Dick Kinzel

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Richard Kinzel
Born Richard L. Kinzel
1941 (age 75–76)
Toledo, Ohio
Residence Sandusky, Ohio
Other names "Dick" Kinzel
Occupation Former CEO of Cedar Fair, Former VP of Cedar Point, Former GM of Valleyfair, Former member of Advisory Board of KeyCorp
Years active 1972-2012
Known for CEO of Cedar Fair
Salary $1.3 million[1]
Predecessor Robert L. Munger Jr.
Successor Matt Ouimet
Awards Golden Ticket Awards, Legends Series 2011

Richard (Dick) Kinzel is the former CEO of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. He served as president and CEO of Cedar Fair until January 2, 2012, when his successor, Matt Ouimet, took over as president and CEO. He was involved in Cedar Fair for 39 years.

Career highlights[edit]


Richard Kinzel started out at Cedar Point as an employee but was transferred to Valleyfair in 1978 to run the newly acquired park. He served as the General Manager of Valleyfair from 1978-1986. In 1986, the then-CEO of Cedar Fair stepped down due to health issues. Kinzel was promoted to president and CEO.

CEO of Cedar Fair[edit]

When Kinzel stepped in as CEO of Cedar Fair, the company owned just two parks: Valleyfair and Cedar Point. His first major highlight was the installation of Magnum XL-200, a hypercoaster at Cedar Point that was intended to draw more crowds to the park. "Magnum" was the first coaster to break 200 feet and is considered by many to have started the so-called "coaster war" competition between amusement parks, which would make up the majority of Kinzel's tenure at Cedar Fair. In 1992, Cedar Fair made their first acquisition with Dick Kinzel as CEO; Dorney Park was acquired from Harris Weinstein.

In 2006, Kinzel and Cedar Fair acquired the former Paramount Parks. The deal added all five parks plus their water parks to the Cedar Fair chain. Cedar Fair's revenue went from $569 million to $1 billion. Kinzel is most notable for this move because it expanded Cedar Fair into new markets with competition. In 2010, Kinzel announced that he would retire. On June 20, 2011, it was announced that Matt Ouimet would take over as CEO of Cedar Fair, effective immediately. Dick Kinzel officially retired on January 2, 2012, when his contract was up.[2]


Life after Cedar Fair[edit]

In an article in the Toledo Blade, Kinzel stated that life would be very different once he retired. He hadn't had a summer off since joining the company and so planned to take many vacations. Though he'd been asked to work on a few projects, he wanted to take some time off.[3] On May 9, 2013, Kinzel announced that he would be stepping down from the board of directors of Cedar Fair. He also said he plans to stay in Sandusky but has a winter home in Florida.[4]


  1. ^ John Kuntz, The Plain Dealer file photograph. "Richard Kinzel, CEO of Cedar Fair LP: What the Boss Makes". cleveland.com. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  2. ^ "Press Releases :: Cedar Fair Entertainment Company". Cedarfair.com. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  3. ^ a b Chavezblade, Jon (2011-12-25). "Kinzel reflects on wild ride". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 2012-01-20. 
  4. ^ Topey, Melissa (May 9, 2013). "Kinzel stepping down from Cedar Fair board". Sandusky Register. Retrieved May 10, 2013.