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Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread

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Hey everybody!


This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about everything that goes on at Conneaut Lake Park, this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion. For pictures and videos of the park as well as past updates, see TPR's Park Index Page.


Official Park Website



Below are some links to past updates from the park, you may be interested in. Enjoy!






April 8th, 2005 - Conneaut Lake Park confirms it will open in 2005 - SEE BELOW!

November 16th, 2005 - Conneaut Lake Park applies for government grant



February 19th, 2006 - Park plans to re-open Tempest, Tumblebug and Train in 2006

May 1st, 2006 - Park will not open in 2006

June 22nd, 2006 - Blue Straek motor destroyed by lightning strike

October 12th, 2006 - Erieview's FrightZone donated to Conneaut Lake Park

November 1st, 2006 - Debt climbs to $2,000,000



February 1st, 2008 - Fire destroys historic ballroom

September 3rd, 2008 - Halloween events announced



February 23rd, 2009 - Park to open for 2009 season

Apr 6th, 2009 - Spruce up the park to be held April 25 & 26 and May 2 & 3

August 31st, 2009 - CLP holds fundraiser

Sep 25th, 2009 - The Ghost lake haunts are announces



Feb 1st, 2010 - Fundraiser to help save the Blue Streak

Mar 17th, 2010 - Hotel Conneaut Lake continues its restoration & the park set to reopen on Memorial Day weekend!

April 17th, 2010 - Basketball Game to be hosted for Blue Streak Restoration Fund & Spruce up the park info which will be held April 24th and 25th

April 22nd, 2010 - Teachers take on Wizards to benefit Blue Streak restoration

August 1st - Blue Streak eligible for a Pespi Refresh Grant in August - Please Vote

August 30th - Blue Streak may re-open for Labor Day weekend



April 30th, 2012 - Former rides manager is suing the park

September 4th, 2012 - Park extends season with additional operating days



January 15th, 2013 - Latest financial issues for Conneaut Lake Park

June 28th, 2013 - Conneaut to celebrate Blue Streak's 75th birthday on July 20th.

August 3rd, 2013 - Park to hold Park in the Dark event on August 3rd

August 4th, 2013 - Conneaut Lake Park debuts a new attraction Haunted Hostile



January 31st, 2014 - Park tax drama continues in court...

April 4th, 2014 - New proposal hopes to cancel park's tax sale



September 28t7, 2019 - Ferris Wheel is being added for 2019




Original Post:





CLP has finally updated it's webpage. In fact, it's a whole new redesign.



They're looking at opening 05/28/2005


Not a huge park, or even big for that matter, but i still love it.

Edited by SharkTums
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LOL Ted: in ref to Gumwall, that's become a classic.


I should be able to make the may 1st clean up date. I would've loved to be there for bluestreak paint job a few years ago. that'd been fun.

Conneaut's only like an hour from me, but i'd probibly swing over aft work that sat and stay at one of the hotels.


Looks like they got the Bug working again. cool.

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  • 5 months later...

ughhh...that poor park. Does Idlewild or Kennywood have room for a medium sized, blue-tint out and back?


I seriously see this park going the way of Whalom, I mean, is it really fair to ask local townsfolk to donate money to keep you buisness open?


That would be like me asking people to donate funds to keep my hardware store open, they should at least have a bakesale or something.



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Well, hmm....I believe Funderwoods in Lodi, CA is community owned and that place is probably the saddest park I've ever seen.


I really like the Blue Streak and Conneaut Lake park in general is OK, but I haven't seen too many community owned/operated parks that have ended up well.


I'm just kinda worried it'll get to the point where the park is technically open but rides are sitting around in various states of repair, waiting for "parts" to arrive. It sucks when you go to a park and just feel all depressed about the place.


Williams Grove OTOH looks as if it's moments away from disaster but that park rocks.


Don "Hoping CLP can actually recover from mismanagement/crap" Gordon

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Hopefully this park can last at least until I hit the Powerball. At that point I have all intentions of purchasing it and assuming it's 2 million dollar debt. First order on the agenda is to get the Tumble Bug working, retrack the Blue Streak, speed up the skooter, and put those NADs back where they belong.


Of course, donations are also welcomed

Edited by CoasterFanatic
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  • 3 weeks later...

Yes it sucks whenever these fires happen. Especially to older parks because that's how we lose great coasters (IE:Idora Park Wildcat and such). However it isn't just fire I'm worried about; last year, somebody stole about $15,000 worth of alcohol and liqour from the Beach Club, so you all know how that would hurt their business. It's a shame...

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.meadvilletribune.com/local/l ... 14438.html


$200,000 grant will help Conneaut Lake Park with planning and development


By Jane Smith

11/16/05 —


Conneaut Lake Park hopes to secure a $200,000 planning and development grant by working through the area’s economic development agency.


The Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County will seek a state grant to prepare the park to seek developers to upgrade the facility.


Struggling through millions in debt amassed by previous owners, the historic amusement park recently had its volunteer board of directors resign. Because it’s operated as a charitable trust on behalf of the people of northwestern Pennsylvania, the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas named new managers.


One of those managers, LeRoy Stearns, explained that in addition to helping with the grant, the alliance will help “set up the procedures to move the park forward.”


In the meantime, the lease for Camperland isn’t being renewed at the request of the company that was leasing the campground that is part of the park.


Stearns said the park intends to run the facility next year.


A lease for the midway games expires Dec. 31, but no decision has been made yet whether to open that lease for others to bid or whether to have the park operate the games.


In addition, a financial report on the park’s operations through Labor Day — which was due in Crawford County Court on Sept. 25 — still hasn’ been submitted. It was to be prepared by the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park, all of whom have resigned.


Terry Deitz, former chairman of the board, said the report is complete, but he wants to “talk to the rest of the board to look at it and have it approved before final submission.”

Edited by larrygator
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This park seems like it's been hanging on by a thread for years. How much longer do you give this place? Realistically, maybe another 3 seasons?


--Robb "Too bad, I really liked the Blue Strak when it was running those 'other' trains!" Alvey

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I wonder just how much help $200,000 really is these days though. Is it enough to get the Caterpillar back in operation, or any of the other rides that haven't been touched in 2005? It'd be a shame to lose another park, but honestly this poor place has had more trouble in the past like 6 years than most places ever! At least I can finally say I've been there (and had a very memorable experience on the Toboggan!)

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I actually feel much better about the park situation this off season than I did early last off season. The park is finally in the clear from the previous owner who I think is still doing hard time for tax evasion. The park is owned by the community and it was put in control of a community board, supervised by a judge. With that situation you don't have the threat, say, of an old owner who retires suddenly and sells the lakefront property to a real estate developer. Recently the community board resigned in favor of a two person management team.


The good news about this new management team is that they put some professionals in charge of running the park rather than a volunteer board. They plan on getting a handle of the day to day operations of the park and set up strategies for the future. I've read that on a daily basis the management had no idea where their money was going due to poor book keeping. Another major challenge will be to reduce the debt.


I saw tons of promise this past season at times. They had a rib festival weekend for the first time and it drew a huge crowd. The midway rides were very busy. In October they had a Pumpkin Festival, which is a bit like Knoebels Covered Bridge Festival, and it drew a huge crowd. When people find out about these events and they come to the park in droves. Yet local motel owners have reported that 9 out of 10 people calling for reservations asked if the park was still closed. Despite the current condition of the park, if people at least knew it was open that would be half the battle. Quotes from the new management teams says they think there's a lot they can do at the park and they plan to clean it up and bring it back. I think that's the right approach. Special events and festivals seem to be working so that would be a good area to focus on.


Rides being closed were a definite problem this past year. It takes money and they haven't had it. But over the course of the summer they were able to get several rides up and running.


I'm not trying to underestimate the challenges at hand but some issues have been resolved and now a legitimate management team is in place.

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Well, 200k is 1/10th their debt.

If they get it, i would hope they get the Bug running again.

Sure, it would help the park, but only if it's managed right.

That money could get them a couple of rides from http://www.italintl.com/usdride.htm .


It would be nice to retrack the BlueStreak and run the NAD's. I much prefered those trains to the classics.


I'll keep optimistic about the park, but last summer when we were there we saw many things that bothered us.

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The grant would be for planning and development. I'm not totally sure how these things work but I'd guess the money wouldn't be used to pay off debt. I think the idea is to spend the money on planning and new development (possibly fixing up things that are broken) but not just paying off debt. Hopefully good planning and development would in turn create a situation where the park could start eliminating its debt.


To touch on the subject of the Blue Streak trains, I used to dislike the Vettel train when it was reintroduced. It didn't have the same punch as the NAD train and it lacked capacity. While capacity is still a problem, I like that it is a smooth ride that most people enjoy and can reride. The NAD train could inflict some pain but it also gave a more thrilling ride with the longer train and three bench configuration. Maybe the ideal situation would be to get to the point where you could sure up the structure to the point where the NAD train could run on the weekend and the Vettel train could run during the week.

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  • 2 months later...



Article published Feb 18, 2006

Conneaut Lake Park plans to reopen rides

By John Bartlett



CONNEAUT LAKE -- Get ready to ride a memory.


Three long-closed or missing rides at Conneaut Lake Park will return

this year.


That's some of the news Conneaut Lake Park General Manager George

Deshner and court-appointed custodian LeRoy Stearns plan to share at a

public meeting Monday.


The 7:30 p.m. meeting will be at the Conneaut Lake Park Volunteer Fire

Department, 11965 Route 618 in Sadsbury Township.


"We said we would have one every so often just to let people know where

things stand with the park," Deshner said. "We are going to talk about

where ... we intend to go."


Crawford County Judge Anthony Vardaro named Deshner general manager, and

he had Deshner and Stearns take over direct management of the

financially troubled park after the park's 12-member board resigned in

September. The park, a public trust, fell under court supervision in 1998.


Deshner said the struggle continues to straighten out the park's

accounting, which he said he found in disarray when he took over.


Deshner is implementing a new accounting system that will provide better

controls and the ability to see expenses and revenues for each

individual operation.


However, he said, it is proving more difficult than expected to

reconcile the past system and merge it with the new so the park has a

current and exact financial account.


"I'm sure we will get asked about finances at the meeting. We'll tell

them what we know," Deshner said. "The more I did, the more I found that

needs corrected and straightened out to get a true picture of where are at,"


Still, Deshner believes he has a lot of positive news to share.


The park will open for the 2006 season on Memorial Day; bookings for

special events and picnics are going well; and three rides are scheduled

to return -- The Tempest, the Tumblebug and the park train.


The Tempest, a ride that both spins and circles, has been missing from

the park for four years. It was sent to a repair facility in Paducah,

Ky., to be fixed. But once the work was done, the park did not have the

cash to retrieve it.


Last summer, Classic Iron, a car club, held a fundraiser at the park and

asked that the proceeds be used to pay for the repairs to the Tempest

and for the ride to be returned to the park. The check has been sent,

and arrangements are being made to have it shipped back to Conneaut Lake

Park, Deshner said.


The Tumblebug, a classic ride at the park, has been shut down for

several years. However the park has raised the money to get it repaired

and put back into operation.


The park train has been shut down for two years. It will also be back in

service this year, although that requires raising some additional money,

Deshner said.


The train's axles, wheels and carriages are being repaired by a local

business as a donation. However, the track must be upgraded, requiring

new rail, ties and bed improvements.


Deshner said a fund drive will soon be announced for that project.


Other changes this year at the park include a first-time parking fee.

The park will maintain one free lot, the northern-most parking area and

furthest from the park entrance. The main charge in the main lot on the

west side of Route 618 will be $2, the Reed Avenue lot $3 and inside the

park lots $5, Deshner said.


Camping fees at Camper Land are also going up slightly. The park is

directly operating Camperland this year, rather than leasing its operation.

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