Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Carowinds Receiving Tax Breaks to Help With Huge Expansion

After announcing a multi-year expansion plans and new water slides for 2014, Carowinds owner Cedar Fair could receive for nearly $1 million in tax incentives to help fund the growth.

The incentives will help offset the $43.5 million that Cedar Fair is planning to spend on the park over the next few years.  While not released by the park, it has been mentioned that a new roller coaster will be a part of the expansion.  Earlier news stories also shared that the entrance to the park could be heavily changed, so perhaps a large GateKeeper style ride is planned?

The growth is aimed at bringing Carowinds' annual attendance up from 1.9 million to around 2.5 million.  It will create 15 new full time positions at the park and 270 seasonal jobs and the park estimates that an additional 20,000 hotel rooms will be used each year from the added rides and attractions.

The Charlotte City Council already voted to approve their portion of the incentives, totaling over $300,000.  Part of the park is also in Mecklenberg County, and if they approve their part that would be another $600,000.

It sounds like local officials wanted the tax breaks to pass to convince Cedar Fair to expand the park, citing that they believed Kings Dominion was also in the running for a mega-expansion if Carowinds did not receive it.  No doubt that both parks will continue to grow regardless, but such a large park expansion can have a significant impact on its surrounding community.  I have a feeling 2015 will see some exciting changes for Carowinds!