Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel to retire at end of 2007 season

Posted | Contributed by Gemini

Dick Kinzel, president and CEO of Cedar Fair, L.P., announced on Monday that he will retire at the end of the 2007 season. Kinzel is widely credited for turning Cedar Fair into an industry power and was the driving force behind Magnum XL-200, Millennium Force, and Top Thrill Dragster.

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Link: Cedar Point Virtual Midway

Jeff's avatar
No one I've met in this industry impresses me as much as Dick Kinzel. He's world class.

I bet they hire from within, I just hope it's not Dan Keller. He might perform well fiscally, but operationally I've been seriously unimpressed by his presence (or really, lack thereof) at Cedar Point.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

Gee, only four years notice of leaving!
Is this where the rumors of "He's sticking around for CP's 500 foot Ozonecoaster coming in 2007" start. Everybody can talk about how it's in the 5 year plan and that's why he's announcing his retirement this early.

Shut it up!

I have mixed feelings about Kinzel. There is no doubt about the success Cedar Fair has attained during his tenure. You have to give him some props though b/c he is one of the few CEO's you can see fairly regularly on the midways and I have never once seen him step over a piece of garbage. He is also very good with speaking with the guests.

It will be interesting to see the power shift. At least there is plenty of time to see it play out.

I have the utmost respect for anyone that can go from the very bottom of a company flipping burgers, to the very top. Plus, there's only one other park out of there where you can see the head of it picking up garbage (well, maybe 2). Here's hoping for 4 more great years!

- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson

I have to agree with Jeff about Keller....worked with him for 3 years and while he is good with the fiscal aspect, he lacks on the operational side.
I totally agree with your thoughts on Dan Keller, Jeff. If they do hire from within as I am sure they will I can only think of one or two people that may get the job.

Mr. Kinzel is a real class act, he always takes the time to talk to ya if you see him. But why announce your retirement 4 years in advance?

I am sure Dick is the largest unit holder in FUN so even through his retirement I am sure his influence will still be very large. I wonder if he will still live on Point?

If given the choice I'd choose a hamburger over a hotdog anyday of the week.

I am almose positive that he owns the house, not the company (though I think it was paid for by the company as part of his compensation). If I were him I would head south and not look back. It is time to enjoy his children and grandchildren and hit the links. The man hasn't had a summer off since the 70's for crying out loud.
Gemini's avatar
Kinzel told the Register he won't leave Sandusky after his retirement because of his family.

Walt Schmidt - Virtual Midway

My biggest fear is that they'll wind up promoting Larry MacKenzie out of snow country and hand him the reins to a larger CF property. Oh, well. He still has a few seasons to deliver a wavepool...


The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.
*** This post was edited by CoastaPlaya 8/21/2003 10:59:32 AM ***

joe.'s avatar
Wow. I wonder how this will change the corporation.

Missing the Fallen:
King Cobra 1984-2001
The Bat 1981-1983

If someone from another Cedar Fair park was appointed president/CEO of Cedar Fair, could we see them favor their old park and have it grow instead of distributing evenly and less to Cedar Point? A change in a top spot could mean a lot of changes for Cedar Fair.

Jeff, I was gonna use the watershow for my signature! Oh well.

Superman: Ride of Steel at Six Flags New England- The #1 Coaster on the Planet for Years in a Row!!!

Well, I agree about what was said about Keller, At a certain employee event Kinzel was in a t-shirt and shorts and uncle sam hat serving hot dogs talking to employes (those not afraid of him), while Keeler stood around in a tie talking to his family.

CF is a limited partnership and like Ford I think it has two types of stock, the people who bought the park in the late 70's all had to ante up and got A stock. I herd Kinzels FUN holding is somewhere around 18% but that could be off, its an awful lot is all that I know.

If the next CEO of CF did plan on shifting the company's flagship status to another park, they'd have their work cut out for them as CP is quite a ways ahead of all of the other CF parks.

CP 2K3: 15
"What are you, a dentist? Or a hippie? Or some kind of hippie dentist?" -strong bad

No matter whos in charge CP will Always be Top Dog in the chain, it woudl be ridiculous for it not to be. The only other park that even comes close is Knott's and their land locked status keeps them from really expanding into something like Cedar Point.

If given the choice I'd choose a hamburger over a hotdog anyday of the week.

Jeff's avatar
Insider ownership is all reported to the SEC isn't it? I'm sure you could find how much all of the manager own. I strongly doubt that he'd own 18%.

I would think based on time and desire that Jack Falfas would be a could candidate for the gig, but people who know him indicate he isn't that interested in moving his family back to Ohio.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - Sillynonsense.com
DELETED! What time does the water show start?

I seriously hope that Mr. Keller will not be taking over for Mr. Kinzel. While I'm sure he'll do well in the job I'm not sure if I would like the direction that he would be taking the parks...

- John
Homepark: Cedar Point
Home-away-from-homepark: Paramount's Kings Island

My Money is on the CFO, Bruce Jackson, seeing as how he has turned Cedar Fair into one of the best stocks to own in any industry.

Jes's Roller Coasters DJ Jes
Six Flags Worlds Of Adventure Ride-Ops Crew 2002-2003(Find Me, Win a prize!)

Larry MacKenzie is the GM of Valleyfair but I don't see him as a candidate.

My guess at a short list from inside would be...

Bruce Jackson, Dan Keller, Jack Falfas or John Albino. I would be surprised though if it turned out to be Albino or Falfas for several reasons.

I seriously doubt they would go outside the company unless they stumbled on an executive from a Disney-type company who might be able to take them to the "next level." It just isn't in Cedar Fair style to go outside. Frankly, I don't know Camille Jourden-Mark but I was surprised she was kept on as GM at MA just b/c she wasn't a CF insider.

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