Kinzel talks about overall state of Cedar Fair in newspaper interview

Posted Sunday, May 6, 2007 12:44 PM | Contributed by Jeff

CEO, chair and president of Cedar Fair Dick Kinzel tells The Plain Dealer how the Paramount Parks acquisition is going, and what some of their plans for the future are.

Read more from The Plain Dealer.

Sunday, May 6, 2007 1:33 PM
Very nice read. One thing I've liked about reading things from Kinzel....He tells it like it is and doesn't throw a lot of fluff and PR spin on everything. He's very upfront with facts and figures which is refreshing to read. As a fan and a unit holder I really appreciate that.
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Sunday, May 6, 2007 9:43 PM
What was interesting in this article was the first mention of Son of Beast being slowed down with additional brakes being added. I do wonder what section of the ride will have its speed trimmed. A few spots come to mind. At one time there was a trim brake before the hill to the rose bowl , but this was only for part of the rides first season, I think from september to whenever the park closed that year. Also with the loop removed, they could trim the ride more along that straight way (block brake). This would make sense since with the loop removed you wouldn't need all that speed and also could reduce the speed before the 2nd helix and the second half of the ride.

Hopefully the ride becomes much smoother and rideable without becomming too tame or having horrific pacing. Will be interesting to how it rides with its new trains and slower loopless form.

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Sunday, May 6, 2007 9:52 PM
The part I liked was when he said that Paramount's catered more towards families with kids, and Cedar Fair catered more towards families with teens, and how they are going to focus a little more towards the teen side at the five Paramount parks and more towards kids at the original Cedar Fair parks. I like that idea because it makes the parks a little more balanced.

What I wish he would've done in the interview is to address each park individually about it's specific needs, figures, improvements and such. He didn't mention anything about Great America, Valleyfair, or Worlds of Fun. I was kind of surprised when he was talking about the warm-weather parks he never mentioned Great America which is in California. And I'm not saying this just because Great America is my home park, but it seems like Great America and even Worlds of Fun are getting the short end of the stick, like Cedar Fair isn't focusing that much on those parks. Does anyone else feel that way, or is it just me?

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Sunday, May 6, 2007 10:01 PM
I agree. He gave a really good interview, and just the facts. The facts, by the way, included several thoughts about the future of GL, PKI, CP, and MIA. Note the every 2 or 3 years comment about CP.
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Sunday, May 6, 2007 11:19 PM
He mentioned how the park Cedar Fair was thinking about building in Michigan was actually on the drawing boards. I'd love to see some of the ideas they had for this park that never became a reality.
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Sunday, May 6, 2007 11:20 PM
dpxtreme: perhaps, but when I lived in Shallow Alto and Bezerkeley, I never thought the weather from November through, say, March was ever nice enough to be outside on a regular basis. Remember: Californians generally believe they will melt if it rains.

Even Knott's is iffy in February, in my experience.

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Monday, May 7, 2007 12:01 AM
I know the weather in NorCal isn't too great from November through March because of the rain and cold. I wasn't hinting at making it a year long park, but they could do something like Holiday Lights, or something like that and have minimal operation. I was also kind of saying how out of all the Cedar Fair parks, Great America is one of the parks that has the longest operating season (according to this season, 1st is Knott's, 2nd is Carowinds, and 3rd is Great America and Kings Dominion and that Kinzel never mentioned GA once. I just feel like he's overlooking GA and not really giving it much attention. But that's just my opinion. And people who's home park isn't GA probably could care less.
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Monday, May 7, 2007 12:45 AM
I just feel like he's overlooking GA and not really giving it much attention.where have I heard THAT one before ;)
*** This post was edited by crombiedude11 5/7/2007 12:45:22 AM ***
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Monday, May 7, 2007 9:47 AM
^^^^ If they had plans for a park in Michigan, why don't they apply those plans to Michigan's Adventure?
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Monday, May 7, 2007 10:33 AM
My favourite quote (pardon my bias):

Canada’s Wonderland is a great opportunity for us. That one is probably the jewel we really didn’t know how good it was until after we acquired it.

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Monday, May 7, 2007 12:50 PM
Considering the interview was done by the Cleveland newspaper, lack of particulars for the far-flung properties wasn't at all surprising. When any of the properties outside the midwest were mentioned, it was in relation to CF's bottom line. When he talked about the Ohio parks, he got into details.

With all the emphasis on the sorry state of Michigan's economy, not just Detroit's, I wouldn't look for much growth at MIA any time soon.

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Monday, May 7, 2007 1:18 PM
When I worked at the Resorts I was surprised how many people stayed there who were from Michigan. It is safe to assume that is hurting the CP hotels which might explain why there hasn't been any additional expansion as of late.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2007 5:18 PM
MIA has had the biggest increase of attendance of any park in the chain.
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Tuesday, May 8, 2007 6:16 PM
And still not enough to justify a coaster.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2007 9:21 PM
Canada’s Wonderland is a great opportunity for us. That one is probably the jewel we really didn’t know how good it was until after we acquired it.

Somebody shoulda SAID something... ;)

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Thursday, May 10, 2007 12:30 PM
After reading that I just wish Cedar Fair would sell MIA. He should of mentioned that this year in addition to a new game MIA is getting shrimp bites and cheddar munchies on the menu. How would you like to be the poor guy who had to write the press release for park improvements this year and had to come up with menu items because the is nothing else. The west side of the state is growing unlike Detroit and they continue to do nothing for this park. Double JJ ranch just up the street opened a new indoor waterpark that I believe is the biggest in Michigan so they are not afraid to invest in this area. Come on Cedar Fair open up the wallet for some other parks besides Cedar Point.
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Thursday, May 10, 2007 3:28 PM
I took the implication that Cedar Point, Kings Island, Wonderland, and Knott's Berry Farm were some of the properties that will get the most attention. Clearly the year-round attendance at Knott's is important, Cedar Point is... well, Cedar Point, in any interview Kinzel talks about how much he always wanted to acquire Kings Island, and he mentioned above how important Wonderland is.

I think a lot of focus is going to be on building up and maintaining the 3 million patrons-range parks. He has said that Cedar Point is their "bread and butter" which I agree with for the time being, but economic hardships in Detroit may force them to look elsewhere for more capital gains.

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