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Cedar Fair Promotes Executives as Part of Ongoing Leadership Succession Planning Process


Related: Cedar Fair Announces Strong 2010 Third-Quarter, Nine-Month Results / Cedar Fair Wins Top Honors  / Cedar Fair Drives Strong Year-To-Date Results Through Summer Season

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment,  announced a series of promotions reflective of these individuals’ contributions to the Company, as well as its commitment to maintaining a strong and dynamic management team across its organization. 

"Today’s promotions are the result of these individuals’ ability to think strategically, the respect they have earned from their colleagues and peers, and their significant contributions to the Company during their tenure here, " said Dick Kinzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer.  "We are fortunate to have such talented, dedicated and ethical individuals helping to lead our organization." 

The following executives now hold these titles and responsibilities: 

Peter J. Crage, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.  Previously corporate vice president and chief financial officer, Crage will continue to oversee all financial areas at Cedar Fair, and will now have the corporate vice president of administration reporting directly to him (this position previously reported to the chief executive officer). Crage rejoined the Company in 2004, assuming the title of vice president and corporate controller after having served as vice president of finance at Delaware North Companies in the Parks and Resorts Division. Prior to that, Crage served as corporate treasurer of Cedar Fair from 1999 to 2002. He is a certified public accountant.

H. Philip Bender, Executive Vice President.  Bender has served as regional vice president since June 2006.  Prior to that, he served as vice president and general manager of Worlds of Fun / Oceans of Fun since the end of 2000.  He has served in numerous roles with Cedar Fair for more than 30 years, including time at the Company’s Cedar Point and Valleyfair amusement parks.  Phil has 39 years of experience within the amusement park industry.

Richard A. Zimmerman, Executive Vice President.  Zimmerman has served as regional vice president since June 2007.  Prior to that, he served as vice president and general manager of Kings Dominion since 1998. He has more than 20 years of experience in the amusement park industry.  Prior to entering the amusement park industry, Richard served in various roles with Paramount Communications, Inc., including vice president of financial planning and analysis for Paramount’s Madison Square Garden Division and was a member of Paramount’s merger and acquisition team.

David R. Hoffman, Vice President of Finance and Corporate Tax.  Hoffman, formerly Vice President of Corporate Tax, will assume expanded responsibilities within the corporate finance department.  Prior to joining Cedar Fair in 2006, he served as a tax consultant with Ernst & Young.  He is a certified public accountant.

"Attracting, retaining and grooming a deep and talented management team to lead Cedar Fair in its pursuit of long-term growth and value creation has been – and will continue to be – a strategic imperative for the Company, " said Kinzel. "Today’s action is another step in our ongoing succession planning process.  With this new structure, I will now have more time to focus on growing the business and the continued development of our executives.  In the meantime, the Board of Directors will continue to work on our upcoming CEO transition through its subcommittee of independent directors that has been assigned to this task, given that my employment agreement expires on January 2, 2012.  As is the case with any public company, this is a confidential process that is expected to include both internal and external candidates. Out of fairness to all involved, we will have no further comment until we are ready to announce a new CEO." 

About Cedar Fair

Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Amusement parks in the Company’s northern region include two in Ohio: Cedar Point, consistently voted "Best Amusement Park in the World" in Amusement Today polls, and Kings Island; as well as Canada’s Wonderland, near Toronto; Dorney Park, PA; Valleyfair, MN; and Michigan’s Adventure, MI.  In the southern region are Kings Dominion, VA; Carowinds, NC; and Worlds of Fun, MO.  Western parks in California include: Knott’s Berry Farm; California’s Great America; and Gilroy Gardens, which is managed under contract. 

Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements contained in this news release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements as to Cedar Fair’s expectations, beliefs and strategies regarding the future.  These forward-looking statements may involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, may be beyond the Company’s control and could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements.  Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct.  Important factors could adversely affect the Company’s future financial performance and cause actual results to differ materially from the Company’s expectations, including general economic conditions, competition for consumer leisure time and spending, adverse weather conditions, unanticipated construction delays and the risk factors discussed from time to time by the Company in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC").  Additional information on risk factors that may affect the business and financial results of the Company can be found in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the filings of the Company made from time to time with the SEC.  The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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