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Wolverine Wildcat
largest family-owned amusement parks, but it wasn't creating cookie-cutter parks.”
meant to be. “That's absolutely true,” Camille agreed, “in more
ways than we would have expected. Cedar Fair asked
Cedar Fair Comes Knocking me to stay as vice-president of marketing and park
“We were constantly being approached by potential operations, and in June 2001 they brought Larry
buyers by this time, and my dad would always MacKenzie from Dorney Park to be general manager.
proudly say 'No, this is our park, and that's the way Well, as the previous general manager, I'd been able
we're going to keep it!' But you know, we live in a to raise my family while running Michigan's
very litigious society, and it can be scary for a family Adventure. I had the big, corner office, with an
to be the sole owners of a park this size. So, it was attached room where my kids played; there was a
ironic when Cedar Fair – our rivals no less! – made piano in there for my daughter to practice. It was the
my father an offer he couldn't refuse in 2001.” perfect working mother situation. When Larry saw the
Was that a difficult decision for Roger Jourden to set-up I had for my kids, he didn't take the big office,
make? as would have been his right. He just quipped, 'Well,
“Oh, he agonised over it! In fact, the very night I guess you're keeping the corner office!' He and
before he had to sign the contract, he talked to us Cedar Fair were wonderful.”
and said 'Are we sure this is what we want to do?' This situation lasted just two months until Larry
After all, this was his baby, his child, he'd nurtured MacKenzie went to Valleyfair as its new general
and watched it grow for 32 years! How could he just manager and Camille became, once again, general
let it go? But if he had to sell it, he didn't want manager of Michigan's Adventure. Her husband
anyone to have it but Cedar Fair. We'd already seen Steve became vice-president of maintenance and
how Cedar Fair maintains the integrity and basic style
of the parks that it acquires, so we knew that the
Arrow Wild Mouse
essence of Michigan's Adventure would remain
intact.”
I recounted to Camille what Cedar Fair CEO Dick
Kinzel had told me in 2003: “It's pride of ownership
with each general manager and his park,” he said.
“While it's true that each park is a Cedar Fair park,
it's also its own park, and I respect that and allow
each general manager his autonomy. I guide them
within the budget, we have our planning meetings,
we walk the park. But what might work at one park
won't work at another. And if I were to force-feed
each park, that's where we'd run into the danger of

Cedar Fair
Shivering Timbers
sent me to
Cedar Point
for a week of
'cross-
training.' Later
that fall, I
spent a week
at Knott's
Berry Farm
during their
Halloween
Haunt, doing
the same
thing. It was a
dream
come true
40
” APRIL 2009
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