Cedar Fair Sells California’s Great America Land and Plans to Close Park Within 11 Years

Cedar Fair, the owner of California’s Great America in Santa Clara, California, have announced that the park’s land has been sold, and that they will continue to operate the park under a lease agreement for up to 11 years, before permanently closing the park.

What’s Happening:

  • Cedar Fair elected to sell the land to Prologis, Inc., a Bay Area-based logistics real estate company, for approximately $310 million with a lease agreement. The Company will continue to operate the park for a period of up to 11 years and then will close existing park operations at the end of the lease term.
  • The land sale, which was marketed by CBRE, was the outcome of a strategic review initiated by Cedar Fair in 2021 to explore potential avenues to maximize the value of the Company’s extensive asset portfolio.
  • Cedar Fair purchased the land at California’s Great America in 2019 from the City of Santa Clara after the State of California dissolved redevelopment agencies, requiring the city to cede its ownership of the property to pay off existing debt. Prior to that transaction, the Company leased the land from the City for more than 40 years.
  • Cedar Fair intends to use proceeds from the land sale transaction to accelerate progress on its strategic priorities of reducing debt to achieve its $2 billion target, investing in high-return projects within its portfolio such as upgrading resort properties, and reinstating a sustainable unitholder distribution.
  • Based on the strength and pace of the recovery since reopening its parks in 2021, and due to the additional capital raised through the Great America transaction, Cedar Fair expects to reinstate quarterly unitholder distributions by the third quarter of 2022, subject to review and approval by the Cedar Fair Board of Directors.
  • California’s Great America originally opened in 1976 under the ownership of Marriott. Since then, the park has gone through a number of owners, before being sold to Cedar Fair in 2006.
  • While no official plans have been announced, it’s likely that we’ll see as many of the assets within the park as possible make their way to other Cedar Fair parks.
  • Last winter, our own Luke did a “Ranked” article on all of the roller coasters at California’s Great America, which you can check out here.

What They’re Saying:

  • Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman said: “We chose Prologis as our partner because of their deep ties in the Bay Area and their reputation for working closely with local communities on large developments. For our investors, the sale and lease agreements allow us to monetize a high-value asset in the heart of Silicon Valley at a very attractive multiple. The transaction also provides us with a substantial sum of incremental capital which we intend to use to further advance our strategic priorities and generate enhanced returns for our unitholders.”