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Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread

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I was up there today and it isn't as bad as I thought it was. The remains were still smouldering and there were even spots that were still on fire. The fire company was there putting water on some hot spots. There were a lot of people up there in awe taking pictures and crying. I heard somone saying they were going to try and sell the giant pieces of metal for scrap and make some money. There is a lot of metal up there and they could make some decent money. The games in the arcade were fine but the building wasn't. The glass covers on the lights and the plastic trash cans on the midway were all mealted from the heat. It looks like some of the food equipment and the things in the matnince shop can be saved. I saw the Dreamland Ballroom sign lying on the ground half burned. That made me sad. After the cause is determined and the mess is cleaned up they can see what they can do. I think now it isssible they can bounce back from this fire.


Looking at the rest of the park the Blue Streak looks to be in decent shape. All of the wood looks in good shape and none of it has fallen off. The train was pushed back into the tunnell and blocks of wood were nailed in front of it to keep it from moving. The Tumble Bug cars and moters have been tarped, so they won't be totally destroyed this winter. All of the kiddie rides were disassembled and put into the merry go round building. That is all of the interesting things I noticed. The rest of the park seems to be holding up pretty well. I'll post my video on youtube at some point.


I sure hope they can pull off a miracle.

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From amusementtoday.com (Dated Feb. 1):


Park General Manager George Deshner said the maintenance area contained the motors and other components for most of the park’s rides. They were lost in the fire.


The building was not insured, Deshner said.

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Hopefully motors are semi easy to get once they have the money to do so.

They already didn't have the money to open for the past two years. Where are they going to find money to purchase new equipment needed for rides? On top of paying off all their debts.


Heh. I peed in there once.



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Hopefully motors are semi easy to get once they have the money to do so.


Motors and components for old rides whose manufacture long ago went out of business are not that easy to get.


I was glad to get to the park before it closed. I doubt it'll recover from this.

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No evidence of arson:



There was electric hooked uo to the building:

Investigators said there was a single electrical wire running from a garage, which supplied electricity for a telephone system in the maintenance building under Dreamland Ballroom. “It was only a 110 (volt line),” said Albaugh of that line’s low power. The fire marshal said there were no indications of problems with that, after inspecting the electric meter in the garage area where the line originated.

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A great loss for the Park, A Ballroom is one of the most / if not the most important building in an old Theme Park.


I can't understand why someone famous who likes Theme Parks or the State Council can't pay off the debit as the Park is a tourist attraction.


Is it "dog eat dog" or "Everyman for himself and not care about anything else" type of thinking in the USA for Theme Parks.


A long as the "Blue Streak", "Tumble Bug", "Devils Den" and the older rides can be saved, either bought by Cedar Fair or a nearby Park I will be happy.


I wish I was a multi-millionaire the "Blue Streak" n "Bug" would be bought and on it's way to England to my local parks of Paulton's Park, Thorpe Park or Chessington if planning permission was agreed.


The "Blue Streak" can have 1 NAD train and 1 Orignial Train running, chaser lights up the lift hill and flags at the top with a "Don't stand up or you Die" board across the tracks.


Wish 2008 is going to be a kinder year for CLP but not a good start.

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I hope they can save the Tumble Bug, its one of the last of its kind. Speakinig of the Tumble Bug; Conneaut Lake Park.




Please, please read this, it is sad and happy. It is a Letter from the Chippewa Lake Bug.


I got this off of Negative-G.


-Tatum "In Tears " G.


(Im jsut and emotional person) (The good kind)

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Update from Meadville tribune.




Although the historic Dreamland Ballroom, maintenance building and seven adjacent midway buildings at Conneaut Lake Park were destroyed a week ago, the fire didn’t destroy all of the 116-year-old amusement park’s ride motors, as previously believed.



Only three of the motors were destroyed in last Friday’s blaze. The rest weren’t in the maintenance building, weren’t affected by the fire and are in other locations, according to a source who asked not to be identified.


George Deshner, manager of Conneaut Lake Park, said there were motors in the building, but he was uncertain how many. Some were spares, he said. The motor for the Blue Streak roller coaster wasn’t affected as it’s too heavy to be moved into the maintenance building.


That means if the board had the money and chose to open the rides, the motors for nearly all of the approximately 30 rides are available.


In the meantime, the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park are proceeding with plans for demolition of the fire debris, according to Jack Moyers, chairman of the trustees. He said the Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal released the property after completing his inspection Monday and ruling the cause as undetermined.


Moyers said trustees are moving ahead with plans for cleanup of the remaining debris. Initial cost was estimated at $100,000, but now Deshner and Moyers believe it may only be about $60,000. The trustees had no fire insurance on the buildings or their contents.


Moyers said the board continues to work toward opening some of the financially-troubled park, with initial plans to open the Beach Club, Camperland and the docks.


However, he said, those are preliminary plans, and the board needs to find funding to do that. The park’s current debt is more than $2.7 million.


Although the value of Dreamland Ballroom and the midway stands is priceless in terms of memories, the actual assessed value, according to county records, is only $25,687. That translates to a tax bill of $1,759.04 for those parcels, a cost that would not be due next year.


“The community needs the park to survive and the park needs the community,” Wanda Ramaley told a crowd of about 75 people Sunday referring to the closed Conneaut Lake Park amusement park.



Ramaley is one of the organizers of “The Friends of Conneaut Lake Park Fund” to raise money so the amusement park can pay its bills and reopen for the 2008 season. She hosted a meeting Sunday afternoon at her business the Stable Pit and Pub for those possibly interested in helping the park.


Conneaut Lake Park didn’t fully open in 2007 because of lack of funds. A campaign to raise $60,000 was successful, and the Beach Club did open in mid-August 2007 and was open until the end of October.


However, the park suffered another setback this month when its Dreamland Ballroom and its maintenance shop were destroyed in a Feb. 1 fire.


There was no fire insurance on any of the buildings. The Board of Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park, which oversees the park, had allowed the insurance to lapse because there was no money to pay it.


Eileen Bertera, another of the proposed fund’s organizers and owner of the Kaylee Belle tourism boat, put it bluntly.


“They’re broke,” said Eileen Bertera, referring to the financially strapped amusement park. “The first goal is to get the fire insurance paid.”


The group wants to work with the park’s board of trustees to raise money to help pay bills and get the park reopened for 2008, Bertera said.


“If it doesn’t open — we’re all hurting,” she said.


With Conneaut Lake Park not open, Crawford County’s economy loses as much as $16.5 million a year, according to estimates by the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau.


The new group is also trying to form committees such as research and development, legal team and fund-raiser to help the trustees.


Contacted Sunday night by the Tribune, Jack Moyers, president of the Board of Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park, said the board would consider working with the new group.


“If they present the board with their intentions, the boad would entertain working with them,” Moyers said.


A fund for donations has been set up with at First National Bank of Pennsylvania at Conneaut Lake, said Bertera.


The Friends of Conneaut Lake Park will seek tax-exempt status so contributions can be tax-deductible, Bertera said.


While I am sure no one would wish for the demise of Dreamland Ballroom, the fact is that it is gone as we knew it. Insurance coverage doesn’t prevent a fire; it only eases the financial difficulty of cleanup and possible rebuild. While I don’t want to be callus about this terrible loss, this is but one more hurdle placed before the Trustees of Conneaut Lake park.


The fire has not stalled the ongoing plans of the trustees in working toward their goals for the park. We remain focused and stand united in our vision and mission. They say it takes a village to raise a child. It will certainly take a region to raise our park. The hard work of the firefighters on the night of fire and the concern of the community are just two examples of the commitment to keep the park alive.


This situation has now brought about several opportunities. First, let me update you on some of the accomplishments of the trustees.


The trustees completed the financial reporting for the 2006 season, and the 2007 financials up until the time the current board was appointed. All of the data has been entered into a properly arranged accounting system to allow for convenient, accurate retrieval of the data. This board has completed the 2005 tax return and is finalizing the 2006 federal income tax returns that were not filed. We will request an extension to file the 2007 tax return.


In 2004, Sen. Bob Robbins assisted Conneaut Lake Park in obtaining a state grant, however, the paperwork was never properly completed. The board has successfully closed on this outstanding grant. We have done our best to reign in the costs of the park as it sits closed, reducing the daily cost by a little over half (from almost $2,000 per day to a little under $1,000 per day). The trustees feel it is also important to acknowledge the assistance of Lora Harvey and Martha Hill, both employees of McGill, Power, Bell and Associates, LLP, who have volunteered their time in assisting us with bookkeeping and payroll. (We have transferred the payroll duties back to the park, versus paying a service to do it.)


Opening the Beach Club and the hotel, and hosting Pumpkin Fest should be included in the list of duties performed by the trustees in 2007.


Let us also take the opportunity for an insurance lesson. When the current board of trustees was appointed, these members found that the insurance coverage was not adequate. The current board of trustees was left with an insurance crisis that had to be solved in a short period of time. We were faced with an $83,184 bill due Aug. 15, 2007, and a large increase in the property insurance from $19,000 to $32,000. After much work, the board was able to reduce the liability premium to $37,000 with a new insurance company but with less coverage. These two policies required a down payment of $18,796 and ongoing monthly payments of $5,915. These premiums were in addition to workmen’s comp, and directors and officers insurance. In a short time it became evident that the board could not afford to keep both the liability and property/fire coverage. Because the property/fire coverage had a standard co-insurance clause and a $10,000 deductible it became evident that the liability coverage had to be a priority. A large lawsuit against the park with no liability coverage would put an end to the park forever. The damage or loss of a building was an event we were sure we could survive. And, for now, we have.


Tragedy builds community. In the event of the death of a loved one, all of your friends and acquaintances express condolences and extend their hands. Conneaut Lake Park and Dreamland Ballroom are no exception. As we meet people on the street, in passing, in stores, or by phone, they express their feelings and express condolences for the ballroom much like an old friend. They reminisce about their high school dance, or seeing a famous performer or a special band. Offers and suggestions proliferate on how to raise funds to save what is left of Conneaut Lake Park, pay insurance costs, etc. There are as many opinions on how to save Conneaut Lake Park as there are jelly beans in a gallon jar. These opinions and ideas do not fall on what are perceived to be deaf ears. However, the trustees must weigh the probability of success against the overall package, looking at the big picture, and decide what is in the best interest of maintaining the charitable trust and preserving the public access.


Myriad plans and contingencies abound in an effort to stave off foreclosure of the park. Negotiations continue and build on a daily basis in both long- and short-term solutions. As plans are finalized we will make them known. In the meantime, we ask for your support, patience and prayers.


As working volunteers, the board does its best to balance and prioritize what needs to be done to ensure that Conneaut Lake Park survives. We need to maintain the focus on the real goal: to restore the economic engine and place of leisure known as Pennsylvania’s Perfect Playground, Conneaut Lake Park Resort.


Moyers is chairman of The Conneaut Lake Park Board of Trustees.

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I visited the park on Feb. 3 and noticed that all of the rides still had their moters attached except for the Musik Express, Trabant, and Round Up. The Tumble Bug was missing one of the moters in the front. This is a big blow for the Bug because all of the spare moters and the tools and materials needed to make parts for the ride were lost in the fire.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A member at -g has posted a list of what was destroyed.


Security Deptment Office

The Park Jail

Food Department Office

Coolers for food dept.

Thousands of Dollars worth of Cooking supplys.

7 food stands

The Maintmence Department

Lots of tools

The Office for the Dept.

The Paint Shop

Lots of ride parts

2 motors

Games Office

Skeeball Arcade

Skeeball games

Arcade Games

Lots of prizes


Upstaris we lost:

The Dreamland Ballroom

old signs for the park

Historic Pictures

A Food Stand

Lots of tables and Chairs

And the original piano from Dreamlands inagural year.

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From Meadville Tribune


CONNEAUT LAKE — When the historic Dreamland Ballroom was destroyed by fire last month, many rumors of arson being the cause were heard throughout the community.



A Pennsylvania State Police fire marshal ruled the cause of the fire at Conneaut Lake Park was “undetermined,” but the investigation didn’t end there.


The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms of the FBI now has joined forces with state police to determine whether the early-February fire — as well as two other fires in the park, the former Flynn House and a cottage behind the McClure House — were acts of arson.


The Flynn House, owned by the park, went up in flames in October of 2005. The cottage wasn’t owned by the park, but by a private person. It was destroyed in 2006 and, after that, the owner had the debris removed and a lease on the land was sold to another person.


The McClure House, which is the oldest building in the park, wasn’t affected by the fire, but it’s in a deteriorating condition.


Officials from the ATF confirmed Monday that an agent and a dog have spent time at the Dreamland Ballroom scene for hours and days over the past “two or three weeks.”


The ATF’s involvement was a result of a combination of factors, including a request by the state police and park officials to assist, as well as public concern. Officials said sometimes insurance companies request the ATF, but noted that wasn’t true in this request.


Although the federal agents are involved, officials cautioned the public not to expect rulings immediately. “We have just started. It takes time,” said one official, who asked not to be identified. “We just want to see if we can resolve what this is all about,” he said of the cause of the fire.


He agreed that the PSP’s official ruling of the cause of the fire at Dreamland remains undetermined, saying that will remain until — or unless —something different can be determined.


In the meantime, the debris hasn’t been cleaned up and won’t be immediately pending further investigation.


Causes of the fires at the former Flynn House and the cottage also were ruled undetermined.


Anyone from the public who may believe he or she has information about any of the three fires may call (814) 327-6892 or (412) 395-0540. The latter is the Pittsburgh office, which handles calls when there is nobody in the Erie office.

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  • 1 month later...

Arson Suspect Arrested.


LINESVILLE — A suspect has been apprehended and charged with setting two recent fires that destroyed landmark buildings in the Conneaut Lake area.



Nickolas Dean Pope, 19, of 9740 Linesville Road, Hartstown, has been charged with arson in connection with fires that destroyed the Harmonsburg Presbyterian Church and Conneaut Lake Park’s Dreamland Ballroom.


He has been charged with two counts each of arson endangering persons, arson endangering property, burglary and criminal trespass. He is accused of setting the fire that destroyed the church in Harmonsburg on Jan. 13, causing an estimated $180,000 in damages; and a Feb. 1 fire destroying Dreamland Ballroom and causing an estimated $1.5 million in damage there.


He was arraigned Friday before Linesville Area Magisterial District Judge Rita Marwood and jailed in lieu of $100,000. A preliminary hearing was set for April 11. Pope faces a maximum 110 years in jail and $200,000 in fines if convicted.




Though it will do nothing to bring back the ballroom (and possibly the park), atleast someone might possibly go to jail for this crime.


Also, the list I posted above has been disputed on CLP's paper forum as some not true.

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I tried summer '06 to ride the Blue Streak, after having want to ride it for years and years (like since the 80's). I guess it got hit by lightning just a few days before I was in town.


It's really sad to see so many coaster geeks (on another site) so "o well, it's old, it's no fun anyway." That coaster/park enthusiasts are very much into CF stock, fast passes and large boring B&M's, it's just a dissapointment.


Blue Streak and Big Dipper are great rides (I rode Dipper many times) that totally need to stay around.


Some people just cannot think outside of corporate thought, rules, etc. It's pretty pathetic and just "lame" to me.

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The word is now official, it has collapsed. A man said he heard the building creaking on Saturday, and the center of the roof collapsed into the building. The front side is leaning in twards the center and it will most likely fall also. This is not the worst thig that could happen, the building has been empty and unused sience 2004 when a storm damaged the roof of the buiulding and the Scrambler ride, which was the Ultamate Trip, was moved outside and half assembled in 2005, but they found problems with the ride and took it back down before the end of the season. The roof had been in such bad shape for so many years, it isn't a suprise this happened.


A little history on the building: It was built in 1909 like the Dreamland Ballroom. It origanally was the park bowling alley. It was at some point turned into a fun house and then in 1976 the Scrambler was moved into the building and it became the Ultamate Trip. In 1990 the Scrambler was moved back outside next to the Devil's Den to fill an empty space in the park. In 1999, it was moved back inside and became the Ultamate Trip again. In June of 2004, a storm damaged the roof and the Ultamate Trip was closed. The building has sat empty sience then.

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I can comfirm also that it has collasp and is still collasping. I saw the damage for my self yesturday and it is a total wreck. The towers on the front of the building are about ready to fall soon. Lets just hope it falls back on the building rather than on the midway.

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