Cedar Point launches mysterious promotion for new attraction

SANDUSKY The entertainment wizards at Cedar Point won't pull aside the curtain yet to reveal the par
Tom Jackson
May 24, 2010



The entertainment wizards at Cedar Point won't pull aside the curtain yet to reveal the park's new offering for 2010.

But if you want to work yourself up into a frenzy wondering what's coming next year, go ahead.

That's what the park's executives are hoping for.

The amusement park has launched a mysterious public relations campaign, designed to stoke enthusiasm for the amusement park's upcoming announcement without actually giving away the scoop. Its campaign includes vague announcements on Facebook, a Web site with more graphics than content, and large bottles for an alleged beverage called Whyte Lightning.

Cedar Point spokesman Robin Innes, sticking to the script, wouldn't answer questions about the park's new offering Tuesday or even say when an announcement might be forthcoming.

"Something's going on," he said. "We'll keep you posted."

Marketers at Cedar Point apparently have learned that coy statements like that, devoid of any real information, suffice to set off fevered speculation on the Internet.

A Cedar Point Web site at whytelightning.com promises "a beverage unlike any other" that is "Bold. Exciting. Refreshing." It also says, "lightning strikes twYce" and refers to a "Crystal Rock Bottling Co. of West Virginia."

Speculation at various Internet forums and blogs that serve as hangouts for coaster nuts have included suggestions that a new water ride is planned and that Cedar Point might beef up its lineup of wooden coasters.

A posting at the Coaster Critics Blog says that Cedar Point's Carowinds amusement park, near Charlotte, N.C., is planning a new White Lightning roller coaster and that the official announcement would be made today.

Packages containing half gallon bottles labeled "Whyte Lightning Sandusky Ohio Brewin' 2010" were delivered Tuesday morning to the Sandusky Register's managing editor and business reporter.

Each bottle contained a comic strip featuring a hillbilly carrying a gun.

The hillbilly says, "People have been talking about a lot of commotion on the island lately. Said there's fires burning all night long. Even heard there are strangers in town snoopin' around. Plan to check it out. Tell you more very very soon."

The most recent Cedar Point Facebook status update, posted Sunday afternoon, says, "We're getting closer to our 2010 announcement. We narrow down the list of possibilities this week."

That was enough to generate 242 excited comments by Tuesday afternoon.

Cedar Point CEO Richard Kinzel was out of town Tuesday and unavailable for comment.