Cedar Fair may close CGA after this season...

Friday, March 25, 2016 9:52 PM

I am devastated! I know most people don't give a rat's ass about this park haha but just wondering about some of your opinion's on this. There's been no big national news articles about it yet, because everything is in discussion. From what I'm hearing, however, it is very very likely that The Irvine Company (a huuuge development company that is doing big things in Santa Clara now that the new 9ers stadium is exploding the land value) will be purchasing the land after this 2016 and gutting the entire park. They will use the land for a huge high density retail, housing, and office space.

Here's some (complicated) articles:

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2016/02/03/is-irvine-compan...1454600536

http://www.sanjoseinside.com/2016/02/03/civil-grand-jury-investigat...r-bowl-50/

Basically the only way the park would survive is if Cedar Fair uses their "first right of refusal" for the site. Or in other words, for the destruction of CGA to go through, Cedar Fair would have to sell their lease to The Irvine Company, and allow IC to purchase the land. But based on the financial performance of CGA, city politicians are thinking Cedar Fair will most likely sell.

The articles so far are heavy with Santa Clara politics (which used to be a "small town", and is now becoming a "large town"). I've lived my whole 34 years in Santa Clara, with my dad being the head of City Planning for 20 years, so I always like to follow stuff like this. And now that this is affecting my hometown park that I love, I am really following this!! Residents of Santa Clara are really pissed about all the development... they just keep adding more high density housing that locals cannot afford, and now traffic is getting out of hand and tech workers are taking over.

Any opinions of this? Should Cedar Fair sell and get out of Santa Clara, to focus on their more major parks?

--Josh--

Last edited by GooDFeLLoW, Friday, March 25, 2016 9:58 PM
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Friday, March 25, 2016 9:54 PM

Interesting to note... for the first time ever this year, CF is extending the park opening time through December for a Winter Holiday event. So first Halloween Haunt, and then a Winterfest event. CGA has never stayed open past November 1st before.

Also there's a change.org petition about it with almost 10000 signatures (No I did not make it! haha)

https://www.change.org/p/cedar-fair-save-california-s-great-america

Last edited by GooDFeLLoW, Friday, March 25, 2016 9:57 PM
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Friday, March 25, 2016 10:26 PM

Interesting. Marriott sold the California park to a development company in the early 80s that wanted to raze the park and build housing. It seems to me to be unlikely Cedar Fair would invest in things like GA Pavilion and a new winter event if they were planning to sell the park -- why spend money on infrastructure if you're looking at selling the place off to be torn down? -- but I'll defer to people "on the ground."

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Friday, March 25, 2016 10:53 PM

Yeah it's quite curious about the Winterfest. But when you think about it, their additions for this year were fairly cheap compared to a new major ride. They re-themed the 3D theater to a Mass Effect theme (a video game series that I LOVE). This probably wasn't too pricy, although the licensing/rights may have been. The GA Pavilion was already there (probably just made minor enhancements to it), and might make a crapton of money with all the new local tech companies renting it out for expensive events. Winterfest might also make a pretty penny with the extra month or two of admission tickets sold. So it could be a final push to make money during their final season. Noooooo.

The park just opened today, and I'm going to pay it a visit on Sunday. Curious how much money they put into it during the offtime. I'll update with any new news articles about the situation...

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Friday, March 25, 2016 10:54 PM

Heavens, a double post...

... the San Jose Mercury News moved a story today suggesting Cedar Fair has long-term plans for the park.

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Friday, March 25, 2016 10:56 PM

Oh wow, thanks! I hadn't seen that article yet. Nice so there is hope for the future.

Oh just a correction in how to think about the deal... Cedar Fair wouldn't be selling the park, they would be declining to purchase the land, and then just selling off their lease. It's really complicated; I don't even understand fully yet.

Last edited by GooDFeLLoW, Friday, March 25, 2016 10:56 PM
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Saturday, March 26, 2016 12:02 AM

Is it the case that a purchaser of the land would be able to reject/strip the lease? Depending on the rights CF has under the lease, the purchaser of the land may buy subject to the lease (meaning CF can remain on the property without exercising its right of first refusal).

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 7:30 AM

It's Geauga Lake all over again!!! They bought it to shut it down!!!

*runs to find his tin foil hat*

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 8:27 AM

Right. So, a GM stood up in a crowd to say there's big future plans for a park. Hmmmmm.... Aren't those the guys that always act like they were the last to know?

This is very interesting. It also makes me more than a little anxious to think there's a park that could close, especially one I have yet to visit. I've been to the area one time in my life, and with limited opportunity chose Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk instead, which I still view as a wise choice. Back then the park wasn't all that interesting and I had been to it's clone in Gurnee anyway. Now I'd really like to visit and see for myself what similarities still exist as well as how the two parks grew differently. It's a unique American theme park story.

But if the park is an under-performer and money can be made then it may be a plan. (Can significant money be made by selling a lease to a potential buyer? I don't know. I'd guess this type of thing happens with bars and restaurants all the time.) And it opens a buttload of rides and attractions that could move to other parks across the country. (Dorney, Dorney, and Dorney) But seriously, Cedar Fair is out there shopping Europe and Asia for flats to add to their parks, and here's a small collection that could be of use somewhere. The Columbia Carousel could be awesome at, say, CW or WOF. Tiki Twirl? Same thing. Select coasters could be moved, too, especially the unique ones. I've always heard the invert there is a great ride. As for the woodies, there may not be much hope. And one of them is crappy anyway.

The Pavilion was designed and positioned to partner with the stadium. On game days the multi-use facility is used for receptions and events. So I'd think it can and would stay. And decor, floats, and shows for Christmas can easily be sent to and used at another park. I believe it was Paramount who mounted the last Winterfest at a couple of their parks, KI and Carowinds. And that turned out to be their last Paramount season as they were sold to Cedar Fair after that. I've always wondered what became of all that Christmas stuff.

My hope for all you home boys is that you get to keep your park. And maybe I'll get off my ass and get out there soon.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 9:30 AM

Or, you know, we could all just take it at face value that the general manager's suggestion that they're going to keep growing the park is what will happen.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 9:41 AM

Yes.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 10:34 AM

The park isn't going anywhere.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 11:15 AM

Didn't they try to sell this park several years ago but the deal fell through?

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 3:06 PM

Yes - I seem to remember early on in Cedar Fair's ownership that they were looking to close/unload the park.

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 6:32 PM

Bookmarking this thread for 2074... ;-P

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 6:59 PM

Isn't this one of those rumors we hear every so often? I could have sworn we talked about Great America going bye-bye a year or two ago, and I was all excited because maybe Dorney would get the Intamin launcher...

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 8:49 PM

"Cedar Fair is closing CGA" is the new "Magnum is sinking"?

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 9:01 PM

It's the new "sign this e-petition to bring back Geauga Lake."

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 9:10 PM

Petition? Bran muffin!

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Saturday, March 26, 2016 10:09 PM

The reason there was sliiiightly more weight to the rumor this time is because of the fact that Irvine Company actually has plans (and even a 3d model) of what their plans for the land would be, and presented it to the mayor, and the fact that the land actually is going up for sale this Spring and CF has to take action to keep the park. The city doesn't own the land anymore, it's some weird Successor Agency that's holding it now. This all based on the articles by San Jose Inside and The Metro, a printed news publication in San Jose (mostly related to local entertainment), and is a subsidiary of The Mercury News. So for once it wasn't just online rumors, and actual news stories are bringing up the controversy.

But Jeff... what's that thing you're doing. Is that... optimism?? I like that. And yeah after reading the speech from the GM of CGA on Friday, I'm choosing to listen to him; the future of the park seems awesome.

Of course I still have lots of skeptic friends saying "Of course the GM is going to pump up his park on opening day. If he really knows this is his final year, he wants to make top dollar this season!!" But their long term plans seem legit and tangible, so I think the crisis is averted for now. Can't wait to check out the park tomorrow. Rumor is they also added these strange new shops inside the park this season... I've never seen one myself, but they are called "Starbucks" or something. Hoping to check one out one of these rare breweries tomorrow...

--Josh--

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