Tag Archives: Cedar Fair

Paramount Builds Theme Restaurants Of Entertainment Properties

Following the great day at Disneyland to celebrate my friend Robert Shadbolt’s birthday, our group decided on dinner at Anaheim’s Bubba Gump Shrimp Company restaurant. The chain of Bubba Gump restaurants takes it’s name and inspiration from the 1994 Forrest Gump film originally directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Tom Hanks in the title role. As a themed restaurant, Bubba Gump offers a seafood dining menu in addition to a themed gift shop and effectively offering a unique way to keep the spirit of Forrest Gump alive and well in the mind of consumers long after the original theatrical run of the film.

According to the press kit, Paramount Pictures originally approached Rusty Pelican Restaurants, Inc. about extending the brand of Forrest Gump into the realm of casual family dining. And by 1996, the very first Bubba Gump Shrimp Company themed restaurant opened it’s doors in Montery, California. The company specifically targets tourist destinations for their restaurants, such as the Anaheim location which is a couple of blocks away from Disneyland, and other locations including Universal’s City Walk in both Hollywood and Orlando, Times Square in New York, Pier 39 in San Francisco, and the Mall of America in Minnesota. Bubba Gump is Paramount’s most successful foray into themed restaurant licensing, but wasn’t the first.

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Star Trek: The Experience in Las Vegas Closes

After a little more than a decade, Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton shuts it’s doors. The closure comes as contract renewal talks between Paramount/CBS, Cedar Fair, and Colony Capital stalled. The main hold out was Colony Capital who owns the Las Vegas Hilton, who bought the Hilton from Caesars Entertainment (formerly Park Place Entertainment at the time Star Trek: The Experience opened) didn’t like the deal where Star Trek: The Experience was like a retailer just renting space, and not sharing in the revenue generated from the attraction. Cedar Fair, the company that bought the operations of the attraction from Paramount Parks and Paramount/CBS who owns the Star Trek franchise weren’t able to secure a renewal of the contract and as such has decided to close Star Trek: The Experience.

The last day of operations for Star Trek: The Experience was September 1, 2008 and concluded the business day with a decommissioning ceremony normally only afforded to the decommissioning of naval vessels. Star Trek gets a lot of it’s lore from naval tradition except instead of sailing the waters, its the stars. Despite the fact the current contract doesn’t expire until the end of the year, the decision to close on September 1st, is to allow Cedar Fair the time necessary to return all the Star Trek property back to Paramount and gut the complex to hand it over to Colony Capital as empty space.

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