Family feud and lawsuits behind struggle for control of Holiday World

Posted Monday, March 25, 2013 8:20 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The park built by generations of a family is now splitting a family apart. Will’s widow, Lori Koch, and brother Dan Koch are fighting for control of the family legacy. She wants to pass Holiday World on to her three children. Dan Koch, a lawyer from Florida who once ran the park, says he now pines for a return. The two have quit talking to each other. She fired him as interim president and kicked him off the company board. He said her demands could destroy the park.

Read more and see video from The Courier-Journal.

Related parks

Monday, March 25, 2013 8:32 AM
Jeff's avatar

They say that you shouldn't go into business with your family, but it's a lot more complicated when the business spans several generations. Still, it seems like everything went as it should so far. It does seem like Lori wasn't getting a fair price, and now, if there was an understanding that Will's kids would eventually run the park, why would that change?


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+0
Monday, March 25, 2013 10:40 AM
Jason Hammond's avatar

I agree, this isn't as clear cut as I had once thought. I do agree Will's kids should have the opportunity to run the park. But, I also agree with Dan that perhaps it shouldn't be right now. How many 19, 22 or 24 year old kids have the experience necessary to run a company of this size.

Last edited by Jason Hammond, Monday, March 25, 2013 10:41 AM

843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

+0
Monday, March 25, 2013 12:10 PM

Any people that young with experience have likely company grown the company themselves, i.e. Zuck.

It's a very confusing story. I dont' understand why Will's kids are entitled for management if their parent's shares are sold. But it doesn't sound like that is the root of the issue.

I also can't believe there wasn't (isn't?) guidelines about when the children could start running the park since they had the foresight to define the buyout process.


+0
Monday, March 25, 2013 12:57 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't think anyone was suggesting they run the park now, or Lori wouldn't have designated a "grown up" GM.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+2Loading
Monday, March 25, 2013 3:02 PM
Carrie J.'s avatar

I agree that the article is confusing. It sounds as though there was partial legacy planning in terms of ownership of the park with the buyout plan, but not so much in terms of park management within the family.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

+1Loading
Monday, March 25, 2013 3:53 PM
rollergator's avatar

I think there's a tendency, esp. in "close" families, to believe that everyone will see eye-to-eye and get things done in a way that is agreeable to all involved parties. Unfortunately, having all the paperwork in writing, legal, blessed, and filed is more rare than not...

Just my two cents - I think Dan is probably interested in the park and wants it to do well, but is more focused on the legal aspects of runnings a large business...and Will's kids are probably way more involved in day-to-day operational issues. They'll eventually (hopefully) take over and do wonderful things with the HW/SS brand....but that day likely isn't today.

+0
Monday, March 25, 2013 4:29 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

They probably didn't have much choice. It's more than likely all in publicly available court documents.


843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

+1Loading
Monday, March 25, 2013 4:31 PM
rollergator's avatar

Legal stuff really can't be kept in-house. Once paperwork starts hitting the courthouse/clerk's office, then the newspapers have "the duty to inform." I'm sure everyone at HW would have preferred that this NOT be aired. But if you're the Evansville, IN news - then this IS your headline stuff....

+0
Monday, March 25, 2013 4:41 PM
Jeff's avatar

The thing that seems weird as an outsider is that Dan seems to have a successful law practice in Florida, and has been at it for years. Coming back to keep things together after losing Will makes sense, but why does he want to stay involved in the long term? Career change? Hates warm winters? I guess I don't really know that much about him.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+2Loading
Monday, March 25, 2013 5:59 PM

I don't know the Kochs well at all, but like many of us here have been introduced, visited with them, and attended many events they've hosted. I can't help but think that Pat's heart is likely broken over all of this. She is who I feel most sorry for.

Last edited by RCMAC, Monday, March 25, 2013 6:01 PM
+2Loading
Monday, March 25, 2013 6:04 PM
kpjb's avatar

Plus his 9 and 11 year old kids are down there, presumably with his ex. That would be enough for me to stick around regardless.


Hi

+0
Monday, March 25, 2013 10:00 PM
bjames's avatar

As they say, women have been the downfall of most men. Lol, incredibly sexist, I know.

+0
Monday, March 25, 2013 11:03 PM
Jeff's avatar

There's really nothing "LOL" about that. What year are you from?


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

+5Loading
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 12:14 AM
Carrie J.'s avatar

I agree that it's not likely the family wants to air this publicly. And I don't think anything has been shared that should cause anyone to be losing respect. The loss of a family member unexpectedly and at a young age can leave everyone seeing things differently than before. That's why it's incredibly important to have a will that spells everything out completely.

They will work it out and the park will be fine.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

+4Loading
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 6:55 AM

This kinda stinks, but I hope they all pull through it ok. They are good people for sure, Holiday World will always be one of the underdogs of the industry. Seems like all parties are keeping the well-being of the park up front.

+2Loading
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 10:41 AM

Carrie J. said:
I agree that it's not likely the family wants to air this publicly. And I don't think anything has been shared that should cause anyone to be losing respect. The loss of a family member unexpectedly and at a young age can leave everyone seeing things differently than before. That's why it's incredibly important to have a will that spells everything out completely.

They will work it out and the park will be fine.

Carrie, you're right. When it was posted that the info in a legal battle was publicly accessible, I felt bad about jumping right to a conclusion without remembering that.

Mr. Koch, I apologize for my ignorance. Moronic post will be deleted.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

+2Loading
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 11:12 AM
beast7369's avatar

Dan, kudos to you for taking the time to at least attempt to dispell any myths surrounding the issues in regards to the suits. I truly hope for the best for Holiday World and every single member of the families involved with it's operations. May there be quick and happy ending to this current seemingly rocky road.


+3Loading
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 12:03 PM

Text removed. Please don't copy-paste an entire article here. -J

Last edited by Jeff, Tuesday, March 26, 2013 12:40 PM
+0
Tuesday, March 26, 2013 1:03 PM

There is an excellent article discussing the facts of the case in simple, understandable text. http://duboiscountyherald.com/b/koch-court-erred-in-holiday-world-lawsuit
This is a terrible family situation for all involved but apparently the court might have made a mistake?

+0

You must be logged in to postClosed topic.

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...