Cedar Fair sold the land at California’s Great America and plans to close the park.

Terrible news for the Santa Clara park. Not this again! Stay tuned.

UPDATE: See statement from Santa Clara Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor.

Text from Cedar Fair press release today:

CEDAR FAIR CAPITALIZES ON OPPORTUNITY TO SELL ITS LAND AT CALIFORNIA’S GREAT AMERICA AMUSEMENT PARK

June 27, 2022

Cedar Fair will continue operating Great America under a long-term lease agreement as part of an eventual wind-down of the park

Transaction proceeds to support planned acceleration of strategic priorities including deleveraging and reinvesting in high-return projects within the portfolio

SANDUSKY, Ohio (June 27, 2022) – Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today announced it has sold the land at its California’s Great America amusement park and plans to close the park. Cedar Fair elected to sell the land to Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD), a Bay Area-based logistics real estate company, for approximately $310 million with a lease agreement. The Company will continue to operate the park for a period of up to 11 years and then will close existing park operations at the end of the lease term.

The land sale, which was marketed by CBRE, was the outcome of a strategic review initiated by Cedar Fair in 2021 to explore potential avenues to maximize the value of the Company’s extensive asset portfolio. Cedar Fair purchased the land at California’s Great America in 2019 from the City of Santa Clara after the State of California dissolved redevelopment agencies, requiring the city to cede its ownership of the property to pay off existing debt. Prior to that transaction, the Company leased the land from the City for more than 40 years.

Cedar Fair intends to use proceeds from the land sale transaction to accelerate progress on its strategic priorities of reducing debt to achieve its $2 billion target, investing in high-return projects within its portfolio such as upgrading resort properties, and reinstating a sustainable unitholder distribution. Based on the strength and pace of the recovery since reopening its parks in 2021, and due to the additional capital raised through the Great America transaction, Cedar Fair expects to reinstate quarterly unitholder distributions by the third quarter of 2022, subject to review and approval by the Cedar Fair Board of Directors.

“We chose Prologis as our partner because of their deep ties in the Bay Area and their reputation for working closely with local communities on large developments,” said Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman. “For our investors, the sale and lease agreements allow us to monetize a high-value asset in the heart of Silicon Valley at a very attractive multiple. The transaction also provides us with a substantial sum of incremental capital which we intend to use to further advance our strategic priorities and generate enhanced returns for our unitholders.”

https://www.cedarfair.com/blog/2022/cedar-fair-capitalizes-on-opportunity-to-sell-its-land-at-californias-great-america-amusement-park

See also: statement from Santa Clara Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor.

4 Replies to “Cedar Fair sold the land at California’s Great America and plans to close the park.”

  1. This is incredibly sad. In some ways though, I’m somewhat relieved that Cedar Fair has finally acknowledged what was so painfully clear to its loyal followers: there is more value in the land than the park and the patrons who visit. Witnessing the transformation of a clean, family oriented and well themed park into an outdoor mall with rides has been a tragedy to witness. The magic had long since departed the park along with so many of it’s signature offerings that made this park distinct, if not “great.” So in that sense, I’m glad to get some closure instead of more declines. I can only hope that its absence will bring rise to a worthy successor that better maintains those values it once held dear. Still, I will miss it dearly as it not only was my “home park” from my childhood, but a place where I thoroughly enjoyed working for nearly 5 years.

  2. Thank you for posting Mayor Gillmor’s Youtube video reply to this announcement. I hope that she will do her best to save the park!

    I went through the terrible loss of Frontier Village when I was a kid and now my son may suffer the same thing if his home park, California’s Great America, closes forever. I was hoping that I would be the last generation in my family to go through this!

    I do not know if it will help, but there is a petition to save California’s Great America here:

    https://www.change.org/p/save-california-s-great-america

    I signed it figuring that it would not hurt the park’s chances of survival. The park has had to go through so many ups and downs throughout its history. I do not think that any other theme/amusement park has had a more rocky road to travel on than Marriott’s/Paramount’s/California’s Great America! I am hoping that it will survive yet again.

  3. Sad news. Worked security/loss prevention 2008-2013. Already heard news about them moving psycho mouse to cedar point for their boardwalk expansion.

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