Kennywood being sold?

Honestly I don't know where all the *SURPRISE* comes from in this thread. It's not like HW, IB and other *SACRED* parks haven't been aproached before with quite generous offers. Some that would allow generations of their families to live in comfort.

When Kennywood became more than a family owned park, This has always been a option and somebody bid aparentnly enough to find their price.

Chuck, Remember Paramount parks were profitable but it was still worth it to them to sell at a price.
*** Edited 12/11/2007 8:35:44 PM UTC by Charles Nungester***

Lord Gonchar's avatar
In other words - everybody has a price. :)

Jeff said:Why is it that every time a park changes hands it's perceived as the end of the world? It is because the reality that it's still about the money is too hard to swallow?

Your right Jeff, Glad CF didn't buy it :)

Sarcasm off.

^^^^ I've never agreed with you more than I do with that statement.

^^^ It's surprising because it's easy to assume there were offers made and Kennywood refused all overtures. I'm sure this isn't the first time a really solid deal was presented, leading me to wonder what happened to lead to this?

*** Edited 12/11/2007 8:52:10 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I'm sure this isn't the first time a really solid deal was presented, leading me to wonder what happened to lead to this?

Seems it's one of three things:

1. Finally someone bid high enough. While there may have been fair and solid offers, this is the one that hit the price.

2. Perhaps no one previously offered to take all the parks off of their hands?

3. Some big mysterious 'inside' info concerning the goings on inside KennyCorp and why this is the right time to sell. (insert spooky, mysterious and/or ominous music here)


I tend to think this is probably not as big as it feels in terms of the guest/product relationship with the park. Time will tell, but if we choose to believe the 'nothing will change' mantra, then all it means is the money is going to a different pocket - everything (and everyone) else remains the same.

rollergator's avatar
^Maybe with ALL I've mentioned above, PLUS the additional land KW was able to acquire, the offer price had jumped...precipitously. ;)

Better access to the park, more land, less competition - the park is on the edge of EXPLODING.

As far as "everybody has a price" - in economics that price is determined by stuff like *anticipated cash flows* and *expected value analysis*. This company apparently has some people who are well-suited to both the hard-math data-driven concepts like these, as well as the "fuzzy math" variables mentioned above. This could lead to some VERY rapid growth for KW - some might like it (business-minded folks), others (nostalgists) may not...but I doubt anything MAJOR will happen before the road projects begin nearing completion.

Lord Gonchar said:In other words - everybody has a price.

Exactly! Honestly there is no such thing as loyalty anymore when multi million $$$ are up for grabs.

Family farms that are still profitable, The family still loves to do it but theres a limit to what they can make on it. ADM comes in and offers two million. SOLD AMERICAN!

It's no different with parks, Im just wondering if this group and others like it are interested in parks like CLP maybe Camden and other parks that clearly aren't in the black but have potential. They could also package 4 parks within a hundred miles like CLP, KW, Idle and SoakZone.

Chuck, who says it's not gonna help the already doing well parks but it will get more people to those that don't. Bonfontaine is a example of this.

Lord Gonchar said:

2. Perhaps no one previously offered to take all the parks off of their hands?

If that is the case and assuming Kennywood has wanted a buyer for some time, that makes the purchase of Story Land all the more curious.

I guess it's good that the new owners seem to own a ton of parks, otherwise I could see Story Land and Idlewild being sold off. Seems that "volume" seems to be the name of the company's game... not that I have a problem with that...

kpjb's avatar

Charles Nungester said:

Im just wondering if this group and others like it are interested in parks like CLP maybe Camden and other parks that clearly aren't in the black but have potential.

They are absolutely not. They want nothing to do with any company involved in any type of debt. They only purchase places that have money in the bank and a steady stream of it coming in.


Anyone wonder if Kennywood's value increased a bit when Geauga Lake closed down? I wonder if that made Kennywood more appealing as a so-called growth property?
rollergator's avatar
^LOL, it sure did in my EVA... ;)
As long as Holiday World doesn't sell out, I will be happy and never speak bad about the park.

JVC Everio 30 gig hdd camera Nikon d70s

Jeff said:
Thank God Cedar Fair didn't buy it. God knows they've made some incredibly bad decisions for the Paramount Parks.

What's gone wrong with the Paramount Parks??


Please, no $4 drinks or $12 fast food lunches. I really don't think that will happen because there is competing fast food within walking distance of the gate. As for the picnic shelters, killing them would kill the base of KWs patronage, the numerous school and group picnics that have helped stabilize the park's business.

Arthur Bahl

Jeff said:

Rob Ascough said:Kennywood has been an amusement industry "rock" for more than a century, thanks in part to ownership that has remained the same.
As I said in the news item, this is not correct. Like most every non-essential entertainment, it struggled through the depression and the subsequent decades. It survived because it adapted the same way Cedar Point did, by attracting a social element with dances and band concerts.That said, it can be argued that Kennywood's draw and charm is many decades in the making, and it can't be duplicated. There really isn't anything in this country that matches it in terms of size and scope that I can think of. You'd have to be pretty stupid to go in and change anything without enormous backlash. We have no reason to suspect that this company is stupid like that.

Hate to sound mean but actually you are probably wrong Jeff. I don't have a Kennywood book but I did buy the Coney Cincinnati Book and the owners of Coney often coresponded with the Mcswergens reguarding buisness. Quite honestly a lot of the attendance in the depression and such was based around what BIG BANDS they could book.

Hard to believe but some of these parks HAYDAYS were far more attended per capita in the past than the present and most likely the future.

It's always sad to see a family owned and operated business (amusement park or not) sell out to a large corporation. If they weren't interested in operating the park anymore, I'm glad they sold it so it could remain open though.
Jeff's avatar
Dude, that's what I said. It's on Kennywood's official history page for God's sake. You don't need a book.

The mention of the family members involved reminds me a lot of my former girlfriend Cath's family, as they own a cottage as old as, if not older, than Kennywood, on Mackinac Island. As you might expect, that many generations tends to spread the ownership around quite a bit, so no family member owned a double-digit percentage. If in Kennywood's case we're talking about two families, and they happened to have lots of children, then 100 owners with tiny stakes sounds about right to me.

At that point, no one's stake makes a measurable difference in that case... unless you sell. You didn't ask to be part of it, but suddenly you have an out that you can retire on, put your kids through school or whatever. I'd probably sell too.

The fact that they're sticking to their high ideals, allegedly, regarding vision for the park, either says this company really does align with their own intentions or their price was better than whatever American company courted them in the past. We'll probably never know.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

True dat. I never thought of it that way. I wonder what happens when Koch corporation gets spread between a hundred people?


We don't need no stinkin' Shamu... we have Babuska, the killer peirogie........
Some other factors that might have influenced the decision to sell are the rocky relationship the corporation had with the locals around their parks, and the lawsuits the company's had to deal with over the past few years.

Maybe the ownership got tired of being yanked around by West Mifflin with the ever increasing taxation, lack of services, etc. There was the hubbub over the historical building at Compounce. Plus the lawsuits over the Whip structure and the fallen tree @ LC. For a small group of owners, that has to be mentally and financially taxing, even being incorporated. You can't blame people for wanting to get away from those aspects of the business.

I'd be interested in seeing the dynamic between the town and the new owners. Will West Mifflin view them as a bottomless pit of cash to fill up their coffers, or might they be afraid of pissing them off? Will Parques Reunidos play tough with them or be more cooperative?

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