AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
Until this past season, Dick Kinzel never fully appreciated how hard it is to compete with Cedar Point.
In April, the top executive at Cedar Fair LP, Cedar Point's parent company, couldn't ignore the too-good-to-turndown opportunity to acquire its historic Northeast Ohio coaster park competitor from Six Flags Inc. For a mere $145 million, Cedar Fair could own the 700-acre Geauga Lake complex in Aurora.
But because the sale came so close to the beginning of the busy summer season, there was little time to strategize a marketing plan for the newest addition to the Cedar Fair family.
"We really didn't have time to think about [the Six Flags acquisition]," says Cedar Fairs chairman, president, and CEO. "We just jumped in with both feet."
Instead, Kinzel tried to transform the park, which has struggled for years to find an identity, too quickly to be another Cedar Point. And with Geauga Lake just 85 miles from Cedar Point's iconic coaster skyline in Sandusky--the closest distance between two parks in Cedar Fairs empire--it didn't fare well as a Cedar Point wannabe.
As the 2005 summer season looms, Kinzel has debuted an aggressive new marketing and development plan for Geauga Lake. However, it will take a few years before Geauga Lake is doing the business Kinzel expects of a Cedar Fair park. In fact, if Geauga Lake's attendance next season is one-third of Cedar …