Star Trek: The Experience, the attraction at the Las Vegas Hilton featuring Klingon- and Borg-themed virtual rides, will be taken over later this year by Cedar Fair, an Ohio-based amusement park operator. It is part of the divestiture of Paramount Parks by CBS Corp., which inherited the theme park division when it split with Viacom Inc. and subsequently announced its intention to sell.
The transfer of ownership also includes Carowinds in North Carolina, which operates the Borg Assimilator roller coaster, and four other parks. Cedar Fair currently owns seven amusement parks, including Knott’s Berry Farm near Los Angeles, and five water parks. The deal, which will nearly double Cedar Fair’s business, is worth $1.24 billion and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
Cedar will adopt from CBS a 10-year licensing deal to use the Paramount name. However, Cedar officials have said they have not made any decisions about whether to retain, change or simply scrap any branding of rides, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Neither was the company ready to predict whether it would look to extend the arrangements once they expire, even though industry sources said they expect Viacom (owner of Paramount Pictures) and Cedar to both have an interest in extensions.
CBS has made assurances that Paramount Parks will remain in full operation throughout the divestiture process. However, the long-term implications of this deal for The Experience remains to be seen, so we will keep a close watch on this story as it develops.