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The Blade talks with Cedar Fair chief about the future of FUN

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http://www.toledoblade.com/Retail/2016/12/07/Cedar-Fair-chief-Matt-Oiumet-talks-future-of-fun.html

 

This is just a part of the story!

 

 

Sandusky-based Cedar Fair LP is always looking to make acquisitions, but in an industry that’s become increasingly consolidated the odds of finding an amusement park for sale has become slim.
 
“Hersheypark is in the Hershey family trust. And Herschend — no relation — the owners of Dollywood is a family that has no interest in selling,” said Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair’s chief executive.
 
Building a park has become too expensive, so Cedar Fair’s best chance for growth and increasing revenues lies in complementary development, like hotels and the new $23.5-million Sports Force Park/​Cedar Point Sports Center in Sandusky, not far from the company’s hallmark amusement park.
 
“Our vision is to create fun that’s larger than life. We want people to come to our parks not to ride rides, but to think of them as the place to be to have fun,” Mr. Ouimet told investors and Wall Street analysts Tuesday in New York at the UBS 44th Annual Global Media and Communications Conference.

 

 
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interesting article indeed, It's interesting how Ouimet looked at Hersheypark when Dorney Park is only an hour and a half away.... If Cedar Fair is looking for parks to buy, The Busch Parks could become available....  

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Regarding other plans, he said, Cedar Fair will still build thrill rides like a new wooden coaster that will make its debut at Kings Island near Cincinnati this spring and will create more “techtainment” — the marriage of attractions and video-game technology.

It opened two such attractions last year — Mass Effect and Plants vs. Zombies — that are rides but let people shoot video images. “Where’s the magic of it? You get a score at the end,” Mr. Ouimet said.

I am sure he said a lot more but the bolded parts are unsettling to me. I have more than enough video game technology in my house. Yes I go to parks for fun, but not to get a score. I don't see the magic in that.
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Interesting article. Anyone think the land that was once the old Kings Island Inn will become a Cedar Fair- owned sports center?

Gosh, I really hope so. I wish for that area to become anything associated with the park (heck, even overflow parking), far over anything /not/ associated with the park. I especially have worried over the plans they had (have?) to make it apartments. Letting that land go was a big mistake I hope will ultimately be rectified.

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There definitely could be a sports complex located where the old KI Inn was. The plan is to add those chain wide, it seems.

 

At the moment, none of parks mentioned or not mentioned are available. Only time will tell if CF can acquire those in the near future. This is an interesting time for Cedar Fair. Should they seek to add more parks to the chain, it will depend on selling price amongst other factors

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Regarding other plans, he said, Cedar Fair will still build thrill rides like a new wooden coaster that will make its debut at Kings Island near Cincinnati this spring and will create more “techtainment” — the marriage of attractions and video-game technology.

It opened two such attractions last year — Mass Effect and Plants vs. Zombies — that are rides but let people shoot video images. “Where’s the magic of it? You get a score at the end,” Mr. Ouimet said.

I am sure he said a lot more but the bolded parts are unsettling to me. I have more than enough video game technology in my house. Yes I go to parks for fun, but not to get a score. I don't see the magic in that.

 

I am not a big fan either, but we have to understand that the target audience seems to have taken to the VR, especially at SIX. CF will need to keep up as well.

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Agreed! I can jump into the Kalos and Alola regions (Pokemon) anytime (and anywhere) I want, however, there is only one place I can ride The Beast. What I'm trying to say is, I can be on my phone (or 3DS) anywhere, but I can only experince awesome rides at a place like Kings Island.

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Something else of interest to me was this...."We want people to come to our parks not to ride rides, but to think of them as the place to be to have fun"... maybe that means we will start seeing more of what Ive been wanting and expecting out of Ouimet since he took over, and thats a park experience more along the lines of Disney, both in atmosphere and employee training/service.

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I thought I read that cf had the chance to buy the land but turned it down. Imagine if they did, ki could have used that area for future development and expand, maybe a new themed area. I doubt this would ever happen but gwl could buy where ki inn used to be, and ki could repurchase that property for their new area, it would look nice to go along with the new entrance.

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I always thought it would be cool to have multiple theme resorts around the park. For instance, why not have a beach themed resort with direct access and early entry to Soak City? Why not have a rustic campground/ resort somewhere to the southeast of the park with shuttle to RiverTown? Maybe even a turn of the century themed resort with access to Coney Mall? Themed resorts work, just look at how GWL brings in the crowds. There would have to be something unique to draw visitors in the off season. Surely there are other ideas besides water park resorts that would draw customers year round.

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Interesting article. Anyone think the land that was once the old Kings Island Inn will become a Cedar Fair- owned sports center?

I feel like the company would use this location as a way to have a Kings Island based Hotel sort of like Breakers at CP. Since they seem to really begin to focus on developing Kings Island a little bit more lately. (I'm not just saying about the difference in years between getting new rides. But I've noticed a lot of new stuff coming quickly these last few years.)

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Another option to grow revenue is to market their brand outside the park. For instance start of chain of fast food restaurants serving up their line of premium burgers, chicken strips and chicken sandwiches.

Right now if you want that deliciousness you have to drive to the park and you can't even get it during the off season. The pent up demand is just huge, just look at how long the lines are the first couple of weeks of the season.

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