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Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread

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Meh, CLP has dealt with worse issues, Compared to the fires and other financial nonsense in the past this is small potatoes.


Having ridden the blue streak at a minimum of weekly for the complete '11 operating season I can say that while it had a pothole or two and wasn't the smoothest of rides it ran great and was NOT anything approaching a safety hazard. Mr. Adams and his crew rode the thing daily and gave it a clean bill of health. If they observed a problem or something that needed attention the ride was shut down right then and there and did not run until repairs were made. Swank making libelous accusations that the ride is/was of dubious safety is irrelevant and sounds like he's grasping at straws trying to scare people away now that he's no longer involved with park operations. The PA ride inspector approved the coaster and permitted its operation, if it was unsafe in anyway do you think it would have got this approval?


In regards to the lack of attendance if anyone was present at ghost lake on fridays or saturdays you'll know the place was packed to the gills. I saw the front lot packed full and the line for the streak stretch almost to the beach club at one point. CLP won't die, See you all there this summer!

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^While logically it makes sense to me that attendance would drop because of all the problems, I was surprised to see that reported since previously I'd been hearing about huge turnouts and plenty of support for the park.

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Having ridden the blue streak at a minimum of weekly for the complete '11 operating season I can say that while it had a pothole or two and wasn't the smoothest of rides it ran great and was NOT anything approaching a safety hazard. Mr. Adams and his crew rode the thing daily and gave it a clean bill of health. If they observed a problem or something that needed attention the ride was shut down right then and there and did not run until repairs were made.


Interesting.. because I rode it twice in July of 2011... and needless to say this is the only ride I've ever ridden that I actually thought I might get hurt on.

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I see that they've dropped their season pass down from a ridiculous $92 last year to $80 this year. Still too high when you consider the much better options around the area...


* Cedar Point - $104.99

* Waldameer - $75 (about 30 minutes away and a MUCH nicer park)

* Kennywood - $89.99

* Darien Lake - $69.99 (4 or more: $59.99)


I would think that for the area and the condition of the park, $45 might get more of a draw from seasonal lakefront cottage owners as well as others in Meadville, Western PA, Western NY and NE Ohio.


That kind of pricing almost seems like...they don't know what the eff they're doing. Did they even look at competitor pricing in the area first before they came up with those prices?




I know the website says they are still working on the complete price list for 2012, but I figured I'd throw out some ideas in case they haven't had any brainstorming sessions yet...


How about:


* Offer a buy a one-day ticket for $20 and get the season pass upgrade for $10 more


* Tack on another $10 and get Ghost Lake included


* Special rates for kids under 42 or 48"


* Buy one get one free admission on certain days/weekends


* Kids up to age 12 free on Wednesdays with paid adult admission


* Seniors free with grandkids on weekdays


* Food/games specials or some type of coupon book with season pass purchases


* Branch out to local manufacturers and offer them group deals for shop picnics at ridiculously cheaper prices than other regional parks


* Don't advertise that the "water park" will be open until you know 100% that the two slide tower is actually able to operate safely? Note: "Water Park" is currently not listed on the website, so it probably wasn't as safe as the Blue Streak. When I was there in 2010, this tower complex did NOT look safe!


* Ummm...don't upcharge for Blue Streak


I'm no businessman, but working in customer quality assurance for ten years has taught me that you have to constantly be looking for ways to improve a customer's experience with your product. Dropping $12 off the season pass and letting lawsuits seep into the media spotlight before the upcoming season? Mehhh...probably not very effective marketing ploys for a struggling amusement park.

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I agree wholeheartedly about ticket and season prices being kinda high. I wonder how well the place would do on a pricing structure on par with lakemont? $10 for all day rides seems to have worked for them for a long time. I am pleased to see that unlimited blue streak rides are available as a add on much like Knoebels "wood coaster option"


While no one likes an upcharge, we all know the streak requires far more TLC to maintain than other attractions and this must be offset by said upcharge. $5 more for unlimited rides is a screaming good deal compared to years past. $80 is a lot for a season pass but like any park will pay for itself in short order.


I look forward to seeing how Mr. Adams does with the task of managing the entire park. As far as I could tell he and his people were pretty squared away. I lost count of the people last summer thanking the blue streak crew for the work they've done and the opportunity to share the ride experience with their children and loved ones.


For the sensitive rider I suggest grabbing the second row seat in any of the cars for a much smoother ride. By the end of the season there was only one really rough spot left and that was the last dip before entering the turnaround which I expect will be repaired before the coaster opens for the season.


I encourage all of you here to help preserve and support this place by patronizing it this summer. Stay in the hotel, have a drink at the bar or dinner at the beach club or elizabeth's. Stop by for a half hour and ride the bug and streak as your passing through the area coming or going to waldameer or KW. We have lost way too many parks in recent memory, don't let this place pass into history (not that anything can kill this place)

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Conneaut Lake Park is not just an amusement park. The people on this thread that keep focusing on the rides only are clueless. It will never be a draw as an amusement park.


While it may be true that ridership is down at the park. The vast majority of people going to Conneaut Lake Park go there for other reasons, the historic rides are just a piece of the whole puzzle.


People go there to enjoy the lake, the lake views, the beach, camperland, the amusement rides for the little one's, the lakeside hotel, the lakeside restaurant(much improved over the last few years),and the large and vast aray of different adult entertainment options at night. But mostly people go there to just relax from the hustle and bustle of modern life and go back in time to when things were simpler. Although I think they should bring back the Fascination game somehow.


Not to mention, Pumkinfest, and Ghost lake are extremely popular events. If you think the Park is dead, come try and get a room at the hotel on Memorial weekend, or a spot on the beach, or a seat at the restaurant.


The lakefront area including the Hotel and Beach club are doing very well. The amount of money that has been put into the hotel is astronomical.


Not only are room rates far more then in the past, they are getting those rates. The hotel was sold out for every holiday weekend last summer, and either or full or close to being full on most other weekends. Wedding at the hotel went from just a handful in 2010 to over 40 in 2011.


If you read all those emails in complete detail, all the negative things are being spouted off by the former rides manager, that has been let go and also happens to be an attorney, the amount of money in question is extremely small for an operation of this magnatude.


The courts will deceide this one, and it may very well be that the board is looking out for the park's best interest, by making sure that Swank pays his bill, and not get bullied by a disgruntled attorney. Although his bullying appears to be a good tactic, as the bad press will leave doubts in people's minds. Anytime people here lawsuit and Conneaut Lake Park they think negative. Time will tell who is right on this issue.


Furthermore, I wouldn't be suprised to see a counter lawsuit for libel, with Swank claiming that the Blue Streak was unsafe, when it did infact have to pass PA state inspections before it could operate.

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^ Agreed. I think this website and the forum have actually done quite a LOT to give the park and especially the Blue Streak project quite a bit of exposure. Don't go calling us clueless Mr. "I've only posted here one time ever" when you yourself don't have a clue as to what we're all about.


--Robb "Taking a tour group to CLP this summer...I hope things are up and running!" Alvey

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Maybe clueless wasn't appropriate.


But my theory still stands, the vast majority of people that go there and have been going there, do not go for the rides specifically, this has been that way for decades and is nothing new, and will probably never change. The exact opposite is true of this message board, as most go there for the rides only.

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The exact opposite is true of this message board, as most go there for the rides only.


Bingo. Which is why people were discussing their fears of the rides shutting down. The resort seems to be doing fine, that's great. I didn't see one post where someone questioned that. So, I am not quite sure why you even made the post in the first place.


Maybe clueless wasn't appropriate.


Take the "maybe" out of that, and I agree with you.

Edited by ernierocker
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To me it seems like change is not only inevitable, but it's necessary. I have limited business and marketing experience from college and I feel like I could run the park better. Sort of like rebuilding a failing baseball team... yeah I'm a Pirates fan.


Well I'm also a regular at Canadohta Lake which is about an hour east of Meadville, PA and while my family owns a cottage on the lake the only restaurant on the lake; called the Frog Pond, has also been seeing some tough times. It used to be more of an amusement park (pictures inside confirm this) a long time ago and then downgraded to a mini-golf course, go-karts and bumper boats. Now almost all of the land has been turned into camper grounds that the Frog Pond owns. Only the slide remains, but still I heard the owner is no longer interested in running it. I don't know what's going to happen, but I hope someone else buys it if that's the case.


The point with the Frog Pond is that almost everything that I know from my vacation region in Northwestern PA is changing. Tough times are hitting everyone and not everybody is spending the extra money to go to amusement parks, baseball games, resorts, etc. Unless of course the park markets itself appropriately. The season pass idea was asinine and the strategy in paying for everything sounds like something socialistic (I normally don't like referencing politics, but this was the only thing I could compare it to). The community doesn't need to feel obligated to maintain the park and to be honest I always felt depressed when I went there. The atmosphere hardly reflects fun anymore and the last time it did for me personally it was ACE Day on the Lake in 2004.


If it were up to me I would go in one of two directions. Totally overall everything and make this park healthy enough to compete with the major parks. This would cost a fortune though, so the second and more realistic option would be to start selling anything that would get the park back into the black. I'm surprised the park has not already tried doing this because I don't know how it expects to compete. Conneaut Lake Park might be historic in a way, but business is still business.


Edit: Haha, sorry Robb I had no idea A.C.E. stood for Gravy Train.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Conneaut Lake Park was the setting for an upcoming horror movie.


The Pennsylvania park will be the setting for the film's fictional amusement park Fright Land this spring. The park will be the principle filming location for Scream Park, utilizing the grounds and rides inside.


"One of our goals in bringing filmmaking to Pennsylvania was to take advantage of the great locations," director Cary Hill stated, "and Conneaut Lake is perfect." The filmmakers weren't the first to find the cinematic potential for the park and adjoining hotel -- the John Hillcoat film "The Road," starring Viggo Mortenson, also filmed here.


Originally built in 1892 on the shores of Conneaut Lake, the park was re-named Conneaut Lake Park in 1920. The park's "Blue Streak" roller coaster is the sixth oldest in the US, constructed in 1937. The park recently has begun holding a "Ghost Lake" attraction in the fall for Halloween, giving the park a spooky makeover for October.


For more information, visit http://www.conneautlakepark.com.


Here is the movie's website



And a short trailer for the movie.... I love how the evil kiddieland clown makes an apperience


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^ Agreed. I think this website and the forum have actually done quite a LOT to give the park and especially the Blue Streak project quite a bit of exposure. Don't go calling us clueless Mr. "I've only posted here one time ever" when you yourself don't have a clue as to what we're all about.


--Robb "Taking a tour group to CLP this summer...I hope things are up and running!" Alvey


I was there Saturday Robb, Blue streak was actually running pretty amazingly well (They've re-tracked the turnaround and the drop of the hill into it


Most of the flats in that area were open and the shops/games leading to that area are also open.


Your experience may vary, but it was pretty good.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Wouldn't be a summer in Conneaut Lake without the pyros running around. I think they may be ahead of schedule this summer on number of fires in the area.


4th Suspicious Fire Near Conneaut Lake Park


Neighbors who live near Conneaut Lake Park are on edge tonight. There have been four suspicious fires, in less than three weeks. The latest happened this morning. All of the fires occurred on the same street, Reed Avenue. All occurred at vacant structures with no utilities.


"We continue to investigate and gather information about all of these fires," said Assistant Chief Pete Albaugh, Summit VFD.


Albaugh does not think the same person set all of the fires. He would not release any information beyond that. He is asking neighbors to be vigilant and to watch for unusual activity.


"They need to just pay attention," he said.


The latest fire was only a quarter mile from Conneaut Lake Park. Darry Walker lives on Reed Avenue. He says the neighborhood has been very quiet since the park has been open only on weekends.


"I think somebody's doing it for a thrill," he said. "It's summertime. They've got nothing better to do. Unemployment is pretty high. People aren't working. I think that has a lot to do with it."


Walker says he and his neighbors are worried that whoever is setting the fires may target an inhabited home next time.


"Eventually, they will get caught," he said. "They will do something stupid and somebody will catch them.



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Visited CLP a few weeks ago (as a stop off point between Waldameer and Kennywood). Talk about ghost town!


Much to my relief, Blue Streak was running. It's a rattler (with a brief moment of smoothness during the re-tracked section). But still fun. I was just grateful it was running to be honest. I rode it a couple of times before checking out The Devil's Den (ghost train) with its 'infamous gum wall'. I felt the the ride could have done with some more tricks/stunts. Still rather charming though.

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  • 2 months later...



For two years, Lenny Adams had the best seat in the house when it came to seeing Conneaut Lake Park. He spent those two years atop the Blue Streak, working with Structural Technologies Inc., a father-and-son company which was hired to restore the famous 74-year-old wooden rollercoaster. He saw Conneaut Lake Park’s potential and he knew just what kind of work and dedication it would take to help get the park back to its glory days. And in his first year overseeing the operation of the rides, games and concession areas at the park as Adams Amusements, Adams feels he and the park are headed in the right direction.


Patrons at the park on Saturday were feeling it as well.


“It’s wonderful,” said Jacqueline Sadler of Petersburg, Ohio, just after taking her turn on the Tumble Bug with her granddaughter. “I love this park. I talk about Conneaut Lake Park all the time and my granddaughters wanted to come and see what it’s all about.”


Sadler was one of many to enjoy a sunny and warm day at CLP on Saturday, which traditionally is the last Saturday the park is open with the exception of Pumpkinfest and Ghost Lake. But given the success of the park this year, Adams and Jack Moyers, chairman of the board of Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park, announced the park would remain open Saturday and Sunday through the end of the month.


“Little bit by little bit we’re getting things put back together and getting the right players in place,” Moyers said. “It’s showing in the numbers of people coming in.” Moyers said it’s difficult to come up with an attendance figure for the season because there is no gate charge and patrons can come into the park from various areas like the Beach Club, Hotel Conneaut and the Dockside. “There really is no way to count,” Moyers said. “We have several access points for people coming in. I don’t really have a good count. But I would say our crowds in general this year have been larger than last year.”


The crowd Saturday was a decent one and those who came out had a variety of events to enjoy. What seemed to be the largest attraction was the ’50s on the Lake Car Show and Beach Party, which kicked off Friday night with DJ Lee Martel.


Cars were lined throughout the park Saturday while the band The Dorals entertained from the stage near the boardwalk. Down on the beach was the annual Labor Day beach volleyball tournament. The night was to conclude with a fireworks display.


Tonight Eddie Money takes to the stage at the Beach Club.


“We’ve had a good crowd,” said Chuck Lombardo, founder of the car show. “I’m really happy with the turnout. For the first time, it’s gone very, very well.” Lombardo said nearly 125 cars registered for the show. Some came from Cleveland, Ohio and one from Detroit, Mich. “It says a lot for what could happen at this park,” he said. “It really says a lot for this place that people want to come here.”


“We see lots of promise,” Adams said. “We’re making enough to pay the bills,” he continued. “We did the initial investment up front, but after we opened up, the park has supported itself every weekend. That tells me right there that we are supporting ourselves. Now we need to go from supporting ourselves to making a profit. But if we can support ourself, that is the main thing.”


Adams made an additional announcement Saturday about next season at Conneaut Lake Park. This past season the park was opened — after Memorial Day weekend — Thursday through Sunday. Next season, the park will be open five days, tentatively Thursday through Monday.


There is also hope that next year the train will be in operation. The train did not run at all in 2012. Most all of the other rides were up and running all season long. The waterpark did not open. “It’s being studied,” Moyers said. “We have to study that and see what would be feasible. The best plans are maybe a change in the features we have. We’ll see.”

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