brief telephone conversation with Cedar Fair Chief Executive Officer Richard Kinzel, according to court records.


“The parties had differing interpretations of the effect of the telephone conversation, with (Cedar Fair) claiming (Falfas) resigned and (Falfas) claiming he was terminated,” the appeals court ruling said.


Falfas sought a ruling through an arbitrator, pursuant to his contract with Cedar Fair. In February 2011 an arbitration panel ruled he “was terminated for reasons other than cause” and “the facts fail to establish resignation,” according to the appeals court decision.


The panel ordered he should be reinstated with back pay and benefits.


Cedar Fair officials appealed that decision by filing a case in Erie County Common Pleas Court. There a judge ruled Cedar Fair owed back pay and benefits to Falfas, but that the law did not permit Falfas to be reinstated, Panza said.


Falfas appealed that ruling to the 6th District Appeals Court in Toledo, where Judges Arlene Singer, Thomas J. Osowik and Stephen A. Yarbruogh ruled Falfas was entitled to back pay, benefits and reinstatement, Panza said.


The appeals court sent the decision back to Erie County Common Pleas Court for further proceedings.


Falfas would like to return to work and he will not appeal the decision further, Panza said. However, Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. could ask the Ohio Supreme Court to consider the ruling, he said.


“If in fact he is permitted, if Cedar Fair will honor the decision of the 6th District Court of Appeals, then he is ready, willing and able to return to work,” Panza said.


Kinzel, who retired as Cedar Fair’s CEO, remains on the board of directors of the amusement park company, according to cedarfair.com.


“We’re certainly reviewing that ruling to determine what the appropriate next steps will be,” said Stacy Frole, Cedar Fair’s corporate vice president for investor relations.


Judge Roger E. Binette ruled on the case in Erie County Common Pleas Court. He said his ruling was based on Ohio law, legal precedents and the language of Falfas’ contract.


“The court of appeals interpreted the law differently than I did and I’m willing to follow the law as directed by a higher court,” Binette said. If the case goes to the Supreme Court and there is another ruling, Binette said he would abide by that decision as well.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jack is part of the "good old boys club," so I would have mixed feelings if he came back. On one hand, I don't want to see Cedar Fair revert to their old ways. On the other hand, I have to give him credit for how involved he was with the day-to-day operations at Knott's when he was there. In fact, during Haunt, he even ran the basketball game at the front of the park just for fun!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Kinzel stepping down from Cedar Fair board


About 10 years ago, Cedar Fair implemented a mandatory retirement age of 72 for board members.


“I think it’s a good thing, brings in new blood,” Kinzel said after Wednesday’s announcement. “I had 40 years with the company. Cedar Fair is a great company and they took care of me.”


Cedar Fair CEO and president Matt Ouimet can now build his own team, just as Kinzel did when he was CEO. This would include board members who can provide advice and guidance to Ouimet.


Kinzel resigned from his leadership post at Cedar Fair in January 2012. He and his wife, Judy, have been traveling and spending more time with their children and nine grandchildren. They plan to remain in Sandusky, but they also have a winter home in Florida.


“This is our home,” Kinzel said of Sandusky.


John Hildebrandt, general manager of Cedar Point, worked with Kinzel for 37 years.


“Dick built Cedar Point into Cedar Fair, a billion-dollar entertainment company,” Hildebrandt said. “He more than made his mark.”


Hildebrandt said when he thinks of his colleague, he thinks of a devoted family man and a risk-taker. He also thinks of the Magnum XL-200, Cedar Point’s steel coaster built in 1989. Under Kinzel’s direction, Magnum was the first coaster to exceed 200 feet. The ride is often credited with starting the coaster wars among amusement parks forever seeking to claim ownership of the tallest and fastest coasters.


During an earnings conference call Wednesday, Ouimet thanked Kinzel for his years of service.


“For more than three decades, Cedar Fair has benefited from Dick Kinzel’s experience,” Ouimet said. “I am certain he will sustain a keen interest in our performance going forward.”


Replacing Kinzel on the board will be Scott Olivet, CEO of Renegade Brands LLC, a California-based investment company. He’s executive chairman of RED Digital Cinema, and he sat on the board of Collective Brands as well. He was also a partner with Bain & Company, a strategic consulting firm, and he was CEO and director of Oakley.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...



Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013. Historically, first quarter results represent less than 5% of the Company's full-year revenues as the vast majority of its world-renowned parks and facilities are closed during this quarter. As a result, the Company typically operates at a loss during this period.




Commenting on the Company's first quarter results, Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair's president and chief executive officer said, "We are pleased with our solid first-quarter net revenues and encouraged by the positive momentum in season pass sales and hotel and group business bookings. While it is too early to see definitive trends at this point in the year, we anticipate that 2013 will mark our fourth consecutive year of record results. We expect our strong capital plan, combined with the benefit of our 'Thrills Connect' marketing campaign and new e-commerce platform, to be among the primary drivers for a strong 2013."


First Quarter Results


Cedar Fair's net revenues increased to $41.8 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013, up $13.6 million compared with $28.2 million in the first quarter ended March 25, 2012. The increase was primarily due to the strong attendance and in-park guest per capita spending at Knott's Berry Farm, the Company's only year-round property. The improved results at Knott's Berry Farm are attributable to recent investments the park has made over the past year to revitalize the park and enhance the overall guest experience.


The 2013 first-quarter results also were positively impacted by an additional 21 operating days due to a combination of the fiscal first quarter ending later than in the previous year and a shift in the Easter and Spring Break holidays which occurred in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the second quarter of 2012.


Operating costs and expenses for the 2013 first quarter were $108.1 million, an increase of $10.6 million from the prior-year quarter, and were in line with Company expectations. The increased costs were largely attributable to the additional operating days in the first quarter of 2013 when compared with the first quarter of 2012.


The net loss for the quarter totaled $109.1 million, or $1.95 per diluted LP unit, compared with a net loss of $65.4 million, or $1.18 per diluted LP unit, for the first quarter a year ago. The larger net loss for the period is primarily due to a $34.6 million non-cash charge related to the early extinguishment of debt, a $10.2 million unfavorable change in the net effect of swaps and a $17.2 million unfavorable change in the unrealized/realized foreign currency exchange between years. These losses were offset somewhat by the increased first-quarter revenues.


Cash Flow and Liquidity Remain Strong


As of March 31, 2013, the Company had $630.0 million of variable-rate term debt (before giving consideration to fixed-rate interest rate swaps), $901.3 million of fixed-rate debt, $96.0 million borrowed under its revolving credit facilities and $10.0 million in cash on hand. The Company believes its credit facilities and cash flows are sufficient to meet working capital needs, debt service, planned capital expenditures and distributions for the foreseeable future.


"As previously announced, we successfully completed a refinancing of our existing senior secured credit facilities in the first quarter of 2013 with new senior secured credit facilities, along with new senior unsecured notes," said Brian Witherow, Cedar Fair's executive vice president and chief financial officer. "This refinancing not only enables us to take advantage of historically low rates, but also significantly improves our financial flexibility so that we are better positioned to capitalize on opportunities in the future."


Taking into consideration the first quarter refinancing of its senior secured credit facilities, the Company expects to pay cash interest costs of approximately $100 million for fiscal 2013.


Distribution Declaration


The Company also announced today the declaration of a cash distribution of $0.625 per LP unit. The distribution will be paid on June 17, 2013, to unitholders of record as of June 5, 2013. This distribution reflects the Company's strong performance and growth strategy and is consistent with its targeted record annualized distribution rate of $2.50 per LP unit for 2013.


2013 Operating Season and Outlook


"Following the record year of 2012, we remain confident in our 2013 operating plan and our long-term 'FUNforward' growth strategy," Ouimet said. "We expect another record year in 2013 as our growth strategy positions us to maximize value this year and beyond."


The Company currently anticipates net revenues for the full-year 2013 to be in the range of $1.090 billion to $1.115 billion, and Adjusted EBITDA is anticipated to be in the range of $400 million to $410 million.


"Our investment in world-class rides, family entertainment and premium guest experiences will continue to be key drivers of our success," added Ouimet. "GateKeeper, a new world-record-breaking wing coaster at Cedar Point, is set to open this weekend and has already received a tremendous amount of publicity. I assure you it is every bit as exciting to ride as we hoped it would be and will be a strong contributor this year. We will continue to make investments in each of our parks to ensure a 'best-day-of-summer' experience for all of our guests. We believe we are well-positioned to reach our target for Adjusted EBITDA of $450 million or more by 2016."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...



Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today provided an update on year-to-date results as well as progress toward its strategic goals during an investor presentation held at Cedar Point, the Company's flagship amusement park.


"We are pleased with our strong early season revenue trends," said Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair's president and chief executive officer. "We continue to drive unitholder growth by delivering a high quality experience for all of our guests, ensuring that a visit to any of our parks delivers great entertainment value. For millions of people the best day of the summer is spent creating lifelong memories in one of our eleven Cedar Fair parks."


Ouimet stated that early season attendance and revenue trends were positive through this past Sunday, June 23, 2013. Net revenues were up 5% when compared with this same time last year. The strong revenues are a result of an increase in both average in-park guest per capita spending and attendance, up 4% and 1%, respectively. Out-of-park revenues during this same period were also up 5%.


"As we enter into the peak summer season, we are once again seeing the positive impact of our on-going investment in the guest experience at all of our parks," added Ouimet. "Based on our 2013 performance to date, we reaffirm our 2013 guidance for net revenue in the range of $1.090 billion to $1.115 billion and Adjusted EBITDA to be between $400 million to $410 million. We also remain well on track to achieve our targeted Adjusted EBITDA of at least $450 million by 2016. Our continued success is driven by our strong management team and dedicated employees, our well-known regional brands and the high-quality of our assets."


Brian Witherow, executive vice president and chief financial officer, noted that the period through June 23, 2013, represents approximately one-third of expected full-year net revenues. "As a result of our marketing efforts and the solid execution of our plan, season pass sales have increased approximately 20% when compared with this time last year, " he said. "We are also pleased with the growth we are seeing in revenue per capita which is strong evidence of the traction in our pricing strategy as well as an indicator of the great value our guests see in our product."


Ouimet concluded the event by stating, "We have our strategy in place and are pleased with the response from our guests. Our Board remains strongly committed to delivering a quality distribution to our unitholders along with the creation of additional value through responsibly-paced growth initiatives."


A Form 8-K, which includes a copy of the full investor presentation, has been filed with the SEC and is available on the Company's website at www.cedarfair.com.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all about money management, many independent parks get it since the banks aren't willing to take a chance on the little guy. The chains are finally starting to get it now that they realize how much of a hindrance debt is. Hopefully, new and future leaders remember that bigger isn't better, "better is better".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Here we go again...


CHARLOTTE, NC The WindSeeker ride at Carowinds malfunctioned Sunday, stranding 64 passengers high above the amusement park for more than an hour. The malfunction happened at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday — a year and two weeks after the same ride malfunctioned in the same way.


No one was reported injured, according to a Carowinds spokesperson. The ride malfunction spread quickly over social media, with pictures cropping up on Twitter showing passengers on the immobile ride high in the air, their feet dangling.


“…A sensor on WindSeeker was engaged causing the ride’s safety system to activate as the ride began its ascent of the tower,” according to a statement from the spokesperson. “The ride slowly came to a stop.”


On July 14, 2012, the ride’s safety system activated, suspending 25 riders about 30 feet off the ground nearly three hours.


The malfunction caused Cedar Fair, which owns Carowinds, to suspend WindSeeker operations at six locations.


WindSeeker is the tallest ride at Carowinds. On the three minute ride, passengers swing in a circle in chairs attached by metal arms to a rotating support structure. The ride “provides breathtaking aerial views of not only the park, but of the greater Charlotte region,” according to Carowinds’ website.


Cedar Fair operates the WindSeeker at Carowinds, Knotts Berry Farm, Cedar Point and Kings Island in Ohio, Kings Dominion, outside Richmond, Va., and Canada’s Wonderland in Ontario, Canada.


According to Cedar Fair, the WindSeeker’s safety system has activated “on more than one occasion for various reasons at various locations.”




Link to comment
Share on other sites

bigger isn't better, "better is better".




^The only 'good' thing about the Windseeker shutdown this time is that it only took an hour to rescue the stranded people and not 3 hours like the first time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...



Cedar Fair LP said in a regulatory filing that it has amended its employment agreement with president and CEO Matthew A. Ouimet to keep him on the job through at least 2016, and at a higher base salary.


In the filing, made Monday, Oct. 21, Cedar Fair said it has extended the term of Mr. Ouimet's employment to Dec. 31, 2016, and has increased his base salary from $850,000 to $900,000 through June 2015. The increase in base salary is retroactive to July 1, 2013.


Other changes in the employment agreement are as follows:


  • Cedar Fair added target annual cash incentives for calendar years 2013 and 2014. For 2013, the target award “is a blend of 110% of $850,000 and 120% of $900,000, both prorated for actual time the base salaries are in effect and using 2013 performance metrics,” Cedar Fair said in the filing.
  • For 2014, the target award will be 120% of Mr. Ouimet's base salary. Also for 2014, the maximum annual cash incentive payable by Cedar Fair is 180% of his base salary, and the minimum payment threshold is 90% of the target performance threshold.
  • The amended agreement requires that the Cedar Fair board “consider development and implementation of a new long-term incentive compensation plan for Mr. Ouimet, after Mr. Ouimet designs and presents to the board, and the board adopts, a long-term adjusted EBITDA program goal providing multi-year financial targets.
  • The agreement changes the payment owed to Mr. Ouimet “upon the termination of his employment without cause, for disability, or by his resignation with good reason (other than following a change in control) to two times his base salary, payable in a single lump sum.”
  • It provides that, if Mr. Ouimet is “terminated without cause or resigns for good reason, he becomes fully vested in any equity awards made under Cedar Fair's Omnibus Incentive Plan that vest within 18 months after his termination of employment.”

Cedar Fair last month raised its guidance for its full-year revenue and adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). The company also said it's on track for a fourth consecutive year of record results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen much bitching about his $50K increase on other sites. I do not believe that is really all that drastic and unheard of in the CEO world. Especially with one that has been as successful as Matt. Hell, the CEO of Karnival probably makes more.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen much bitching about his $50K increase on other sites. I do not believe that is really all that drastic and unheard of in the CEO world. Especially with one that has been as successful as Matt. Hell, the CEO of Karnival probably makes more.

You're absolutely right. When I saw the amount, I was shocked. They are getting him CHEAP! Especially when you look at this list: http://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-You/100-Highest-Paid-CEOs


EDIT: Yeah, check this out...


As Chairman of the Board & CEO at CARNIVAL CORP/PLC (GBR) in 2012, Micky Arison made $6,348,335 in total compensation. Of this total $906,400 was received as a salary, $1,524,907 was received as a bonus, $0 was received in stock options, $3,501,074 was awarded as stock and $415,954 came from other types of compensation. This information is according to proxy statements filed for the 2012 fiscal year.

Edited by robbalvey
Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Yep, I was just in the process of looking up their SEC statement for him. You beat me to it.


You are correct, they have him at a bargain. Not only for what he has done, but also for what he possibly is going to do. I have high hopes for his leadership going forward.


EDIT: I am just waiting for the regular Big Dipper and GL folks to start up a rant that he failed since he did not reopen that park....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like Ouimet's contract will be extended until 2016 and a salary increase


On October 21, 2013, Cedar Fair entered into an amended and restated employment agreement with Matthew A. Ouimet, its President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Ouimet's existing contract was modified to:

� extend the term of his employment to December 31, 2016;





� increase his base salary from $850,000 to $900,000 through June

2015. The increase in his base salary is retroactive to July 1,




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good things cost good money!


I enjoyed my visit to CP over the summer, the chain still has some way to go but I noticed a lot of touches that I assume were indications of a new regime that were good. Hopefully he stays on and effects some permanent change for CF.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen much bitching about his $50K increase on other sites. I do not believe that is really all that drastic and unheard of in the CEO world. Especially with one that has been as successful as Matt. Hell, the CEO of Karnival probably makes more.


Yeah, I worked at a company once where the CEO's compensation went up by millions every year for 2-3 years in a row. And not because he performed well as Ouimet has. He was just good at convincing the BOD he deserved more cash.


Ultimately, CEOs should see their comp go up if they succeed. It's a tough job and many do not do well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/