robbalvey wrote:My beef is that they may have added "big rides" but they have really sucked some of the "atmosphere" out of Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Kings Island, and Great America, IMO.
For whatever reason Canada's Wonderland didn't seem much differet, and I'd say probably the biggest offender was Kings Dominion, but all of these parks I used to frequent at least once per year (KD and CGA probably 4-5 times per year) and while they may have been lacking a B&M or other major rides, they really did seem to have a "pulse."
Last year visiting KD and this year visiting CGA I found the parks to be more "lifeless" than ever before.
Not sure why, but they really seemed to lack much excitement. And not with the rides, just with the entire park in general.
Carowinds and Kings Island weren't as bad, but I've noticed this there too since the Cedar Fair takeover.
The more I think about it, the more I see what you mean (about Kings Dominion at least). The reasoning perhaps why KD has lost just a little of its "pulse", in my opinion is that Cedar Fair had to re-theme a lot of Paramount based rides (such as Tomb Raider and Italian Job). And, we all know Cedar Fair was not the greatest at theming rides anyway. But, I still will probably visit there at least 15 times for 2010. I really don't think you can blame them for having to re-theme rides, and they have added 3 water attractions, 2 huge coasters, and 2 flat rides to Kings Dominion since they have acquired them. Perhaps Paramount was a bit better in theming, but in the first three seasons after they acquired Kings Dominion, they sure did not do that much.
Anyway, hopefully this does not have too much of an effect on any of the former Cedar Fair Parks (it sounds so weird to say that). I think most parks will not be receiving coasters as frequently as they did under Cedar Fair, due to Apollo having to manage this huge debt load. But, if they already have obligations to buy and build new coasters for perhaps the 2011 and 2012 seasons, hopefully those arrangements will not be changed.
I think there is a lot of misinformation being spread in this thread especially when comparing the Six Flags debt to Cedar Fair.
I could be wrong but this is how I understand it. I hope I'm not spreading more misinformation.
Yes, both entities were highly in debt and for the same reasons (over expansion). However, Cedar Fair has been paying down their debt every year while turning a profit (not sure what the final figures for 2009 will be). As a limited partnership Cedar Fair was obligated to return profits to shareholders (unit holders) in the form of a dividend. That dividend was not issued in 4th Quarter as CF needed that money to meet loan obligations and stay on a schedule of pating down some of the principal on their loan.
The difference is with Six Flags the total debt load never went down, the lenders were getting fat off SF interest payments for years. When SF sold porperties they didn't do it to pay down debt, but to make interest payments. Not apply it to the principal.
In consumer terms, if you charge $1,000 Visa is happy when you make only the minimum $10 (1%) payment. If your an annual interest rate is 15% the next month your $1,000 bill (minus your $10 payment) will be $1,002.50.
Another example (which has an interest rate closer in line to what SF might have on their loan) is if you have an $80,000 mortgage (which is a loan) 5% interest for 15 years. Over the course of those 15 years you pay back $115,000 to the bank, which is not 5% over what you borrowed but 44% more than you borrowed.
The net result is that interest compounds over time and if SF not having trouble paying back the minimum their debt load is not reduced but Cedar
Fair puts more of their revenue towards the principal to bring down their debt.
*These calculations are just examples, don't any of you financial types get upset about accuracy, but let me know if I'm making any fundamental misjudgements.
As usual, my analysis is free of charge! Original enough to not steal someone else's quote as a signature
^ I can certainly agree with the loan factor between Six and CF. For the past couple of years Cedar Fair's stock was always rated higher by analysts than Six Flags for the fact CF did have a high debt load but was able to make the payments and pay dividends far better than Six Flags. I think with the Apollo buyout as others have said the debt CF has will be knocked out alot faster now.
I'm not entirely sure what some of the fans of the former Paramount Parks are complaining about with CF. In 3 years, CF has completely rejuvenated those parks. Three got B&M hypers, and another got one of the best floorless coasters in the world and an Intamin giga. So what's the beef? Before CF, KD, KI, and CW had ZERO B&M's and ONE Intamin. Those were Paramount's three flagship parks and they had one combined coaster from the two premier coaster designers of the last 15 years.
They had to destroy a park to get the floor-less
I think the unbelievable thing is the amount of turnover the past couple of years have brought in the industry.
Six Flags sells off numerous properties to Parc Management. Busch Entertainment goes to Blackstone. Cedar Fair to Apollo.
There are always opportunities out there, and though recessions generally hurt everyone, they do bring about a lot of change and hope.
I saw this as a positve when six flags sold to Parc, my homepark got it's first coaster in 8 years and it's been better overall with more deals and a cleaner park. They did take out my favorite water slide though Down hill lazy river RIP
robbalvey wrote:^ Especially when you consider that Cedar Fair bought Six Flags World of Adventure for $145 million...
...Just to close it down.
They really milked it for the rides and wanted a waterpark only attraction, but then that back-fired with a crap season
Danicka51 wrote:So...What now? Are the selling any of the parks or are the parks getting better?
They are going to auction off every park, but instead of dollars, they will be using Double Stuff Oreos as currency, and use the Oreo money to find a way to make multiple clones of Dabney Coleman, so they can have a Mars exploration rocket filled with Dabney Coleman's.
Seriously, this news is less than a day old. No one knows.
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