Breaking news: Sources tell CoasterBuzz that Jack Falfas has resigned as COO of Cedar Fair

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Two sources external to Cedar Fair have made credible statements to CoasterBuzz indicating that chief operating officer Jack Falfas has resigned from his position with the company. We've sent e-mail to official channels to confirm, and are waiting for a response. Again, this has not been confirmed by the company. Stay tuned...

According to the Cedar Fair Web site, Falfas has been with the company for 33 years and served as COO since 2005.

Really! I didn't realize it had been that long. I know they still had some offices there back when they were still running their own ferry, but that doesn't mean anything...it was probably just the ferry operations office.

For those not in the know, the building in question was constructed on the waterfront in Sandusky to serve as an off-season administration building for the G. A. Boeckling Company. Ah...CP:TQOAWP/1995 (p. 85) doesn't explicitly say when the building was constructed, but it says it was built after a tornado took out the ferry terminal in 1924, and served as the winter quarters "for thirty years". If you're still in the dark, George Boeckling was the man who ran Cedar Point through the early part of the century and basically turned it into a modern resort, and probably deserved to have the operating company named after himself. In fact, I'm happy to see that he is in some small way commemorated by the holding company that owns the building that used to be his office. Today, I think the building is used by the ODNR Coastal Management Office.

Incidentally, Boeckling had a house on the peninsula (I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't close to Kinzel's place), but his mansion was in town, on Columbus St.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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DantheCoasterman's avatar

mlnem4s said:
And honestly, there were areas at Geauga Lake that were far better run than at Cedar Point which is a direct result of Spehn and his leadership abilities and Kinzel knows that...

Wouldn't he have had to visit the park to know that?


-Daniel

OK, I am very ignorant here, but have deduced from the previous posts that Kinzel lives just outside of the gate. Are you guys saying he literally lives in one of the houses on the peninsula??


Fever I really enjoy the Simpsons. It's just a shame that I am starting to LOOK like Homer.
LostKause's avatar

He lives in one of the houses between CP's parking lot and Lake Erie. You can see his home from the parking lot, as well as from some of the rides in the park.

It's why Disaster Transport is enclosed. It keeps the noise down.


mlnem4s's avatar

DantheCoasterman said:

mlnem4s said:
And honestly, there were areas at Geauga Lake that were far better run than at Cedar Point which is a direct result of Spehn and his leadership abilities and Kinzel knows that...

Wouldn't he have had to visit the park to know that?

Kinzel would visit, I can specifically recall two big visits in one summer when he came along with Falfas. Jack would come on his own occasionally as well.

Gemini's avatar

I suspect the building stopped being the HQ somewhere just prior or during the transition from the Boeckling estate to the Roose/Legros group. I know that by 1970, Cablevision was renting at least part, if not most of the building.


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

Jeff's avatar

LostKause said:
It's why Disaster Transport is enclosed. It keeps the noise down.

That's not even remotely true.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I understand that Kinzel's shoe size is not 12E, either. :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

Gemini's avatar

Take it for what it's worth, but an article in today's Sandusky Register reported that Falfas, when reached by phone, said only that he is referring questions to his attorney.


Walt Schmidt - Co-Publisher, PointBuzz

Okay, the real fireworks are about to begin.......................

I'm sorry if I don't sympathize with those saying that this guy was a "good man" or "I feel bad for him." To me this guy was a total tool from the day I met him, seemed to have NO Public relations interests at all, and I'm glad to see him go.

Also I know a bunch of Knott's employees are probably happy that he's gone too.

Also I am going to add WTF is Kinzel doing? He has had a great run, but I think it's time someone else stepped up to the plate. He's a great man, but I think the company needs some new talent.

On another side note, glad to see that they brought in someone from the Walt Disney Company, that will be a true plus for that company.


~~~~Coaster Lover~~~~~~~~~~

Jeff's avatar

"They" didn't do anything. An outside investor insisted that an outside appointment to the board be made. No one in Sandusky wanted that.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

And someone from the mouse is not an automatic asset in the seasonal industry. The person has to be able to understand the differences in cash flow, scheduling etc. For instance, I have heard that Disney keeps an extra train for some of their roller coasters, and continually cycles a train through the maintenance shop. No seasonal park can afford an extra train sitting around, but sets up their rebuild so that a train, barring something unforeseen, will make it through the entire season.

Disney has some cash flowing in year round, so budgeting is not a big deal. Seasonal parks have a long stretch with no income. For the parks that follow a normal year for their tax year, they end up with a two month stretch with no income. Management usually does not want to spend a dime that they don't have to in that two month stretch, to make the end of year results look good. So rebuild parts are generally bought January 1, and the months of Nov and Dec are spent just taking things apart.

I also remember at Arrow, Disney came to a meeting on boats. They brought more engineers to the meeting than we had total people working on the project. They just live in a different world.

There might be some things CF can learn from a guy from the mouse, but only if the guy hasn't sucked down too much of Mickey's kool-aid. Then too, the CF guys are dishing out their purple kool-aid, and will have a NIH attitude towards the Mouse-guys ideas. Everybody is going to have to want to play well with others, and abandon some preconceptions for this to be a benefit.

LostKause's avatar

About the reason that DT is enclosed, your reply is interesting, Jeff. How do I separate fact from fiction from things that people say on this site? Is a lot of what I have learned from CoasterBuzz myth?

---

DK is like Jacob, and his time to protect the island is overdue. Now it's time for a "Hurley" or a "Ben" to take over. Falfas was a candidate, but his story arc was over, so they killed him off and crossed his name out in the cave. When all is said and done, all upper management will meet in a church to move on together to the other side.

Someone should find a loophole and get rid of DK once and for all. :p

...Or something like that.

Last edited by LostKause,

^^ This is only a problem if you think this director is going to become yet another park micro-manager.

obxKevin's avatar

Not that it has anything to do with Falfas retiring, but for LK's benefit...I thought the main idea for enclosing DT was for maintenance reasons. For example, mainly because of the sand in the troughs.

And I'm not a Kinzel basher, he did amazing things for the park in the past, starting with Magnum. But even he, himself should be able to see that he is not the right person to helm the wheel anymore.


The poster formerly known as 'Zcorpius.' Joined 2004
LostKause's avatar

Thanks Keven. I remember that too.

It doesn't seem too long ago that Kenzel was a hero to the coaster-loving community, for being responsible for building some amazing coasters. While I respect what he has done, new blood would be very welcome.

He could so comfortably retire right now. The way he's going now, he'll be buried before he leaves his job. If I were him, I would want to be able to enjoy my older years without having to worry about the park chain. He could travel around the world, and enjoy his grandkids, if he has any.

Is he just being stubborn, or is there another reason that he hasn't left yet?

Maybe poor Jack reached the point where he noticed that DK was never going to leave him in charge. Maybe he felt that DK didn't trust him to run the company.


kpjb's avatar

The whole Kinzel thing reminds me of a baseball game. You have a great pitcher that goes 8 innings only letting up a couple hits. You're clinging to a 2-run lead, and instead of turning it over to your closer, who is a known commodity, you leave in the starter only to watch him give up 3 runs and lose the game.

I did not know or ever meet Jack Falfas, but I will miss him because his last name reminds me of falafels.


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Tekwardo's avatar

Mmmm...Falafel.


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mlnem4s's avatar

The Sandusky Register ran a story the other day but I refuse to "pay" to be able to read the paper online. Did anyone get to read it? I see it mentions in the title they will not be replacing the COO position. Any other comments made of importance in it?

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