Great American Family Parks secures initial funding

Posted Monday, October 4, 2004 9:40 PM | Contributed by supermandl

A company called Great American Family Parks, Inc. has secured $429 million in funding to become what it describes as a "market leader in regional theme parks" by way of acquisitions.

Read more from PR Newswire.

Monday, October 4, 2004 9:46 PM
Hopefully a little bit of that money can go to paying someone besides the lawyer's kid to design a website.

Adam*** This post was edited by LONNOL 10/4/2004 9:46:44 PM ***

Monday, October 4, 2004 9:51 PM
I wonder if Lesourdsville Lake and Wyandot Lake fit into their plans? This sounds to me like what Funtime Parks and Premier Parks USED to be.

This will be interesting to see how this develops. Methinks they've already been talking to Six Flags... :)

Monday, October 4, 2004 10:00 PM
I believe that should be changed to $429,000 not $429 million.
Monday, October 4, 2004 10:36 PM
The parks that they are looking at are very small at this time. Even then it will take a lot more financing than $429,000 to buy one.
Monday, October 4, 2004 10:54 PM
I am unsure about the legitimacy of this company. There seems to be a lot of financial shuffling (so much that it's difficult to follow the money), but I don't see much commerce going on. Is this more than a pump and dump?

(The first URL won't post properly. You'll need to cut and paste it manually.)


*** This post was edited by Auditor X 10/4/2004 11:10:01 PM ****** This post was edited by Jeff 10/5/2004 9:49:59 AM ***

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 1:19 AM
The great comedian Lewis Black once said "If it takes longer than 2 sentences to describe what your company does, its illeagle."

After seeing that website, and knowing what $429,000 can do, just give the money to me and my supervisors. We understand ROI for owners.

These clowns have a 'management division' withing the company already? You have to own something to be somebody. 'Managing' means you have no vested interest, you are collecting a service fee to cover your salaries of the lackies you dropped off there to babysit. Its been done before, and has usually led to disasterous results.

My advice. Take that money, put it toward a FEC or a hotel and build an indoor waterpark, anything with year round revenue, and SPEND TIME there. Learn. Then go buy something else, and do the same. Build an amusement empire through customer loyalty and product quality.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 9:20 AM
I thought this was all a big joke, particularly after going to the webiste, before it was posted on here.

Now, I still think it is a big joke...........but not intentionally. Perhaps I will eat my words, but I doubt it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 9:51 AM
Jeff's avatar I kind of laughed about this as well. Buy as many parks as you can and watch the money roll in... Who do we know that failed miserably at that strategy? The comparison to Six Flags couldn't be more ironic. What idiot at the bank approved this?
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 10:02 AM
Their biz plan states that in 2003 they "realized $4.3M in audited revenue" (EBITDA of $375K) generated from their "wholly owned subsidiary" Crossroads Convenience Center, LLC. What the heck is that? Some kind of truck stop or something?

There was a really great line in the biz plan:

"The key reason that Six Flags is the apple of many investors' eyes is its current strategy: the acquisition and turnaround of parks."

Either this plan is a few years old, or GAFP's management hasn't listened to PKS's Q2 conference call .


Tuesday, October 5, 2004 10:22 AM
Crossroads Convenience Center? I'm going to have to do some digging, but there IS a Crossroads chain of gas stations/convenience stores out there. If that's them, then there is at least some legitimate business attached to all this...
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 11:08 AM
My family bought a ice cream franchise not long ago and the start up costs weren't much less than what this company has thus far secured in financing. Somebody is on crack here.
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 12:40 PM
I did some searching on "Crossroads Convenience Center, LLC" and came up with is a 10k filing with the SEC for a company by the name of Asconi Corp. dated in November of 2001.

Here is a (somewhat) brief synopsis of the filing.

Asconi started as "Northwest Parks, LLC" in 1996.

In 1998 they formed "Crossroads Convenience Center, LLC" - which was an "...automobile service center and convenience store" in "in Canyon County, Idaho."

They changed their name in January 1999 to Magic Valley Parks and then changed their name to Parks America! Inc. in December of the same year.

Then the following June (2000) they changed their name to Grand Slam Treasures, Inc. Their business line was "...operations relating to the purchase and marketing of recovered sunken treasure and sports memorabilia, and the development of entertainment properties."

Finally, on April 12, 2001, when they acquired - through a wholly owned subsidiary - "...all of the outstanding stock of a Republic of Moldova company in a share-exchange transaction. The name of the Moldovan company was Asconi, Ltd. and it is a producer and distributor of wine. In connection with the share-exchange transaction, we changed our name to Asconi Corporation." and ceased all previous operations and focused solely on "operations related to the production and sale of wine."

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 12:48 PM
Jeff's avatar Well focused, indeed!
Tuesday, October 5, 2004 1:35 PM
I also just found that Larry Eastland, Chairman and President of GFAM was sued by Asconi (among a long list of others) --look under PART I - Item #3 "Legal Proceedings".

They sued him for "...breach of fiduciary duty...declaratory relief...civil conspiracy..."

According to Asconi's 10QSB filing for the quarter ending 3/31/2003 and their 10K filing for the year of 2003, "...three defendants settled the Company’s complaint by paying to the Company cash of $100,000 and notes receivable of $50,000. In June 2003, one additional defendant settled the Company’s complaint by paying to the Company cash of $25,000 and shares of common stock in a company publicly traded in Moldavia having a value of $101,000. "

Also, "...the Company concluded not to further pursue its complaints against the remaining defendants in light its assessment of the likelihood of success and recovery as compared with the probable costs and duration of such further litigation."

Eastland is part of the "remaining defandants" group.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004 2:37 PM
Also, according to the GFAM website Mr. Eastland is also involved with LEA Management. So, it would be safe to assume that he was the same Larry Eastland who penned this "story" in Wall Street Journal's Opinion Journal where he asserts that abortions are ruining the democratic party because people who have abortions are democrats, so their children would be democrats too.

Silly me, I didn't know political affiliation was genetic...I better change parties right now because my parents and I disagree...

(what can I's a slow day at my office... ) ;) ;)*** This post was edited by redman822 10/5/2004 2:41:43 PM ***

Wednesday, October 6, 2004 11:55 PM
Thanks for the research, redman822.

For more illumination, try Google searches for:
1. "grand slam treasures" carapella esposito
2. "grand slam treasures" travelink
3. "grand slam treasures" kimvision
4. "grand slam treasures" "crossroads center"
5. "parks america! inc." "treasure collection"

April 2000: Dr. Larry Eastland, Chairman of Parks America!, stated, ``The treasure, appraised at $5.4 million in 1991, is a unique and exceptional collection of 17th century Spanish artifacts. The items were collected during the world's first deepwater archeological excavation of a Spanish colonial shipwreck. We've acquired literally thousands of appraised pieces. In fact, there are enough items to handle over 24 months of auctions.''

September 2000: Dr. Larry Eastland, Chairman of Grand Slam, stated, "Grand Slam plans to rapidly grow throughout the Asian market under the leadership of Big Kim as well as through aggressive acquisitions, investments and merger strategies. We have positioned ourselves to become key players in Korea, which is a rapidly growing online marketplace that is just beginning to see the e-commerce potential of the World Wide Web. Korea's Internet industry has already seen growth that has outpaced even the United States."

December 2000: Grand Slam Treasures, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: GRST) today announced that it has acquired controlling interest in Crossroads Center located in the Treasure Valley just outside Boise, Idaho. This retail facility is the first acquisition for its theme park division. Its strategic location will serve as a tourist and gateway center for an entertainment area. Planning is well under way for a regional theme park, the details of which, are expected to be announced in the coming year.

Thursday, October 7, 2004 1:33 PM
That Republic of Moldova mention is a bit scary. Moldova's track record is among the worst of the former soviet republics as far as establishing rule of law, a constitution, private ownership, those pesky little things known as human and civil rights.

I'd seriously question the legitimacy of any business over there, as least with the standards we hold business to here. And I doubt they have anything close to "publicly traded" companies. I wonder just how the original two officers of Asconi "resigned." Probably an offer they couldn't refuse.

It wouldn't surprise me to see this whole thing being an inspiration for a "ripped from the headlines" episode of Law and Order down the road.


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