Archive for December, 2010

Celebrate the Holidays the Castaway Bay Way

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Cedar Point Press Release

SANDUSKY, Ohio, Dec. 10, 2010 — With Santa Claus, Snoopy and more than a quarter-million gallons of water, Castaway Bay, Cedar Point’s year-round indoor waterpark resort, will have its own special way of celebrating the holidays when it reopens for the winter on Friday, Dec. 17.

For starters, Castaway Bay’s 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark has a variety of attractions that range from the Rendezvous Run water coaster, the 100,000-gallon Castaway Bay Wave Pool and an indoor/outdoor whirlpool spa to the Lookout Lagoon Family Funhouse and Creature Cove, an 80,000-gallon activity pool with water basketball, a cargo net climb and serpents to climb on.  For the little ones, Toddler’s Tide Pool is an ideal location to splash and slide.  And even though it is winter outside, inside the waterpark it is a balmy 82 degrees.

For the holidays, Castaway Bay has several money-saving packages that are designed with families in mind.  The Fun Times Family Package includes overnight accommodations, admission to the waterpark, family pizza meal and family photo with a PEANUTS character all for one low price, while the Free Breakfast Package starts the day with a complimentary breakfast.  The Indoor Fun Packages includes two free Color-Your-Own backpacks or T-shirts, two complimentary Color-Your-Own beach towels and a free family photo with a PEANUTS character.  (All packages include complimentary all-day admission to the waterpark.)

Several special activities are also planned for the holiday season.  Each night through Christmas Eve there will be a tree-lighting show while a sing-along with Snoopy will be held nightly through Dec. 30.  There will also be a Christmas Day scavenger hunt.

For an added treat, Santa will visit Castaway Bay every day Friday, Dec. 17 through Thursday, Dec. 23.  Plus, Snoopy and his friends are in the lobby every morning from 8 a.m. to noon, and on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18 & 19, Snoopy will serve hot chocolate and cookies by the fireplace in the lobby right before bedtime.

The fun will continue into the new year as Castaway Bay will also host special events on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  On New Year’s Eve, there will be a parade with Snoopy, a Kids’ Dance Party and a New Year’s Eve Balloon Drop while a PEANUTS Dance Party and a PEANUTS Movie and Bedtime Story will be held on New Year’s Day.

In between visits to the waterpark, Castaway Bay also has activity centers that will provide an assortment of fun things to do.  At Camp Castaway, younger children will be able to enter coloring contests, decorate a Christmas stocking or just play games or read a book.  The activity list at Club Castaway includes decorating cookies, Caroling Karaoke and a nighttime dance party.  A huge arcade is located just outside the waterpark.

Other amenities include a fitness center and The Spa at Castaway Bay that offers massages, facials, waxings and manicures and pedicures.

With 237 rooms and suites, Castaway Bay can accommodate families of all sizes.  Near the resort’s lobby are two different gift shops and three eateries, while a fourth, T.G.I. Fridays, is just down the hallway.

For more information about the holiday events and activities at Castaway Bay, please visit castawaybay.com or call 419.627.2106.

Strobel Field at Cedar Point Stadium: New name and turf

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From the Sandusky Register

SANDUSKY

After months of fundraising, Strobel Field will have a new look and name in 2011.

Cedar Point donated $500,000 to the Sandusky Blue Streak Booster Club on Thursday, enabling Sandusky High School to install long-sought-after turf at the field.

The booster club also received $150,000 from the Wightman-Wieber Foundation for the project, saving the school tens of thousands of dollars in maintenance costs.

Sandusky High School will rename the facility Strobel Field at Cedar Point Stadium, set to debut Aug. 26 for the Sandusky-Fremont football showdown.

“Obviously, we’re thrilled,” Sandusky High athletic director Susan Sackett said. “We’ve been talking and thinking about it for a number of years. So to be moving forward, we’re super excited.”

The booster club still has a lot of fundraising to do, she said.

Although it raised the necessary $750,000 to install the turf, the material only lasts about 10 years.

The school and booster club plan to approach other foundations soon to raise enough money to keep the turf for decades.

The school wants the money to only come from donations, Sackett said, so taxpayer money doesn’t get siphoned away from academics.

“We’re building a sustainable project,” she said. “We need to make sure we’re set for the future also.”

In addition to saving the district money, the new turf will enable the school and St. Mary’s Central Catholic High School to get more use out of the field.

Because of the field’s fragile conditions, the schools only have three to five games per week — sometime fewer depending on the weather, Sackett said.

It also can host only a few practices per week, which hurts the teams’ home-field advantage.

With turf, the schools can have practices and games nightly.

That means moving Sandusky soccer from Venice Heights Elementary back to Strobel Field, where more people will likely attend games, Sackett said.

Cedar Point president and CEO Dick Kinzel said his company is “thrilled” to make the donation.

“There’s a lot of pride in that school,” Kinzel said. “It’s a beautiful stadium, it has a long history and lots of tradition. I think it’s just going to be fantastic.”

Cedar Point couldn’t have made this donation last year, he said, but a strong 2010 left the company in a better position.

“It’s amazing what good weather will do,” Kinzel said.

Construction on the field will likely start in June, after the 2011 Relay for Life event.

The new donations could also help the school secure a National Football League grant worth $200,000 to help maintain the turf in the long run, Sackett said.

The school must submit its application later this month. It’s one of two schools competing for the grant.

Karlene Wieber, of the Wightman-Wieber Foundation, called the new turf “a blessing for the community.”

City commissioner Dave Waddington said the new field will be a source of pride for Sandusky.

“This isn’t just a schools thing,” Waddington said. “We all benefit. This has an upside for years to come. It upgrades our community. It’s something good to brag about on (this) side of Perkins Avenue.”

Cedar Point, Kalahari target of lawsuits

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From the Sandusky Register

SANDUSKY

Thrills sometimes lead to spills at local amusement parks and waterparks and a handful of people slipped and stumbled their way into lawsuits in 2010.

Local thrill parks generate a ton of revenue for the community and lawsuits have become part of the cost of doing business.

“Lawsuits are extremely rare in comparison to the millions of guests parks entertain each year,” said Colleen Mangone, spokesperson for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

The majority of the lawsuits stem from injuries guests sustained on rides. The amusement park association and the National Safety Council together maintain a nationwide injury reporting system for amusement rides, tracking every facility operating in the U.S.

In 2008, for instance, nearly 300 million people visited amusement parks in the U.S., according to the amusement park association.

Those visitors enjoyed 1.7 billion rides. And of all those rides, 1,343 resulted in injuries.

Representatives for Kalahari Resorts and Cedar Point declined to talk about specific cases they dealt with in 2010.

Cedar Point spokesman Robin Innes, however, did comment on safety at the park.

“Overall we have one of the best safety records,” Innes said. “Guest and employee safety is a top priority.”

More than 3 million guests visit the park every summer, enjoying more than 33 million rides, Innes said.

Not all lawsuits are injury-related. Some were sparked by corporate or management issues.

Great Wolf Lodge, Rain, Monsoon Lagoon and African Safari Wildlife Park all escaped lawsuits in 2010.

Below is a look at the lawsuits filed against Cedar Point and Kalahari this year:

Four lawsuits were filed against Cedar Point

WHO: Elizabeth Fresch

WHAT: Fresch filed a civil lawsuit opposing the sale of Cedar Fair to Apollo Global Management. The lawsuit was consolidated with the previous block of 2009 lawsuits brought by investors in an effort to obtain a higher valuation per unit.

STATUS: Closed when the class action suits were dismissed in Erie County Common Pleas Court in April after the merger fell through.

WHO: Inna and Albert Davidov

WHAT: On Aug. 19, 2008, at Cedar Point’s Soak City, the Davidovs claim Inna was struck from behind by another customer while riding on a water slide. The lawsuit, filed on March 31 this year, claims Inna suffered head, neck and back injuries. So far, the Davidovs said they’ve incurred expenses of $3,578, and they’re seeking rewards in excess of $25,000 for pain, suffering and permanent injury.

STATUS: Pending in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

WHO: Michael and Tiffany Wilcox

WHAT: Filed on May 18, the lawsuit claims that on Oct. 25, 2008, two large barrels swinging at a Cedar Point haunted house struck Tiffany. The collision injured her hand, wrist and arm, crushing the bones and breaking blood vessels, the suit claims. The suit is seeking damages in excess of $25,000.

STATUS. Pending in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

WHO: JoAnne M. Dematteo

WHAT ITS ABOUT: On July 19, Dematteo filed a lawsuit claiming she fell on July 27, 2008, while leaving an ice show at Cedar Point. She missed a concrete step. Dematteo, partially disabled because of polio, sprained her right knee and had to have surgery on a torn ligament. With surgery and rehabilitation, she says she incurred $28,215 in medical expenses, plus $7,500 in other costs.

STATUS: After a failed settlement where Dematteo sought no less than $250,000, her case is still pending in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

Three lawsuits have been filed against Kalahari Resort

WHO: Barbara Blarek

WHAT: On Jan. 6, 2008, Blarek was walking near the children’s pool when she slipped on water, causing her to fall and twist her ankle. Her lawsuit is seeking reimbursement for medical costs of about $42,000, plus lost wages. She sued Kalahari Resorts and Kalahari Management for awards in excess of $25,000 each. She also sued Blue Care Network for coverage of all medical bills relating to the incident, but the insurance provider was dismissed from suit.

STATUS: Unknown. Records in Erie County Common Pleas Court list the case as closed, although other case files indicate it’s pending. Blarek’s attorney did not return messages seeking comment.

WHO: Daniel Wolf

WHAT: On May 19 Wolf was a rear passenger on an inner tube headed down a water slide when the tube collapsed, throwing Wolf into another person. The lawsuit alleges Wolf incurred medical expenses after suffering a broken nose, as well as injuries to his neck, back and buttocks. He’s seeking damages in excess of $25,000.

STATUS: Filed in August 2010, the lawsuit is pending in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

WHO: Brian Langshaw

WHAT: On Oct. 20, 2008, the lawsuit says, Langshaw was riding the Flow Rider when he broke his right foot and twisted his ankle. He needed two surgeries on his foot. He’s seeking damages in excess of $25,000.

STATUS: Filed in November 2010, the lawsuit is pending in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

Cedar Fair Retains Korn/Ferry International To Assist With Ongoing Succession Planning Process

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Cedar Fair Press Release

SANDUSKY, OHIO, December 6, 2010 – The Board of Directors of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that it has retained Korn/Ferry International, one of the world’s leading executive recruiting firms, to assist the Company with the final phase of its previously announced and ongoing succession planning process.

Among other things, Korn/Ferry will work with the special committee of independent directors of the Cedar Fair Board, which includes C. Thomas Harvie, David L. Paradeau and John M. Scott III, to identify and evaluate qualified candidates to succeed current Chief Executive Officer Dick Kinzel, whose employment agreement expires on January 2, 2012.  This confidential process will include both internal and external candidates and is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2011.

“Today’s action is an important step toward the completion of our thorough process for a seamless leadership transition,” said Tom Harvie, Cedar Fair’s lead director of the special committee.  “We look forward to working with Korn/Ferry to identify and evaluate candidates who can help lead the Company in its plan to deliver long-term growth and value creation.”

Harvie said that, out of fairness to all involved and to maintain the confidentiality of the process, the Company would not comment further on the process or any candidates under consideration until a successor is named.

Interview with Cedar Point Director of Maintenance & New Construction Ed Dangler

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From WKZO.com

Coaster buffs like myself will enjoy a full 30 minutes with Ed Dangler, Director of Maintenance and New Construction at Cedar Point. Topics include various coaster wheel assembly arrangements, launch and restraint systems, how coasters and maintained and repaired, the process through which Cedar Point decides what to build and how to build it and much more!

Interview Highlights

  • No wooden coaster in the near future for Cedar Point, maybe after two more years. 16:12
  • Part of the WindSeeker’s foundation will be on the beach [like suggested by the construction stakes earlier this season].  18:10
  • WindSeeker Challenges  18:15
    • Winter Weather
    • Water Table
  • Process of Adding a Ride  20:32
    • Executive Planning Board to decide ride based on the need to offer guests something new and excited.
    • Ride manufacturing is in charge of the design.
      • TUV overseeing WindSeeker Construction.
  • Dick Kinzel decides if they want to be the first at something, such as the tallest and fastest roller coasters. 25:35
  • Nostalgia is a delicate decision at Cedar Point.  A long and thought out process to remove a ride. 26:00
  • Guest input is important. Cedar Point is good friends with ACEers.  They read and encourage comments.  Social media gives them instant feedback.  28:00
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