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Posts posted by Defcon62

  1. Yea, the prices are seemingly out of proportion to the market, but I'm willing to pay especially for the blue streak. I'm pretty sure I spent at minimum the cost of a season pass last year during ghost lake on blue streak tickets alone. I know that its worth the extra coin to keep this place going. I'll just not eat a couple meals at cedar point to defray the cost of my season pass.


    I hadn't noticed the new rides so thanks for pointing that out, Hopefully soon the Ultimate Trip will make a comeback as well. Don't forget this park also has the only original tumble bug in operation (KW doesn't count) and the only "Beetle Bailey The Ride" that I've ever seen!


    On another note, who's going this weekend? I'll be there monday unless I can sneak out of work before then.

  2. Its gone now but Conneaut Lake for the longest time had a indoor scrambler called "The Ultimate Trip" It was your average scrambler ride but the inside was filled with lasers, disco lights and tons of weird painted monsters on the wall and loud angry music blasting during the ride. The neat thing was the painted red line on the floor that stood for " if you cross this while the ride is running you'll die"


    I have no doubt it'll one day be rebuilt.


  3. Conneaut absolutely refuses to die despite being hit with hard times, crummy economy, several years of neglect, and almost two years of operation without its signature attraction and repeated arson all of which have regrettably killed bigger and more popular parks with better "demographics". Its like Rocky Balboa getting back up again and again despite being bloody bruised and broken.


    Why should we abandon this place when there is so many people standing behind it? The refresh grant was a huge effort by a lot of people to keep it in the top 10 and we succeeded, Every year the park has been open there's been a large turnout for the volunteer weekends to help get the park ready for the impending season. Would people show up to cedar point or the local six flags on their own free time to pull weeds and paint etc... for free? not likely. Would ACE have dropped $10,000 of their cash on this place if there was a chance it would go to waste?


    Conneaut did VERY well during the Ghost Lake event and rightly so, I've been to countless haunted attractions in this and years past at Cedar Point and Geauga Lake's Haunt, Lake, Cuyahoga, Summit County fairgrounds, Haunted Schoolhouse and Lab etc... I can easily say without bias that Ghost Lake was the best I've ever been to and I didn't mind waiting in line at all and there was plenty of lines everytime I went. Being able to ride the Blue Streak on foggy moonless nights didn't hurt either.


    I'm expecting the park to have a great season with the Blue Streak back in action with many more to come, Now if they could just resurrect the "ultimate trip" ride and get the Vettle train approved by the state inspector.


    I am the first to admit that the place needs a fair amount of TLC especially the games midway but I'm confident that those days are coming soon. 2009 was about getting the place back in gear from the loss of the ballroom and stored maintenance equipment, and just getting out of mothballs. 2010 all efforts were on the Blue Streak, 2011 will no doubt see cosmetics taken care of. We will also likely see the return of The Blue Streak Challenge which regularly brought in several thousand in donations for the coasters maintenance expenses.


    My only real complaint is paying $3 per ride on the streak starts to add up quickly, but I realize its a fair price considering the overhead.

  4. I forgot about the vouchers that CF rejected, I remember the new media getting involved over that. On thing that sticks out in my head as well that was very different between park operators is the SF gave out free tickets like candy especially to employees, IIRC a employee could buy up to 20 one day tickets for $12 each and 6 season passes for $30 each, they also handed out comp tickets regularly, I remember old co-workers making good money selling their comp tickets in the parking lot.


    When CF came to town obviously the free tickets stopped with a screeching halt. they just didn't get the idea that if you let people in free you may lose the admission price but they will still happily pay lots of money for parking, food, games and upcharge stuff. It was pretty much impossible to get comp tickets during CF i don't ever remember getting any or seeing anyone get one. From what I recall I don't remember them even selling discount tix to employees either


    I don't remember carny trailers getting kicked out, I do remember oktoberfest being packed and the midways being hard to walk through there were so many people.


    I remember the RWB derailment well, I went in for the nightshift that day and was told about it. By then the train what was left of it was in the maintenance shed by grizzly run under a tarp. Wish I had taken some pics but trust me that last car was pretty bent up. After that incident many people asked the GM about when it would be repaired and he always gave some BS answer along the lines of "I want to make sure that we know what happened and that it will be repaired properly until then it will be closed" I thought it would be repaired because some lumber showed up on site in the following days but it just sat in the infield under a tarp. Maybe they thought the termites were hungry IDK.


    The whole CF explanation of "we just had a board meeting and decided to close the place" the week of the announcement was a crock. The very NIGHT they made the announcement if not earlier there was equipment being brought on site by the Dominator and Thunderhawk disassembly crews. I can't imagine one can just call two erecting service companies and have them on site in a week without any prior discussion. CF knew WELL in advance they were shutting the doors and in the biggest dick move in the industry didn't tell ANYONE. Every park I can think of that has closed in the past few decades had the decency to tell the GP that "this is the last season come and enjoy it cuze this is all she wrote" Euclid Beach, Idora, Astroworld etc....

  5. Cedar Unfair as I prefer to call them, whatever their initial intent was regarding the park did nothing but shoot themselves in the foot from the first year. The animals were not retained and according to Fuhrer Kinzel it was because CF did not have any experience with animal parks. This excuse makes no sense as all the people needed to run the place, trainers, maintenance, zoologists etc... were all present and would have been happy to keep their jobs. As a result of this the infrastructure for all the animals was destroyed. The pump houses and exhibits like shark encounter looked like a bomb went off in them and most of the former sea world buildings and stadiums were torn down completely for the phase 2 waterpark that never happened. People complained a LOT about the animals being gone and I really didn't blame them I missed them too. It was something for the old folks to do when they were too frail for rides.


    The second major screw up was the transplanting of the water park, As I recall nothing was wrong with the old one, yea turtle beach was kinda dated but still worked great. CF took the lowest bidder on the job and MAJORLY pissed off all the local unions for refusing to use any union labor for the water park construction. While they may have thought they were saving cash not paying for the union nonsense, Geauga Lake and SFO. SFWOA made a LOT of money off union picnics all summer long. I remember there almost always being some local 448 etc.... picnic taking place at the park before CF took over. Mind you these were big picnics were they would buy 5-6 kegs ($200+ each!!!) along with food, admission and pavilion rental. The union thing got so ugly during the construction that access to the park was tightly controlled because the union people would sneak in and vandalize non union workers equipment and projects.


    Still on the old water park it just looked like crap laying back there, a huge eyesore for everyone to see they should have at least bulldozed it so people on the dipper, space needle, monorail and Steel Venom didn't hafta look at it.


    Removing the haunt after 05 was brain dead, That was the busiest I ever saw the park aside from weekends in summer during the six flags era, The line for the haunted trail was easily 2 hrs as was the other haunts. Claimed they didn't want to compete with halloweekends.


    Removing X-Flight was pointless as was removing the monorail and letting steel venom sit broken and then in the parking lot in peices, all this on top of shortening the season and missing out on increased attendance.


    CF may have seen how well the park did during the Six Flags era and its true the place was constantly packed and thought they could cash in. In 05 the place was still pretty busy despite the animals gone in, 06 and 07 with major rides and the haunt gone it was a done deal, The place may as well have burned to the ground it might have been a more dignified death CF killed a great park and I hope Kinzel and the rest of the board chokes.


    As for the dipper I hope things work out in the end it'll be a dark day to see it meet the wrecking ball.



  6. The weather really hurt the crowds yesterday, The midway was pretty busy until the rain came around 6-7pm from what I saw. Some people stuck it out though and for most of the night I never saw the blue streak train less than half full. Several times I had to wait for the next train, around 8pm or so the line was typically down the ramp.


    Blue Streak was running ok, ran pretty fast with a full train after the rain too. The track bed definitely needs to wear in from all those years of neglect. I'm hoping some of the pepsi money will get the vettle train back into use as well as it tracks soooo much better than the NAD.


    Conneaut has always been trying to keep its nose above water but it refuses to die. With the Lisko's dumping money into the place we should see some definite improvements over the years to come.


    Also according to the ride op Blue Streak will be running during pumpkin fest and ghost lake. I plan on stopping there on the way to PPP.

  7. I was Nasco for a couple years after I hung up my Ellis hat (changed employers) , Nasco is basically Ellis light and auditing is only done once a season and is announced. CPR and backboarding is not emphasized by nasco. As a ellis guard you had better be able to board that person get them outta the water and then do CPR, AR and Heimlich pronto. Nasco was more keep them above water and drag them to shore and hand em over to park EMT's. My understanding is its much cheaper for the park as well. Hell our supervisors used to make us do backboarding in water deeper than we can stand, that was a workout and a half.


    A female co-worker of mine left the nasco property (Pioneer Waterland) for a nearby ellis property (geauga lake) once, she came back to the nasco, describing the multi year platinum ellis property as "lifeguard boot camp" Which in all honesty it was, it was drilled into our heads at that property day in day out and we had almost 10 years of ellis platinum awards on the wall to show for it.


    We actually begged management to send us to the lifeguard national competition without success, they claimed it would be a liability if they sent the "elite guards" off and a accident happened in our absence. dumb management.......

  8. Maybe they bit off a little more than they wanted too but we should all be grateful that they did, had they not charged head first into the unknown most of us would have only ever seen a flying turns in black and white pictures. I bet Mr. K wishes that he could get a zombified Mr. Bartlet to help with the consulting though.


    As they said they hit a few bumps with the trains, which is to be expected since they're building them from scratch. I'd be happy to wait till 2010 to fly the turns as long as I get to do so.


    Just remember Ravine Flyer took what 10-15 years? That'll teach us that good things come to those who wait!

  9. IMO, Live audits kept people on their toes and while it tended to mess with the guests/ operations some it was a worthy exchange for having diligent guards and getting rid of the inattentive ones. Also the surprise audits by the licensing company kept things even further in check, No one every really knew if a auditor was taping them.


    While it was extremely rare, I did see a guard or two in my many years of watching water get yanked off the stand by the ellis auditor and their lifeguard license revoked on the spot for being inattentive. Sucked to be them but they were obviously a liability. They ended up dispatching slides for the remainder of the summer.

  10. As a former waterpark guard of many years my thoughts are mixed, First I feel for them as they must all be going through hell, lifeguarding is serious business and complacency has sometimes fatal consequences. Someone screwed up hard here, blame rests equally on the parents and the lifeguards. The parents didn't watch their kid. The lifeguard didn't do their job and now someone is dead.


    I stayed at Kalahari awhile back and the guards were if anything too attentive, If I floated too close to the wall *tweeet* to close to the rope *tweeet* etc... its possible they spent too much time watching for petty rule violations than properly scanning their zone. That same thing caused me to miss a infant dummy during an audit while lifeguarding years ago. Because I was preoccupied with yelling at kids for doing dumb stuff I didn't see that dummy for a good 2 minutes. When I was told how long it took me to see it I crapped myself. Someone could have died on my watch because I was preoccupied with unimportant things.


    Does anyone know if Kalahari guards are audited regularly?


    Its always a tragedy when stuff like this happens of course.

  11. Sadly not much is left to show that idora was there, only the over grown paths that were once the midway and the perimeter fence and a stone stairway that led to a picnic area are still there. Bounce over to Idorapark.org for current pics of the grounds.


    10 years ago idora was ideal Urbex territory but time finally caught up with it and the owners of the land bulldozed every last structure. Idora was amazing to snoop through back then.

  12. I caught the movie last week, Being a veteran of toiling away my youth at a amusement park this movie took me back to the days of endless shifts, tiny paychecks, boy/girl drama, casual sex, heavy underage drinking and related partying and finally looped 80's music.


    It almost brought a nostalgic tear to my eye..... Those were the days, so many memories most of them fuzzy.


    It was not my usual genre of movie as it lacked full frontal nudity, zombies and deplorable violence but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I had wished that they incorporated the coasters into the production a little more though.

  13. The wheels and braking system is pretty much intact albeit in need of some de-rusting. They all still turn though I am missing one upstop wheel, when I get off work I'll post a pic of the underneath and try to find pics of the other cars.


    If you could get me a replacement lapbar I would probably touch myself in an impure manner.


    If I remember correctly there was an amusement park display at the cuyahoga county fair a couple years ago. I was unable to make it there but I remember seeing pics of one of the chippewa cars on display. I'm REALLY curious as to how the trains were removed as they were rusted to the tracks last I saw them not to mention they were falling apart from exposure. I'd also like to know who cut the brake levers off about the same time the cars dissapeared. The brakes still worked as of 2000 or so.

  14. I came across the trains over on Idorapark.org a couple years ago. The trains were discovered sitting under a covered porch in the outskirts of youngstown at the home of the guy who bought them at the auction back in 84.


    The cars sold individually to different people for $500 each. The yellow train appeared to be in great shape and looked as if you could hop in and ride. My particular car was the last one available at I snagged it for $350 because it was in the worst shape of them all. I'll have to fabricate a new front lap bar and seat. I managed to find a replacement set of decals through a buddy that has been in the hobby longer than I've been alive.


    Its in ok shape for being exposed to the elements for 20 years, In MUCH better shape than the existing jackrabbit cars.


    A old work friend bought the raging wolf bobs from apex machinery awhile after the GL auction and I've worked out a deal to get myself a section of wolf bobs track to put the coaster car on.


    Thanks again for all the excellent vintage pics !!!!!


    front shot, they went cheap on the repaint towards the end


    Excuse the 7th layer of hell that is my garage, I'm remodeling......

  15. Amazing shot of the chippewa coaster, I would have loved to have seen the back when there was some more things intact, When I got there the train was in sections. One in the station one flipped over off the tracks just outside the station the others in the tunnel. They eventually dissapeared in the following years and more things fell apart.


    I'll hafta scan in the pictures but back in the day me and my buddies got one of the swingin gym cages to make a full revolution during one of our chippewa excursions. If there had still been a floor in the cage we might have ridden it !


    On similar note do you have any shots of the BLUE idora wildcat train? The lead car is sitting in my garage awaiting some TLC.

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