Cedar Fair sells land next to Canada's Wonderland, will use proceeds to retire debt

Posted Thursday, July 23, 2009 9:48 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that it has finalized an agreement to sell its undeveloped land adjacent to Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto.

“I am pleased to say that all conditions have been met and we are now moving forward to complete the sale of 87 acres of surplus land near Toronto to the Vaughan Health Campus of Care,” said Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The sale of this land is another step in our commitment to reduce our debt and strengthen our financial position for the long term.”

The Company anticipates the transaction will close in the third quarter and the net proceeds of approximately $50 million will be used entirely to reduce its term debt. Further details regarding this transaction were not disclosed.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 11:13 AM

If this is the land I think it is, then it is located across the street from Wonderland, and in a Google Earth photo appears to be or to have been a large vehicle turnaround or parking lot entrance ramp. In the photo it looks like it might have previously been a ball field, and it looks like it would have been a decent spot for a 1970's style amusement park hotel, but not much else. This sale looks to be a total 'win' for Cedar Fair as the land in question is really of no use to them.

--Dave Althoff, Jr

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 11:40 AM

I wonder what they'll save in property taxes alone.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 1:38 PM

They'll save something. I don't know how it is in Canada. But, I believe undeveloped land doesn't have nearly the taxes that developed land does.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 3:13 PM

This park still has plenty of room to expand if they want.

Not a bad deal for cedarfair. Pay off some debt, and get rid of a piece of land that they probaly will never use.

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Thursday, July 23, 2009 4:35 PM

If this land is in fact to the north of the park and north of Major MacKenzie Drive where the north entrance/exit to the parking lot is accessed from, I wonder if the park will continue to use that entrance/exit? I found that entering through the main (south) entrance and exiting to the north worked best for me.

Last edited by James Whitmore, Thursday, July 23, 2009 4:38 PM
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Thursday, July 23, 2009 7:16 PM

That's the land I was thinking of, again I don't know for certain that's what they sold, but it makes sense.

Looking at the Google Map, it looks like the land to the North of Maj. MacKenzie is a former city park turned into a gigantic cloverleaf to house tollbooths a long way from the parking lot and to provide much easier access to the North end of the parking lot than the park really needs. It looks like there are good access routes to the park from the South and East, and even giving up the land North of Maj. MacKenzie would not preclude access from that end.

The way I see it, if Cedar Fair isn't going to add a hotel and transportation system to the land on the North side, they are never going to use that land. And between the excessive amount of parking space, the "loose" space in the park, and the undeveloped land surrounding the park, I don't think Wonderland is hurting for expansion room.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, July 24, 2009 3:16 AM

I hope they are able to maintain some sort of exit into Major Mack. That south exit has a traffic light on it and it's a mess during a mass exodus. The land sold just has some unused toll booths and an employee and bus access road to the north end of the park.

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Friday, July 24, 2009 8:22 AM

Seriously...why is selling the land a concern for exiting CW on Major Mac? The road's not private!? The concern seems out of place to me...(btw, I went to CW 6 times last year and am familiar with the area).

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