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Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)


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Other coaster organizations are generally up Schlitterbahn’s ass because they either do events there (ACE), have some type of business relationship with them or they hope to in the future. The Golden Ticket awards were pretty much showering them with awards and praises for their awesome waterparks and whispering sweet nothings into their ear the year that they decapitated a child on a ride due to gross negligence and human traffickers were walking around the parks on comp tickets from the (um... “alleged”) meth-head drug-dealing wife-beating co owner.

 

That’s why some people here are down on Schlitterbahn. I’ve actually never heard Robb’s opinion of the actual park rides before. Personally I don’t care how good the park is, I’d feel legitimately guilty if I gave them my money because the park was being run by possibly the worst person in the theme park industry ever.

Edited by coasterbill
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Cedar Fair is dumb: part 3,472 Meanwhile... at regional parks that decided to not close right before a Holiday week  And down the road from Kings Dominion...

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Another thing to note - In 2018, Schlitterbahn New Braunfels was beaten out only by the Orlando water parks in terms of attendance in North America. I think that Cedar Fair made a good decision.

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ACE sent cease and desist letters to members who publicly dared to suggest that the wife beating meth head human trafficker who built and operated a slide that injured many and decapitated a kid might be a less than great person. Not even joking. Given that ACE relocated to Texas I'm sure they consider it important to keep up the relationship of doing events in return for free PR.

 

I've never been and am interested to go now with the hope that nothing is changed too significantly from the older concrete attractions. I can ride Proslide and Whitewater West stuff anywhere these days, so I don't so much care about that. Any product they make that's not crap will have 100 iterations in no time.

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Golden Ticket awards
showering them

 

Not sure if intentional, but it certainly paints a mental picture.

 

And yeah. I've only really been getting back into waterparks over the past year or so after a long absence... but basically everything I've ever heard about the entire situation in KC has left me with zero desire to visit one of those parks. If all their slides with built by the same team with the same care and loving attention to detail that went into Verruckt, then frankly, I don't intend to visit regardless of who currently owns the park.

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In this article, Investor Relations has released some info on the branding of the parks and some info on the Kansas City option: https://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2019/06/13/cedar-fair-schlitterbahn-sale-option.html

 

In short, with the purchase of the two South Texas parks, Cedar Fair will take over the branding rights for Schlitterbahn. The Henry family will still own the South Padre Island location, but will have to rebrand seeing as Cedar Fair will not be changing the name of the other two locations (its still a "probably won't change the names").

 

As for Kansas City, it does appear that Cedar Fair is fairly interested in purchasing the park through the option. As discussed earlier, it would be worth it for the land alone, it still does carry the hefty mortgage though. IR did say that if they bought the Kansas City park, they would rebrand it (good idea to get rid of the Schlitterbahn name there) and they would use it as another waterpark to help build their Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun Season Pass base. They also like the location near Legends Outlets.

 

They're just weighing the options to see if its the right fit or not.

 

It is kind of nice to see Cedar Fair getting back into the purchasing regional parks/water parks game (starting with the waterparks). Once they sold the two Knotts Soak City USA's in SoCal and then closed Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom, I thought they were done with standalone water parks. Seems they're comfortable enough to move forward with it now.

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Golden Ticket awards
showering them

 

Not sure if intentional, but it certainly paints a mental picture.

 

And yeah. I've only really been getting back into waterparks over the past year or so after a long absence... but basically everything I've ever heard about the entire situation in KC has left me with zero desire to visit one of those parks. If all their slides with built by the same team with the same care and loving attention to detail that went into Verruckt, then frankly, I don't intend to visit regardless of who currently owns the park.

 

Crush N Gusher at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon was built by them too. You're gonna have a tough time totally avoiding their attractions. Just how it is.

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Crush N Gusher at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon was built by them too. You're gonna have a tough time totally avoiding their attractions. Just how it is.

Wasn't aware of that. Was under the impression that they pretty much worked exclusively in house for their own attractions. I'll do some more research, but as far as slides on a Disney property go, I'd feel much more comfortable riding that one. (And yes I know how insane I sound right now, sorry.)

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The team at New Braunfels developed the master blaster slide as a concept, but in 2006, the rights to the design were sold to WhiteWater. Obviously Crush n' Gusher was designed under close supervision.

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Well I’m excited since I live in Houston, I now have a reason to buy a Cedar Fair season pass. I go to Galveston often and only been to Schlitterbahn Galveston once mainly because of price. With Six Flags just recently taking over Splashtown, it should be fun to see which park does better in the area. I think Cedar Fair will need to add to these water parks over the years because of the amount of competition in the area. Here in Houston, there are 4 major water parks within a few hours of each other.

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The team at New Braunfels developed the master blaster slide as a concept, but in 2006, the rights to the design were sold to WhiteWater. Obviously Crush n' Gusher was designed under close supervision.

 

They designed a lot of stuff and up until that kid got killed, no one (including most people here - I was in the definite minority) were ready to throw them under the bus. Then the stories started to dribble out one by one. Jeff Henry still hasn't been taken out of the Waterpark Hall of Fame or banished from IAAPA, where he was such a "legend" they commissioned a short biography of him for a book released while he was on trial! If you went on a Master Blaster, especially any built before they sold to Whitewater, you rode one of their rides.

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I realize the severity of what you’re referring to however the Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels is easily the best Waterparks out there. You might want to make it down there soon since Cedar Fair has a very corporate way of doing things. Schlitterbahn is (was?) like the water park version of Knoebels

Completely disagree. I cannot be the only one who always thought that Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels was completely overrated, difficult to navigate, slides were totally "meh", and overall the park was a pain the ass to visit, right?

 

And trust me, I've tried SEVERAL TIMES going to that park with an open mindset and I've always walked away going "I really don't get it."

 

IMO, calling it the Knoebels of water parks is a huge insult to Knoebels.

 

Ah, I was wondering why this was the only forum where I’ve seen negative comments about Schlitterbahn.

 

Anyway. Comparing Knoebels to Schlitterbahn isn’t outlandish at all. In fact, I can’t think of a better comparison. Both parks are so incredibly original. They also have that anti corporate feel as well.

 

I understand it might not be for you (or your followers) but it is widely considered to be the best water park.

 

However I do agree with you on the layout of the park. There is certainly an opportunity there.

 

My biggest fear is that Cedar Fair will take out some of these original attractions for some of their cookie cutter slide complexes.

 

Being original doesn't make it great. I only went there once as part of the TPR Texas Trip, and outside of of the then still novel master blaster concept & the torrent river...the rest of the park was so bland and outdated. And taking a bus between sections?

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Separating the person from the product is a very important thing Ive learned to do. There isn’t a single industry out there that doesn’t have an example of this. I understand a lot of y’alls struggle with it. I have as well.

 

No doubt he was a terrible terrible (going straight to Hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200) guy but that doesn’t change the fact that he did revolutionize the water park industry.

 

When it comes to safety the parks are no less safe than any other waterpark our there. Verrückt was ridiculous, recording breaking slide that was rushed to completion. It showed his ego and pride and it’s terrible what happened. But, at the same time, you have to realize just how different this was from the rest of the rides related to Schlitterbahn.

 

Additionally if you think he is the worst person in the amusement park industry ever (which is primarily based on servicing families and children) then you are in denial. He was arrested after the incident. That should speak volumes as to what’s out there.

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No, Eugene Mulvihill revolutionized (and basically invented) the water park industry. He also had a storied past with the law. Jeff Henry just took what Mulvihill did (both in the industry and his private life) to the extreme.

 

And yes, you can "separate the product from the person," but you can't separate where your tourism dollars go. Some people chose not to support Henry's endeavors, and that's their right to do so, regardless of how "awesome" his parks were.

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When it comes to safety the parks are no less safe than any other waterpark our there.

Would you like to tell that to the young adult girls who were approached by human traffickers that were let into the park by the guy who owns the park? Yes this happened. Because of him. At his water parks. And I'm sure his employees were 100% okay with it and felt "safe", right?

Edited by robbalvey
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I realize the severity of what you’re referring to however the Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels is easily the best Waterparks out there. You might want to make it down there soon since Cedar Fair has a very corporate way of doing things. Schlitterbahn is (was?) like the water park version of Knoebels

Completely disagree. I cannot be the only one who always thought that Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels was completely overrated, difficult to navigate, slides were totally "meh", and overall the park was a pain the ass to visit, right?

 

And trust me, I've tried SEVERAL TIMES going to that park with an open mindset and I've always walked away going "I really don't get it."

 

IMO, calling it the Knoebels of water parks is a huge insult to Knoebels.

 

Ah, I was wondering why this was the only forum where I’ve seen negative comments about Schlitterbahn.

 

I understand it might not be for you (or your followers) but it is widely considered to be the best water park.

 

Wrong. Show me a list outside of the Golden Tickets claiming it to be the "best water park."

 

86397299_ScreenShot2019-06-14at8_24_14PM.thumb.png.fdd6de9430bc3a34b967211c904263b9.png

I have about as much respect for the Golden Ticket Awards as I do for our current president: Zero.

 

I'm not sorry if you're offended that TPR people like to post honest commentary about parks based on actual REAL experiences, and not have our noses up someone's ass based on how much money a park is spending on advertising or what events they'll host for an organization.

 

Honestly, I'm really hoping that Cedar Fair bulldozes most of the park and completely re-designs it. It could most certainly use some modernization so that every time I get into one of their pools I don't feel like I might come out of it having some sort of brain eating parasite attached to my body.

 

EDIT: Seriously, look at this list. You don't see anything wrong with this?

1944252276_ScreenShot2019-06-14at8_30_44PM.thumb.jpg.23f55027b5e241ed0896ea4b126402a7.jpg

Sure, this is just the "opinion" of one organization, but when you have parks out there like BIizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Volcano Bay, WIld Wadi, Siam Park, Yas Waterworld, Aquaventure, you're giving it to Schlitterbahn??? For TWENTY YEARS in a row??? Yeah, no... that doesn't add up. That's what we call "bullshit."

Edited by robbalvey
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I realize the severity of what you’re referring to however the Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels is easily the best Waterparks out there. You might want to make it down there soon since Cedar Fair has a very corporate way of doing things. Schlitterbahn is (was?) like the water park version of Knoebels

Completely disagree. I cannot be the only one who always thought that Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels was completely overrated, difficult to navigate, slides were totally "meh", and overall the park was a pain the ass to visit, right?

 

And trust me, I've tried SEVERAL TIMES going to that park with an open mindset and I've always walked away going "I really don't get it."

 

IMO, calling it the Knoebels of water parks is a huge insult to Knoebels.

 

Ah, I was wondering why this was the only forum where I’ve seen negative comments about Schlitterbahn.

 

I understand it might not be for you (or your followers) but it is widely considered to be the best water park.

 

Wrong. Show me a list outside of the Golden Tickets claiming it to be the "best water park."

 

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 8.30.44 PM.jpg[/attachment]

Sure, this is just the "opinion" of one organization, but when you have parks out there like BIizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, Volcano Bay, WIld Wadi, Siam Park, Yas Waterworld, Aquaventure, you're giving it to Schlitterbahn??? For TWENTY YEARS in a row??? Yeah, no... that doesn't add up. That's what we call "bullshit."

 

Well first of all. I never mentioned the Golden Ticket Awards, you did. On the subject of them, part of their goal is to highlight parks outside of Orlando. Does Knoebels really have the best food of ANY park? Does Busch Gardens Williamsburg really have the best landscaping of ANY park? No.. of course not. obviously not. But that’s a different discussion though.

 

 

People do base their opinions off their own experiences but you can’t deny your effect on others.

Robb you have an entire website and people are influenced by what you say. It’s very clear.

 

I’m not offended by anything said. I’m not that kind of person. I’m just making an observation. At the end of the day I thought it was strange this was the only board I’ve seen with negative comments on the parks themselves and I’m not one to believe in coincidences.

 

When it comes to “proving you wrong”. Really it’s moreso on you to prove that it isn’t a top water park than for me to prove to you that it is. Every person I’ve talked to (GP or enthusiast) across the country says how great it was when then went. They light up and say something to the effect of how it was so different than anything else they’ve ever seen.

 

Something to add here: I realize the internet isn’t the best place to have debates but I want to be clear. At the end of the day we disagree and that’s OK. I do appreciate what you have done for the industry but we don’t have to agree on everything.

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Well first of all. I never mentioned the Golden Ticket Awards, you did. On the subject of them, part of their goal is to highlight parks outside of Orlando. Does Knoebels really have the best food of ANY park? Does Busch Gardens Williamsburg really have the best landscaping of ANY park? No.. of course not. obviously not. But that’s a different discussion though.

 

People do base their opinions off their own experiences but you can’t deny your effect on others.

Robb you have an entire website and people are influenced by what you say. It’s very clear.

 

I’m not offended by anything said. I’m not that kind of person. I’m just making an observation. At the end of the day I thought it was strange this was the only board I’ve seen with negative comments on the parks themselves and I’m not one to believe in coincidences.

 

When it comes to “proving you wrong”. Really it’s moreso on you to prove that it isn’t a top water park than for me to prove to you that it is. Every person I’ve talked to (GP or enthusiast) across the country says how great it was when then went. They light up and say something to the effect of how it was so different than anything else they’ve ever seen.

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Ok... okay... Thanks for your input, if that's what you call it. I'm going to move on to other discussions now that aren't completely stupid. Thanks.

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I know it is unlikely to happen, but if Cedar Fair could obtain the rights to manage Moody Gardens (in Galveston) under a similar set-up as Gilroy Gardens that would make for a nice foothold in the area. It might not significantly increase attendance at either but could drive people to purchase season passes.

 

 

As far as the KC location goes, it will never be re-opened as a waterpark under CF. It will be solely a real estate flip for CP. The sports park idea will not work because that strategy relays on have hotel rooms to book for these participants which CF does not have in KC.

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I know it is unlikely to happen, but if Cedar Fair could obtain the rights to manage Moody Gardens (in Galveston) under a similar set-up as Gilroy Gardens that would make for a nice foothold in the area. It might not significantly increase attendance at either but could drive people to purchase season passes.

 

 

As far as the KC location goes, it will never be re-opened as a waterpark under CF. It will be solely a real estate flip for CP. The sports park idea will not work because that strategy relays on have hotel rooms to book for these participants which CF does not have in KC.

 

That's a good idea.

 

As for the KC waterpark, I wouldn't be so sure about that. They made it clear to the local newspapers that they feel it could create synergy with Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun. Of course, they're looking into it still, but did state if they bought it, they would open it under a different name that is not Schlitterbahn. Either way, even if it was just a flip, $6 million doesn't seem too bad as an option. But with them wanting to close before the end of the month, I'm not sure if they'll finish the "fact finding stage" in enough time. They'll retain the brand for the Texas parks (that could still change though), but they said KC would be rebranded if they bought it. EPR Properties, who owns the mortgage, expects it to be paid in full, no matter what!

 

Just curious, does anyone think it's possible that Cedar Fair will buy the KC Schlitterbahn and relocate all the watersides from there to Worlds of Fun since it's so close.

 

Possible, not not super likely! They could disperse the assets to many of the parks. However, when Geauga Lake's WildWater Kingdom closed, they scrapped everything. Some of the slides weren't even 10 years old. Slide relocation or not, the land the park sits on could be worth a pretty penny due to its location. It'll be interesting to see what options they pursue with it! They kept the option in for a reason. The Henry Family still plans to own the South Padre Island Schiltterbahn (but will have to rebrand due to Cedar Fair taking over the brand), so there is interest in the KC property for one reason or another.

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I know it is unlikely to happen, but if Cedar Fair could obtain the rights to manage Moody Gardens (in Galveston) under a similar set-up as Gilroy Gardens that would make for a nice foothold in the area. It might not significantly increase attendance at either but could drive people to purchase season passes.

 

It'd probably be a good idea not to get any more involved in Galveston than they already are, things are a bit shady out there.

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I know it is unlikely to happen, but if Cedar Fair could obtain the rights to manage Moody Gardens (in Galveston) under a similar set-up as Gilroy Gardens that would make for a nice foothold in the area. It might not significantly increase attendance at either but could drive people to purchase season passes.

 

 

As far as the KC location goes, it will never be re-opened as a waterpark under CF. It will be solely a real estate flip for CP. The sports park idea will not work because that strategy relays on have hotel rooms to book for these participants which CF does not have in KC.

 

That's a good idea.

 

As for the KC waterpark, I wouldn't be so sure about that. They made it clear to the local newspapers that they feel it could create synergy with Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun. Of course, they're looking into it still, but did state if they bought it, they would open it under a different name that is not Schlitterbahn. Either way, even if it was just a flip, $6 million doesn't seem too bad as an option. But with them wanting to close before the end of the month, I'm not sure if they'll finish the "fact finding stage" in enough time. They'll retain the brand for the Texas parks (that could still change though), but they said KC would be rebranded if they bought it. EPR Properties, who owns the mortgage, expects it to be paid in full, no matter what!

 

Just curious, does anyone think it's possible that Cedar Fair will buy the KC Schlitterbahn and relocate all the watersides from there to Worlds of Fun since it's so close.

 

Possible, not not super likely! They could disperse the assets to many of the parks. However, when Geauga Lake's WildWater Kingdom closed, they scrapped everything. Some of the slides weren't even 10 years old. Slide relocation or not, the land the park sits on could be worth a pretty penny due to its location. It'll be interesting to see what options they pursue with it! They kept the option in for a reason. The Henry Family still plans to own the South Padre Island Schiltterbahn (but will have to rebrand due to Cedar Fair taking over the brand), so there is interest in the KC property for one reason or another.

 

They only scrapped the 7 Slide Complex that was from 2003. Is was for sale, but noone bought it.

 

The funnel slide and kids slides were relocated to different non-CF parks.

 

Usable parts from the lazy river and wave pool went to Waldameer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The acquisition of the New Braunfels and Galvestone Schlitterbahn water parks has completed and Cedar Fair now owns these two properties!

 

https://www.cedarfair.com/news/article/2019-71-schlitterbahn-acquisition

 

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, announced today it has completed the acquisition of two iconic water parks and one resort in Texas – Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort New Braunfels and Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston – for a cash purchase price of $261 million. The acquisition advances Cedar Fair’s strategy to increase its presence in growing and attractive markets, further diversifying its portfolio of parks and leveraging its management expertise.

 

“Starting today, Cedar Fair is officially Texas proud,” said President and CEO Richard Zimmerman. “The completion of this acquisition is great news, and we are extremely pleased to be adding to our portfolio of entertainment properties two of the nation’s most treasured and award-winning water parks. For the employees and guests of those parks, I want to extend a warm welcome to the Cedar Fair family.

 

“Our company, whose heritage at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, dates back to 1870, has a rich history of acquiring and investing in strong regional brands in attractive markets,” continued Zimmerman. “The quality of the Schlitterbahn brand and the offerings of these parks are consistent with that strategy. Our plans are to update and refresh areas of both parks, yet retain the valued hospitality and genuine spirit of the Schlitterbahn brand that guests have come to appreciate over the years.”

 

In 2018, the acquired properties entertained 1.2 million guests and generated annual revenues of approximately $68 million. Cedar Fair expects the two Texas locations to achieve Adjusted EBITDA margins in line with comparable Cedar Fair park-level results as management implements a number of growth and operational initiatives over the next two years, reflecting an accretive EBITDA multiple post synergies.

 

With completion of the transaction, Cedar Fair’s portfolio now consists of 11 amusement parks, four outdoor water parks, an indoor water park and resort accommodations totaling more than 2,000 rooms and more than 600 luxury RV sites. Combined, the 15 parks and resorts will entertain more than 27 million guests annually.

 

In conjunction with the closing of the Texas water parks acquisition, Cedar Fair recently completed the issuance of $500 million of 5.250% senior unsecured notes, due 2029. Cedar Fair used the net proceeds from the notes offering for the acquisition of the two Schlitterbahn water parks in Texas, the purchase of the land upon which California’s Great America amusement park is located, the payment of fees and expenses related to those transactions and the offering, repayment of a portion of the Company’s senior secured revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes. Further details regarding terms of the notes offering were outlined in Cedar Fair’s Form 8-K filed on June 18, 2019, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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