Paramount Parks - History

History

Paramount Communications, previously known as Gulf and Western, in turn had acquired the parks from Nelson Schwab and his management group. Schwab and his KECO Entertainment acquired the group in a management-led LBO from the Taft Broadcasting Company, which had built Kings Island in Cincinnati using cast off rides from Cincinnati's Coney Island and to this day there is a small area in the Cincinnati park called "Coney Island" (Named "Coney Mall" in later years) still featuring some of those original rides. Taft was the original owner of WKRC-TV, until 1996.

The parks were part of Viacom's Blockbuster Entertainment division until 2002 when they were moved back to Paramount Pictures. After another Viacom corporate shuffle in 2004 the parks became part of Viacom Recreation, a division of Nickelodeon and MTV Networks.

In early 2006, as Viacom went through a corporate split (creating a new version of Viacom and renaming the original company CBS Corporation), Paramount Parks was assigned to CBS Corporation. CBS Corporation, in order to "toss overboard" any unnecessary company assets, sought to sell the parks during the 2006 season, planning to continue their operation until a buyer was found. Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., owners of more well known Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm theme parks approached the company in 2006. They officially purchased the parks and a 10-year license, stating that the parks could continue to use the "Paramount" prefix and the titles of any Paramount movies effectively until 2017. However, in 2008, all references to Paramount were removed in the parks. The only references to a Viacom property were the characters and titles used in Nickelodeon Universe (Kings Island) and Nickelodeon Central (Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Great America, and Canada's Wonderland), all of which were rethemed to the children's area utilized by Cedar Fair's own legacy parks, Peanuts for the 2010 season.

In June 2007, it was revealed that a Paramount Park was to be developed and opened at the Dubailand complex (which itself is currently on hold) in the United Arab Emirates. No clear developments have been made, and it is likely the project has been abandoned.

In October 2011 plans for a new Paramount theme park to be developed in Alhama, Murcia were revealed in Madrid. The resort to be called Paramount Park is to be the second largest theme park in Europe after Disneyland, Paris. It is expected to open Easter 2015.

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