Cedar Fair makes promotions with new titles

Posted Tuesday, November 2, 2010 12:01 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an unedited, but partial, press release. -J]

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced a series of promotions reflective of these individuals’ contributions to the Company, as well as its commitment to maintaining a strong and dynamic management team across its organization.

“Today’s promotions are the result of these individuals’ ability to think strategically, the respect they have earned from their colleagues and peers, and their significant contributions to the Company during their tenure here,” said Dick Kinzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We are fortunate to have such talented, dedicated and ethical individuals helping to lead our organization.”

The following executives now hold these titles and responsibilities:

Peter J. Crage, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Previously corporate vice president and chief financial officer, Crage will continue to oversee all financial areas at Cedar Fair, and will now have the corporate vice president of administration reporting directly to him (this position previously reported to the chief executive officer). Crage rejoined the Company in 2004, assuming the title of vice president and corporate controller after having served as vice president of finance at Delaware North Companies in the Parks and Resorts Division. Prior to that, Crage served as corporate treasurer of Cedar Fair from 1999 to 2002. He is a certified public accountant.

H. Philip Bender, Executive Vice President. Bender has served as regional vice president since June 2006. Prior to that, he served as vice president and general manager of Worlds of Fun / Oceans of Fun since the end of 2000. He has served in numerous roles with Cedar Fair for more than 30 years, including time at the Company’s Cedar Point and Valleyfair amusement parks. Phil has 39 years of experience within the amusement park industry.

Richard A. Zimmerman, Executive Vice President. Zimmerman has served as regional vice president since June 2007. Prior to that, he served as vice president and general manager of Kings Dominion since 1998. He has more than 20 years of experience in the amusement park industry. Prior to entering the amusement park industry, Richard served in various roles with Paramount Communications, Inc., including vice president of financial planning and analysis for Paramount’s Madison Square Garden Division and was a member of Paramount’s merger and acquisition team.

David R. Hoffman, Vice President of Finance and Corporate Tax. Hoffman, formerly Vice President of Corporate Tax, will assume expanded responsibilities within the corporate finance department. Prior to joining Cedar Fair in 2006, he served as a tax consultant with Ernst & Young. He is a certified public accountant.

“Attracting, retaining and grooming a deep and talented management team to lead Cedar Fair in its pursuit of long-term growth and value creation has been – and will continue to be – a strategic imperative for the Company,” said Kinzel. “Today’s action is another step in our ongoing succession planning process. With this new structure, I will now have more time to focus on growing the business and the continued development of our executives. In the meantime, the Board of Directors will continue to work on our upcoming CEO transition through its subcommittee of independent directors that has been assigned to this task, given that my employment agreement expires on January 2, 2012. As is the case with any public company, this is a confidential process that is expected to include both internal and external candidates. Out of fairness to all involved, we will have no further comment until we are ready to announce a new CEO.”

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 12:46 PM

retaining...a deep and talented management team to lead Cedar Fair in its pursuit of long-term growth and value creation has been – and will continue to be – a strategic imperative for the Company,” said Kinzel

Unless you happen to be Jack Falfas?

the Board of Directors will continue to work on our upcoming CEO transition through its subcommittee of independent directors that has been assigned to this task, given that my employment agreement expires on January 2, 2012.

Or at least until he decides to announce he's staying on yet again.

I thought that the fact that they even said that was interesting and in direct response to Q Funding's current push for a seperate CEO/BoD.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 1:43 PM

There are so many loaded terms in that press release I could puke. I especially love the "independent board" comment. No disrespect toward these guys, because I really don't know anything about them, but I would personally prefer to see an outsider. I think the Six Flags turn around really demonstrated that industry experience is not critical.

And frankly, I wouldn't want Kinzel grooming anyone if it means teaching people how to micromanage.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 3:57 PM

Too bad they're probably not interested in Shapiro, but now that he's free, I bet he could whip CF into shape, and hang on to the things Kinzel loves (like high food prices and parking ;)).

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:03 PM

I said a long time ago that I thought Shapiro should be brought to CF.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:14 PM

Without being too graphic, my pants get sticky at the idea of Shapiro at CF.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:18 PM

The idea of your pants .... oh, never mind.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:26 PM

This press release reminds me of the last episode of "Flipping Out" with Jeff Lewis.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:31 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Without being too graphic, my pants get sticky at the idea of Shapiro at CF.

Without being accused of being Vince Vaughn, you're so gay.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 4:44 PM

While I haven't seen it first hand, I'm not fond of the blanket advertising in the Six Flags parks that Mike described. But aside from that, yeah, he could create positive change.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 6:56 PM

Honestly, even as someone opposed to the desecration of park theming, all that wistful old-school nostalgic stuff aside, the advertising in parks and even on coaster trains didn't really bother me THAT much. Having both my beloved Mindbender and the uber-awesome Toro wrapped in way-too-colorful Stride advertising isn't exactly my first choice, but since I have to, I can live with it. Disney manages to have "class" while still getting the profitable sponsorship agreements in place...but that's Disney. I guess SF and CF could do a better job of integrating the advertising into the park in a more subtle fashion....but you'd have to convince the sponsors of the effectiveness of that strategy.

Along those lines, at least two bad coasters I noticed this year sporting AxeTwist decals - have to wonder if riding rough steel doesn't make you sweat more? Or just think about sweating more? ;)

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 7:20 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Without being too graphic, my pants get sticky at the idea of Shapiro at CF.


Try eating less fruits and fiber Mr. Gonch - and also avoid white colored undies - black masks those stains nicely! ;-)

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 8:35 PM

I never once had any problems with advertising in the park. Doesn't impact my day one bit. Do I like theming and landscaping? Yes. Would the ads at SF parks be considered tacky by most? Absolutely. And yet it never impacted my day. One bit.

I was too busy having fun to notice.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 9:09 PM

That's an easy position for me to take as well... for parks I didn't grow up going to. I wouldn't care for it if it were CP or KI.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 9:19 PM

See, Kings Island (at least under the Paramount regime) really stood out to me as oversaturated with ads. You can try to pass it off as "themeing" because Paramount's in your moniker, but they're still ads.

For some reason, it really stood out to me at Disney this time, too.

As far as the train wraps on El Toro... can't see it from inside the train, and that's the best place to be.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 9:28 PM

Um, the ads didn't bother me in the park(s) I grew up going to. It doesn't bother me at all. Anywhere.

It would look out of place at a park like BGW, but it wouldn't bother me in the least. As long as the park is clean and I'm having fun, they can plaster the entire surface in ads and I wouldn't care.

I'm more upset when Bart removes landscaping from the midways at Carowinds because he wants people to see the rides, thereby causing a shortage of shade, but only because of the shade. He could put a wrap on ever train, every tree, every building. I go to have a good time. Ads can be there or not, I couldn't care any less.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 10:14 PM

Jerry said:
Try eating less fruits and fiber Mr. Gonch - and also avoid white colored undies - black masks those stains nicely! ;-)

That's bad sticky. I meant good sticky.

Shapiro is good sticky.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, November 2, 2010 10:14 PM
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 10:42 PM

I could go on about that... but it won't contribute to the discussion in a good light. ;-)

As far as ad discussion - this is America - home of the free and capitalistic society - put up the ads - and make them tasteful. I don't recall an unwritten rule stating it is not in the companies best interest not to advertise their sister properties...

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010 11:44 PM

Bringing a whole new level of coaster porn...

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010 8:58 AM

Well, you can put lipstick on a pig but I'm still not going to kiss it. You can call them Vice Presidents, Executive Vice Presidents or even Super Special Senior Executive Vice Presidents but it doesn't change the fact that the company is in need of some new vision.

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