News and Updates
From the Sandusky Register…
Cedar Fair has purchased the former J.D. Byrider building and a 13.8 acre lot at 2000 Cleveland Road for $735,000.
The purchase on June 22 from Starland Investment Co. is part of Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet’s plan to beautify the entrance corridors to the park and the city.
“People should see some enhancements to the area,” said Annie Zelm, a Cedar Point spokeswoman. “We look forward to developing it.”
SANDUSKY — Cedar Point has reached many milestones throughout its history with record-breaking roller coasters and sky-scraping rides. This week, the Sandusky scream park celebrated another achievement as the Midway Carousel turned 100 years old.
When you first step inside Cedar Point’s main gate, the spinning, glimmering, musical ride is the first attraction to greet you.
The Midway Carousel, which was created by Daniel and Alfred Muller, features 60 jumping horses, four chariots and a Wurlitzer 153-band organ. The duo, who carved carousels from 1903-1917, built the ride in 1912 for John J. Hurley, who operated it as Hurley’s Hurdlers in Revere Beach, Mass.
The carousel made its first revolution at Cedar Point in 1946 after a Sandusky family purchased the ride and operated it at the park. In 1963, the carousel became the property of Cedar Point. It was recently repainted in 2010.
It is currently the oldest operating ride at Cedar Point.
Veronica Vanden Bout, executive director of the Museum of Carousel Art and History in Sandusky, presented Cedar Point with a plaque to commemorate the Midway Carousel as one of only three of its kind still in operation today.
“The National Carousel Association is pleased to present a Centennial Award to this marvelous merry-go-round,” Vanden Bout said. “Daniel Muller was an amazing artist and sculptor responsible for creating some of the best horses to ride a carousel. To see this artistry still enjoyed after all these years is heartwarming. So many carousels were lost to us and honoring one of the fewer than 250 historic machines surviving is one of my favorite pastimes.”
In addition to the Midway Carousel, Cedar Point owns and operates two other carousels — the Kiddy Kingdom Carousel and Cedar Downs Racing Derby, which is one of only two racing carousels in the United States.
Some stories have swirled that the Midway Carousel is haunted, but park officials say more ghost stories surround the old Frontiertown Carousel, which closed in 1994 and was relocated at Dorney Park in Allentown, Pa.
From the 13abc.com…
Cedar Point was one of eleven parks hosting Coasting for Kids and giving people a chance to spend time high in the sky while raising big money for sick children.
The event raises funds for children with lifelong illnesses and their families to enjoy a dream vacation through the organization “Give Kids the World.”Coaster fans raised more than $109,000. Cedar Point took the lead in fundraising efforts again in its fourth annual event, raising nearly $25,000.
For more information on how to become involved, visit GKTW.org.
From the Sandusky Register…
Cedar Fair stands ready to spend big money on a new roller coaster for 2013 at Cedar Point that will change the park landscape.
Code-named “CP Alt.Winged,” the coaster will have the “longest drop, run the fastest and be the longest ride” of its kind, Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet wrote in Feb. 15 memo to Cedar Fair’s board of directors.
The total projected cost of the project is $25 million, a price that includes removing the park’s Space Spiral and Disaster Transport rides and restructuring the park entrance.
Ouimet was unavailable for comment Tuesday.
“We have not announced any plans for 2013 but we did announce a $25 million investment,” Alexakos said. “This will be one of the largest capital expenditures ever.”
Alexakos said that with any ride or attraction Cedar Point undertakes, the company is always looking to set records.
The Swiss-based Bolliger & Mabillard Consulting Engineers is set to design the new ride, which was described in the memo as having a “Front Gate Statement— a roller coaster that flies overhead, rolls and flies back— highly visible above guests entering the park.”
The firm designed Cedar Point’s Raptor.
A winged coaster is designed to suspend riders on wings to the sides of the rails so there is no track above or below the guest.
Engineering schematics show a proposed coaster with gravity defying twists, curves and rolls.
“Rob Decker (Cedar Fair VP of planning and design) and others have done a great job of creating a compelling, economically attractive new coaster for Cedar Point,” Ouimet wrote. “We believe this particular ride design with this particular manufacturer balances the desire for marketable innovation and risk associated with early adaptations of prototypes.”
Bolliger & Mabillard designed the first winged coaster for installation in Italy at a park known as Gardaland. The Six Flags Great American park outside of Chicago also has one of the company’s winged coasters, called X-Flight.
The new ride at Cedar Point could promise to be a work horse available to guests at almost any time they are in the park.
“Rob talked to operators of the first one in Italy and found no unanticipated negatives and very high ride reliability (less than 1 percent operational downtime).
Design plans show the new ride with a 170-foot tall lift that will fly overhead of park guests entering the park. It will have the longest track and longest ride time of any coaster of its style as it flies overhead, rolls and then fly back.
The huge roller coaster will dominate the front gate and the track will travel over a large parking area at the park.
“We have several coasters that cover parking lots,” Ouimet wrote. “Not necessarily ideal, but certainly acceptable given tight site constraints and the amount of land such attractions require.”
Disaster Transport and the Space Spiral both would have to come down if the site plan currently under consideration is chosen.
Part of the $25 million investment will also include renovations and upgrades at the park entrance from the parking lot.
Cedar Point general manger John Hildebrandt was not available for comment on Tuesday.
From the Sandusky Register…
John Hildebrandt can’t just walk Cedar Point’s midway.
He stops and greets people, he talks to employees and he picks up other people’s trash — something he does a lot.
“I carry two of these with me all the time,” Hildebrandt said as he pulled out two hand wipes from his pocket. “We keep the park immaculate for the guests. That is our promise.”
Hildebrandt picks up cigarette butts, drink containers and other trash to throw out at the nearest trash bin.
During the park-operating season Hildebrandt starts his day before he walks into the park. He said he reads reports of what has happened in the park the night before. As he drives up the causeway, as he walks the park, he is looking for anything out of place, anything not right.
As Hildebrandt walks around the park he listens to how employees interact with guests. He walks up to ride platforms and listens to see if ride operators are following the script of greeting guests and discussing the ride’s safety procedures.
As new CEO Matt Ouimet has said: It is Hildebrandt’s park.
And on the park’s 143th opening day, Hildebrandt arrived before the park opened and was there until after it closed.
“It is tradition that on opening day and on closing day I am here from morning to close,” Hildebrandt said.