Posted Friday, April 23, 2004 8:14 AM | Contributed by Gemini
John Hildebrandt, Cedar Point's vice president of marketing, has been named vice president and general manager of Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. Cedar Fair, LP also announced promotions for Geauga Lake and Cedar Point. Read the stories at Virtual Midway.
I figured that some big wigs would be moving to Geauga Lake, but I found it more interesting that Hilderbrandt has been promoted to VP and General Manager of Dorney.
He was only previously in the marketing department of Cedar Point, and now he gets the huge promotion to manage Dorney. But he has been around for quite a while and seemed pretty integral in the development of the Dragster project.
It almost seems like this distribution of managers may have happened anyway, independent of the acquisition of Geauga Lake...the shuffle would just have happened without one more park to send them to. If I were Kinzel, I'm sure I would do something very similar to this.
By sending very qualified individuals who started out at Cedar Point to sister parks, he is solidifying that the Kinzel mentality of operations remains strong throughout the Cedar Fair properties after he retires. And by sending the parks these employees now, there is ample time to groom their replacements to perform just as well while holding their positions at Cedar Point.
Hildebrandt might have been marketing all of his career, but he knows the business after being in it that many years. (I'd also mention that all of the senior managers at the park rotate through a duty schedule running the park throughout the season.) It sounds like there's a great team in place at Dorney and I have no doubt he'll be successful there. He's a great guy, and was always the first to encourage me personally over the years when I'd start networking after a layoff. He's world class.
I think Geauga Lake is getting a lot of bright talent as well, and I think the turn around there will be swift and dramatic.
The Geauga Lake Director of Operations is a nice lady from Worlds of Fun.
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