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Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread


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I can see these 30 day where he will do nothing and George will be working his heart out. I hope this new board will focus on the only thing that will save the park ADVERTISING which the park has been lacking these last few years. Most people think the park has been closed scince 1995 now even more will think the park is closed from this year. You can't survive on word of mouth anymore.

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Published June 09, 2007 12:13 am - Even though court-appointed overseer LeRoy Stearns closed Conneaut Lake Park last month, he is willing to open it again — if enough money is raised.

 

Stearns will consider reopening park if sufficient funds are raised

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

6/9/07 —

CONNEAUT LAKE PARK — Even though court-appointed overseer LeRoy Stearns closed Conneaut Lake Park last month, he is willing to open it again — if enough money is raised.

 

 

Stearns, who remains in control of the park through July 6 following a ruling Friday, said if fundraisers are successful to acquire the money needed to open, “I will consider opening Conneaut Lake Park.”

 

His concern is that no more debt be incurred for a new park board to assume when it takes over the park’s operation next month.

 

Park director of operations George Deshner has said he needs $60,000 to open portions of the park, including the Beach Club, Hotel Conneaut, Camperland and possibly other areas.

 

An additional $22,000 was added to the total needed to open after electricity service was shut off last week.

 

Gregory Sutterlin, a Conneaut Lake resident, started a campaign to raise the money last week and so far $47,000 has been raised.

 

All that money will be returned if the park doesn’t open.

 

In the meantime, Abate of Crawford County has joined the fundraising efforts and is working with Sutterlin and others to host a concert today at Fairway 12 Motel on Route 618, just north of the park.

 

Five bands have donated their services for concerts starting at 1 p.m. and concluding at 11 p.m.

 

Parking is available at the park’s lots along Route 618 with free shuttle service to the motel provided by Laidlaw Transit Inc., said Deshner.

 

From telephone calls and personal contacts he has received, Deshner is estimating the concert will draw between 1,500 and 2,000 people.

 

Should there not be enough money raised to open, proceeds from today’s events will be given to Abate of Crawford County for distribution to charities it chooses, said Deshner. It will not be given to the park to pay bills.

 

Admission price for the concert is $10. A pig roast will be featured as well, but at an additional cost. Raffle tickets also will be sold by Abate.

 

 

YOU CAN GO

 

A concert will be held today at Fairway 12 Motel on Route 618 to raise funds to help open Conneaut Lake Park. Five bands have donated their services for concerts starting at 1 p.m. and concluding at 11 p.m. Parking is available at the park’s lots along Route 618. Admission is $10.

 

Published June 09, 2007 12:08 am - A new board of directors will assume control of Conneaut Lake Park on July 7 as the park’s court-appointed overseer LeRoy Stearns steps aside.

 

Stearns to resign as overseer; New board to take control

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

6/9/07 —

A new board of directors will assume control of Conneaut Lake Park on July 7 as the park’s court-appointed overseer LeRoy Stearns steps aside.

 

 

Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony Vardaro granted a petition Friday by Stearns allowing him to resign — but not for 30 days.

 

That gives Vardaro time to accept and review resumes of people wishing to serve on the board.

 

Resumes must be received by Vardaro at his courthouse office by 4:30 p.m. June 22. He then will appoint the board July 6.

 

Stearns, who has served as court-appointed overseer of the 115-year-old amusement park since 2005, had planned to sell 3.3 acres of land this spring to give the park the money to pay down some of its nearly $2.5 million debt and open for the summer.

 

When that plan was rejected by Judge Vardaro, Stearns announced in late May the park wouldn’t open. He then filed his request to resign and turn the park over to a board of trustees.

 

Nobody objected to Stearns’ request, but Gene Herne of the state attorney general’s office said a financial accounting of the park’s operation during Stearns’ tenure should be presented before Stearns is done. Vardaro agreed.

 

Vardaro denied a petition by attorney Dana Watson to continue the overseer position for 90 days and to appoint 11 people who would eventually become trustees of the park. The list of potential board members was presented to Watson by Mark Turner, executive director of the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County, which has developed a master plan for the park’s future.

 

Vardaro’s ruling followed a 45-minute hearing. So many people had appeared for the hearing it had to be moved from Courtroom 2 to Courtroom 1, which is bigger. Many were park employees, some are Conneaut Lake residents and some had indicated an interest to serve on the park board.

 

During the hearing, Turner testified about the expertise the Alliance has to work with the new board. He said he sees the park as a “unique opportunity,” saying it is an “economic engine” for the region.

 

He said the board members recommended by Watson have a broad range of experience from the business and economic standpoint. He said each was familiar with the Alliance’s master plan for the park and endorses it.

 

He cited the need for short-term and long-term business plans.

 

One short-term plan is to meet with creditors and determine a plan to have the debt paid. Then, the park can move to “a profitable operation in the future,” Turner said.

 

He said the board will develop a “solid business plan,” saying it will be a “detailed business plan,” showing what portions of the park can be profitable.

 

He termed his master plan presented by the Alliance Feb. 27 as a “conceptual master plan,” saying the business plan developed by the board will be more detailed.

Read More

 

Water Project to Continue

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Published June 09, 2007 11:38 pm - “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think it was possible,” said Dick Williams of Conneaut Lake. “The park is historically important to me.”

 

Fundraiser keeps hope alive for future of park

 

 

By Jamie Musick

 

6/10/07 —

CONNEAUT LAKE — “I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think it was possible,” said Dick Williams of Conneaut Lake. “The park is historically important to me.”

 

 

Williams, a longtime resident of Conneaut Lake, was one of approximately 1,000 people determined to help open Conneaut Lake Park during a fundraising event held at Fairway 12 Motel on Route 618 Saturday.

 

With many fond memories of the park, Williams is hopeful that the fundraising efforts will be a success.

 

“It’s (Conneaut Lake Park) economically beneficial to our area,” Williams said. “We’re hoping to raise thousands of dollars and get the public to know we’re getting closer to our goal.”

 

The fundraiser kicked off at 1 p.m. and included concerts from five bands, who donated their services. Through the efforts of many, including Crawford County’s Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education and Thunder on the Lake, the event featured a pig roast and various raffles.

 

“It’s a beautiful day and the turnout is great,” said Randy Gilmore, president of Crawford County’s A.B.A.T.E. “If we can cross one bridge at a time, eventually we’ll get to the ocean.”

 

Gary Patterson, a Pittsburgh resident, has been coming to the park for 20 years. “I think this (fundraising) event is great,” he said. “Without it (the park), the area would be dead. It’s what makes the area.”

 

George Deshner, park director of operations, said $60,000 is needed to open portions of the park, including the Beach Club, Hotel Conneaut, Camperland and possibly other areas.

 

An additional $22,000 was added to the total needed to open after electricity service was shut off last week.

 

“I’m very positive that we’ll get the park open,” Deshner said. “We’ll have to do it in stages and we might have to scale our plans back. The first thing we have to do is get the electricity back on.”

 

In addition, Gregory Sutterlin, a Conneaut Lake resident, has started a campaign to raise money for the park and has raised about $47,000 so far.

 

All that money will be returned if the park doesn’t open.

 

“We’re hoping to open the park by the Fourth of July,” said Sutterlin. “This year is a more critical year and we really have to step it up. This is one of the last parks of its type and we can’t let it go.”

 

Juanita Hampton, executive director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that the impact could be “devastating” if the park doesn’t open. “It’s vital to this area and its important to hold on to the history we have in front of the lake,” Hampton said. “With the bands coming here, there’s a lot of passion here to save the park and Conneaut area.”

 

The park is a “staple of the community,” according to Tracy Rinko, of Conneaut Lake. “I remember going there as a little girl,” she said. “It’s a nice little place to take your boat to. I just hope people donate as much as possible. I don’t think people will realize how much they’ll miss it if they don’t step up and help out.”

 

690714.jpg.db546b733c3d1792e3c7744ef00bed71.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some News.

 

Park gets OK to build new water plant

 

Published June 18, 2007 11:19 pm - When a new board of directors for the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park is named next month, it will have a number of decisions to make regarding operation of the 115-old amusement park.

 

Parks new board of directors will face many decisions

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

06/19/07 —

 

 

When a new board of directors for the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park is named next month, it will have a number of decisions to make regarding operation of the 115-old amusement park.

 

For starters, if fund-raising efforts to get the park open by July 4 fail, the board will need to determine if the park will open at all this summer.

 

Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony Vardaro will accept applications for the board until 4:30 p.m. Friday at his office at the Crawford County Courthouse. However, applicants who don’t put in writing that they are willing to serve regardless of who else may be appointed will not be considered. Trustees bylaws call for a minimum of 11 and up to 13 to be appointed.

 

Among some of the initial decisions the board must make are whether to:

 

- Keep the park closed (or closing it down should it be opened).

 

- Retain George Deshner, director of operations, or change management.

 

- Liquidate the park, meaning selling off assets to pay the more than $2.3 million debt, or come up with a plan to pay off the debt.

 

- Implement the master plan for the park’s future developed by the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County.

 

- Implement the game plan for the park’s future developed by county officials.

 

- Develop an entirely different plan for the park’s future.

 

- File a petition to grant an easement to Summit Township on behalf of the Snow Waters Harbor Village and Golf Course.

 

- File a petition on behalf of Gregory Sutterlin of Conneaut Lake to purchase 3.3 acres of land at the park for $1.7 million.

 

Both parties have indicated they want the petitions filed again.

 

Sutterlin’s petition was filed by court-appointed overseer LeRoy Stearns, but was denied by the court after objections were filed by attorney Dana Watson, who said a deed restriction prohibited the sale; and the state attorney general’s office because of a change in the sale proposal from what had been advertised.

 

Jeff Davenport, developer of Snow Waters, had sought an easement for a sidewalk on his own, but was denied by the court as it had to go through Stearns. Stearns said after the first petition was denied, he wouldn’t take the second petition to the court until it was clear land could be sold.

 

 

Summit Township now has a petition prepared by its attorney, William Walker, to purchase the easement on behalf of the township.

 

However, Stearns said since he will resign soon, he will not take either petition to the court for approval.

 

 

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

 

www.meadvilletribune.com/local/local_story_169231950.html?start:int=0

 

When the new board gets in place I hope to try and arrange a meeting with them so I can share some of my ideas with them. If anyone here has any thoughts or idea they would like me to share with them post them here or send me a PM.

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^my question is:

Do they get the Govt' money before they begin or after the jobs completed and inspected?

 

If they get the money after it's completed, where will they get the money to build this facility? Per their own policy, they will not borrow any more money, for anything.

 

This grant is for 500k , per http://www.meadvilletribune.com/archivesearch/local_story_160001421.html

 

and Stearns hadn't signed... as of 06/09/2007

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Okay, why wasn't THIS handled before....

 

Without insurance, parked will be marked off limits

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

06/28/07 —

“No Trespassing” signs will go up at Conneaut Lake Park come Friday morning unless its insurance company grants an extension for the park to pay its $28,000 liability insurance premium — or somebody comes up with the money to pay it.

 

 

“We have no money to pay the premium,” said court-appointed overseer LeRoy Stearns.

 

That means anybody who is not a homeowner at the park could be cited for defiant trespass and face criminal charges if they are on any park property. That will include groups of partiers who have reportedly used the park’s beach in recent weeks, as well as visitors who have freely roamed or driven through the property of the closed-down amusement park.

 

Stearns said a call will be made to the insurance company this morning to determine if it would extend the payment due date until the new board of directors is named.

 

A call wasn’t made earlier because there was some discussion being held by other parties which would have allowed the money to be raised to pay that bill. However, those discussions ended unsuccessful Wednesday, so George Deshner, director of operations at the park, will now make today’s phone call.

 

The new board is expected to be named by Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony Vardaro on or before July 6. Stearns asked to have the overseer’s position terminated and to be removed from office after his attempt to sell 3.3 acres of land to pay down part of the debt and give the park money to open fell through. The park now is closed.

 

The court approved the request and sought applications for appointment. Between 11 and 13 members are to be appointed; they then will assume control of the park’s operations.

 

The insurance premium was due last month, but the park was given a 30-day extension with hopes that enough funds would be raised to pay it. However, that hasn’t happened.

 

“I have to protect the trust,” said Stearns of his reason for posting the signs, particularly in response to recent activities at the park.

 

Concerns were raised about people having parties on the beach and using alcohol last weekend.

 

“As long as I am court custodian, I will not allow alcohol on the beach,” he said, citing the liability issues the park could face if problems occurred. “Once the new board takes over, that will be their decision.”

 

In addition, Stearns has been advised of some reported vandalism at the park, and more security has been added.

 

He is uncertain what will happen to campers at Camperland who now are at the recreational grounds, noting that property, like the amusement park across the road from it, will be posted “No Trespassing.”

 

Should the insurance company grant an extension, there will be no need to post the signs because there will be liability insurance to cover any accidents.

 

Stearns said that decision should be known by the end of today.

 

While the trustees will be in charge of the daily operations, they still will have to go to Crawford County Court of Common Pleas for any approval regarding any changes such as leasing or selling park property because the park is a charitable trust.

 

 

It was declared a charitable trust following a lawsuit filed in 1998 by Dana Watson against the former Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park.

 

 

All i can say is: Wow....

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The New Board has been choosen and will take office today.

 

Published June 28, 2007 08:47 pm - Several entrepreneurs, an attorney, a real estate agent and a banker are among the 15 members of Conneaut Lake Park’s new board of directors

 

New board of directors named for Conneaut Lake Park

 

 

By Jane Smith

 

6/29/07 —

Several entrepreneurs, an attorney, a real estate agent and a banker are among the 15 members of Conneaut Lake Park’s new board of directors

 

 

Fifteen applicants were sent letters confirming their appointment Thursday and will take office today.

 

The 15 will succeed court-appointed overseer LeRoy Stearns, who asked to have his position terminated last month and a new board appointed.

 

Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Anthony Vardaro previously granted the request and said he would name a new board on or before July 6.

 

According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, the new board members are:

 

- Carol West, treasurer of the Conneaut Lake Institute;

 

- Jim Roha of Meadville, real estate agent;

 

- Juanita Hampton, director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau;

 

- Denny Watson of Conneaut Lake, owner of Mobil Com;

 

- John Swick, Meadville attorney;

 

- Jeff Mona of Conneautville, president of American Resort Inc.;

 

- Jack Moyers of Conneaut Lake, chairman of Meadville Council on the Arts and vice chairman of Conneaut Lake Community Development Committee;

 

- Roy Brant of Saegertown, retired Edinboro University of Pennsylvania professor;

 

- George Deshner, current director of operations at Conneaut Lake Park and a former park board member;

 

- Ed Miller, banker;

 

- Ralph Lee, chief financial officer of the Crawford County Human Services Department;

 

 

- Thomas Graney of Grove City, occupation unknown;

 

- Jim Collins of Conneaut Lake, employed with McGill Power Bell and Associates, a certified public accounting firm;

 

- Lawrence Morgan of Conneaut Lake, occupation unknown; and

 

- Tom Frantz of Meadville, insurance agent.

 

Several members on the list were contacted and confirmed they received letters, but declined further comments pending formal announcement of their appointment today.

 

The board will be responsible for the oversight of the currently-closed 115-year-old amusement park, which came under court control when it was declared a charitable trust following a lawsuit filed by former park board member Dana Watson.

 

As a charitable trust, the board can make decisions regarding daily operations — except if they involve any legal action regarding assets of the park, such as leasing or selling property. Court approval must be sought for such action.

 

Stearns, the park’s outgoing court-appointed overseer, couldn’t be reached for comment.

 

Meadville Tribune

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From the Erie Times.

 

 

 

Conneaut Lake campers have summer of discontent

 

 

BY JIM CARROLL

jim.carroll@timesnews.com [more details]

 

 

Published: July 01. 2007 6:00AM

 

 

MEADVILLE -- Some of Conneaut Lake Park's most loyal fans are, quite literally, not happy campers.

 

Most of the financially troubled amusement park has not opened for the season.

 

One exception is Camperland -- an area directly across the road from the amusement park where a cadre of loyal seasonal campers live out of their RVs every weekend -- just as most of them have been doing year after year.

 

They keep driving up for weekend or weeklong visits from places like Pittsburgh, Butler and New Castle, but this has clearly become the summer of their discontent.

 

"We are paying good money to be here, and there is nothing to do -- nothing for the kids to do," said Frank Miller, a retiree from Butler, as he took a break from repairing a granddaughter's bicycle.

 

 

"The place is empty. It is really sad," Miller said. "They don't have anything (stocked) in the store. Look at what they have for a playground. That is all there is for the kids."

 

John Petrovich, a retiree from Pittsburgh who has been such a fixture at the park that fellow campers have kiddingly nicknamed him "the mayor," said campers have picked up the maintenance chores that the park staff is no longer around to do.

 

"We have been mowing the grass. We have painted the fence. We are doing it all on our own," Petrovich said.

 

"The campers have been taking care of the place," said Miller. "The thing is, we are all like family here."

 

Miller brought classic cars up for the park's cruise-ins, but now that has ended as well.

 

 

"I think they are sitting on a gold mine, and they don't know how to dig it," Miller said.

 

Many of Conneaut Lake's seasonal campers have built porches and decks on the RVs and trailers that become their weekend homes.

 

"We love it here. It's a great place," said Peggy Maglisco, a Pittsburgh-area resident whose family has been made the park their summer camp for 13 years.

 

But nonetheless, a "For Sale" sign hangs on the font of her cottage. "With what's going on, it is tough to sell," she said.

 

Maglisco said campers still boat and fish, "but now it's getting boring for younger people."

 

 

Petrovich and his wife, Barb, said they would like to see the park separated from the campgrounds and their seasonal rents reinvested in the camping area.

 

"They have just been taking our money and throwing it away in the park. We aren't getting anything for it," Barb Petrovich said.

 

Barb Petrovich said campers are worried what happens when the park's liability insurance runs out later this week. "What happens then?" she asks.

 

Campers say they hope the park's new board of trustees can right the park and restore the experience that has brought them back year after year.

 

 

I sure hope someone has been taking care of the 'dump Station'...

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There s talk about getting the Beach Club and the Hotel opened in a week or two. Greg went to the board with a good plan. I also over heard a bit of the meeting nothing informative just george going through a list of names. don't know what for. I also took a drive through the park and it was very dark. The lights that are all ways on the the hotel front window were out and it was different.

 

In other news from the lake The Barbra J which is a paddle wheel that used to operate at the park like the Kaylee Belle has reopened. It now belongs to the silver shore sea food resturant.

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Since my camp is only 10 minutes away from CLP, on my way home today I thought I'd drive by and check things out. Nothing was going on that I could see from the road, just a guy weed-wacking out in front of the Blue Streak. I snapped a pictures with my phone from the road of the Blue Streak. It's nothing that anyone hasn't seen before, but I'll post it anyway.

 

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Well the New board will decide where to go tommorow morning.

 

In the mean time a bit of bad news. 4 rides could be leaving the park.

 

Some rides at park could be on way out

 

By Tim Hahn

tim.hahn@timesnews.com

 

 

CONNEAUT LAKE -- Conneaut Lake Park's new board of directors might find themselves dealing with more bare patches of pavement when the time comes to consider the future of the amusement park portion of the facility.

 

Three of the park's 16 adult rides and one of the dozen rides in Kiddieland soon could disappear as their owner, Erie businessman Joe Prischak, considers other options for the amusements.

 

Prischak said late last week that he might take back his rides, which he purchased several years ago and leased to the park in an effort to help the park's operations.

 

"I might take them down to Lake Erie Speedway," said Prischak, whose family also owns and operates the racing facility in Greenfield Township, Erie County. "Two of my sons run the speedway. I told them if they want to go down (to Conneaut Lake Park) and look at the rides to set up at the speedway for an added attraction, go ahead. It would be another activity there."

 

Park board member George Deshner, who also serves as the facility's general manager, said Friday that Prischak has indicated that he is going to remove the rides and sell them. Prischak has had people come to the park to take photographs of the rides in order to get them listed for sale, Deshner said.

 

The rides that Prischak owns are the Witch's Stew, the Toboggan, the Musik Express and the Kiddie Carousel. They have sat idle since summer 2006, when park officials closed out the 2006 season.

 

That season was made possible by Prischak, who loaned park officials $250,000 so that the amusement park and resort could open in 2006.

 

Prischak also loaned the park $250,000 a few years earlier.

 

Prischak is owed the $500,000 in loans that he made, former park custodian H. LeRoy Stearns said. Prischak also is owed about $150,000 in lease payments for the rides, Stearns said.

 

The money owed Prischak is part of roughly $2.5 million in debt that park officials have been unable to pay. A lack of funds forced Stearns to order Conneaut Lake Park closed for the season in May.

 

Stearns later stepped down as custodian and was replaced by a 15-member board of directors that Crawford County Judge Anthony Vardaro appointed June 29.

 

Prischak said he is "sitting tight" when asked what he is doing or is contemplating doing about his unpaid loans. He said he is currently focusing his attention on other projects.

 

TIM HAHN can be reached at (814) 724-6979 or by e-mail.

 

Last changed: July 15. 2007 12:29AM

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How far away is the Speedway circuit from CLP.

 

What type of rides are these: Witch's Stew, the Toboggan.

 

If the park can get back into the "Black" with money they can buy some new rides to replace the ones which have been moved out.

 

The most important thing is as long as the "Blue Streak" and "Turtles" are not destroyed.

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^ Lake Erie speedway is just out side of Erie (I think)

 

The Witch's Stew is a spinning ride with two arms that have two cars on each arm. Cars are allowed to spinn freely.

 

The Toboggan is a mini Roller Coaster built by Chance. It has a veritical lift and cars circle the lift on the way back down.

Conneaut-2004-Toboggan-3.jpg.e5d49baddc61d7ed728b29dd128e0359.jpg

Toboggan

100_0103.JPG.92028446fdebba37cc827c119f48118e.JPG

Witch's Stew

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Good News. In todays meadville tribue it says that they will Open the Beach Club and Hotel on Aug 2nd or 3rd. They recived a grant to pay bills but payed sales tax depts with it. and Joe is going to keep the rides there if the park opens next season.

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