A Letter To Cedar Fair

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 8:17 AM
As unhappy as most of us are about the decision to close Geauga Lake. I took it upon myself to write old Dick a leter. I know that it will probably end up in the circular file but it made me fee better.

September 25, 2007 Richard KinzelOne Cedar Point DriveSandusky, Ohio 44870-5259 Richard Kinzel: Your recent “business decision” to close Geauga Lake Park was, by far, shallow. It is now obvious you had every intention to shut this park down from the day you purchased it from Six Flags Worlds of Adventure. The lame excuse you presented to the public stating your reasoning for the closure of the park was up surd. If attendance was the true problem, shutting down Michigan’s Adventure would have made more sense than closing Geauga Lake, a 119-year-old park, as the aforementioned park only saw 500,000 guests this past season. Did you honestly expect attendance to improve as you took attractions away without replacing them? Certainly you should know that adding an attraction like Maverick at Cedar Point, would raise attendance records. We are and/or were season pass holders and long-time patrons of all of your parks. Our recent visits to Cedar Point have been discouraging this year. The length of time we experienced in lines was ridiculous and not pleasurable. Do you understand that you have now compounded this problem by the closure of Geauga Lake? We can honestly state that we will no longer be pass holders for the upcoming seasons and would rather visit other parks like Kennywood for our future summertime enjoyment. We completely understand that this letter will not make a difference to you or your corporation as it will probably be thrown away just as you “so graciously” have done with Geauga Lake Park. We will say this…you have taken away many memories from us and many other families. Your heartless and abrupt announcement to close Geauga Lake will not be forgotten. Unfortunately, you have bought attractions for all of your parks at Geauga Lake’s expense. We really hope you are proud of your latest“business decision”. Regretfully Yours,

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 8:29 AM
You know, it does no good anymore to threaten season passholder status anymore. And you know that the more you mention it, it only enrages them more to do what you do not want them to do.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 8:34 AM
Let them be 'enraged', I could care less.

What's the worse case scenario on their part?
Shut the whole chain down because they were offended by a few dozen letters from angry patrons? RAise prices, (which they will anyway in the future just like everyone else)?

If writing a letter makes someone feel better, more power to them.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 8:40 AM
Thats fine let them do all they want. Like I said it will no longer effect me as I will not be attending any of their propertys. Really what was the point of having a season pass to cedar point? I went to Geauga Lake at least once a week to ride the coasters and eat a meal. I went to cedar point on five different weekends (Unfortunatly that is the only times I can go, Like most of us) and I have only road the Magnum and wicked twister due to the unaceptable long lines. Tell me how anyone is supposed to ENJOY their day? There is a compacity problem when your spin and puks have 1/2 hour waits!
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 8:43 AM
I don't begruge anyone for wanting to express their opinions about this whole thing. I'm one of those guys that likes to write his congressman/woman, the President, etc.

But, just some observations:

You put the words "business decision" in quotes. What are you getting at? As the CEO of a major corporation is it not his responsibility to make business decisions...even when unpopular?

If I were him I likely would have stopped reading your letter after getting to "up surd".

As far as I know, and maybe Jeff can correct me, Maverick did not increase attendance at Cedar Point this year. What makes you think adding a "Maverick" would increase attendance at Geauga Lake?

Michigan's Adventure is making a profit. I think this is an important point. Attendance doesn't drive a decision like this; profitablity does. If Cedar Point drew 4,000,000 people but lost money each year then you would see drastic measures there too. I'm not sure why people don't grasp that.

Here is a summary of what my "letter to Dick" would be.

Dear Mr. Kinzel:

It is with a great deal of dissapointment and sadness that I write this letter. Geauga Lake has a significant place in my heart as part of my childhood and as part of my career development. I am sorry to hear that the conditions were such that you felt it necessary to close the park.

As you are making the crucial decisions with what you will do with the park and it's rides I hope you will find a way to recognize this piece of Ohio history. Whether it is relocating some of the more significant rides (such as the Big Dipper, the Illions carrousel, the rocket ships) to one of your Ohio parks or bringing signage, rides, or other pieces of interest over to the water park; I hope you can honor what has become precious to many of us.

Mr. Kinzel, I don't fully understand the many facets of your business and I just hope that you did make every effort to save Geauga Lake before making the final, abrupt decision to turn out the lights.

With regret,

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 9:15 AM
You're right. GL needed ANOTHER coaster. Wait, why not four new coasters in a single season? Again?

While I don't agree with the closing of the ride side of the park, I perfectly understand why they started removing a number of them. Overdeveloping the park never worked.

What coaster dorks can't figure out--or refuse to figure out--is that your beloved coasters were NEVER the draw to the park. It was the zero-airtime, zero-lapbar, stand there and watch 'em swim FISH. The park was doomed the minute they were gone.

-'Playa

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 9:19 AM
It never ceases to amaze me how personal and illogical some people think that running a business is.

It's a BUSINESS.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 9:19 AM
I have to agree, threatening to no longer do business with a company doesn't have any effect. They are far better off keeping a loyal customer than one who "claims" they will no longer do business.

Example, I have a local chain of restaurants that I frequent three times a day to purchase one drink. When the paper cups began to leak, sometimes six or seven times a week, I wrote the President of the company, explained the situation and noted in my message how much money I was spending per year. The management of the restaurant was called, told to do whatever they had to do to pacify (sp?) me until they get the problem fixed. In the end, they began using another manufacturer (because the original manufacturer wouldn't admit there was a problem) and I have been given credit for getting the change made. Unfotunately, I'm still paying for my drinks.

If you say you will no longer patronize the business, to them, they may feel they have already lost you. It's better to give them to chance to keep you as a customer.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 9:32 AM
'Playa is right about the fish (Mammals, technically :) ). Jeff and Gonch do a good job discussing this point in this weeks podcast. I highly recommend everyone to give it a listen.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:05 AM
Six Flags got the people back to that park by advertising such as it being on the news all over. People realized the park was nothing special (especially the coasters) started leaving, and going to other parks.

Considering CP is not that far away, people will just go there considering GL didn't wow them. This park also is very hard to get to. It's ridiculous how hard to get to it is. You can't find it.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:09 AM
"up surd"

Wow. Yeah, I'd take that letter seriously. At least have the decency to spell check.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:27 AM
People didn't seem to have a problem finding Sea World. What is so difficult about finding Geauga Lake, particularly during this age of "Map Quest"? Not sure I follow you there.

I think getting to Cedar Point is just as "difficult" as getting to Geauga Lake; particularly when you consider (no offense to Sandusky) that Cedar Point is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. Think about that. Cedar Point is really a minimum of an hour from any large metropolitan area and they still draw about 3 million guests per year.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:27 AM
It sounds like it was written by an upset 8th grader.

You could at least try to come off as professional.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:35 AM
Up and surd are both spelled correctly in that letter.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:40 AM

wahoo skipper said:
If I were him I likely would have stopped reading your letter after getting to "up surd".

That's about where I quit taking it seriously.

Michigan's Adventure is a park built for 4-700,000 guests per year.

Geauga Lake was a park built for 1-1.5 million guests.

It doesn't take much to figure out that GLP was not pulling its weight.

As far as putting in a new ride, that barely works at Cedar Point any more. And even then, it results in a one MAYBE two year boost to the attendance. That's it. Building new rides is not the path to longevity.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:44 AM
You know, that reminds me of a convo I had on the way to CP a couple weeks ago in Toledo:

Joe Bumpkin: I don't like CP and all those rollycoaster things. I likes Sea World.
Me: You know, Sea World closed up a few years ago.
JB: Huh?
Me: Yeah. SF bought it.
JB: Really?
Me: Yeah, long story. After that, then the folks that own CP bought it, but they got rid of the animals.
JB: They did?
Me: Yeah.
JB: Hmm. That kinda sucks. *goes back to eating*

-CO

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 10:52 AM
sk813, not only is your formulated letter unprofessional and immature, but it also is erroneous. If I were anyone that would receive this letter at Cedar Fair and had to review it, I'd throw it directly in the trashcan. How old are you?

If you are serious about sending a communication to Cedar Fair expressing your disagreement with their action regarding Geauga Lake park, then get someone else to write the letter for you.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 11:00 AM
FLyingScooter, Cedar Fair will not waste this much of their time:

"Shut the whole chain down because they were offended by a few dozen letters from angry patrons? RAise prices, (which they will anyway in the future just like everyone else)? "

And yes, they will raise prices. Ever heard of inflation or even of economics?

The few dozen letters you mention will indeed be thrown in the trash UNLESS they are formulated intelligently, maturely, and professionally. Then Cedar Fair might read them and provide a response.

"If writing a letter makes someone feel better, more power to them."

This view could get a person in trouble REAL fast. When you write a latter, you DO need to consider what you write, who it's going to, and who will read it. When something is WRITTEN it is a very real and tangible piece of evidence that reflects upon the author. It can also be used against the author at any point in time. Taking actions without considering the consequences is incredibly fool-hardy.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 11:02 AM
I definitely sent a letter, but everything was spelled correctly and I didn't threaten them in any way. I simply sounded off on why I felt their decision was a bad one and if you're wanting to make a point, I think that's the best way you can do it... especially if you're looking for the company to save the Dipper and Villain.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2007 11:29 AM

OhioStater said:
It sounds like it was written by an upset 8th grader.

You could at least try to come off as professional.


Yeah,that's what a lot of the rants on this subject(rants being made by grown adults no less) sound....especially when it comes to all the grand conspiracy theories they've posted on this,and other boards.

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