Great America (and all the other paramount parks) Sold!

General discussion about Marriott's GREAT AMERICA
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zongaboy626
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Great America (and all the other paramount parks) Sold!

Post by zongaboy626 » Mon May 22, 2006 9:15 am

SANDUSKY, OHIO, May 22, 2006 -- Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership which owns and operates seven amusement parks and five water parks, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of the Paramount Parks. Cedar Fair, L.P. will acquire the stock of Paramount Parks, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) (NYSE: CBSA) for a cash purchase price of $1.24 billion.

The five Paramount Parks consist of Canada’s Wonderland near Toronto, Canada; King’s Island near Cincinnati, Ohio; King’s Dominion near Richmond, Virginia; Carowinds near Charlotte, North Carolina; and Great America located in Santa Clara, California.

“This transaction offers a unique opportunity for us to acquire a world-class asset portfolio,” said Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “It is not every day that we have the chance to purchase five great family-oriented parks that fit extremely well with our existing parks. This acquisition will provide exciting new growth opportunities and the potential for meaningful incremental free cash flow as we realize $20-$30 million in annual cash flow synergies over the next 3-5 years. It will also add significant geographic diversity to our portfolio of parks and improve our position as one of the largest regional amusement park operators in the world.”

In 2005, Paramount Parks generated revenues of approximately $423 million while entertaining 12.2 million guests. Cedar Fair reported $569 million in revenues and 12.7 million guest visits. On a combined basis, the two companies generated almost $1 billion in revenues and entertained approximately 25 million guests in 2005.

The transaction is subject to conditions, including regulatory approval and other terms and conditions customary for transactions of this type, and is expected to close during the third quarter. Further details were not disclosed.

Cedar Fair was advised by Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and Rothschild, Inc., and Bear Stearns is providing $2.0 billion in committed financing in support of the transaction. Squire, Sanders & Dempsey provided legal counsel to Cedar Fair.

Cedar Fair’s seven amusement parks are Cedar Point, located on Lake Erie between Cleveland and Toledo; Knott’s Berry Farm near Los Angeles in Buena Park, California; Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom near Allentown, Pennsylvania; Valleyfair near Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Worlds of Fun, located in Kansas City, Missouri; Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom near Cleveland, Ohio; and Michigan’s Adventure near Muskegon, Michigan. The Partnership’s water parks are located near San Diego and in Palm Springs, California, and adjacent to Cedar Point, Knott’s Berry Farm and Worlds of Fun. Cedar Fair also owns and operates the Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. Cedar Fair’s flagship park, Cedar Point, has been voted the “Best Amusement Park in the World” for eight consecutive years in a prestigious annual poll conducted by Amusement Today newspaper.

Mr. Kinzel will host two conference calls and webcasts to discuss the acquisition. The first call will be to answer investor and analyst questions and is to be held at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 22, 2006. The second call to answer questions from the media as well as follow up on any additional questions from the investment community will be held at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. These calls can be accessed at 1-800-231-5571. The live conference call and presentation slides may be accessed in “listen only” mode via the Cedar Fair web site (www.cedarfair.com). Both conference calls will be made available for replay starting at approximately 4:00 p.m. ET, Monday, May 22, 2006, until 11:59 p.m. ET, Monday, June 5, 2006. In order to access the replay of the conference call, please dial 1-877-519-4471 followed by the access code 7426624 for the investor call and access code 7426623 for the media call.

Editors: B-roll of Cedar Fair’s flagship amusement park, Cedar Point, is available via satellite: Date: May 22, 2006. Time: 10:00 to 10:15 EST. Satellite: AMC 2. Transponder: 1. Audio: 6.2 MHz. 6.8 MHz. Down Link: 11720 Vertical Down. Trouble #: (440) 838-5377 Ext 254. Technical Contact: Jerry Patton, Classic Worldwide Productions, 5001 East Royalton Road, Cleveland, OH 44147. Phone: (440) 838-5377. Fax: (440) 838-1240

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redfishpaw
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Post by redfishpaw » Mon May 22, 2006 12:10 pm

Wow, thanks for posting the info. I didn't realize that Cedar Fair was that interested. This seems like good news for the Santa Clara park.

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steven
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Post by steven » Mon May 22, 2006 2:47 pm

I'm optimistic that this will mean a better future for the Santa Clara park.

Here's the ownership lineage once this transaction has been finalized:

Marriott Corporation --> City of Santa Clara --> Kings Entertainment Company --> Paramount Parks Inc. --> Cedar Fair LP

Steven

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that_guy
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Post by that_guy » Mon May 22, 2006 3:30 pm

I am looking forward to see what they do, I'm surprised, hopefully (lol, I don't think we have to) they will go the right direction :D
The rides are GREAT, the shows are GREAT, the fun is GREAT, at Marriott's Great America! REMEMBER Marriott's GREAT AMERICA, REMEMBER Marriott's GREAT AMERICA!

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dpxtreme
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Post by dpxtreme » Mon May 22, 2006 6:11 pm

This is definately a great move for Cedar Fair and for (P)GA. Hopefully this will put a hault on this family oriented crap (for now of course :wink: ).

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Shaggy
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Post by Shaggy » Wed May 24, 2006 2:05 pm

Anyone care to guess what they are going to change the name too.. outside the prime guess of just "Great America"?

Shaggy

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retlawfan
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Post by retlawfan » Wed May 24, 2006 10:06 pm

"Paramount's Kings Great America, a Cedar Fair Property"

or "Knott's Great America"

who knows at this point...
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Glorfindel7
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Post by Glorfindel7 » Thu May 25, 2006 4:26 am

They might keep the Great America on the parks name, but Paramount is DEFINITELY going....

Unfortunately since this park really doesn't resemble Great America at all anymore its even likely that they'll rename it something else entirely :(

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Shaggy
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Post by Shaggy » Thu May 25, 2006 2:37 pm

Does anyone think it's possible they might try and bring back the themes? Since I think Cedar Fair's other parks are themed.. Well atleast Knott's Berry Farm is..

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steven
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Post by steven » Thu May 25, 2006 4:07 pm

I believe that the original theming that is gone will never return...even if Marriott were to buy the park back!

Steven

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pjm8071
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Post by pjm8071 » Wed May 31, 2006 1:57 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if they get rid of the Great America name just to pull further away from the heritage that SC, and the Gurnee park share.
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retlawfan
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Post by retlawfan » Wed May 31, 2006 7:10 pm

I think you may be right. That would be a shame though.

When the City of Santa Clara took over the park, they didn't know anything about running the park, so they hired a chain that did (KECO). That brought some stability to the park at a time when noone knew if the park would survive. After many more years, Paramount purchased the whole King's Entertainment chain. Since they didn't know how to run parks either, many of the KECO people remained, and so did some stability, even though ownership changed. Now, a new ownership, with theme park experience is in the picture (Cedar Fair), and I feel that the park is going to become a shadow of its' former self. It's many ways it is a sad transition, IMO. I feel many changes coming...
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zongaboy626
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Post by zongaboy626 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 4:59 pm


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