"With its sprawling Breakers Hotel, pristine nationally-known beach, Atlantic City-style boardwalk “roller chairs,” and shoreline rides like the Water Toboggan, the Cedar Point peninsula was crowded every summer with visitors anxious to spend lots of days and nights at the Erie County resort.
"Matt Ouimet thinks Cedar Point can be that way again.
"The Cedar Fair LP president and chief executive officer recently green-lighted a $60 million three-year reinvestment of hotel properties at the Sandusky-based amusement park chain’s flagship Cedar Point property. If successful, the move could convince more visitors to plan multi-day stays at Cedar Point rather than one-day visits.
"The trio of company-owned hotels — the historic Breakers Hotel, upscale Sandcastle Suites, and 12-year-old Breakers Express hotel — at Cedar Point must become “more than a room for the night,” Mr. Ouimet said.
"The former Walt Disney Co. executive said the importance of Cedar Point to its parent company is obvious.
“'It’s more a destination resort or super regional park than any of the other parks we have. Its resorts play a much bigger role here than we would see at any of our other parks,' Mr. Ouimet said.
“'I was talking to some of our guests earlier about what they would like to see. They said they would like to see the resorts more refreshed and the beach enhanced,' he said.
“'I’ve become enamored with this place,' he said of the 106-year-old park. 'This is a very important asset not only to our company, but to the state of Ohio.'After 18 months at Cedar Fair’s headquarters, which is nestled between Cedar Point’s nostalgic buildings and beach and is but a short walk from the park’s midway, Mr. Ouimet agrees with those customers who want a restoration of the park’s hotel and beach properties.
"Mr. Ouimet envisions hotels with greater ambience — an aspect he may have learned from running Disney’s Cruise Ship lines — and a beach where families can play, stroll, and bathe in the Lake Erie waters during breaks from the amusement park or nearby Soak City water park.
"To make that vision reality, two weeks ago Cedar Fair announced it would sell its Knott’s Soak City water park in the San Diego suburb of Chula Vista to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Cedar Fair will use the sale’s proceeds to help fund makeovers at its Cedar Point hotels."