Many businesses confident Cedar Fair will improve Geauga Lake

Posted Friday, November 5, 2004 8:51 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Geauga Lake's decline in attendance and loss this year had a measurable effect on surrounding businesses, but many feel that Cedar Fair will turn around its acquisition in the next few years.

Read more from The Akron Beacon Journal.

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Friday, November 5, 2004 9:22 AM
Well looks like well find out on the tenth.

*** This post was edited by razore86 11/5/2004 9:26:45 AM ***

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Friday, November 5, 2004 10:30 AM
Wow...even without the animals they still lost that much money? I certainly can vouch for how dead the park was this year. A LOT of my trips only had 3 to 4 rows of cars in the parking lot.


*** This post was edited by RollerCoasterGod 11/5/2004 10:31:15 AM ***

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Friday, November 5, 2004 10:44 AM
Am I the only one that thinks, "Who cares?" A 2.2% overall decrease in profit is unfortunate, but we've seen worse over the years when they didn't buy a park, let alone at the last minute. Investors clearly aren't concerned either, as there doesn't appear to by a sell-off this morning (it's actually up a few pennies).

I'm a little disappointed the park didn't have a better year, but I'm not surprised either. The marketing was absolutely inadequate and I saw no compelling reason to visit.

That said, I think the way they're positioning the park next year will be a very good thing. ;)

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Friday, November 5, 2004 10:44 AM
it says they made money at their waterparks.... I thought i read that attendance was down 15%?
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Friday, November 5, 2004 10:59 AM
I think that was for the second quarter, wasn't it? If the water parks' strongest quarter attendance wise is also the third, I suppose they could've made a reasonable recovery.
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Friday, November 5, 2004 11:07 AM
Attendance was down at the water parks, but it didn't go down enough for the parks to loose money.
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Friday, November 5, 2004 11:26 AM
I never went into the waterpark(to ride) at GL. I'm not a huge fan of them. I do like flumes and plunges tho.
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Friday, November 5, 2004 12:31 PM
I guess GL will need a big coaster to help out.
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Friday, November 5, 2004 1:01 PM
No, a totally different strategy and better positioning for the potential market is what it needs. Less than a week from now we'll all know what that is.
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Friday, November 5, 2004 1:22 PM
Don't hold your breath for a new coaster at GL in 2005... But start practicing anyways... ;)

+Danny

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Friday, November 5, 2004 2:09 PM
Holy crap they're putting a coaster *in* the lake?! With no oxygen tanks?! You'll have to hold your breath the entire time!? Cool!

(if they're going to throw one in, please let it be RWB)

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Friday, November 5, 2004 2:31 PM
I agree with +Danny...I wouldn't hold my breath for a major coaster at GL in 2005.

According to today's conference call, total 2005 combined remaining (excluding the previously announced attractions for the other parks) cap ex for GL, CP, and WoF will be $34M. Unless CP and WoF get practically nothing, that doesn't leave much cash for a major coaster.

Personally, I find it amazing that they achieved the results they did considering GL's attendance. They projected 2004 attendance of 1.5M (a decrease of 300K from SFWoA), but only reached attendance of 700,000! To only reach 50% of anticipated traffic at GL and to still achieve these results speaks to good management. (And, yes, I guess I'm a "fan boy"--of the stock certainly!)

Kinzel said that their overall plan for GL is to "make it complimentary with CP, not to compete with CP." He also said that there will be a new pricing structure for 2005 that they believe will improve attendance.

Re: the conference call...once again the first analyst question was about which SF parks they'd consider acquiring. (As usual, Kinzel played it close to the vest...)Joel*** This post was edited by JZarley 11/5/2004 2:50:02 PM ***
*** This post was edited by JZarley 11/5/2004 2:51:50 PM ***

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Friday, November 5, 2004 5:29 PM
The wait is killing me.....
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Friday, November 5, 2004 10:34 PM
I went to Geauga Lake 29 times this season! The only reason I go is because i live 10 minutes away.
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Saturday, November 6, 2004 1:20 AM
Re: the conference call...once again the first analyst question was about which SF parks they'd consider acquiring. (As usual, Kinzel played it close to the vest...)

I don't expect Cedar Fair to expand rapidly but it wouldn't surprise me to see them pick up a park or two from Six Flags in the next year or two. Its a shame they already have Knotts in Los Angeles...I'd love for them to take over and fix SFMM. Then again, they have two parks in the Cleveland market....

mOOSH [not holding breath either]

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Saturday, November 6, 2004 5:30 AM
Ha ha! Good one, Danny. And nice 'positioning' comment, Jeff.

I just hope I get back to CP and GLP next year. I was impressed (to say the least) with both, but thought that GLP could have used a few (houndred) extra customers. Solid ride line up, beautiful park on the rides side. I may just have a reason to go over across the lake next year as well...

Now if only I knew what CP was getting...Oh, wait, nevermind.;)

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Saturday, November 6, 2004 5:12 PM
I'm glad to see that CF finally announced how much they underestimated the loss of the animals on attendance, but I also know they will never bring any animal entertainment back, and that is why I will not be a 'regular' at the park anymore.

After 3 great family-oriented years at SFWoA, and one dreadfull GeaugaLake'04 season, the fun and complete park enjoyment at the 'new' Geauga Lake has ended, and I'll be more than happy to drive to as far as Hersheypark to enjoy what I consider a real family amusement park! It takes more than coasters to make the park fun for the entire family. I've gone to SFWoA on occasions just to enjoy the scenery and the shows around the park, and not go on any rides. What made SFWoA special to me is that it was unique. Cedar Point specialty is coasters, SFWoA's specialty was the family-oriented shows and animal attractions and shows.

The new 'Geauga Lake' isn't truly special in any way (except for the Dominator/former Batman floorless coaster), and that is what Cedar Fair has to fix. One ride will not fix this park, and the park needs to develop something special to bring in the former patrons, and new ones, if they really want to bring tourism back.

I wish CedarFair's Geauga Lake the best on its ventures into their future, and I hope they will, in time, give me a reason to be a 'regular' again.

*** This post was edited by midwave 11/6/2004 5:25:05 PM ***

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Sunday, November 7, 2004 4:04 PM
You say you won't be a regular because they'll never have animals, but that you hope they give you a reason to be a regular again. What can they do to bring you back? Kinzel did say that they underestimated the loss of the animals, but he also said that in the long run it was the right decision. It'll be interesting to hear your reaction to next week's announcements. It was a tough year (with a huge uphill climb for Cedar Fair to obtain a park weeks before opening - don't underestimate that), but you're one of the few who would call anything Six Flags in Aurora did as "great."

Hersheypark doesn't have animals, but you seem to be happy there. A good example of a traditional amusement park that doesn't need a whale to be successful. I guess there's ZooAmerica, but Cleveland has a world class zoo too.

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Sunday, November 7, 2004 11:11 PM
The animals are the #1 reason that GL is not the park that made it special anymore, but its not the only reason i'm not going back for some time.

I said GL can gain me back in time if there is something worth going for again that makes me want to return regularly, and it doesn't have to be animals....It has to be special and unique, though.

There is so much more they can do besides bringing the animals back to get me back..We'll have to see.

I also said GL is not the Family Amusement Park like others, including Hershey...I never said Traditional.....Hersheypark and ZooAmerica are connected, and Hersheypark has Dolphin shows and many other animals because of ZooAmerica ....I know more about the Cleveland Zoo than you must think of me,and that isn't even in question here, because I've been a supporter of them.

I'm not a traditionalist when it comes to amusement parks and such, and you have to offer more than the latest rides to peak my interest. I can go to most any amusement park in the OH & PA area, and enjoy myself just as much and more, so why would I settle for GL?

2 million visitors visited SFWoA in 2003...how many visitors made it to GL in 2004? Why is zoo attendance in Ohio at an all-time high, including all the Ohio zoos, for instance?

*** This post was edited by midwave 11/7/2004 11:54:59 PM ***

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