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HW: Matt Eckert named new President and CEO

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The thing that gets me is this. The facts are documented. There is no disputing them, and Dan didn't even try. A lawyer, claims were made such as:

* That was just boilerplate language in the agreement and I shouldn't be held to it ("Time is of the essence" which literally means deadlines are strict)

* When I signed something which was read aloud at a board meeting, I signed it as a board member but not as just me and I didn't know it actually happened, even though just a bit later I had acknowledged it in a transaction with my sister.

* the Koch family is being caused to forfeit the park (I'm Koch family,,,Will's kids and widow aren't)

* I am willing to take income out of a corporation before it can be split with my deceased brother's wife and kids as required. I then will take that and use it to claim I paid it as part of buying the park.

The Court affirms these findings, and more.

And Dan continues to own 40 percent of the park corporation.

This must be a very uneasy relationship. I can't imagine what the past three years must have been like, nor what the future will be like for the rest of the family

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I already imagine the vultures are starting to circle Holiday World. Not that the park is going out of business, but with the prolonged and painful legal proceedings, the family strife, and the potential these issues could have on operations and additions. Holiday World may be targeted as a park to acquire by some of the chains out there (Herschend). Maybe the Mayflower is a sign of things to come and maybe it isn't.

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has sided with Lori Koch:


Dan may now request transfer to the Indiana Supreme Court, which takes one out of every 100 civil cases or so.

Here is the full opinion:


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I'm still trying to figure out why people don't like Lori. She did everything in her legal right to protect the future of her family. She was being low balled and taken advantage of but she was smart enough and strong enough to stand up for herself and her family and not let someone ILLEGALLY take what was hers. I hope if I passed on unexpectantly my wife would do the same thing for our family as Lori did for her family. She married Will. She along with Pat are probably the two people who knew Will's vision for the park the best. She hired Matt who worked side by side with Will for multiple years to run the park for now. Why would either Matt disgrace his partner's vision or Lori disgrace her husband's vision by not holding the park to the same standards Will did years ago? The park will be fine. In fact I believe that the park is in better position now than it was with Dan at the helm. To be honest all of this drama started when Dan came back into the picture of HW. It was all fine while he was in Florida tending to his legal firm and had nothing to do with the park other than being a shareholder. When he came back and tried to strong arm his way to the top is when the proverbial "stuff" hit the fan.

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^ Until the appellate decision was released, we didn't have the facts of the case. Opinions here were based on news reports from trial court briefs, public statements by Lori and Holiday World, and peculiar online postings by Dan. This illustrates the danger of making inferences without having all the facts.

The litigation has cost both sides millions of dollars, and the entire situation is truly a tragedy all the way around. We have criticized apparent cost-cutting by current management, but in fairness we don't know the constraints they're operating under or how litigation has affected the park's finances. Ownership disputes aren't good for recruiting talent, borrowing money, or even managing effective public relations.

Regarding Dan coming into the picture, recall that it was Lori (as the representative of the estate) who hired him to fill in after Will's untimely death. Litigation did not start until (per the court) bad faith efforts were made to acquire the majority ownership from Will's estate. It would seem that Lori trusted him to protect both of their interests, which he clearly failed to do.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...

Thanks you jcgoble3.  We should definitely meet up at Coastermania!  Especially since I'm a 5th wheel in my group :)  No trucker joke intended




ON the Timberliners topic, I learned from Giga2K that anti rollbacks were added, to The Voyage, on the hill leading up to the final break run during Timberliner testing because they kept not making it up that final hill.  She had noticed that they had been added and asked the manufacturer rep who was there for HoliWood nights 2011(?).  He was the one who told her the Timberliners weren't completing the circuit and it sounded to her like it happened a lot.  If I remember right, they are lighter than the PTC's and that was causing problems.  If that's the case, there may be no easy fix and possibly no fix at all.  

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