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HW: Matt Eckert named new President and CEO


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That Pat is not welcome in a park her husband, she and her family built up is a travesty. It's not enough she lost her son... Sad. Truly sad.

To not see Pat Koch in any commercials would deter me from coming in all honsety. When I first met her a few years ago, she literally made me feel like a part of her family. She knew that I was from O

My girlfriend took me to Holiday World for my first time last May for my birthday. I said hello to Pat as we walked in and she was very friendly. Later in the day, my girlfriend and I were getting our

Wow. I never saw this coming. Horrible news. I cannot see any good coming out of this whatsoever. I just pray that the descion-making heads of this organization stay level headed. I still feel like this is Will's park and to do anything other than Will's intent is flat wrong.

It was nice to have someone like Will, who cared most about the park and its guests as opposed to money and power, holding the reigns. I really wish for that back.

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^ The new CEO appears to be a good choice. It's in the interest of both sides that the park continues doing well, regardless of the behind-the-scenes feud.

The comments this morning in the Evansville Courier & Press article are interesting.

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Wow, just...wow...didn't see this coming...the Koch family did a good job, until very recently, of hiding the fact there was a war going on between them over control of the park...suddenly, we all know now...

The park, it seems, will stay in the hands of "A" Koch...but will it be Will's Wife, Lori, or Dan and his group? I feel really bad for Pat Koch right now, having to be in the middle of all this...hopefully, the family can mend this wound, and the new CEO does a good job running the park and keeps it going in the direction Will Koch had it (and Dan did appear to be in-line with that direction during his 2-year run)...it could end up sucking though, if whomever does get control decides to pull a cash grab and sells the park to a major chain or outside company. Like what happened to Indiana Beach...ugh.

On another note: Huh, Rhinoblaster is no more? Say hello to Hyena Falls...well, it was actually 100% unrelated to the family fued, but apparently a company that makes sand-blasting equipment used the Rhinoblaster name, and HW doesn't wanted to get sued by an outside company...ESPECIALLY right now...still, I feel a Rhino would whoop a Hyena's butt any day of the week. :P

(^Me trying to give topic a little "brightness", to ease the mood, via joke... ;) )

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Time to re-open the investigation into how Will died so young, seeing as how there are now 32 million motives....

Are you really implying that there was foul play?

Really?

IT WAS PROFESSOR PLUM, ON THE TILT-A-WHIRL, WITH THE GOBBLER GETAWAY GUN.

Amusement parks, serious business.

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The Indianapolis Star has a few more details now in its article, http://www.indystar.com/viewart/20130111/BUSINESS/301110332/Judge-gives-control-Holiday-World-executive-s-widow .

The park, it seems, will stay in the hands of "A" Koch...but will it be Will's Wife, Lori, or Dan and his group?

Don't forget Will's kids, who will presumably inherit Will's half of the business if this ruling stands. Recall Dan's statement when he first took over as president & CEO:

Will’s three children will have time to finish their education and learn more about the family business before they decide how they would like to be involved in the future of the park.

Given that statement, it's surprising that (according to the court) he was attempting to not only take 100% ownership of the company, but to discount the children's eventual inheritance. Commenters in the Evansville article seem to think that this was a sly move by the lawyer in the family, legal or not.

On the other hand, going Lori's way, the Koch children are no longer in control of their family business. It's a shame that both sides couldn't work out their differences without such an ugly fight.

Hopefully wounds can be healed and both sides can share a future with the park, no matter who owns 51%.

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This matter is still in litigation. Unless the parties come to an amicable settlement, a court will ultimately decide the fate of the family business.

It is my understanding Dan Koch is appealing. It seems a rather novel concept of law that because a party may have attempted to underpay in a buy/sell arrangement, the previously agreed to sale need not be consummated. That conclusion may not be supported on appeal.

Terp, who adds there is no intent to advise any party in this transaction by virtue of this public Internet post. Consult a competent attorney in your jurisdiction if you have or think you may have a legal problem. The author is not engaged in the private practice of law in Indiana, Florida, Virginia, the District of Columbia or any United State. Disclaimer included to satisfy certain requirements.

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I find the new details incredibly sad. I can see Lori's argument, as that is what they agreed to, but on the other hand, they're debating the difference between $26,886,014.39 (number of shares x $541.93) and $32,399,847.61 (# shares x $653.07). At what point does $5.5 million of personal gain (on top of enough money to buy a full-size B&M roller coaster) become the difference between regular business and "I hereby use my new-found power to declare you unfit to fill the lead position in your parents' own company because you're out to get me"?

I dunno. I guess I've never been through whatever the Koch family may have been dealing with lately, but there isn't a price that would put my family on the back burner.

Edited to add for clarity: I'm also disappointed in trying to stick a price not agreed upon to the seller. I don't think either side in this is exactly spotless.

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^ That's 17%. There are definitely two sides to this, but if there was an attempt to leave Will's estate less than whole, that was an underhanded move.

The information released so far is from Lori, the park controlled by Lori, and the trial court ruling in her favor. It will be interesting to learn the rest of the story.

It seems a rather novel concept of law that because a party may have attempted to underpay in a buy/sell arrangement, the previously agreed to sale need not be consummated. That conclusion may not be supported on appeal.

Could the judge have nullified the purchase agreement based on fraud, if he accepted Lori's assertion that the shares were intentionally undervalued?

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^ That's 17%. There are definitely two sides to this, but if there was an attempt to leave Will's estate less than whole, that was an underhanded move.

I'm not denying this fact, and if there's legitimate proof that Dan was being underhanded for his personal benefit, then I'm more inclined to agree with Lori's claim. I'm just also considering that

1.) there was a formula approved by all involved parties in the agreement for calculating the shares' worth,

2.) there is, to my understanding, nothing that says that the formula had to be used for the moment the agreement was signed, and

3.) the figures Dan used would have been the latest available data prior to Will's death and thus best represent the value of the property at the moment the agreement would come into effect.

Nevertheless, I feel like this didn't need to ramp up to this level. If Dan feels the value is accurate for the December 31, 2009 data but Lori feels it's valid for the last share trade between the brothers, then it feels to me like it's probably Lori's say since the shares belonged to her husband. Still, even if Dan's rate takes off 17%, she'd still be walking away with such a huge sum of money that it feels unnecessary to argue an extra $6 million on the top. That's just where I stand.

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  • 2 weeks later...
A new name for RhinoBlaster has already been announced, so it seems from the outside that the new controlling interest (Will's estate, controlled by his widow) has ideas of its own. Hopefully their policy of aggressive expansion is not affected by this. (The 2013 HoliWood nights flyer, still featuring a large image of Dan, alludes to a "big" project.)

The flyer (https://www.holidayworld.com/sites/holidayworld.com/files/HWN%202013%20Sunset%20Flyer.pdf'>direct PDF link) has now been modified to remove all references to Dan and the movie that the 2013 event was themed to. :(

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I truly feel terrible for Pat Koch. This is a truly sad ending for such a wonderful family and family park. It's clear that money is more important than family to at least part of this family, and the courts end up having to value relationships.

I don't think peaceful resolution is coming any time soon. It has to be awkward to work close to the family, too. This whole situation is sad.

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I'm sorry, but how petty can she get?

Truly, truly sad.

Pathetic, even.

And then to call it a Koch Family Production.

Wow.

In all fairness, references to Dan were no longer accurate, as he's currently not with the park.

Here is a copy of the original flyer: http://belle.zzxc.net/fun/pw/HWN13.pdf (u: kic p: coaster added to KI in 2009, lowercase)

I truly feel terrible for Pat Koch. This is a truly sad ending for such a wonderful family and family park. It's clear that money is more important than family to at least part of this family, and the courts end up having to value relationships.

I don't think peaceful resolution is coming any time soon. It has to be awkward to work close to the family, too. This whole situation is sad.

It's definitely a sad situation. At least the company seems to be in good hands this year as the legal process drags on.

The particulars of the case still don't make sense to me, but a very-public battle in the appeals court can't be good for anyone involved.

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^ Your browser must be trying to show "application/pdf" as text, rather than as a PDF file. Try now.

(Ignorable details: I changed it so that it's a downloadable "attachment" file, rather than a document that the browser tries to display. Even if you have a broken PDF plugin, this fix should make it work for you. Perhaps you need a new browser and/or bad plugins disabled.)

Looking at the logs, someone seems to be having a hard time guessing the password. It's the name of the coaster, all lowercase with no spaces or punctuation.

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That, is the most disgusting, laughably elementary piece of crap flyer Ive ever seen. My Respect for that organization is dwindling to the level of respect I had for kinzel (not Capitalized for a reason) era Cedar Fair, and for ME to say that is saying a LOT. I, like Terpy, feel incredibly sorry for Pat Koch in this whole debacle. She is a Fine, Class A Lady who doesn't deserve to be involved in this :(

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Ive kept mum for a bit but this is my opinion on the situation. First off I am a huge HW fan. I consider it my home park and definitely my favorite park. But I think Lori is absolutely right in doing what she has done. I believe that when she was married into the family she became one of the family legally and sentimentally as well. The Koch family (I say family because I am not sure who exactly did it) tried to steal, yeah I said it STEAL, $5.5 million from her after her husband passed away. They drew up an agreement and decided to illegally go against what they agreed to do in the event of an a member's death. I don't blame her for going after what rightfully and legally belongs to her. I don't care how much money you have $5.5 million is still a lot of money. My fiance and I went back to Kroger and got a refund for $4.98 after seeing we had two items wrongfully scanned twice when whe spent $200 on our monthly grocery trip (that is only 2.5%). But that money is our money and we deserve it so we went back in and got it back.

No matter what I just hope they can get past it and keep HW what it is.

*let the bashing begin*

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Claims made in a lawsuit tell only one side of a story. No bashing, but if Lori is due 5.5 million, or whatever amount, then why isn't that the remedy? What rule of law says that if Kroger overcharges you, you get the entire store rather than just what you are due? The contract required she be paid for her interest. If the amount is insufficient, why does she get to KEEP that interest instead of selling it as the contract required? I'll not be surprised if this unusual decision is reversed on appeal.

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Claims made in a lawsuit tell only one side of a story. No bashing, but if Lori is due 5.5 million, or whatever amount, then why isn't that the remedy? What rule of law says that if Kroger overcharges you, you get the entire store rather than just what you are due? The contract required she be paid for her interest. If the

amount is insufficient, why does she get to KEEP that interest instead of selling it as the contract required? I'll not be surprised if this unusual decision is reversed on appeal.

I didn't say anything about getting Kroger or Lori getting control of the park. I was talking about the money and only the money because I don't know any of the other details that would allow her to gain her position in the park. She is rightfully allowed that money. All I know is that she was supposed to get the money and she got what was lawfully hers. Just like i got my money back.

Now as you mentioned we have only seen one side of the story. I don't know all the details to this story and this is speculation but maybe Dan was the one who prevented Lori from getting her money and now that is the reason why he is fired. Who knows? That's why I let the courts decide and not people like me! :-)

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Claims made in a lawsuit tell only one side of a story. No bashing, but if Lori is due 5.5 million, or whatever amount, then why isn't that the remedy? What rule of law says that if Kroger overcharges you, you get the entire store rather than just what you are due? The contract required she be paid for her interest. If the amount is insufficient, why does she get to KEEP that interest instead of selling it as the contract required? I'll not be surprised if this unusual decision is reversed on appeal.

Terp, you know a lot more about law and about this case than I do, so I'm inclined to respect your opinions on the matter. Bear with me as I ramble on a bit and play a devil's advocate on both sides, to try to understand this better.

Taking a step back with the Kroger analogy, suppose they have a system error that causes all items to ring up at a 17% discount off the marked prices. If you realize this before they do, do you have the right to insist that the implied contract of sale be upheld?

Going a bit further, suppose you change the dates on a hypothetical 17%-off-everything coupon, so that you can use it after it has expired. If Loss Prevention realizes this as you push your cart out of the store, would they have to uphold the agreed-upon sale? (Furthermore, if you proposed to remedy the situation by simply paying back the 17%, would the store have to accept this?)

My point here is that if a mistake or misrepresentation prevents a "meeting of the minds" at the time a contract is formed, it can* be rendered void.

Back to your argument: what is odd in this specific case is that, from the news reports, the contract seems to have been voided based on the actions of Dan and KDC after Will's death. Going back to the Kroger scenario, suppose you take your modified 17% coupon to Customer Service after the sale and ask for a price adjustment. In that case, Loss Prevention certainly wouldn't have the right to void the sale or repossess your previously purchased groceries.

As best I can tell, the successful argument in this case was that Dan never attempted to fully follow his obligations in the contract, by way of undervaluing the shares. Based on this, perhaps the judge concluded that there was insufficient intent when the contract was entered, making this more similar to the first or second Kroger scenario. In any case, whether the logic applies to the facts, and whether the findings of fact were indeed valid, is now a question for the appellate court. ("intent" here is of course murky; no one intended Will's untimely death.)

There are obviously two sides to this, and a final decision has yet to be issued, but I do tend to respect the opinion of a court over my own feelings in the matter.

Let's all hope that there can be peace and that both sides receive what is rightfully theirs - be it in form of cash, shares in KDC, control of the company, or other consideration.

That's why I let the courts decide and not people like me! :-)

Best comment in this thread so far! We are all lacking an understanding of the facts, feeling an emotional or personal connection, or (like me) both. When parties are unable to reach an equitable resolution, it's great that we have an impartial** court system.

I certainly feel bad for the Koch family members (on both sides) and Holiday World employees affected by this. Especially Pat Koch.

On my first-ever visit to HW last season, I was one of only about a dozen guests at the gate when the park opened during a severe thunderstorm. Sure enough, the stories were true: Pat was out in the storm to greet us!

*IANAL

**but neither instantaneous nor perfect, by any means

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My girlfriend took me to Holiday World for my first time last May for my birthday. I said hello to Pat as we walked in and she was very friendly. Later in the day, my girlfriend and I were getting our free drinks when Pat came up to us and just struck up conversation like we were old friends of hers. She asked us how long we had been together and if we had ever visited before.

My favorite part of our conversation was when she asked where we were from. When I told her Lima was about five hours away she actually got emotional. She thanked us for traveling such a far distance to visit their "little family park," and was thankful for fans of the park like us.

You could tell how proud Pat was of their park. What a great person. I'm sad she has to go through this.

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