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The Interpreter

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As has been the stance all along, the gp will notice little or no changes at the former Paramount Parks this season. While there maybe small things here and there between now and October, don`t expect any major changes. Perfect example will be the parks will still probably use the Paramount logo through the end of the season. However, towards the end of the season, we may start to see the new logo sprouting up, but I doubt that will occur until next season.

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Anyone who thinks changes will wait til next season needs to reread the second sentence of the carefully crafted press release:

Cedar Fair will assume the complete operations and management of the parks immediately.

COMPLETE....Operations AND Management.

Immediately.

These words were chosen carefully. They mean what they mean.

And that's how I read it.

That's why I figured that the changes would be noticable as early as this coming week.

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I am pleased. Now that CF has seemingly taken possession, KI and the other former Paramount Parks, can commence transition into the new company.

Change can be good. Change can be scary. In this case, I think that change will be very good.

I am so happy that CF purchased the parks instead of and investment company. I am so happy that Maureen Kaiser and the same dedicated staff will be at KI to serve the guests. I am so happy that PKICentral or KICentral as it might soon be known is here for KI fans like us to share thoughts and information.

Have a great great weekend!

Italian Chef

chef.gif

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All the existing Cedar Fair parks have their own waterparks, though Cedar Point's, Worlds of Fun's and Knott's are separately gated. The only two parks that are branded directly WITH the waterpark in its logo/name are Geauga Lake and Dorney Park. For GL and DP, they generate more of their guests with their waterparks than their ride parks do - because for the most part, there are virtually no lines in the middle of the day on the coasters, or even in the post and pre seasons.

Of course I, like many others, am assuming (and hoping) the 5 parks go to their Paramount-less names here. I would be surprised if they were to, at least before September or October, altogether rid the parks of the Paramount name, replaced with new logos. Now, if employees simply say "Enjoy the rest of your day at Kings Island" as soon as tomorrow, that's not too surprising. As of now, the park's main website is stil www.pki.com, and www.kingsisland.com is a generic "redirect" site that nobody really owns, at this time.

Some operational changes may be easier to pull off: longer hours (to accomodate Saturday and other big crowds), more staffing (to improve the capacity of rides, and better, faster service at food stands). I'd even like to see a non-security staff dedicated to parking/traffic control, like CP and GL have.

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Speaking of parking, I had a question about that:

The only CF park I've been to is Cedar Point. I like that they have people directing guests where to park. Is it like that at all Cedar Fair parks? If so, it'll be interesting to see at Kings Island.

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Paramount kept everthing status quo until Jan 1 when they bought. It depends on if Cedar Fair wants to make a HUGE statement by changing logos and advertising before the off season.Waiting until the park closes to change policies, staffing and management would best be done when the park closes so it will appear transparant to the guests. People (or the public at large) always like to equate good change with birthdays, anniversaries and the New Year. It'll be interesting to see just how big a mark CF will make during the season.

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Kings Island has died

Kings Island has risen

Kings Island WILL COME AGAIN!!!

-adam12

Get off the internet, you fail for making quotes like that

What do you mean "I fail"???

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whats gona happen to TR:TR ?? and IJST? they are highly theme rides. what will CF do with them?

I hope they remove them, (won't happen wishful thinking) because they are 2 of the worst rides I have ever been on!

-adam12

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whats gona happen to TR:TR ?? and IJST? they are highly theme rides. what will CF do with them?

I hope they remove them, (won't happen wishful thinking) because they are 2 of the worst rides I have ever been on!

-adam12

Nah, not terrible.

Just not really living up to what they really could have been.

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Speaking of parking, I had a question about that:

The only CF park I've been to is Cedar Point. I like that they have people directing guests where to park. Is it like that at all Cedar Fair parks? If so, it'll be interesting to see at Kings Island.

Kings Island always use to direct people where to park. The lack of direction (like everything else) is a paramount thing. They did parking just like everything else, with the half a$$ed paramount charm.

-adam12

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Speaking of parking, I had a question about that:

The only CF park I've been to is Cedar Point.  I like that they have people directing guests where to park.  Is it like that at all Cedar Fair parks?  If so, it'll be interesting to see at Kings Island.

Kings Island always use to direct people where to park. The lack of direction (like everything else) is a paramount thing. They did parking just like everything else, with the half a$$ed paramount charm.

-adam12

OH NO!

I can assure you that when the Paramount Folk took over they were full and complete asses.

Honestly, I hope that the CF Folk are a little more respectful and cooperative with the former Paramount people than how the Paramount people treated the KECO Folk.

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whats gona happen to TR:TR ?? and IJST? they are highly theme rides. what will CF do with them?

I hope they remove them, (won't happen wishful thinking) because they are 2 of the worst rides I have ever been on!

-adam12

Nah, not terrible.

Just not really living up to what they really could have been.

I guess I say that because they marketed them like they were something they aren't. I don't think either of them qualify as "the major new ride for the year."

-adam12

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Well, I tend to disagree. Both rides are relatively major ride installs. Yes, TR:TR is just a "Giant Topspin in a box" but it is one of the most heavily themed rides at a seasonal park. They may not be the biggest or baddest new ride in the country the year they opened, but they certainly appealed to the families and offer a unique thrill/concept to the park. Granted IJST could have been placed on some undeveloped land as not to force the removal of the Antique Cars and the sending of the Eagles to Carowinds.

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Speaking of parking, I had a question about that:

The only CF park I've been to is Cedar Point.  I like that they have people directing guests where to park.  Is it like that at all Cedar Fair parks?  If so, it'll be interesting to see at Kings Island.

Kings Island always use to direct people where to park. The lack of direction (like everything else) is a paramount thing. They did parking just like everything else, with the half a$$ed paramount charm.

-adam12

OH NO!

I can assure you that when the Paramount Folk took over they were full and complete asses.

Honestly, I hope that the CF Folk are a little more respectful and cooperative with the former Paramount people than how the Paramount people treated the KECO Folk.

Out of fairness, there used to be a lot of security people directing drivers where to park, up until around 2000.

Also, a good amount of tram service was provided until the mid to late 1990s - you could ride to some of the closer sections and even the Passenger Pick-Up! It was reduced in the past few years, and as of this year, no trams have operated at all.

The mass cost-cutting did not start right in 1993 when Paramount officially took over - it took some time.

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I do believe that trams have operated on the busier days this year. Its just that when they redid the front gate area and removed the tram circle, it kind of defeated one of the benefits of the trams. Granted, taking a tram to the Deep South lot is still better walking to the new tram pick up location than all the way out there.

But in general, the people directing cars to parking spots is a nice way to start off the day at the park. Disney parks do this. Heck, even Coney Island does that for concerts and more crowded days. But that is in part due to the limited availability of parking at Coney on the busier days. Some days, cars will have to park out in the grass between Lake Como and Kellogg.

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I do believe that trams have operated on the busier days this year.  Its just that when they redid the front gate area and removed the tram circle, it kind of defeated one of the benefits of the trams.  Granted, taking a tram to the Deep South lot is still better walking to the new tram pick up location than all the way out there.

I may be wrong, it's just that when I've gone this season (20 times!), I haven't seen them. Maybe I haven't been on the busiest days, except for 6/22 for BeastBuzz, and I still don't think I saw any.

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"...anxious to begin integrating these five great family-oriented parks with our current properties."

I think they do see the Paramount parks as providing a different park experience than their other Cedar Fair properties. While I expect some thrill rides in the future and coasters, I really think they are going to keep KI more of a family park and Cedar Point the thrill park in Ohio. This would seem to be a very good marketing strategy. This would keep the two parks from going head to head.

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I also like how the Cedar Point flag on their opening page is larger than any other parks flags. I hope all of use that are KI fans can except the park not being the flagship of the company. Weather or not you like Paramount they did treat the park differently than the others.

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I also like how the Cedar Point flag on their opening page is larger than any other parks flags. I hope all of use that are KI fans can except the park not being the flagship of the company. Weather or not you like Paramount they did treat the park differently than the others.

Yep, that they did. Especially for a while there. Let's see...they moved corporate operations from Cincinnati to Charlotte. For quite some time, they led one and sundry to believe that the flagship park was near corporate headquarters, in Charlotte. The busiest Paramount Park in recent years has been Wonderland.

In more Paramount years than not, Kings Island was NOT the park that received the largest capital investment of the five...

Yep, as a sale was coming, in the past couple of years, they started making noises when they were in the Cinci area that Kings Island was the flagship park, but the noises were louder than the actions.

In any event, that was then. During the conference call on the day the acquisition was announced, Mr. Kinzel himself pointed out that Cedar Point is the engine of Cedar Fair and will remain so. This is true even though the company has now acquired two parks that do more business at the gate than does Cedar Point.

It will be interesting to see both who owns the now-current Cedar Fair parks five years and ten years from now, and how the corporate emphasis is placed on the individual parks, in marketing, capital expenditures and prestige.

I really don't buy that the Paramount Parks are going to be treated and run differently long-term than the "original" Cedar Fair parks (of which all were purchased at one time--except, perhaps, depending on one's viewpoint, Cedar Point). Even if that is the current intention (and I am not sure that it is), it may well fade over time as a single corporate culture develops. To me, it speaks volumes that on the map of Cedar Fair properties, there is no differentiation between the old Cedar Fair properties and the old Paramount Parks properties.

Really, though, the bigger question is how much of the Paramount Parks culture makes it into the new company and how much is left behind. Not to even mention the question of how much SHOULD make it.

Much depends on what happens to the middle and upper managers from Paramount. Will they be allowed to stay? If so, for a year or so or permanently? Will they want to? Will their pay remain the same? Will they seek better opportunities elsewhere? Will they get helpers from Cedar Fair? Will their jobs even survive? Or will 'snyergies' in the new Cedar Fair make many of them redundant? If so, will the company find out, too late, what some of these people really did and that it was far more necessary to the company than they thought? And all of this is really on a person by person basis. The one thing I KNOW is that some people WILL leave...and they might not be the ones that the company would prefer did. More likely, they will be among the best and the brightest.

As for directing parking at non-Cedar Point Cedar Fair parks, even Geauga Lake, with the relatively low attendance it is getting, directs guests to parking areas. The last time I was there, they probably had 6 people working the parking lot directing parking! On the other hand, I have never, ever seen a tram in the parking lot at Cedar Point. I am not even sure they own one. Come to think of it, I've never seen a tram in ANY Cedar Fair park. At least I don't remember seeing one. (I have seen the hotel shuttles, but those are not trams in the parking lot...)

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Anyone who thinks changes will wait til next season needs to reread the second sentence of the carefully crafted press release:

Cedar Fair will assume the complete operations and management of the parks immediately.

COMPLETE....Operations AND Management.

Immediately.

These words were chosen carefully. They mean what they mean.

And that's how I read it.

That's why I figured that the changes would be noticable as early as this coming week.

I guess I don't understand why there would be any surprise in this comment...

If CF wasn't running operations & management now, who would be?

Every acquisition/merger/takeover I've been involved with, the acquiring company took over the second the papers were signed.

According to the conference call & presentation after the deal was announced, they mentioned that CF was actually buying the Paramount Parks entity, instead of buying the assets (parks). That makes things a lot easier from a transition standpoint because you don't have to do anything like immediately fire...than rehire...10K+ employees. Paramount Parks is now simply a wholly owned subsidiary of Cedar Fair.

Although, I'm sure from now on we'll never hear the "Paramount" used in the name anymore, and there will be a steady purging of the branding as it makes financial sense to do so.

And...I still want to rename Top Gun as FASI smile.gif

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If CF wasn't running operations and management now, who would be?

Good question. It's one of tone.

Answer: The combined management of the new Cedar Fair...with some acknowledgement of the great talents and assets of the new combined company. Something totally absent from that announcement.

Instead, look at paragraph 4 of that same release for a hint:

Kinzel added, "Cedar Fair's employees as well as many employees from the Paramount Parks have a long history and strong reputation within the industry. They have demonstrated their ability to drive solid returns on investments and are ready and anxious to begin integrating these five great family-oriented parks with our current properties."

So Cedar Fair's employees have a long history and strong reputation within the industry. But only MANY employees from the Paramount Parks have that history? And the second sentence seems to refer to the Cedar Fair employees and MANY of the employees from Paramount Parks. Not all, just many.

There's more than a hint there....

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Yeah...but a hint of what? That there will be major changes in personnel, management, and operations? You've been one of the people who has been saying that would be the case all along.

I fully agree with what you're saying...I guess I just don't see it as a suprise. (Nor, do I think you do...) Some faint praise for the former management, with the clear undertone of "but, Cedar Fair will do it better." I'd be really shocked if they didn't think they could do it better smile.gif

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I don't know if that's a course they'll follow or not, but a big chunk of the $104M more in revenue CP did over PKI in 2005 was due to Soak City being a separate gate. (That, and of course the hotels and the fact that CF guest's spend on average $3+ more per visit than at Paramount Parks...)

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