Ouimet looks forward, respects legacy of Cedar Fair

Posted Monday, July 11, 2011 1:40 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Cedar Point and its sister amusement parks will remain strong by relying on their legacies and evolving in the future, the new president of Cedar Fair Entertainment Co said. Matthew A. Ouiment will become chief executive officer of Cedar Fair when current CEO Dick Kinzel retires next year.

Read more and see video from The Morning Journal.

Monday, July 11, 2011 1:43 AM

I realize that anything he says could simply be lip service at this point, but He's certainly romancing me so far. I like the parts where he talks about people wanting respect, and that he's responsible for peoples' livelihoods. That resonates with me.

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Monday, July 11, 2011 6:18 AM

Oh Jeff, Jeff, Jeff. You funny little man. "Respect" isn't one of the 4 1/2 cornerstones. (Integrity gets the 1/2.)

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Monday, July 11, 2011 10:02 AM

Jeff said:
but He's certainly romancing me so far.

Clearly. Your capitalization implies he's already reached deity status. ;)

Last edited by Vater, Monday, July 11, 2011 10:03 AM
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Monday, July 11, 2011 10:52 AM

+1.

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Monday, July 11, 2011 12:07 PM

I think my iPad did that. It doesn't capitalize Good.

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Monday, July 11, 2011 12:16 PM

Maybe it knows you work for Microsoft.

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Monday, July 11, 2011 1:37 PM

Ouimet joins the company after working for years in the hospitality industry, including 17 years with the Walt Disney Co., where he developed its vacation club, cruise line and Disneyland resort.

This is exciting to me. I would love to see some of that experience go into developing Breakers into something actually worth paying the money for. :)

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Monday, July 11, 2011 1:47 PM

Very interesting to finally "hear" him speak in the visual sense to get a better feel from his body language. Extremely polished, incredibly personable, passionate for the business, confident in his abilities and obviously exactly what Cedar Fair needed to build upon what Kinzel created and take the company to the next level.

The next two years we won't really see much of his imprint from a physical sense. Dick has been putting his approval stamp already on items for 2012 and he will remain in limited-capacity with the company through 2013. I am confident that behind the scenes though Matt will place the seeds that will be sown to create a change in the culture of how the company manages people, from corporate staff down to line-level employees. I've been reading a book called "Creating Magic" and I believe that much of the principles in it will come to exist in the new managing culture at Cedar Fair. It has to for the survival of the company.

The real telling period for the "new" future will be around 2014 when Matt and his team that he assembles will begin to put their approval stamp on the physical items in the parks. Whether it be new rides, shows, hotels or special events, this I believe will be the beginning of the Ouimet era and I honestly think the future has never been brighter for Cedar Fair and all of it's hard working employees.

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Monday, July 11, 2011 2:07 PM

On a related note, I wonder where Ouimet will live. And I wonder if Kinzel will move out of Sandusky.

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Monday, July 11, 2011 2:15 PM

I wouldn't be surprised if Kinzel stayed, if his pride would let him. Regardless of whatever else you can say about the man, it's clear he truly does love Cedar Point.

Note: mods, please excuse my posting mess.

Last edited by Ensign Smith, Monday, July 11, 2011 2:16 PM
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Monday, July 11, 2011 2:18 PM

The real telling period for the "new" future will be around 2014 when Matt and his team that he assembles will begin to put their approval stamp on the physical items in the parks. Whether it be new rides, shows, hotels or special events...

I could be alone here, but personally I don't think the "what" is a problem at most of the CF parks. I think there is a lot more that can be done in the domain of "how": the little things that are about service and hospitality.

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Monday, July 11, 2011 4:15 PM

Brian makes a good point. But, you do have to wonder what Ouimet sees as the physical maturity of the parks under his leadership.

I am very hopeful for the many seasoned full time employees who may not be given a little breathing room to try ideas that they have been chewing on for years that have gone nowhere under current leadership. There is a word that has been around a while: Empowerment. I think they hunger for it.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011 10:39 AM

My biggest concern is that Big Daddy, as chairman of the board, will still try to run the company and scare Oimet off. Hopefully that doesn't happen, but it looks like he has a hard time letting go of power, and now he doesn't have his protege to come and ask him how to do everything, he has a seasoned vet that knows how to run a company.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011 10:56 AM

But doesn't his position as chairman only run until the beginning of 2012? Then he's out totally.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011 11:58 AM

Dick Kinzel lost the title of Chairman of the Board in January 2011. He remains in some sort of limited capacity related to the company through 2013.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011 1:44 PM

You know, I completely forgot about him not being chairman of the board any longer. So, good then.

In that case, I wonder what the Cedar Fair of 2014 will look like...

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