Executives at Cedar Fair LP have been keen to ring the closing bell of the New York Stock Exchange, but not if it meant leaving their flagship Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky with the summer season in full swing.
So because the executive team won't travel to New York "we decided to partner up and bring New York to Sandusky," said Stacy Frole, Cedar Fair's director of investor relations.
On Wednesday at 4 p.m., the Cedar Fair executive team, led by Chief Executive Officer Matt Ouimet, will ring the NYSE's closing bell at Cedar Point's front gate with its soaring GateKeeper roller coaster providing a spectacular backdrop.
The bell-ringing will be televised and relayed by satellite back to the trading floor in New York. It also will be electronically fed simultaneously to business news outlets, such as CNBC and Bloomberg News, that usually broadcast the closing bell activity.
Cedar Fair plans to fill the plaza with Cedar Point employees, Peanuts characters from its Camp Snoopy, and shareholders.
"We're excited about it. It's just part of our relationship with the New York Stock Exchange," Ms. Frole said. "They always offer companies the opportunity to come in to their exchange floor and ring the bell, and we thought what better way to celebrate [Cedar Fair's ticker symbol] FUN than from the shores of Lake Erie."
Ms. Frole said the company wanted to ring the bell to coincide with the start of the July 4 weekend, and NYSE officials suggested that Mr. Ouimet and his team come to New York do so.
But Ms. Frole said she suggested an alternative: ringing the bell at the park in front of GateKeeper.
"We had a beautiful photo of Cedar Point, and the new front gate, and Lake Erie, and GateKeeper overhead that we sent them. I think that made it a pretty easy for them," she said.
Ms. Frole said exchange officials have done offsite bell-ringing for the 9:30 a.m. opening and 4 p.m. closing bells, but it is unusual.
"It doesn't happen often, but we are excited that they wanted to do something from Ohio," she said. "Our interest was, if we were going to ring the bell, we like the idea of bringing in summer. This is a great time for us."
Wednesday's event will mark the second time Cedar Fair has rung the New York Stock Exchange's bell.
In July, 2004, then-CEO Dick Kinzel rang the NYSE's 9:30 a.m. opening bell to signal the start of trading. At the time Cedar Fair executives were in New York to complete an equity offering of 2.6 million shares that generated $73.3 million for the company.
By Jon Chavez - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (MCT)
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