Cedar Fair investing $50 million at Carowinds over three years

Posted Tuesday, August 27, 2013 8:32 AM | Contributed by Jason Hammond

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced a multi-year expansion project for its Carowinds amusement park located in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"The continued growth in the Charlotte market presents a unique opportunity for our Carowinds amusement park, which we believe is ready for record-breaking attractions," said Richard Zimmerman, Cedar Fair's Chief Operating Officer. "Over the next three years we intend to make several significant investments in both the amusement and water park areas, including new rides and attractions, new and upgraded food locations, and general infrastructure improvements. We plan to expand the capacity of Carowinds in all areas to appropriately serve its market and provide our guests with a 'Best Day of Summer' experience each and every time they visit our park."

The Company, which recently opened a satellite corporate office in Charlotte, expects the expanded park will draw additional tourists to the already popular Charlotte market. It will invest more than $50 million over the next three years and expects to hire an additional 15 full-time and approximately 270 seasonal jobs to support these new investments. As with many of its capital investments across the country, the Company will look to hire local companies to help with the design and construction of this multi-year expansion.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

Read more and see video from WSOC/Charlotte.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:29 AM
James Whitmore's avatar

OK, I'll be the first cricket killer.

50 million is a big number and expansion is a great thing. This all sounds fine and dandy.

The lack of details doesn't give Buzzers anything to gripe about. Also, the release doesn't contain the word 'coaster' and after all this is CoasterBuzz. :-)


Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:58 AM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

It's a giga! It'll take 3 years to build!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:50 AM
sirloindude's avatar

Interesting how Carowinds has become such a core park in the Cedar Fair chain. It's one of my absolute favorite parks to visit.

Those are some serious staffing increases as well. It'll be cool to see what the breakdown is as far as what the investment will entail.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones


Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:57 AM
janfrederick's avatar

$50 million? Yawn. How about those Camp Snoopy improvements at CP? :)

Actually, both announcements are very cool. Although Knott's attendance took a small dip this year, I feel the recent changes are far sighted and will pay off in the long run. These improvements are along the same vein.

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 11:09 AM
LostKause's avatar

"Record-breaking attractions" sounds like a coaster or two to me.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 12:41 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I'd say maybe a (major) coaster. Of love to see a new woodie. While $50 mil over 3 years is a good number, I see lots more infrastructure, a small flat ride expansion and potential sprucing up of an area a la Knotts and CPs newer additions, the aforementioned waterpark expansion, and maybe a sprucing up of the front gate as there are already a lot of utility markers out that way currently.

I can tell you that it's been all over the news in Charlotte. And on radio. I see a hotel coming sooner too. All jokes aside, their marketing person confirmed they were looking at adding one a couple years ago at CoasterStock.

I'm excited. A waterpark expansion, some atmosphere, and some flats will thrill me. I also want a nite time show like CP has.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013 12:44 PM
mlnem4s's avatar

Some definites are kind of easy to figure out, mainly a major revamp of the water park much like Kings Island experienced. Another B&M will probably pop-up. I think the bigger surprise will be how the park ends up being reconfigured, especially parking which I think will move more to the North in front of the main gate. I also wouldn't be shocked to see the current South gate removed and a new "water park" gate built ala Kings Island. Kind of excited to hear the first announcement of improvements, the park definitely has a lot of potential.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 1:31 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Tekwardo said:

I can tell you that it's been all over the news in Charlotte. And on radio. I see a hotel coming sooner too.

I don't even have to say it. Quoting is enough

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 1:43 PM
rollergator's avatar

Carowinds doesn't need a hotel - if you want 6-8 hours of sleep, just get in line for StealthBorgHawk, and wait....and wait....

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 1:48 PM
Vater's avatar

Yeah, but what a crappy way to wake up.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 6:34 PM

At least you're lying down when you wake up. It's not like they make you stand up after all that waiting on roller coa...


Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:22 PM
bjames's avatar

sirloindude said:

Interesting how Carowinds has become such a core park in the Cedar Fair chain. It's one of my absolute favorite parks to visit.

Charlotte's one of the fastest growing cities in the country, it makes perfect sense that Cedar Point would prioritize Carowinds in this manner. Frankly I'm surprised they didn't do it sooner. I really think a lot of the money will go into improving the water park. They are, however, one of the last remaining CF parks to not have a GCI/modern wooden coaster.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:46 PM
sirloindude's avatar

I'm glad for it. If I could live anywhere in the US, it'd be Charlotte. I think I'm just taking note of this because it seemed like Carowinds was a second-tier park during the Paramount days and I seem to remember even hearing a few years ago that Carowinds was a big winner for Cedar Fair.

Last edited by sirloindude, Wednesday, August 28, 2013 10:47 PM

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones


Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:33 AM
bjames's avatar

^I don't think the explosive growth in the region started until the late 90s. But you're right, Paramount didn't seem to do much except build kiddie lands.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 9:12 AM
Jeff's avatar

I struggle with that part of the country. On one hand, it's really quite beautiful and full of kind and wonderful people, and on the other hand, it's politically as screwed up as Ohio, if not more.

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

Thursday, August 29, 2013 9:49 AM

Investment in Carowinds makes a lot of sense. I always viewed one of the primary goals of the Paramount acquisition as expanding the Cedar Fair footprint to areas of the country with more population growth and thus more growth potential for the business.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:48 PM
bjames's avatar

^especially because Ohio and Michigan are the rustiest rustbelt states and Cleveland is hemorrhaging population. Carowinds might end up Cedar Point South fifty years from now.

Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:05 PM

That's bogus information. It is true that Cuyahoga County (the county of which Cleveland is the seat) did lose nearly 5,000 people from 2011 to 2012, the second biggest loss of population of any county in the nation. But as a percentage of the county's population, it did better than 1,100 counties across the country--or fully a third of all counties. So that's not exactly 'hemorrhaging'; it might qualify as a slow leak.

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Friday, August 30, 2013 9:00 AM

Cleveland metro area and Ohio overall have pretty much been treading water in terms of population growth over the past 10+ years. Charlotte metro area and North Carolina have been growing over that time period. Relative to the rest of the country, Ohio has been losing population (just look at US House seats) for several decades.


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