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Conneaut Lake Park may open in August


By Tim Hahn




CONNEAUT LAKE -- The summer season might not be a complete loss for the people who love and depend on Conneaut Lake Park.


The 15-member board of directors charged with overseeing the 115-year-old resort and amusement park on the west side of Conneaut Lake will try to open parts of the facility in early August, park spokesman Ralph Lee said Tuesday.


Lee, a member of the park board, said the body has accepted a gift of nearly $60,000 from Conneaut Lake resident Greg Sutterlin and plans to use the money to get the Beach Club and possibly the Hotel Conneaut open by the first week of August.


Sutterlin, who unsuccessfully tried to buy a parcel of land in the park earlier this year, raised the money through donations to keep the park running.


Opening a couple of park attractions would allow the park to start generating some much-needed revenue while showing the public that the board is committed to reopening the entire facility, Lee said.


"It's really a good-faith effort to the community to at least get parts of the park open this year," he said. "But the main focus is to get things running for next year."


Board member John Swick, who served as its president until stepping aside on Monday, said last week that the park continues to receive numerous calls from people who want to see the facility reopen.


Conneaut Lake Park, which sits in public trust under Crawford County court supervision, was ordered closed by then-custodian H. LeRoy Stearns in May after overseers were unable to raise enough money to open the place for the season.


It was the second time in 12 years that the park failed to open, and the move had many concerned about the effect the closing would have on local businesses and county tourism.


Lee said Tuesday that the park board plans to do everything it can to reopen the place and put it on better footing for the future. He added, however, that the board, which had its third meeting on Monday, has a lot of hurdles to clear just to get the Beach Club and hotel open.


Those include paying some back bills, getting equipment together and finding a manager, Lee said.


He said it is hard to predict how the board will fare, given the park's roughly $2.8 million in unpaid debts and the many issues that need to be addressed.


"But we're going to do our best," he said.


Members of the public are expected to have some say in what the future could hold for the park, as the board plans to hold a town hall meeting to solicit community opinion, Lee said. The meeting will likely be held in late August, he said.


"We want to keep this an open forum, an open board, so the community knows what's going on," he said.


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

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I remember the anxious excitement I felt on days leading up to a visit to Conneaut Lake Park. It was so much better than Waldamweer. I loved the Wild Mouse, Blue Streak, Hell Hole, Round-Up, the Whip, Flying Scooters, Devils Den, Dracula's Cave and just the atmosphere of the park.


The Blue Streak frightened me as a kid. The Hell Hole from my memory was almost the same as the Rotor at Cedar Point only MUCH better. The floor dropped a good 8 or 10 feet and stayed down for a while while you stuck to the wall. I used to ride upside down. The ride ops eventually disallowed this. I still remember hearing "ecology boy to the hell hole" over the park PA system many times. Dracula's Cave was a Dark ride near the park entrance, next to where the ferris wheel is now. The srambler was evetually moved indoors into what was once the fun house. The ride became called the Ultimate Trip which was an indoor Scrambler in the dark with a light show and loud rock music. It was awesome. There used to be a kiddie land across from the devils den that had small kiddie rides, a small coaster and a pony ride.

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When I stopped by the park last weekend it was closed. Are they going to be open at all this season? Where can I get more information on Pumpkin Fest? Will the Hotel be open? I stayed there one year during October and did the haunted Train Ride and Haunted Dance Hall. Would love to make it back to the area while the grapes are in harvest.

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Conneaut Lake Park rides begin operations


This interests me. Seeing how the rides have no electicity and not inspected this year. Though after remembering what I read on the tribune forums. I know the rides electicity is not a issue because someone on there said they would loan a generator.

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The Beach Club is opening a week early than planed.


Published July 23, 2007 05:33 pm -


Conneaut Lake Park's Beach Club to open Friday





The Beach Club at Conneaut Lake Park will be in business again Friday as the first step toward opening portions of the 115-year-old amusement park for this season.



The entertainment center didn’t open as scheduled in May because there was no money available. Since that time, two Conneaut Lake businessmen, Gregory Sutterlin and Dick Williams, headed a campaign to raise $60,000 to allow a portion of the park to open.


The Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park voted Monday to take this next step. “There are a few pieces of red tape to clear up, but they have made the Beach Club (opening) a priority,” said Ralph Lee, spokesmen for the Trustees.


The club will be managed by American Resort Inc.


Lee said although the schedule hasn’t yet been finalized, tentative plans are to be open four days a week — Thursday through Sunday. As final plans are made, they will be announced in the Tribune, he added.



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Well there's a not so surprising delay for opening of the Beach Club


Published July 25, 2007 11:22 pm -


Beach Club won't open Friday as planned





The opening of Conneaut Lake Park’s Beach Club and Down Under bars — originally set for this weekend — has been delayed, the park’s new board of trustees announced late Wednesday.



“Officials from Conneaut Lake Park were optimistic that the Beach Club would be open this weekend. Due to some logistical problems the opening must be delayed,” said a press release e-mailed to the Tribune.


“Officials can’t reveal the source of what the delay is due to, but are still moving forward with plans to open in the near future. The board knows that the season is growing shorter, but still wants to give the community a chance to come out and enjoy the Beach Club and is planning a ‘meet the board’ night for later in August.


“The board sincerely regrets this delay and is doing everything in our power to open as soon as this issue clears. In the meantime, the board continues to plan for the park’s future while working through the transition from a custodianship back to a board of trustees,” the message concluded.


The 115-year-old amusement park has been closed all season because of financial problems. With the new board of trustees named in early July, efforts were being made to open parts of the park before the end of summer. On Monday, the board announced that the two bars, located in the same building on the park’s Conneaut Lake beach, would open Friday, with American Resort Inc. to manage the facility.


Monday’s announcement had said this weekend’s opening was to include entertainment, food and beverages.

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CLP must suffering from Clash-Should-I-Stay-or-should-i-go symplex.


I wonder how much they paid to book the entertainement this time?


A new board of 15, they decide to open, make an announcement that hits the press, and then change their minds a few days later. great.


Why should anyone plan a weekend in the conneaut? I know of at least three people that had made reservations this weekend at a couple of the hotels near the park. (Parkside and the Irish cove, i think.) I hope they don't lose much when they cancel the reservations. my girlfriend and i were planning on going there saturday for our annual, 'drink on the boardwalk sunset thing and watch the pretty boats.', but i guess i can scratch that now.



Sutterlin raised close to 60k himself, not to mention the token money. Is that all gone already?

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The Beach Club has Reopened finaly.


Published August 03, 2007 02:37 pm -


Beach Club at Conneaut Lake Park to open this afternoon





The Beach Club at Conneaut Lake Park will open today at 4 p.m.



George Deshner, general manager, made the announcement at 2:30 p.m. Further details will be announced later today, he said.


Conneaut Lake Park, a 115-year-old amusement park, has been closed for the season because of lack of funds. However, enough funds have been raised to open the Beach Club to bring some revenue into the park. The rest of the park remains closed.

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So what's the deal now about the hotel opening?

I want to get rooms as soon as I can for the Pumpkinfest. I'm guessing the park will be very crowded, weather permitting of course. Last year it snowed and went down to freezing at night.


Nice crowd last year, bundeled in their winter coats in 40 degree weather in the the middle of October.

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I wanted to ride but I had other things going on.


So what's the deal now about the hotel opening?

I want to get rooms as soon as I can for the Pumpkinfest.


I just Called to Reserve a room for Pumpkin Fest and I Left my contact info with George he said once they get staff back they will be calling to varify reservations. You might want to call soon because if they open I am sure rooms will go fast for that weekend.

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