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Cedar Fair announces closure of Geauga Lake as a ride park, now strictly a waterpark
Last Post 09/25/2007 4:47 PM by bruce. 3 Replies.
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GregVanG Veteran Member Veteran Member Posts:2863
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09/21/2007 3:58 PM  
Cedar Fair Announces New Direction for Geauga Lake

SANDUSKY, Ohio, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cedar Fair

Entertainment Company announced today that Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom in

Aurora, Ohio, will become exclusively a water park attraction beginning with

the 2008 season.

"After four years of operating Geauga Lake as a combined water

park/amusement park attraction, we have concluded that its future should be

entirely as a water park," said Dick Kinzel, chairman, president and chief

executive officer of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. "Visiting Geauga Lake

is a 119-year-old tradition in northeastern Ohio. That tradition will

continue, but in a new and exciting way."

"Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom has been recognized as one of the finest

water parks in the country," Kinzel said. "Over the past three seasons, we

have invested approximately $25 million to create and develop the premiere

water park in northeastern Ohio. Since its opening in 2005, Wildwater Kingdom

has been the park's highest rated attribute."

Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom attractions will include Tidal Wave Bay, a

30,000 square-foot wave pool featuring seven different types of wave patterns;

Liquid Lightning, a 60-foot-tall tornado slide; Thunder Falls, Ohio's tallest

water slide complex; an activity pool; an action river; and a multi-story play

structure. The park will also provide a catering facility and picnic

pavilions for group outings and poolside cabanas will be made available for

daily rental.

Water parks are very important to Cedar Fair. In addition to parks where

the water park is incorporated into the amusement park, the company owns and

operates five separately gated water parks: three in California, one in Ohio

(Soak City at Cedar Point) and one in Missouri.

Kinzel added, "Water parks traditionally draw from a closer geographic

market than amusement parks, and we believe Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom

will continue to be successful in drawing visitors from the greater Cleveland,

Youngstown and Akron-Canton areas."

Geauga Lake's 2008 operating schedule, admission pricing, group programs

and other operating details will be announced at a later date. However, the

water park season is traditionally Memorial Day to Labor Day.

As part of the changeover to exclusively water park attractions, a number

of the rides at Geauga Lake will be introduced at other Cedar Fair parks.

The property not necessary for the operation of the water park is being

reviewed for other uses and development.
bruce Veteran Member Veteran Member Posts:3180
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09/21/2007 8:59 PM  
OH No ! What will become of Jerry's favorite roller coaster -_-_-_-_-_-_ the Raging Wolf Bob's?


: - (
Craig Burda Veteran Member Veteran Member Posts:1729
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09/25/2007 4:36 AM  

As a concerned stockholder in Cedar Fair, I wrote inquiring about their decision to close the park. I urge all other stockholders and enthusiasts to do the same. This was their reply.



Mr. Burda,

Thank you for your interest in Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. This was not an easy decision for us to make given the parks long history, however, the market demand simply isn’t there to support the park as it is currently structured. Water parks draw from a much closer geographic market than amusement parks and we believe Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom will be very popular in northeastern Ohio.

Our Planning & Design Department is in the process of evaluating the best use of the remaining assets at Geauga Lake. We have also recently hired a consulting firm to review the various options for the excess land at Geauga Lake as well. After the removal of rides we anticipate we will have approximately 400 acres available for development.

Sincerely,

Stacy Frole
Director, Investor Relations
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
bruce Veteran Member Veteran Member Posts:3180
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09/25/2007 4:47 PM  
Sep 25, 2:49 PM EDT


Amusement park closing angers fans, excites developers


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AURORA, Ohio (AP) -- Howard Gillooly chose his apartment because it was close enough to Geauga Lake that he could ride its roller coasters whenever he wanted.

He and other fans of the park were stunned when Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. announced that it was closing the 119-year-old park, leaving only a water park.

"It happened so fast," Gillooly said. "I really don't know what I'm going to do."

The decision to close one of Ohio's three biggest amusement parks has neighbors wondering what will happen to the land and roller coaster fans asking where the thrill rides will end up.

There are two parts of the park - Geauga Lake with its roller coasters and thrill rides, and Wildwater Kingdom with its water slides and pools.

Only the water rides will remain next year, opening up about 400 lakeside acres to developers who already are envisioning a housing development, a golf course community or a mix of shops and homes.

"It's a fantastic opportunity," said commercial real estate broker Kathy Fogg of Brecksville. "It's something that Ohio can now offer to businesses around the country."

Cedar Fair, which purchased Geauga Lake from Six Flags in 2004 for $145 million, announced it was selling the amusement park last week. It has hired a real estate company to evaluate and put a price tag on the property, which sits in a growing area about 20 miles southeast of Cleveland.

"Probably a lot of residential developers are salivating over the prospects," said Joseph Martanovic, a senior vice president at real estate company Colliers International.

Fans of the park aren't as enthusiastic.

"I was excited about being in the back yard of Geauga Lake," said Richard Munch, a member of the American Coaster Enthusiasts who moved to the area about a year ago.

At a town meeting with Geauga Lake's manager, Munch said his children will be disappointed. "I think you're going to hear that a lot," Munch said.

Two of the Geauga Lake's roller coasters were already being relocated to other Cedar Fair parks and some of others will be going too.

But coaster enthusiasts are worried that Cedar Fair will scrap some of the rides, including the Big Dipper, a wooden roller coaster built in 1925.

Geauga Lake was a small regional park until Six Flags took it over and changed its name to Six Flags Ohio in 1999.

Four new roller coasters were built in 2000 and Six Flags bought neighboring Sea World a year later, combined the parks and changed the name to Six Flags Worlds of Adventure.

The investment didn't pay off and attendance fell.

Combining the parks and removing Sea World's star attraction, Shamu the killer whale, was a mistake, said David Sangree, president of Hotel & Leisure Advisors in Cleveland. "It made people come for one day instead of two days," he said.

Cedar Fair, which also owns Cedar Point in Sandusky and King's Island near Cincinnati along with nine other amusement parks in North America, removed all the animals from Geauga Lake and instead built a new water park.

"They made a big miscalculation by selling off the animals," Sangree said. "The reason people went there was as much for Sea World as it was for Geauga Lake."

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