Cedar Point fans should see little change, CEO says

SANDUSKY Take a deep breath, Cedar Point fans. Cedar Fair's CEO said Dec. 17 vi
Tom Jackson
Mar 8, 2010

SANDUSKY

Take a deep breath, Cedar Point fans.

Cedar Fair’s CEO said Dec. 17 visitors to the amusement park won’t notice many changes under new ownership.

“If we didn’t announce this, more than likely the public wouldn’t even know it took place,” Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel said.

The park will complete work on its new attraction for 2010, the Shoot the Rapids water ride, and investment in the park will continue, Kinzel said. There will be no effect on ticket holders.

“We have about $90 million planned for capital next year across our 11 properties,” Kinzel said, referring to Cedar Fair’s spending for rides and improvements at its amusement parks in the U.S. and Canada, including Cedar Point. “None of that is going to be disrupted.”

He said he also plans to go forward with upgrading a section of Hotel Breakers. Work on that section, built in 1926, was supposed to be done last year but was postponed.

“This is our crown jewel,” Kinzel said, referring to Cedar Point. “This is where the majority of the capital investment goes.”

Kinzel said the company still has a tremendous population base in Ohio and 17 roller coasters at Cedar Point — more than anywhere else.

The park markets to about 22 million people.

“Hopefully, when the economy turns around, we’ll get back to the attendance numbers we were at back in the mid-90s,” he said.

Kinzel said he doesn’t think Cedar Fair’s new owners will force employee cuts that would impact service to visitors at Cedar Point.

“We had to make a lot of cuts during the operating season and there will be no cuts, no staffing changes as a result of this merger,” he said. “There’s really no other means of cutting without jeopardizing service or quality. That’s a point I’m going to stress today with our employees.”

All contracts will be fulfilled for vendors who do business with Cedar Point, he said.

Cedar Point will also continue to be involved in the community and be an asset to the city, he said.

Kinzel said he expects Apollo will allow Cedar Fair to continue investing in Cedar Point, keeping the amusement park fresh and exciting.

“Hopefully we can grow Cedar Point, bring more people in and continue to add rides and attractions,” Kinzel said. “I know we’re going to have to add rides and attractions, because this is a capital-intensive business.”

Here's what commenters had to say:

Kottage Kat wrote on Dec 22, 2009 9:00 AM:

" off topic:

All these stories about Cedar Point, and nothing about the accident that closed 250 from Avery to the turnpike Sun. night.

Iquiring minds want to know about something other than Cedar Point. Please. "

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Quicksand wrote on Dec 21, 2009 7:39 PM:

" SmithW: I used to be an optimist. Then reality slapped me in the face and woke me up! Actually though, I still am somewhat of an optimist--I still get up every morning thinking, "today just might be different!" But no, same $h!t, different day is all! I do have hope though. It's just not in this town, with CP and a corrupt management. My hope is in the Lord and His Return to save us all from the evil powers that be. Again. Pessimist? Hardly; just seeing reality as it is. An optimist looks through rose-colored glasses and see what could be, maybe someday, if only.... And they probably believe there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! "

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Chung Lee wrote on Dec 21, 2009 10:53 AM:

" Chung Lee say in 1969 season pass to Cedar Point cost $10 and that included admission to park and unlimited boat ride. Now for $10. Chung Lee can only park car in Cedar Point Parking lot and stare at front gate. "

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Taxpayer wrote on Dec 19, 2009 8:29 PM:

" You guys are too funny! Obamunist? Obamaland? You guys are getting all the liberal crybabies upset. Ha! Ha! "

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goofus wrote on Dec 19, 2009 1:48 PM:

" This just in, Obamaland will have ferry service from Sandusky. They puchased a ferry, the U.S. Ted Kennedy and it's sister boat the Mary jo Kopekne, the fare will be only two tea bags. "

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goofus wrote on Dec 19, 2009 1:30 PM:

" They should have declared bankruptcy, then the government would buy it and changed it to Obamaland. Due in part to global warming, it would be open year round. No foreign workers, just illegals in the SEIU. All merry go rounds will have whales and ploar bears to ride. Every whack-a-mole would have likenesses of Rush Limbaugh. They would have to bring back Jungle Larry and make up a Kenyan village with one hut devoted to the man child in a manger. Kiddie land would get find the Acorn game, and the Tiger Woods putt putt with only 14 holes. Every restroom would be equipped with a flatulance collector so as to prevent methane escaping into the air. We could have the Illegal Funhouse, they would go in and come out american citizens. They would have to bring back the rotor and call it Obama's Economy Ride, half way through and the bottom falls out. And finally they would have to bring back the boat ride. Instead of the old prospector warning of indian country, they could have sarah palin skinning a hide warning of conservative country ahead and the boat captain can shoot at likenesses of Sean Hannity,Glenn Beck,Michelle Maulkin,and Bill Oreilly. They could put it by Fox News Fantasyland. The best news it would be free, just bring your hope and change. "

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kURT wrote on Dec 19, 2009 8:45 AM:

" contango again; your pedant crap smells. ALL are effected by bad economies. My lineage has taught me many valid things. Aliens like you stink up Ohio. Do us all a favor & go back to Illinois. What a **** you are! "

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6079 Smith W wrote on Dec 19, 2009 8:37 AM:

" kURT wrote on Dec 19, 2009 8:05 AM:

" Quicksand you know what time it is. Many 60 & over are in denial or out of touch. Many in this age group enjoyed a robust economy. "

More rambling thoughts from a pessimist.

Boo hoo hoo…all the good things in life are gone... sob…sob…sniffle.

As someone who's written that he saves 40% of his income, you’re obviously doing far better than most – cut the garbage and quit playin' 'poor little me.'

Like I've written: From my reading of their business fundamentals it looks as though CF's position was largely a choice of find a buyer, or file for bankruptcy. This move is a positive - believe it.

Go spend some that large coin you earn Scrooge and help out the local economy. "

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kURT wrote on Dec 19, 2009 8:05 AM:

" Quicksand you know what time it is. Many 60 & over are in denial or out of touch. Many in this age group enjoyed a robust economy. "

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Quicksand wrote on Dec 18, 2009 9:46 PM:

" Kinzel actually thinks attendance will someday be what it was in the mid-90's? Where will all those people come from and how will they get here? We are in a jobless recovery, by Obama's statements. Now, let me see, I don't have a job. I have a mortgage, taxes, utitlies, food and clothes for the kids and grandkids and gasoline (who knows how high that will be in 10 years?) And now I have to pay out the nose for healthcare premiums even though I won't be allowed to see a doctor for my condition because I will be too old and my condition won't be one that's coverable. Most of the aging baby boomers will be too old, in hoverrounds or just uninterested in attending CP. No one after the baby boomers will ever have enough money to live on, much less be able to take an expensive daytrip to CP. Baby boomers can remember the good ol' days of taking a ferry boat ride over and walking around for $3.00 a day, buying a charburger and Berardi's fries and then taking the ferry boat ride back to town again. There was a lot to do and see, good exercise, a nice boat ride and an affordable way to spend a day off. All Kinzel ever saw was dollar signs!!! And the signs of the times are changing! Under a socialist government, there will be no more CP! No more money pouring into his coffers! "

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Obamunist wrote on Dec 18, 2009 4:30 PM:

" "Taxpayer" It really pisses liberals off when they are exposed. They always deny it but then the contradiction comes in their own words. Fortunately the country is waking up, I just hope it's not too late. "

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Oliver Hardy wrote on Dec 18, 2009 3:08 PM:

" Some of the local shareholders may wonder how much the top executives make at Cedar Fair. Ollie has some information to share with the SR readers.

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/811532/000119312509069029/ddef14a.htm

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2009/04/what_the_boss_makes_cedar_fair.html

" "

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norwalk lifer wrote on Dec 18, 2009 1:35 PM:

" My life is great, thanks for caring! There are great opportunities in Norwalk, but you have to be more than a trained button-pusher.

I'm not a liberal, far from it. You don't have any idea what you're talking about (again) and just trying to make yourself look important. There is no such thing as preferred stock in a limited partnership no matter what your "certificates" say.

You go on blaming those "evil liberals" for all of your problems, I find it humorous. "

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Taxpayer wrote on Dec 18, 2009 1:07 PM:

" The name at the top of each certificate purchased when my father got it differs from what YOU are talking about. Try to impress and DICTATE what others should do so because YOUR life is so magnificent. Ha! Ha! Hey, how is that HOPE and CHANGE working out for YOU in Norwalk? Companies are getting out to get away from liberal "blowhards" like YOU! Ha! Ha! Vizio and Sony LCD flatscreens are the the BEST. Life is great when you are a liberal loser right? Ha! Ha! "

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Norwalk Lifer wrote on Dec 18, 2009 11:02 AM:

" Taxpayer, you are such a blowhard. Preferred stock doesn't exist for Cedar Fair. It's a limited partnership. Try impressing someone else with your flatscreen tvs and whatnot. "

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6079 Smith W wrote on Dec 18, 2009 10:55 AM:

" Thanks for the tip Truth or Dare.

Kendall Law Group Investigates Cedar Fair LP on Behalf of Shareholders:

http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=105820670&source=Newsfeed

They smell money. Any wonder why lawyers are often called 'sharks'?

In the event of a bankruptcy, equity holders are on the bottom of the food chain and tend to end up with zilch, zero, nada.

(FUN) has been a dog for yrs.

A lot of under performing stocks offer div'ds to help make themselves more attractive. But after the div'd was suspended there was little to no reason to own the stock. Market appreciation? Forget it!

Wanna speculate? Take the money and buy (GLD) on the dips. "

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Oliver Hardy wrote on Dec 18, 2009 10:40 AM:

" FYI:

"Under the terms of the agreement, Cedar Fair unitholders will receive $11.50 in cash for each Cedar Fair limited partnership unit that they hold,......"

http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/811532/000090951809000924/mm12-1709_defa14aemplmemo.htm

More reading here:

CEDAR FAIR

http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?company=&match=&CIK=FUN&filenum=&State=&Country=&SIC=&owner=exclude&Find=Find+Companies&action=getcompany

APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT

http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?CIK=0001411494&action=getcompany

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Management

" "

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Taxpayer wrote on Dec 18, 2009 10:38 AM:

" I have that uncertain feeling when it comes to my shares of preferred stock. Just like I have that uncertain feeling about the future progress of this nation. I am hoping Apollo will absorb the cost of stock and buy me out. I will still come out ahead, but not to what I was projecting. So far, Cedar Fair (FUN) stock has gone up quite a bit in percentage. There will always be conflict between shareholders and management or owners of the corporation. Eventually, I will have to vote on this. I have the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P running in real time just like I have Fox News or Fox Business running in the office. Thank you for LCD flatscreens. "

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Truth or Dare wrote on Dec 18, 2009 10:20 AM:

" Kinda interesting when you go to cedarfair.com, the first thing that you read is "Cedar Fair Deal Unfair? Own shares of FUN? Feel the takeover is unfair? Join the lawsuit online". So, all you people out there that have stock, how ya feeling about this? How many of ya's even knew what was being decided for yourselves? Are the Board of Directors being investigated? Is there a possibility that State laws have been violated here? Is there more of a story here SR? "

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Taxpayer wrote on Dec 18, 2009 10:17 AM:

" CP is a money maker. It needs new management to do a better job at maintaining the quality of the park at less cost. Yes, I know you union losers will be against that. Just like the union teachers wanting more money for more failure. This is a good risk for Apollo. I truly believe they can help turn their investment around to be productive to produce PROFIT. Oops. That is a bad word for labor. That is because they want it ALL. You know, with their hands out like on the picket line in Bellevue or watching as businesses get sick and tired of DEMANDS and will leave behind an empty building. Apollo could fail. I believe Cedar Fair was close to failing. We can only hope they can keep the people spending their money for something they want (Capitalism) which will pay for city and county taxes. "

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6079 Smith W wrote on Dec 18, 2009 7:26 AM:

" AGM isn’t about to pay $700 million and incur $1.6 billion in debt just to destroy the co.

Know this: Six Flags filed for bankruptcy earlier this yr. and they have yet to emerge.

Based on the limited financials that I’ve read, I believe that Cedar Fair (FUN) had little choice but to sell or file for bankruptcy.

Since AGM owns Harrah’s, many of you may get your wish and see gaming eventually come to Sandusky.

If that occurs, think temporary construction jobs and numerous permanent jobs.

Look for the potential positives and not the gloom and doom. "

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real wrote on Dec 18, 2009 2:27 AM:

" Board of directors being investigated.

Violations of state laws suspected.

Where's the story register? "