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California's Great America - Park sold, eventually closing

emoo

Mega Poster
Flight Deck was running tremendously well just a few weeks ago. It's a short ride with the classic feel and the ending benefits greatly from its positioning. One year older than Nemesis and no station roof so quick assumptions can be made there.

Lucy's Taxi was the best looking coaster I have been unable to ride with the babbling brook running underneath it's many bunny hops.

Goldstriker is one of the better wooden coasters. CGA have something special here that will likely be lost.

Grizzly is trash and should have been bulldozed anyway if not an RMC candidate. Is the park going to get anything new to see out it's remaining time?

How well would any of their rides age in a decade & will the park have a different maintenance or presentation strategy given the set doom.

Is this how some of the smaller forgotten parks get an upgrade? Hopefully this doesn't put roadblocks or holding patterns in place for other parks given this is claimed to benefit the chain.

If anyone makes plans to check the park out before it's gone also budget for fast pass if you can. It's a long way to go for most to have so much time lost in the near stationary Psycho Mouse queue or watching empty seats on Railblazer. Ride everything you went for a few last times instead of once if you are lucky. It's too nice a place, currently, to be there annoyed. The opening calendar was a bit sparse, being closed on days in June I didn't expect.
 

JochemvdMeulen

Roller Poster
Even if Knot have the highest attendance of all the Cedar Fair parks ?
Cedar fair is a corporation, they will do anything to maximize short term gain for there investors. So if that is to sell the park, they will.

However you are correct in the fact that with the high attendance that Knott's is getting that this is highly unlikely.

But my point is still that no park is safe.
 
such sad news. I live in Hawaii and was planning on going their eventually, so it looks like I will need to accelerate those plans. Is Goldstriker not relocatable? I have heard that it is a top tier woodie so it would be a shame if it was just scrapped.
 

Indy

Mega Poster
such sad news. I live in Hawaii and was planning on going their eventually, so it looks like I will need to accelerate those plans. Is Goldstriker not relocatable? I have heard that it is a top tier woodie so it would be a shame if it was just scrapped.
Theoretically, it is certainly relocatable, but large wood coasters (or any sized wood coasters) are so rarely relocated. It's much more labor intensive and more of a logistical nightmare than relocating a steel coaster.
 

Steely Dan

Roller Poster
The certain goners:

Grizzly - why would anyone of sane mind go through the exorbitant expense to carefully dismantle a 40 year old lackluster woodie and reconstruct it elsewhere?

Demon - approaching 50 years old, fully outdated tech. And a bit of a sprawled out land monster for what it actually does. Plus CF still operates 6 other Arrow loopers that can always use a parts donor to keep them limping along.


The certain keeper:

Railblazer - a modern newish RMC still with a lot of life left in it, relatively easy to move, and there are several other parks in the chain that this could make an excellent marquee attraction for.


The question marks:

Gold Striker: excellent ride, but again, the cost of carefully dismantling and reconstructing a wooden roller coaster is no joke. It's probably a goner, but I want to hang on to a shred of hope.

Psycho Mouse: probably a pretty easy move, but could also easily be cannibalized for parts for the chain's two other Arrow mouses.

Patriot: 30 year old B&M with the recent-ish floorless conversion. Seems like a 50/50 to me.

Flight Deck: another 30 year old B&M, but perhaps with a bit more relocation appeal, I'll give it a 60/40 save.
 
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MLDesigns

Hyper Poster
If you're now suddenly looking for a trip to CGA, I would say do it within the next 2 years to be absolutely sure you get a visit. From the SEC documents regarding the sale,
  • The lease has a 6-year term, CF has the option to extend for 5 additional years
  • Prologis has the right to terminate the lease early by providing at least 2 years' notice
I couldn't find details on the early termination, but if Prologis has the ability and did exercise that right immediately, that (unless I've missed something) would mean it could close in as little as 2 years. If I had to put money on it, somewhere between 2-5 years would be my guess.

As far as the coasters go... the only one I think has a better chance of being relocated than not is Railblazer, and even then I'm not 100% sure it would be. That level of maintenance commitment isn't for everyone, especially with the prototype version. At least it'll (allegedly) have updated trains by the time it would be sold off. What a wild time.
 

invertinverse

Roller Poster

massam

Roller Poster
I'm gonna put this out there. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but this is a smart move. The company is in a lot of debt. They just sold this land for a huge sum (310 mil). If they were to continue this debt, it would be more likely that another park would have to go. CGA has A LOT of rides that can easily be sold or distributed around the chain and other parks. From a business standpoint, this is a great move. The enthusiast side of me is very sad, but I feel comforted knowing that not many of these rides will be scrapped. Also, some of you are writing these rides off wayyyy too fast. A 30 year old, well maintained B and M is a great coaster and can be used in son many parks. CF takes good care of their rides, and can easily purchase whatever parts are needed from the manufacturer.

Coasters that I think will be moved in the chain: RailBlazer (obviously), Lucy's Taxi, Patriot, Flight Deck, Woodstock Express
Coasters that I think could be sold to other parks: Demon, Psycho Mouse
Demolished: Grizzly, possibly Gold Striker (however that have been plenty of high profile wood coasters moved)

To me, there are several ideal landing spots for the coasters in the chain that would go over great. Patriot to WoF, Flight Deck to MA or VF, RailBlazer to KD or KI or Dorney. Demon could probably be bought and go international (mexico, brazil,etc). Psycho Mouse could go to any small park.
 

Thekingin64

Strata Poster
Something that just occurred to me about this. I have heard various airlines that are struggling with debt have sold their planes but continue to operate them on a leasehold basis. This allows them a quick solution to the debt, and usually has the option to buy back the plane once the airline is in a better financial state. I wonder if this is exactly what CF have done here, just sold the park to pay off debts, and will operate it on leasehold until they can afford to buy it back?

The 10 year lease and 2 year termination clause are hopefully just part of the sale negotiations and won't come to much. Granted this is quite unlikely though
 

i305_zack

Mega Poster
Something that just occurred to me about this. I have heard various airlines that are struggling with debt have sold their planes but continue to operate them on a leasehold basis. This allows them a quick solution to the debt, and usually has the option to buy back the plane once the airline is in a better financial state. I wonder if this is exactly what CF have done here, just sold the park to pay off debts, and will operate it on leasehold until they can afford to buy it back?

The 10 year lease and 2 year termination clause are hopefully just part of the sale negotiations and won't come to much. Granted this is quite unlikely though
I hope you are right
 

Twisterfan1995

Roller Poster
I'm gonna put this out there. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but this is a smart move. The company is in a lot of debt. They just sold this land for a huge sum (310 mil). If they were to continue this debt, it would be more likely that another park would have to go. CGA has A LOT of rides that can easily be sold or distributed around the chain and other parks. From a business standpoint, this is a great move. The enthusiast side of me is very sad, but I feel comforted knowing that not many of these rides will be scrapped. Also, some of you are writing these rides off wayyyy too fast. A 30 year old, well maintained B and M is a great coaster and can be used in son many parks. CF takes good care of their rides, and can easily purchase whatever parts are needed from the manufacturer.

Coasters that I think will be moved in the chain: RailBlazer (obviously), Lucy's Taxi, Patriot, Flight Deck, Woodstock Express
Coasters that I think could be sold to other parks: Demon, Psycho Mouse
Demolished: Grizzly, possibly Gold Striker (however that have been plenty of high profile wood coasters moved)

To me, there are several ideal landing spots for the coasters in the chain that would go over great. Patriot to WoF, Flight Deck to MA or VF, RailBlazer to KD or KI or Dorney. Demon could probably be bought and go international (mexico, brazil,etc). Psycho Mouse could go to any small park.
Think you are overall correct. I think I recall reading that CGA hasn't been hitting its financial targets for a few years now, and has had ongoing issues with its location (parking dispute with 49ers stadium/city, earthquake-proofing requirements on larger new construction, etc.) Could def see why Cedar Fair would want to cut bait with the park in a Post-Pandemic business world. I like your predications as well (assuming CF thinks they can get enough service life left from Flight Deck and Patriot. If CF decides to keep Gold Striker, I think Carowinds would be great relocation spot since CF is bullish on that park and they only have Hurler for wooden coasters (maybe Dorney too if they could find the space for it as they also only have Thunderhawk).

Hope Berserker is sent somewhere too.
 

Hyde

Matt SR
Staff member
Moderator
Social Media Team
Think you are overall correct. I think I recall reading that CGA hasn't been hitting its financial targets for a few years now, and has had ongoing issues with its location (parking dispute with 49ers stadium/city, earthquake-proofing requirements on larger new construction, etc.) Could def see why Cedar Fair would want to cut bait with the park in a Post-Pandemic business world. I like your predications as well (assuming CF thinks they can get enough service life left from Flight Deck and Patriot. If CF decides to keep Gold Striker, I think Carowinds would be great relocation spot since CF is bullish on that park and they only have Hurler for wooden coasters (maybe Dorney too if they could find the space for it as they also only have Thunderhawk).

Hope Berserker is sent somewhere too.
Exactly this. The concern and consideration honestly isn’t the park chains debt; It’s the uncertainty they’ve experienced for years after getting jerked around on expansion plans (parking issues regarding the nearby football stadium, noise variance for Gold Striker, etc), and the absolute difficulty of operating on leased land, rather than fully owning your entire property. Basically makes it nearly impossible for long-term strategy and investment planning, especially if you’re thinking about putting in big, new attractions that have high capital cost.

Cedar Fair sound buyer and is cutting bait. It’s nothing to do with the parks success, but rather an opportunity to exit the market all together and be done with the shenanigans of figuring out how to continue developing and operating the park.
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
Something that just occurred to me about this. I have heard various airlines that are struggling with debt have sold their planes but continue to operate them on a leasehold basis. This allows them a quick solution to the debt, and usually has the option to buy back the plane once the airline is in a better financial state. I wonder if this is exactly what CF have done here, just sold the park to pay off debts, and will operate it on leasehold until they can afford to buy it back?

The 10 year lease and 2 year termination clause are hopefully just part of the sale negotiations and won't come to much. Granted this is quite unlikely though
The companies that lease aircraft have a financial incentive for the airline company to continue operating their aircraft, though. If the airline can't pay what they owe them, they'll just lend the plane over to someone else.

The company CF has sold Great America to is in the business of building and owning real estate. They have zero financial incentive in keeping the park operating and just want the land it sits on. And from what I gather, the two-year clause is if Prologis wants to terminate the lease sooner, then they'll have to give Cedar Fair a two-year notice for them to close up shop.
 
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massam

Roller Poster
Think you are overall correct. I think I recall reading that CGA hasn't been hitting its financial targets for a few years now, and has had ongoing issues with its location (parking dispute with 49ers stadium/city, earthquake-proofing requirements on larger new construction, etc.) Could def see why Cedar Fair would want to cut bait with the park in a Post-Pandemic business world. I like your predications as well (assuming CF thinks they can get enough service life left from Flight Deck and Patriot. If CF decides to keep Gold Striker, I think Carowinds would be great relocation spot since CF is bullish on that park and they only have Hurler for wooden coasters (maybe Dorney too if they could find the space for it as they also only have Thunderhawk).

Hope Berserker is sent somewhere too.
I really think the Flight Deck and Patriot have a lot of service left in them. Six Flags has moved Iron Wolf from SFGA to SFA as Apocalypse, then refurbished it as Firebird and it is loved by park goers. Also that coaster is even older than patriot. With the recent refurbishment, it is essentially a new coaster and I think as long as it’s cared for it has at least 20 years left

Flight Deck just needs a refurbishment and it’s good to go. Lots of older inverts still run fine and have been relocated.
 

Twisterfan1995

Roller Poster
I really think the Flight Deck and Patriot have a lot of service left in them. Six Flags has moved Iron Wolf from SFGA to SFA as Apocalypse, then refurbished it as Firebird and it is loved by park goers. Also that coaster is even older than patriot. With the recent refurbishment, it is essentially a new coaster and I think as long as it’s cared for it has at least 20 years left

Flight Deck just needs a refurbishment and it’s good to go. Lots of older inverts still run fine and have been relocated.

It's not so much age itself being my concern, but rather everything getting to a point where B&M can no longer effectively guarantee its safe continued operation/maintenance without a complete ship-of-Theseus type of rebuild everything (structure, trains, controls, etc.).
 

Kalistos

Mega Poster
It's not so much age itself being my concern, but rather everything getting to a point where B&M can no longer effectively guarantee its safe continued operation/maintenance without a complete ship-of-Theseus type of rebuild everything (structure, trains, controls, etc.).

Why would that be true for B&M's and not hundred years old woodies?
 
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