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Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread

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What does this mean for the Park and why can't the state pay off it's debits and help restore the "Blue Streak" to it's original condition.


Link: http://www.meadvilletribune.com/local/local_story_094215529.html?keyword=topstory




There are at least eight significant errors in the $140,000-state-grant-funded plan for Conneaut Lake Park’s future.



In addition, while the plan envisions developing large portions of the park’s property, it offers no estimates on the amount of money the development would raise and there are no appraisals showing the current value of the park’s land. Although no details are included, the plan does state that the revenue raised would pay off the park’s debt, currently estimated at $2.7 million.


Other aspects of the plan appear inconsistent with the needs of the amusement park. For example, all of the park’s parking lots are slated for commercial, retail or residential development. In addition, all of the park’s picnic shelters are slated for retail and commercial development.


The 50-page plan, authored by the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County, is considered key because state agencies and private banks probably won’t consider funding the park without some sense of the facility’s future direction.


However, the plan, which was due in August 2006, was finished six months late. Alliance Director Mark Turner said the delay was necessary because work to complete the plan was more extensive than initially expected.


The delay has left little time for park officials to review the plan and secure funding in order to open this summer. Nonetheless, the park’s court-appointed custodian, LeRoy Stearns, is having the plan studied by the park’s attorney out of concern for the accuracy of the information presented.


Areas of the park and the uses envisioned in the plan include:


- Entertainment – includes the current Beach Club and Dockside facilities with no proposed changes. It also extends from the lakefront to Comstock Street, which includes the current midway and games.


- Recreation is proposed for the area from Comstock to Route 618, including the majority of the rides.


- Future residential with revenues to the park is the area along Route 618 adjacent to the former Jo-Winn Trailer Park, now part of the Snow Waters project.


- Future retail/commercial along Route 618 from Reed Avenue to Inlet Drive. That would encompass the current parking lot and picnic pavilions and a number of residences between Matson Street and Comstock Street. Only a few homes along the corridor — across from the water park — would remain under the plan.


- Future development — Camperland and the adjacent parking lot. The plan doesn’t specify what type of development, but both are identified as revenue zones. Also included in this designation is an area running from Comstock Street through the Convention Center and to the site of the former Flynn House on the lakefront. The park is currently entertaining an offer to sell about 3.3 acres of land including a portion of the lakefront and the site of the former Flynn House, but it makes up only a portion of this future development zone.


- Marinas — two are envisioned. One, labeled a private marina, would be located in front of the former Flynn House site. A public marina would be located in front of Hotel Conneaut.


I wanna ride it asap

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some more news has come up recently with the opening in a little over a month it has turned to a crunch time for the park.


The park will hire Professional management to run areas of the park.

Conneaut Lake Park officials are near completion of negotiations with a professional management team to oversee operations of Hotel Conneaut, the Beach Club, food services, advertising and hiring for the park in 2007 — should the park receive approval to sell 3.3 acres of land to Gregory Sutterlin, giving the park the money it needs to open this summer.


Leroy stearns the court overseer of the park is confidant the park will ope provide the court approves the sale.

However, Stearns is confident that he will have funding to open. “The due diligence has already started,” said Stearns, noting that although the sale has not yet been approved by the Crawford County Court of Common Pleas, Sutterlin has already started work on proceeding with the planned development.


More Here


They have also begun to review applications for the park board that should be in place before the 2008 season.

More Here


Tuesday is the court date which will determine if the park can open or not.

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The court has ruled in favor of the sale.

SUMMIT TOWNSHIP — It appears to be one down and one to go for Conneaut Lake Park.



While Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony Vardaro’s ruling on Gregory Sutterlin’s proposed $1.7 million purchase of roughly 3.3 acres of land at the park is reportedly a day or two off, officials in Summit Township have helped the park clear another hurdle in its effort to open for the season.


Summit supervisors gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a zoning change and subdivision request Sutterlin said was crucial to his plan to purchase the park land. The park needs the land sale money in order to prepare to open May 26. Summit’s zoning changes officially go into force Sunday, and the judge’s approval of the land sale is the next significant hurdle the park must clear to open.


Summit’s zoning ordinance change increases the maximum number of condominiums allowed to be built on an acre of land in the township from six to 10.


“It’s been a stressful couple of weeks,” a visibly emotional park general manager George Deshner said following the supervisors’ 3-0 vote. “I’m very pleased to see that the (zoning) ordinance change was granted. This is the start of the breaking of that black cloud” that’s been associated with the park.


Sutterlin reiterated Tuesday his opinion that his proposal meets the land use objectives of the township business district, and matches what a master plan for Conneaut Lake Park calls for, including high-density residential development and lakefront/lakeview development.


“The master plan for the park calls for private investment along with its public interest,” he said following the vote. “I look forward to being one of the first investors to take the park into the next 100 years.”


By voting in favor of the zoning amendment and related land subdivision, Summit officials “acted in the best interest of Summit Township, the community and, of course, the park,” he said.


One township resident, however, once again disagreed with that notion.


Debbie Stewart, who spoke against the then-proposed zoning change at a recent packed-house public meeting, repeated Tuesday that she’s opposed. “I still feel it’s not in the best interest of the township,” she said. “You (supervisors) need to do what’s best for the entire township, not just Conneaut Lake Park.”


She’d said at the recent public hearing that in her opinion, there should be no sale until a qualified board of trustees has been appointed for the park, which is a charitable trust, and plans for long-term development of the park are in place.


“Everything we’re doing at the park right now is looking to the future,” Deshner said. And “given time, things can be turned around and the park can be a very viable economic factor for the entire lake area.”



Ryan Smith can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at rsmith@meadvilletribune.com.

Another step closer


A few more stories


Judge ruling may not be the end


Alternatives to park’s master plan

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Good news for bringing the Park a step closer to opening this season.


I don't understand why a local does not want to the Park to open, are they mad..?


guess there is nothing else worth visiting in the area apart from the Park. If the Park closes forever all the local companies will suffer.


Keep us all updated with any news as I want to visit the park in a few years time.


Long live Harry Travier's "Tumble Bug" and Edward A. Vettel

wonderful "Blue Streak".

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I have heard talk of bringing back the Ball Crawl to kiddieland.



I just got home from The Volunteer event and I figured I would do a Trip Report. I got there abit late becase the park never announced anything but I helped Greg Sutterlin on the new haunted house. He still needs building permits But he did clear it out and is ready to go. I found out my old kiddyland supervisor was there we all call her Grandma. I talked with her and she said she was coming back. (If you want to ride the Little Dipper talk with her she would let you on.) We had a good Lunch of Meatball sandwiches and Chili. After that we went back and worked on the Haunted House we come up with good ideas we found uses in the house for every thing from Speakers and Mirrors to Toilets. Than I talked with George Deshner about Permission to do a walk back of the Bluestreak. He said it was ok so I gathered some people that was there to do a tour. Before that we went to a house on the Property that Greg bought. It was over 150 years old. It was a house a hotel and a dorm. We went to clean up balls that were used in the Ball Crawl that used to be at the park. you could tell it used to be a dorm it had beer cans everywhere and shot gun holes in the sealing don't know why, and had balls everywhere. I found my friend I worked with in kiddyland. It was intersting they had makeshift bridges over water and things I never knew was there. There was abunch of stuff that people droped on the bluestreak. It only too about a half hour. After that we got a free ride on the Kaylee Bell. It was alot of fun and after that I left. Look for more from Tommorow. Till then enjoy these pics.


Greg Sutterlin (one the left) working on his Haunted House he is also buying the land.


Some of the Exterior


Some props


Future home of Erieviews Fright Zone


Tumble bug ready to go


Meet grandma kiddyland supervisor If you want to ride the little dipper go to her. Ted there you go.


Hard at work


Looks like the maintmence staff was to lazy to take off the cars for winter.


Grandma is like who is this strange person taking a picture of me.


Hotel Conneaut


This building is over 150 years old


Lets begin the tour of the coaster built buy Ed Vettle in 1938.


The first drop


Some ACErs were following me


A maintmence shack I did not even know of


My friend Joey in the white.


Very nice


The turn around lawn is really nice


Tree and Straight away


Breaks before turn around




On the train tracks


A bunny Hop


The hill into the Break run


The Lift


Had to see the Blue Streak hungry Oak tree


The Tunnel exit


I ended the tur with the station but it had dwindled down to 4.


The Tunnel and NAD train


Let's go for a boat ride!!!


Ready to go


Just enjoying a boat ride.


Wolf Island


A lighthouse


Joey says "I like boat"


The Toboggan from the Kaylee Bell


Arriving back at the Park

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It would be great if they could find the original plans for the funhouse in the 50s-70s with the moving floors, barrels, wooden slides, crooked rooms, mirror rooms, etc. It was a blast.


And next time I'm there, I hafta find granma, cause the Little Dipper was the first coaster I ever rode, circa 1958.

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In the ruling handed down Monday morning, Vardaro said the agreement to sell the land to Sutterlin wasn’t acceptable because:


n No requirements are listed regarding the type of condominiums to ensure they are of a quality nature;


n No time frame is listed regarding when Sutterlin must do something with the property; and


n It was indicated a “bridge loan” would be used to open the park until the sale funds are received. Vardaro said he isn’t interested in approving such a loan when so many contingencies of the sale aren’t certain.



Atleast we know why...

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$300,000 is a small sum for a company to give a Park so it can open for this season.


Lovely pic's of the park and "Blue Streak". The coaster does need to have lots of TLC on it, looks rather unwell and a good coat of "white" paint.


Let's hope something can be sorted out for the park and it can re-open soon.

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Buy a 5 dollar token that gets you rides at the park. I don't even plan to go and plan on getting one.




Published April 24, 2007 11:16 pm - Conneaut Lake Park officials have come up with a new plan to raise the $300,000 they need to open the park this year: The sale of 60,000 commemorative tokens at $5 apiece.


Ride discount coins for sale in effort to bankroll park opening



By Jane Smith


4/25/07 —


Conneaut Lake Park officials have come up with a new plan to raise the $300,000 they need to open the park this year: The sale of 60,000 commemorative tokens at $5 apiece.


The token will give the purchaser more than a brass memento. It can be exchanged any weekday the park is open for a wristband giving the holder the right to ride the amusement park’s rides all day.


This will be a savings of between $3.95 and $8.95. Children’s rides on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are $8.95 and adults, $13.95.


Announcing the sale at a press conference at the park Tuesday, court-appointed overseer Leroy Stearns and director of operations George Deshner said they are hopeful people will get behind the idea.


The park had hoped to sell 3.3 acres of land at the park to Gregory Sutterlin to help pay down the debt and give the park the money it needs to open. That plan fizzled Monday when Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony Vardaro decided against the land sale, offering seven objections. Because it’s a charitable trust operating under court supervision, the park must get court approval for moves like selling land.


Stearns noted the judge “never said we can’t raise the money to open.”


If for some reason the park doesn’t open, the tokens would be a collectible item, said Deshner, who came up with the idea.


“We have got bags and bags and bags of gold-colored tokens,” he said.


The tokens were made in the 1990s and have a “Liberty Token” engraved on one side with a logo of Conneaut Lake Park. On the back is a tribute, “In memory of Don Guckert,” a former park employee who died in 1996.


It will only take the sale of 60,000 of them over the next three weeks to give the park the full $300,000 needed to open by Memorial Day Weekend.


The token, which is 70 percent copper and 30 percent brass, is worth 36 cents, Deshner said. But it may become a lot more valuable to the community — if 60,000 can be sold to open the park for another year.


“Let’s show the judge we can open this year,” said Stearns. He also suggested businesses may want to purchase the tokens in bulk to give to employees.


Tokens can be purchased at the park office or at the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, by calling the park office. or by ordering at www.conneautlakepark.com. A $1 service fee will be charged for mailing orders.


Any business wishing to sell tokens on behalf of the park may call Deshner at 382-5115.

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For people who want to buy these tokens, where can they go on the Net as the Park's site has not been updated for ages..?


The Original Parks which are over 60 years old should be looked after by the public to make sure they are kept open, it does not matter if they don't have a "Hades", "El Toro" or "Mantis" or a modern coaster and all they have is an old woodie which needs some TLC.


This Park is part of American amusement history and should be treasured for as long as possible.


Some people can't afford to take their family to a 6 Flags Park and this is their local. If I lived near this park I would invest in it. I may even buy a couple of "coins" even though I have never been to the Park.


If Alton Towers was on the verge of closing and they were selling things to raise money I would have no problem in buying anything as I want to see that Park stay open and "living".


Disney and 6 Flags are not the only parks in your country. Support the old Parks as well as the new ones, there will be so much choice otherwise it will become boring with simular coasters in each newish park but with different names.

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Sounds a lot like the "Buy a Whale" last ditch effort that went on right before Whalom closed it doors.


$300k is NOTHING these days when it comes to the amount of money that changes hands even between most small business. Hell, tiny condos here in California cost more than that!


It really says something about what the community must think about the park if they can't get the local business population to help raise this money.


--Robb "Did anyone ever get their Whale money back?" Alvey

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just called clp (pronounced conn e it (if i remember correctly) I always thought it was co co nut, lol. They are working on getting the website updated to have that info on there. They are getting slammed with phone calls, Spread this info, help save the park.

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