That time Dick Kinzel lost a lot of money on a low FUN price

Friday, May 12, 2017 4:58 PM
Jeff's avatar

This isn't really news, but it's an interesting case:

http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=1cd0f528-a45b-4a0d-83...4a2ff8bb4f

The TL;DR version is that Kinzel took out a loan to buy $8 million in stock options in 2008, with the stock itself as collateral. When the units tanked in 2009, the lender liquidated the units with net proceeds of around $1 million, which obviously left him on the hook for the other $7 million. He sued for breach of contract, but the court said the lender was well within their rights to do so. Today, that stock would have been worth $11.7 million, and the annual distribution would be worth more than $570k.

I guess not all CEO's get off easy for poor performance.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, May 12, 2017 5:42 PM

Hoo boy, that's tough.

Buy low, sell high is the rule. I'm not a financial wizard, but my man says take the downs with the ups. Don't bail, but wait and it will come back. Eventually.
But if the lender liquidates then there's not much to do, especially if the stock itself was collateral. Maybe the lender, not having a crystal ball, was in full panic mode. But it's clear in hindsight that everyone should have waited.

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Friday, May 12, 2017 9:34 PM
Jeff's avatar

I didn't wait, because it was circling the drain. But I lost a grand at most, not seven figures.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Saturday, May 13, 2017 9:09 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

I'm glad I stuck in there. It ended up paying for my new roof a few years back and is paying for some landscaping and a new fence at both my properties this year.


843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
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Sunday, May 14, 2017 12:47 AM

That guy is one of the worst people I've ever met. He had no respect for his team what so ever. He is a conpulsive liar to the public and truly if he dies without a cent left in his name, I would only laugh. I hope he continues to lose his money. Kinzel may have added some great coasters to Cedar Fair parks, but as a person hes terrible!


Turning Fantasy into Reality

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Sunday, May 14, 2017 5:45 AM
TheAcrophobicEnthusiast's avatar

That escalated quickly.


The best of all the jokers is clearly Mark Hamill.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:01 AM
Jeff's avatar

Uh, I didn't care for the guy, but wishing ill will toward someone in their later years is not a very human thing to do.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Sunday, May 14, 2017 12:02 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

JECmodels said:

That guy is one of the worst people I've ever met. He had no respect for his team what so ever. He is a conpulsive liar to the public and truly if he dies without a cent left in his name, I would only laugh. I hope he continues to lose his money. Kinzel may have added some great coasters to Cedar Fair parks, but as a person hes terrible!

Have you ever shared your story behind the animosity towards Cedar Fair?

I know most of your posts around here are vitriol towards the company and people that work(ed) there, but I now find myself wondering why. Surely it goes beyond disgruntled former worker.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Sunday, May 14, 2017 12:02 PM
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Sunday, May 14, 2017 2:22 PM

I don't have much skin in the game, bought after the crash, but up about 90% on my shares. I'm must say, though, that due to the fact these aren't traditional stocks it adds just a little comlication every tax season.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017 2:51 PM
Jeff's avatar

Yes, I hate having to wait to file until they issue their K-1. Most years I get a substantial refund, and nobody likes waiting for money.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Sunday, May 14, 2017 3:38 PM
jkpark's avatar

Ouch! If he only retired when originally planned.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:01 PM
bjames's avatar

JECmodels said:

truly if he dies without a cent left in his name, I would only laugh. I hope he continues to lose his money.

what's wrong with you, who would wish that on anyone? he's not hitler....


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Sunday, May 14, 2017 10:17 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Surely it goes beyond disgruntled former worker.

You grossly underestimate delusional coaster enthusiasts.

Hell hath no Fury (325) like a coaster geek scorned...


cebeavers.tumblr.com

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.

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Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:16 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

JECmodels said:
That guy is one of the worst people I've ever met. He had no respect for his team what so ever. He is a conpulsive liar to the public and truly if he dies without a cent left in his name, I would only laugh. I hope he continues to lose his money. Kinzel may have added some great coasters to Cedar Fair parks, but as a person hes terrible!

So. He's one of the worst people you've ever met. No respect for his team, so it seems safe to assume you were on his team. A compulsive liar to the public? So he only told the truth to his team? Interesting.


Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx

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Monday, May 15, 2017 12:04 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

JECmodels said:

That guy is one of the worst people I've ever met. He had no respect for his team what so ever. He is a conpulsive liar to the public and truly if he dies without a cent left in his name, I would only laugh. I hope he continues to lose his money. Kinzel may have added some great coasters to Cedar Fair parks, but as a person hes terrible!

So, U still mad about Geauga Lake then?


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Monday, May 15, 2017 12:10 PM
Pete's avatar

JECmodels said:
That guy is one of the worst people I've ever met. He had no respect for his team what so ever. He is a conpulsive liar to the public and truly if he dies without a cent left in his name, I would only laugh. I hope he continues to lose his money. Kinzel may have added some great coasters to Cedar Fair parks, but as a person hes terrible!

While I have no knowledge as to Mr. Kinzel's professional demeanor, the few times I chatted with him he seemed like a very nice man who took time to chat with guests in the park. Your comments are uncalled for and you certainly seem like you have a axe to grind about something.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Monday, May 15, 2017 2:07 PM
Vater's avatar

Raven-Phile said:

So, U still mad about Geauga Lake then?

You might be onto something there.

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Monday, May 15, 2017 2:51 PM

I've been gone for a long time now, and don't have an axe to grind, but Kinzel was not a great leader. He made a lot of good decisions regarding capital purchases, to be sure, and he was ultimately responsible for a number of good moves at Cedar Fair over the years. With that though came a tremendous amount of micromanaging that really stifles the creative element necessary in the amusement park business. He was not good at delegating authority and the fact that there are not a lot of current leaders in the chain who were disciples of Kinzel is pretty telling.

The skeptics out there are still saying that Kinzel bought Geauga Lake simply to close it. I still argue that couldn't be further from the truth. But, Kinzel was responsible for a number of moves early on in the acquisition that didn't help the survival of the park.

The summer of the purchase Geauga Lake had a youth literacy program (Read to Succeed) going on. If local kids read X number of books they could earn a free ticket to the park. Kinzel cancelled that program and did not honor the free tickets which was embarrassing and a PR gaffe.

They abandoned the animal park which was unique to the midwest and drew a lot of visitors. They did it claiming that they don't run animal parks but the reality is that they could have kept it going.

Cedar Fair built Wildwater Kingdom with non-union labor which is a big slap in the face in Northeast Ohio, particularly when you consider how many unions booked Geauga Lake for their company picnics over the years. Phase II of Wildwater Kingdom never comes to fruition save for a wave pool

Kinzel got rid of a lot of the Worlds of Adventure full time staff in a house cleaning move but failed to realize many of those folks had been carry overs from the Funtime/Geauga Lake Days. Those committed individuals know the market very well and their absence created a talent vacuum.

So, up until Paramount Parks become available I think Cedar Fair, and even Kinzel specifically, had every intention to make Geauga Lake a success. After spending over $1 billion for the Paramount chain Geauga Lake became a sacrificial lamb...upsetting many of us with a history of the park. That said, this was a decision Kinzel and the Board made that you have to embrace if you are a Unitholder today because the Paramount purchase, even with all that debt, raised the profile of the company...drawing international attention. Ouimet is wooed and the rest is history.

And, the whole Falfas departure was a debacle and it would not surprise me if Jack's version of the events is exactly what happened.

All that aside, Kinzel raised some good kids. (Hey, every family has a Bart in their closet.) Kinzel was good from a charitable perspective to the community and to his church. Question his decision making all you want but there is no need to denigrate the guy or get personal.

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Monday, May 15, 2017 4:04 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Have you ever shared your story behind the animosity towards Cedar Fair?

I know most of your posts around here are vitriol towards the company and people that work(ed) there, but I now find myself wondering why. Surely it goes beyond disgruntled former worker.

Raven-Phile said:

So, U still mad about Geauga Lake then?

Vater said:

You might be onto something there.

I officially withdraw my question.


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Monday, May 15, 2017 4:50 PM

I knew without asking.

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