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Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread


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www.meadvilletribune.com/breakingnews/l ... 41409.html

 

At 3:30 a.m. it was reported that a large fire was being fought in the heart of Conneaut Lake Park, 115-year-old amusement park on the north end of Conneaut Lake. Eight to 10 fire companies were on the scene.

 

The top floor of Dreamland Ballroom had collapsed, and at least half of the block-long midway on that side of the park's main walkway appeared to be destroyed. At 5 a.m., the fire was still being actively fought, a Tribune photographer at the scene said.

 

The midway is a row of connected, century-old, wood-frame structures that house many of the park's games and food stands. Behind the midway facades are important storage areas for rides, as well as repair shops where amusement-ride cars are fixed, maintained and stored.

 

More details will be posted at this site as they become available.

 

Here's a slideshow of images from the fire:

http://static.cnhi.zope.net/flashpromo/meadvilletribune/flashpromo/video/dreamlandfire/index.html

clp_fire.jpg.b4100563f1ba968d18f3ceed1a0bac39.jpg

Photo by Jim Stefanucci

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This could either be the final nail in the coffin or just another bullet the park dodges, only time will tell. I would love to see this park up and running at full capacity with a mix of newer, old style rides and the old rides still operating. I want to ride the Blue Steak specifically.

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It's just a matter of time before the rest of the park burns to the ground. This is about the 10th major fire in the park's history. That Ballroom replaced a ballroom that burnt to the ground in 1908. That building wasn't excally in the best of shape anyhow. The roof sagged and it leaked, the siding was rusting, the dance floor was uneven, in fact, I don't even remember the last time there was an event in there. Conneaut Lake Park is really somthing special, and it was fun going there all my life, but I'm ready to move on with my life. I will sure charish the memories forever. I think it's safe to say now, even though I don't want to:

RIP Conneaut Lake Park 1892-2006

Still, my favorite place in the world.

 

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This really gets to me.

 

My first visit to this park was probably six or seven years ago as I was passing through the area. I walked in and the park was virtually empty, save for myself and a group of nursing home residents in wheelchairs, apparently on an outing to give them some time outside of the home.

 

In my mind I drew a comparison between these guests and the park itself, both apparently biding their time until the inevitable day comes.

 

Contrary to that day's experience, however, the park held on and seemed to have bounced back by my next few visits. People filled the midways, there were lines for the rides—it seemed that the park had turned a corner.

 

It was sad to hear that things were in decline again, and then now this news.

 

Conneaut has been on the ropes many times before, and has impossibly come back each time. This fire could be the last in a string of bad luck stories, or it could become a rallying point for the community to save this park rather than watch it die.

 

The realist in me anticipates the former, but the idealist in me longs for the latter.

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Whats with Amusement Park Ballrooms and fires?

 

Ballrooms are old structures which means more than likely the electrical wiring is also bad. There's also a chance of it being arson.

 

After what's happened, IMO the chance of the park reopening are now 50/50. Let's hope for the best that Blue Streak will be saved from the wrecking ball.

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Whats with Amusement Park Ballrooms and fires?

 

Ballrooms are old structures which means more than likely the electrical wiring is also bad. There's also a chance of it being arson.

 

After what's happened, IMO the chance of the park reopening are now 50/50. Let's hope for the best that Blue Streak will be saved from the wrecking ball.

 

Anything electrical can be ruled out because there was no power to the building in the first place. The park's power was shut off in June because of unpaid electric bills. There was bad weather that night so it could have been hit by lightning. Mabye the ghosts started the fire.

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It's just a matter of time before the rest of the park burns to the ground. This is about the 10th major fire in the park's history. That Ballroom replaced a ballroom that burnt to the ground in 1908.

 

Sounds like a ballroom that still stood after 100 YEARS was actually pretty well made, just not well maintained. The entire park is old, and in my opinion what made it so special. It's a shame this park has been the focus of so much media attention in the coaster community, but so little support from it's local community.

 

The bottom line is that this is a sad loss. I've been to the park twice in the last four years, and I felt like I'd stepped back in time. The second time I was there, the park was much busier and looked more promising. Looks like we'll need a time machine to ever see this park in it's true glory.

 

I hope somebody is keeping an eye on the hotel. The building, while in need of some maintenance, is truly stunning, and harkens back to a different type of vacationing that people don't really do much anymore. Dining on the large porch or at the restaurant offers beautiful views of the lake. It's a very homey, welcoming place. I'm glad my family got a chance to visit this park before it's nothing more than photographs and memories.

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I had a really fun visiting there in 1996 when the park hosted a "dusk till dawn" ERT session on the Blue Streak.

 

The event was fun, the park was packed and the coaster was running GREAT! The place really seemed like it was moving towards a much brighter future.

 

But ever since then I have visited another 2 or 3 times and each visit the park has gone further into decline and the coaster was running worse and worse, and more rides would be closed with each visit.

 

The last visit I had in 2004 seemed to have almost no rides operational other than the Blue Steak, the dark ride, Toboggan, and one or two flats. The midways were empty and it looked like the park had already been abandoned.

 

It was a real shame because it was a park with so much potential to be one of those 'gems' like Arnold's Park or Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

 

--Robb

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Here is a post I did on the local newspaper forum, it is a list of rides currently without vehicles not on the rides. Hopefully the ride vehicles were either stored on the rides themselves or in the convention center and not the Mat. Shop.

 

Okay, here is a list of rides and judging from pics, if they might have been hurt in the fire.

 

Blue Streak: I hope the trains are being stored in the tunnel

 

Carousel: Hopefully the horses are still on and is just boarded up

 

Paratrooper: Ride Vehicles not on ride.

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162514948186301378

 

Bumper Cars: Cars still on ride floor

 

Farris Wheel; Cars not on Ride

Tilt-a-whirl: Ride vehicles not on ride

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162514948186301378

 

Devils Den; Hopefully they are stored inside

Trabant: Couldn't find current pics of it.

 

Super Round up: No current pics, but judging from the design of the ride, they stay on all the time.

 

Flying Scooters: Ride Vehicles not on ride

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162515107100091394

^I think this is the pic

 

Musik Express: Ride Vehicles not on ride

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162515454992442530

 

Rollo-plane: Ride Vehicles on ride

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162517722735175874

 

Toboggan: Couldn't tell or not. But looks like not

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162515626791134450

 

Witches Stew: Ride Vehicles on ride

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162513131415134578

 

Tumble Bugs: Ride vehicles on ride

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162514407020421842

 

Railroad: Train stored on tracks:

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162514836517151634

 

Kiddieland stuff: Didn't see any pics, so I don't know.

 

The saddest picture I seen in all of the those is.

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark/photo#5162517138619623458

 

Looks like the machines can be saved, but going is probalby is the best Idea.

 

Here is a link to a album from yesterday or today.

http://picasaweb.google.com/RichardHohman/ConneautLakePark

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So sad, as people mentioned earlier, throughout amusement park history, there is always suspicion of bandshell/dancehall/ballroom fires. Seems when a park is in trouble, one of these types of structures always burns. (insurance, enemies, homeless, etc...) And as someone else pointed out, these structures are OLD and go up like matchbooks, easily set, either accidentally or intentionally.

 

Growing up in Pittsburgh, I only went there a couple times, we always went to Kennywood, West View, and White Swan.

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Some new info that hopefully is true about the rides

 

The only rides that are stored in the building are the one that needed work. One bumber car and one Devils Den car all the others are stroed at the convention center. This info was give to me by someone that knows.

 

That was posted on the local newspaper forums.

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