Cedar Fair threatens Santa Clara over 49ers deal

Posted Thursday, July 30, 2009 11:11 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Wary of traffic and parking problems, Cedar Fair Entertainment has been skeptical of the 49ers' proposal to build a 68,000-seat stadium in Great America's parking lots since the project was proposed in 2006. In a letter delivered Wednesday to City Manager Jennifer Sparacino, Cedar Fair CEO Richard Kinzel said the Ohio company wants attention to its concerns and more access to information about the stadium deal during the next six to eight weeks. The letter raised the threat of litigation if those things don't happen.

Read more from The Mercury News.

Friday, July 31, 2009 11:44 AM

Say what you will about Kinzel, but he's really a great CEO and gets the job done.

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Friday, July 31, 2009 12:11 PM

^Laughable statement!!

I do luv him for the stuff he's built and treasure my pic with him more than my Megan Fox, Eva Longoria, and Simon Baker pics combined!!

That said, CF could be run so much better. Although, his stubbornness has helped deal with Santa Clara, no question.

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Friday, July 31, 2009 1:04 PM

I think he's been a terrible CEO ever since the Geauga Lake acquisition. This particular instance has nothing to do with his ability to lead, it's just lawyers doing their job to make sure contracts are enforced. His lack of experience outside of the "mom and pop" (as he likes to say) amusement park operation when the company was small is materially hurting the company. He has a one-size-fits-all mentality to everything, and it shows when he tries to force Cedar Point practices on every other park.

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Friday, July 31, 2009 8:24 PM

Geez... those are some good points, Jeff. Maybe I should retract my statement.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009 10:50 AM

You're free to think he's awesome, I just won't agree with you. :)

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Saturday, August 1, 2009 11:20 AM

Maybe I'll go half-in-half with you. I'll think he's awesome for some things, and not for others.

You're definitely right on the money about him implementing Cedar Point-style practices at the other parks, though... which works well for some, worse for others.

Last edited by john peck, Sunday, August 2, 2009 12:36 PM
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Saturday, August 1, 2009 11:42 AM

I know that "defiantly" was probably a typo, but it still makes sense, and is actuially kind of funny.

I'm going to agree with Jeff on this one. There is a lot to complain about when it comes to Kinzel.

EDIT - My spelling sucks!

Last edited by LostKause, Sunday, August 2, 2009 12:51 AM
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Saturday, August 1, 2009 11:03 PM

Jeff said:
He has a one-size-fits-all mentality to everything, and it shows when he tries to force Cedar Point practices on every other park.

This applies more to Jack Falfas more than it does Kinzel himself. It petrifies me to think what things will be like when Falfas becomes CEO. This is my biggest problem with Kinzel; he promotes people based more on loyalty than on merit and qualification.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009 12:04 AM

I completely agree with the above post, as Falfas was the acting GM of Cedar Point a few times over the previous two seasons, but I'll leave it at that.

As for the Great America issue, I was under the impression that this was a park that Cedar Fair would actually like to get rid of. Would this threaten the previous considered amount or what they were hoping to get so much that this matters? That's kind of what I pull away from the article reading between the lines based upon previous statements, articles, etc.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009 12:38 AM

I'm sure they want to get rid of it, and I suspect they view this as a potential out, but if not, then they need to lookout for themselves, certainly. It doesn't sound like this would be good for the park in any way. Ten weekend days with a football game alone would be bad news for a business that lives on weekends, and I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to try and get to the park on one of those days. Then throw in concerts and whatever else they have planned, and I think there's real potential to harm an already crappy business.

That, and if they have the lease, they have the lease.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009 12:49 AM

Of course I would completely forget the situation of them keeping the park. Oh well, my mind is a one lane alley by this time. :)

I'm not entirely clear on the matter, but wasn't the parking lot dual-purpose, serving both the park and the stadium? I seem to remember that being the case (similar to how it was in Houston), but am not 100% sure. Should the stadium be built there, would any new lots created on the site of the old stadium be available for use, or has that not been hashed out yet? Like I said, I'm not really too familiar and up to speed on this particular issue, so forgive me if I'm covering old ground.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009 11:51 AM

The old stadium is not in the same area at all. It's actually in a different town.

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Monday, August 3, 2009 11:44 AM

As a side note, what would it do to property values? Would their property taxes go up on a business that is struggling where it is currently?

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Monday, August 3, 2009 9:54 PM

All of this makes you wish Marriott still ran the show.

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Monday, August 3, 2009 10:49 PM

Why? What difference would that make?

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Monday, August 3, 2009 11:43 PM

Because when Marriott had the park, they owned the land it sat on.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009 12:12 AM

The city has always owned the parking lot.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009 12:29 AM

They did? That is kind of a crappy deal.

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