Current Cedar Fair President Richard Zimmerman will succeed Ouimet as CEO, starting January 1, 2018. Zimmerman came to Cedar Fair from the Paramount Parks chain that Cedar Fair eventually acquired, where he worked as vice president and general manager at Kings Dominion.
Ouimet previously worked as the president of the Disneyland Resort, overseeing its popular 50th anniversary celebration before moving on to Starwood Hotels and later to Cedar Fair. Ouimet succeeded theme park industry Hall of Famer Dick Kinsel as Cedar Fair CEO in January 2012.
"I have very much appreciated the opportunity to serve as the CEO of Cedar Fair and I am proud of what our team has accomplished," Ouimet said in a statement released by the company. "The market value of Cedar Fair has increased by more than $2.6 billion during my time at the company. This performance provides us with a solid foundation to build upon and a positive outlook for the future. Richard is a perfect choice to succeed me as CEO and I look forward to continuing to partner with him as the executive chairman going forward."
Under Ouimet's leadership, Cedar Fair invested in improvements to classic dark rides at Knott's Berry Farm, repositioning the California park as a competitor for Disneyland's family crowd rather than aiming primarily at Six Flags' thrill-seeking audience, as it had begun to do in the recent past. At Disney, Ouimet is widely credited for reviving Disneyland Park after years of neglect in maintenance and show quality under previous administrations.
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