Judge expected to name winner in Hard Rock Park auction on Thursday

Posted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:09 AM | Contributed by Jeff

An auction began Monday for bidders interested in purchasing Hard Rock Park, but it is unclear how many bidders were involved - or who they might be. A judge is slated to rule on the auction Thursday, when the winning bid will be made public. The auction took place in the New York offices of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. Officials doubt a 2009 reopening.

Read more from The Sun News.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008 6:18 PM

My money is on Merlin.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008 6:47 PM

Ill take CF With two parks within a days drive HRP fits in to the season pass packages.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008 9:33 PM

My bet is on Parques Reunidos. They're still expanding. Not to mention it's a European firm with a favorable euro-dollar exchange rate that makes this a relatively cheap acquisition.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008 10:20 PM

I also think CF is best positioned to buy HRP. They have a very large pool of talented and experienced mangers they could draw from. Something that the foreign companies have yet to really build in the U.S. CF also has expertise in efficent and cost effective operations and has been recently focused on consolidation to further cut costs.

If CF can get the park for cheap, cut the park's expenses, and steadily build attendence then I think it would make a great long term investment.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008 10:45 PM

The Cedar Fair talent pool has been draining for some time. Appointing the CEO's kid to a GM position isn't helping that.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008 12:27 AM

And instead of retaining the good people from Paramount Parks, they went through and sacked a good number of them.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008 7:14 AM

Gonch and I bought it. ;)

Hey, a girl can wish!

-Tina

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008 9:35 AM

I don't see CF in play. They are still worried about servicing their Paramount debt, and would be hard-pressed to get financing with their balance sheet as it stands today. What's more, I think (hope) CF learned their lesson about "different" parks---they really underestimated the importance the wild side made to Geauga, and have said so publicly. HRP is going to sink or swim not on the rides package (which everyone agrees is thin) but the overall experience. CF doesn't do "experience". It does "rides". That's their core competency.

So, not only do I think they can't buy it, even if they could, I'd think it would be a mistake.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008 10:49 AM

On the other hand, Cedar Fair might simply purchase it for the rides, if that $35 million is low enough to justify what they'd be getting. Say what you will about Geauga Lake, but the company certainly learned how to spread a park's assets out over an entire chain for a couple years. $35 million, even if that were doubled to a $70 million to reflect the cost of disassembling, transporting, and reassembling the attractions, might be money well spent. And they'd still have a fair amount of property left to build a waterpark or sell off when the market improves.

I don't know if this would be economical or not, merely speculating about possibilities. Not that I'd like to see it happen. I never want to see a park vanish, old or new.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1:15 PM

coasterqueenTRN said:
Gonch and I bought it. ;)

Hey, a girl can wish!

-Tina

Heh. The price was low enough that with a little creativity, you and I could've probably secured the funds. :)

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008 10:57 PM

Not only do I doubt a 2009 opening, I'm confident we won't see a Hard Rock Theme.

Heck if CF does in fact buy, we'd be lucky to be left with even a rock theme. HRP will be welcomed into the realm of "good parks" with unfortunately "bland vibrations."

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 1:46 AM

My money is on the same thing Ensign said. I bet CF will/has bought the park simply for the purpose of parting the rides and equipment out to the rest of the chain. I'm so happy I made it to HRP this past summer.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 9:11 AM

What kind of sense does that make? It would be a completely arbitrary cap ex decision tied to a real estate deal.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 10:35 AM

Because you know it is a conspiracy, Jeff...Just like Geauga Lake. ;) ::)

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 12:14 PM

Now look, I wasn't going there. This has nothing to do with Cedar Fair buying Geauga Lake. All I'm saying is that the company did a very good job making the most of those assets when they decided to close the park. They've already proven they can do it, so all I was suggesting was that it might be a good investment to make, considering the relatively low price for the HRP assets.

Sheesh, you people . . .

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 12:19 PM

With just the '08 cap-ex cancellations/postponements, HFEC must have saved half the price of this whole park - yet no one mentions them at all. Plus, HFEC is also "in the area" with D-Wood and Wild Adventures in reasonable proximity.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 4:44 PM

I just received a breaking news email saying that there was no winning bid for the park.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 5:34 PM

Anybody go a clue what the reserve price was? If there was no reserve, the top bid WOULD be the winning one.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008 5:58 PM

Looks like someone jumped the gun. There was no winning bid:

http://www.scnow.com/scp/news/local/grand_strand/article/no_new_owner_for_hard_rock_park/24122/

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