Darien Lake Discussion Thread

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby Tackleberry » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:21 pm

http://buffalonews.com/2016/11/03/darien-lake-sold/

Darien Lake changes hands

By Samantha Christmann
Published 4:47 p.m. November 3, 2016 Updated 2 hours ago

Darien Lake theme park has been sold, but it's not yet clear what that means for park patrons.

EPR Properties has entered into an agreement to buy a bundle of recreational properties from CNL Lifestyle Properties which includes the Genesee County theme park. EPR Properties is a publicly-traded, Missouri-based real estate investment trust. CNL Lifestyle Properties is a real estate investment fund based in Orlando.

Just what changes might be in store for the theme park are anybody's guess because the company that bought the park is not yet talking.

Papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday show that EPR Properties bought Northstar California Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe, a portfolio of 15 waterparks and amusement parks and five small family entertainment centers from CNL Lifestyle Properties for $456 million.

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Last year, CNL Lifestyle Properties announced that it had lost nearly a quarter of its share value in 2014. In 2015, it specifically mentioned poor performance at Darien Lake in its letter to shareholders, citing "weather and operational challenges." Darien lake had reported a 33 percent drop in earnings, down to $3.7 million from $5.6 million the year before.

At that time, CNL announced it had gotten rid of Herschend Family Entertainment and installed Premier Parks LLC to run the day-to-day operations at the park. The company also announced it would phase out the CNL Lifestyle fund, which holds theme parks and golf resorts among other facilities, and seek a buyer for any remaining assets.

Gregory Silvers, president and CEO of EPR properties, said in a statement that he doesn't expect the acquisition to be immediately profitable, but said it will diversify the company's profile with "proven, durable assets" that allign with positive economic trends.

Stephen H. Mauldin, CEO of CNL Lifestyle Properties, said he is proud of the unique, long-established properties he had built.

"We believe this transaction is the best fit for selling the remaining properties in our portfolio as we complete our exit strategy to provide liquidity to our shareholders," he said.

Darien Lake is CNL's largest theme park.

Representatives for EPR Properties declined to comment on their plans for the park. Neither Darien Lake nor CNL Lifestyle Properties could be reached for comment.

email: schristmann@buffnews.com

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby DarienLaker » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:47 pm

I can't believe that it's going to be ten years since Six Flags sold Darien Lake to CNL and now Darien Lake is getting sold again! :|
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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby Sk610 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:28 pm

On the topic of the survey, yes I am a season pass holder, and have actually never spent a night at the hotel or campground. I just assumed the survey was sent to all season pass holders.

As always, I think everyone is excited that CNL finally sold the park. Schlitterbahn is the standard for waterparks, so maybe they will do the same with their amusement parks. My concern is that this is another property holding company. It would be interesting to see if they actually operate the Schlitterbahn parks or hire a management company to operate the parks for them. At the same time, the article does say that they do not expect to make a profit immediately. That tells me they plan to invest innitially. I would be fine with Premier managing the park if ERP will give them enough money to add good rides and coasters to the park.

Also, I am pretty sure this company made this purchase for the large number of waterparks. Could it be possible they turn around and sell the four amusement parks to a different group either like HFE or Premier to operate outright and recoup some of their spend? Only time will tell what happens. It most likely can't be worse can it?

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby TheAmericanKnight » Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:34 pm

TheDarkMaxim wrote:CNL just announced their complete sell off to another REIT, EPR Properties. Link

According to EPR's PR this deal has been in the works for two years.

This is the company that own the Schlitterbahn parks.

The same company that owns SCHLITTERBAHN?! =)

This is really good to hear! They are basically the "Cedar Fair" of waterparks. They not only earn a lot of money, but they also use that money to invest into thier parks. In fact, after doing a little bit of research, I found out that they recently opened a really nice looking indoor waterpark. With that being said Darien Lake finally has an owner that has money and is willing to use it to INVEST. This has huge implications in regards to the future of Darien Lake. I mean this as in this really just raised my hopes of seeing Darien Lake finally add a new coaster! While we don't know what they will add since this is thier first experience with dry amusement rides, it is not possible to predict what they will add. However, they are at least almost guaranteed to invest in some significant way! So now the question is what they will add to the park :)

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby Vonni » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:03 pm

This sounds like it is going to be really good news. I'm excited to see what changes are coming.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby Tackleberry » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:27 am

I dont know if i'd expect any major changes this year, but you never know.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby Sk610 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:03 am

Any and all changes will depend on what happens with Premier. If the new owners remove Premier, possibly very little changes. If they keep Premier, they may go off Premier's suggestions. Also, remember when SF originally sold to CNL, they added Motocoaster rather quickly. Something similar could be done this year, but I would rather wait until next year for something bigger and better. Also, with the heavy waterpark background, the easy addition this year would be to the waterpark side

Either way, it's a new era for DL and we will have to just wait and see.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby coasterkid124 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:36 am

The water parks at the properties likely played a big role in the sale. Considering this is another investment firm, Premier will likely stay as operators, but it's good to know that a company with experience in the industry has purchased the park. Elitch Gardens was just picked up last year, and is still run by Premier.

As I've said before, I would rather see a sole ownership/management so there is no controversy between investments, but this seems like a good scenario on paper, at least better than CNL. I'm not so sure that we see investment this season, but it's still early, and I think that Premier will push for something to be added. It might be a fill-in ride, or something lower cost like a Star Flyer. The water park probably won't see an addition after 2 years of investment.
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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby Janusz » Fri Nov 04, 2016 5:57 am

I think we may be yet to see another sale of the park before something good for DL happens... Sure, it's great that CNL is finally out and that EPR has an idea of the necessary investment to keep attendance at an amusement park, BUT it's another investment group who is going to be giving limited funds to Premier. Back to the initial point, I think that it'll be more likely for EPR to be willing to sell DL to Premier or other potential buyers looking to only purchase DL as opposed to the CNL strategy of selling 15 properties in a package (something that the smaller companies wouldn't be able to do). All together, this is a better scenario than CNL, just not by much in my opinion.

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Re: Darien Lake Discussion Thread

Postby TheDarkMaxim » Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:39 am

Don't forget this is a REIT, THEY DO NOT OPERATE PARKS. Schlitterbahn is operated by the family that started those parks. So they will likely continue with the current tenants for each park.


Also, clearly CNL didn't care about selling all their parks as a package, they sold Elitch separately.
Last edited by TheDarkMaxim on Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:09 pm.

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