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Marketplace Morning Report

The business of amusement

Alex Cohen May 23, 2006
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TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Amusement park operator Cedar Fair announced yesterday it will fork out $1.25 billion to buy Paramount Parks, that’s a division of CBS. Alex Cohen has more.

ALEX COHEN: Under the deal, Cedar Fair will add five Paramount amusement parks to its current roster of 12 properties, including Cedar Point in Ohio and Knott’s Berry Farm in California.

Last year, the two companies brought in 25 million guests and $1 billion.

Dennis Speigel of International Theme Park Services says many amusement parks attract mainly thrill-seeking teenagers. But he says Cedar Fair can increase revenues if it follows the lead of competitors like Six Flags, which aims to attract entire families.

DENNIS SPEIGEL: Because when you do that a) you bring a larger group b) they tend to stay longer and c) they spend more money.

The Cedar Fair-Paramount deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

I’m Alex Cohen for Marketplace.

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