Feb 3, 2022 - Business

SeaWorld offers to buy Cedar Fair amusement parks

Illustration of an amusement part sign featuring a narwhal that reads "you must be this tall to buy"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

SeaWorld made quite a splash this week with an offer to buy Ohio-based theme park chain Cedar Fair, Axios' Dan Primack reports.

Why it matters: A sale might impact the state's two premier amusement parks: Kings Island near Cincinnati and Cedar Point in Sandusky, where the chain is headquartered.

  • Bloomberg reports the bid is worth $3.4 billion, or 113 times the cost of the newest Kings Island roller coaster, Orion.

State of play: 2020 was a tough year for Cedar Fair, with the two Ohio parks closed for half the season due to a state health order.

  • Eased restrictions and discounted season passes helped attendance figures rebound in 2021, leading the CEO to express confidence headed into this off-season.

The big picture: Kings Island underwent major changes when Paramount bought the park in the 1990s and rebranded its attractions after blockbuster movies and Nickelodeon characters.

  • Then came another makeover when it changed hands to Cedar Fair in 2006.

The intrigue: What might the Ohio parks look like with SeaWorld ownership?

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