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Kinzel stepping down from Cedar Fair board

Melissa Topey • May 9, 2013 at 8:00 AM

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. 

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