Cedar Fair issued a press release on Monday, August 1 announcing that they have now purchased 61 acres of land adjacent to Carowinds. The company stated that “This land acquisition will enable the Company to achieve future development and expansion of the facility.” The plot of land purchased is the area located between the park’s parking lot, I-77, and the mall across from Carowind’s entry road.
Cedar Fair spokeswoman Stacy Frole told WCNC that while there were no specific expansion plans right now, having the land opens up lots of opportunities. Having this land could mean expanding the park and water park into the current parking lot, while moving the parking lot further back, shortening the long entry road, and possibly even moving the entrance gate. Some others speculate that the new land would allow Cedar Fair room to also build a hotel and resort, which were part of the original plans for Carowinds when the park was first built.
Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair’s new President, stated in the press release “We are thrilled about the growth opportunities this land will provide for future development of Carowinds, as well as the increased beneficial economic impact it will have on both Mecklenburg and York counties” (the NC and SC counties the park straddles). This could also help facilitated Cedar Fair’s plans to make Carowinds the “Cedar Point of the South,” as it has stated in the past.
On a related note, Carowinds has begun dropping hints and promoting their announcement for what’s coming in 2012. Initially, during the weekend of the parks Coaster Stock event, wooden stakes with “HUSS GF” appeared in the open field near Intimidator, causing much hope and speculation the park would finally get a badly needed flat ride. Those stakes have since disappeared, but now the park is doing a different marketing campaign.
Now, the park has been posting QR codes to scan throughout their website, each of which reveals part of an image. All the images have been put together in a “windy” looking banner that reads “Voiceless it cries, Wingless flutters, Toothless Bites, Mouthless mutters, Fun soars to new heights…August 24” Based on this and the look of the banner, most speculation seems to be that the park may be receiving its very own Windseeker for the 2012 season, but we’ll know for sure on August 24.