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Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread


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Blue Streak and Tumblebug are basically their two top priority rides to have operating, so if the park is open it's almost guaranteed that those two rides will be open as well (unless there is some major issue or they're waiting for a part).

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These rides were all owned by another person that simply operated them at the park. Note that the park's new website doesn't include any of them.

 

The Tempest listed on the new site is actually a different model that will be replacing the one that has been at the park.

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I liked the comment on the listing for Toboggan:

 

"HIGH VOLUME RIDE MEANS MORE PROFITS"

 

With the condition that I saw this coaster in about five years ago, I would say that this is never going to be a "high volume ride" again. And 39K? Personally, I wouldn't spend $39 on it. I know that's cheap for an amusement park ride, but something tells me that one would need to sink probably another 50k or more just to make it function and operate safely.

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This was the coaster back in 2010.

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Pretty bad shape.

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Would you ride this if it were operating?

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I can't imagine anyone wanting that toboggan.

 

Depends on the buyer. It's not beyond being a restoration project if a park has the appropriate equipment and staff. Otherwise it could be a good pile of spare parts.

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Depends on the buyer. It's not beyond being a restoration project if a park has the appropriate equipment and staff. Otherwise it could be a good pile of spare parts.

 

The cost to repair it would easily exceed the ride's worth, and besides, who in the right mind would want to spend a ridiculously high amount of money to restore a crappy ride that the manufacturer doesn't even support anymore? As for a need for spare parts, I wouldn't feel ethical using parts from this ride on any currently operating Toboggan. It has sat idle with next to zero upkeep since the 2006 season.

 

There is only one ride that I believe can be reasonably salvaged at CLP, and that is their Carousel. Despite the years of wear and tear, it is still in good condition due to being protected inside a building.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the Conneaut Lake Park Facebook page:

CLP Update:

Progress continues pretty much as anticipated as we navigate through the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy process. Last Friday we had the opportunity to meet for about two hours with the US Trustee and creditors, including the taxing authorities, to review and answer any questions regarding CLP’s submissions to the bankruptcy court to date. It was a good opportunity to introduce a general overview of our plan to satisfy creditors and operate Conneaut Lake Park. We reviewed our position that assets are considerably greater than liabilities (creditors are well secured) and that the sale of surplus property could generate cash sufficient to make a very large down payment on all debt.

During the month of March we will be finalizing our proposed formal Plan of Reorganization for submission to the Court in April. We will try to keep you posted.

But, in the meantime….

There is only about 70 days remaining before Conneaut Lake Park opens for the 2015 Season! As many know, a considerable number of improvements were completed at the Park last year including; painting 9 buildings; tree removal and trimming; roof and awning replacements; beach reclamation and a bunch of debris removal and demolition projects. We expect to make even more improvements this year to include a focus on Camper Land; signage throughout the Park; entrance landscaping; improvements to the Amphitheater and parking, and to Kiddie Land.

We are getting ready to hire between 50 and 60 associates to work at the Park during the coming season as rides operators and managers, concession station servers, and ticket and gift shop employees. We are dedicated to making CLP a valued and enjoyable place to work, and hopeful that we can attract many area young folks interested in serving the public and the Park. Lenny Adams has joined the staff of the EPACC and has begun the work required to ensure that all rides are in operating condition throughout the coming season. While a very tall order, he and others have begun repairing Dodgem Car motors, fabricating Blue Streak brakes and Tumble Bug wheels and assessing other needs related to this goal.

We will be announcing our hiring plan and process soon and hope you may have an opportunity to recommend CLP to a deserving student or friend who would bring value to the Park and benefit by the experience.

Please stay tuned and supportive.

So it sounds like they want to sell off un-used land to help pay off the debt?

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So it sounds like they want to sell off un-used land to help pay off the debt?

 

Several years back this was attempted and struck down due to issues that still exist today. A quick dive into the archives pulled up this brief article.

 

BY TIM HAHN

tim.hahn@timesnews.com [more details]

 

Published: April 23. 2007 2:30PM

 

 

CONNEAUT LAKE -- Conneaut Lake Park's chances of opening later this spring have gotten decidedly slimmer.

 

Crawford County Judge Anthony Vardaro has denied a request by the custodian of the 115-year-old amusement park to sell a 3.6-acre parcel in the park.

 

Vardaro's decision, which was filed this morning, kills a deal that would have generated $1.7 million for the park and likely ends any chance of the park opening over Memorial Day Weekend.

 

Park overseers have said that the proceeds from the land sale to developer Greg Sutterlin would have given them the money needed to get the park open and to pay down a significant portion of the park's roughly $2.5 million debt.

 

Officials said they had no other options in getting the start-up money for this year and would not borrow money as they have in the past.

 

Vardaro cited seven reasons for denying the sale, including the fact that a sales agreement drafted for the transaction did not specify what Sutterlin could build on the property and a lack of explanation on which park creditors would be paid with the proceeds.

 

The sale had to be approved in Crawford County Court because the 166-acre resort and amusement park sits in public trust under court supervision.

 

The park's court-appointed custodian, H. LeRoy Stearns, is in a meeting this afternoon discussing what options he and other park overseers have in the wake of Vardaro's decision.

 

Park General Manager George Deshner said this afternoon that he hadn't yet read Vardaro's ruling.

 

"I'm extremely disappointed at this point," Deshner said. "We've been working very hard to have things in place so we could move forward, and just now it has come to a screeching halt."

 

Not saying that this time around efforts will be unsuccessful, but unfortunately I wouldn't count on anything until it is approved by the courts. I found the number of the Board of Trustee's (owners of CLP) revenue for 2014, a grand total of $274,586.54. It would be a very interesting negotiation if the park is unable to sell surplus property but able to develop a feasible repayment plan to their creditors. I know CLP is small, but less than $300,000 a year is not a lot to work with when you have aging rides, general maintenance/upkeep, utilities, and payroll to meet before you even think about repaying creditors if a few pennies are left.

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  • 1 month later...

More news from CLP. Looking kind of bleak!

 

From the Meadville Tribune: www.meadvilletribune.com/news/local_news/court-casts-doubt-on-park-s-opening/article_6916cfde-edc1-11e4-898e-1f1db5c341fe.html

 

Court casts doubt on park’s opening

 

By Keith Gushard

 

ERIE — A U.S. Bankruptcy Court has given Conneaut Lake Park a week to explain how it will finance its operations this year or face a court-ordered sale and liquidation.

 

At a hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeffrey Deller told the amusement park’s lawyer to present details next week about how the park would finance this season’s operations.

 

The judge said that only after receiving that information at a hearing next Tuesday at 10 a.m. will he decide if the amusement park will be allowed more time to file its bankruptcy plan.

 

Lawyers for Conneaut Lake Park and its creditors were in federal courtrooms in Erie and Pittsburgh Tuesday via teleconference to argue whether Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park should be given until June 30 to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization plan for the amusement park.

 

Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park is the nonprofit corporation that oversees the amusement park’s operation. The corporation filed for federal bankruptcy protection in December 2014.

 

George Snyder, the park’s bankruptcy attorney, has filed a motion seeking an extension until June 30 to file the debt reorganization plan. The Trustees’ Chapter 11 reorganization plan was due by April 3.

 

Before issuing a ruling on the extension request, Deller said he wants details of how the park will finance its 2015 operating season.

 

Snyder explained Con-neaut Lake Park is attempting to line up $300,000 in working capital for the season, including a $150,000 loan from the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County, Crawford County’s lead economic development agency.

 

At last week’s board meeting of Trustees, officials said the other $150,000 needed may come from a loan from the Northwest Regional Planning and Development Commission, a regional economic development agency. The commission is not expected to act on the Trustees’ loan application request until the commission’s May 7 meeting.

 

Trustees didn’t have commitment letters for the financing to present to the judge as yet, Snyder said at Tuesday’s court hearing.

 

“It’s not a commitment until it’s committed,” Deller said of the financing.

 

Deller also asked why there were no representatives from Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park at Tuesday’s hearing, which the judge said indicated Trustees weren’t supporting the project.

 

Snyder apologized to the court and said he did not ask for any representatives of the Trustees to accompany him to Tuesday’s court hearing.

 

Contacted by the Tribune following Tuesday’s hearing, Mark Turner, executive director of Trustees, said he will be prepared to outline the financing options to bankruptcy court next week.

 

The park’s creditors are prepared to file a Chapter 11 reorganization plan for Conneaut Lake Park calling for the sale of the amusement park to pay off its debts, according to Larry Bolla, the attorney representing the park’s four Crawford County taxing bodies.

 

“I just don’t see how this debtor, no matter how well intended, can open its doors,” Bolla told the court. “The park’s time has come and gone.”

 

Bolla represents the Conneaut School District and the governments of Crawford County and Sadsbury and Summit townships, which are owed more than $927,000 back real estate taxes, interest and penalties.

 

The four taxing bodies filed suit against the park last September in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas trying to foreclose on the amusement park and force a sheriff’s sale for the overdue property taxes. The amusement park then filed for bankruptcy protection in early December, staying a proposed sheriff’s sale. Conneaut Lake Park’s total debts are about $3.8 million, according to bankruptcy court records.

 

Determining who should get a $611,000 insurance settlement from a fire at Conneaut Lake Park still isn’t resolved, Snyder and Bolla said.

 

A federally appointed mediator met April 15 with all parties involved in a dispute over who gets the insurance settlement for the August 2013 fire that destroyed the Beach Club night club.

 

There are three groups wrangling over the money — the Trustees; Park Restoration LLC, which operated and insured the Beach Club through a management agreement with Trustees; and the four taxing bodies that filed suit against the park.

 

The parties are still in negotiations to resolve the insurance issue, Snyder and Bolla said.

 

The back real estate taxes and penalties on the Beach Club properties amounts to approximately $515,000, Bolla said. Any remaining balance of the $611,000 in insurance money would be left for Trustees and Park Restoration, he said.

 

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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  • 2 weeks later...

^If one of the trustees hits the powerball, the park would probably get out of the hole. So there's a solid 1 in a couple hundred million chance.

 

Not sure how I missed following up on this but...... drumroll, please....

 

The park will be opening!! Source. The bankruptcy court approved one of the loans (really??), and gave them until Aug 1 to file their bankruptcy reorganization plan. Which will of course be laughable, sadly. It's really painful to watch because I do like the park and their coaster is shockingly good. Unfortunately, they need $5-7million immediately invested to bring this back to sustainable operation. If anyone was interested, they'd have already done it. A shame, because I do believe with that amount and some proper management, it could be profitable, and resume normal operation.

 

Anyway, I'm just happy for the chance for a few more Blue Streak rides.

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^ The life support that this park has been on for the last umpteen years or so continues on by the looks of it.

 

Glad to hear it in a way, but I agree that it would be nice if someone with millions could buy the park and turn it into something more like Knoebels...or at least finally put it out of it's misery.

 

I just can't see how the park can continue to forge on like this year after year without more TLC and funding. My concern is that this lack of funding could result in a major catastrophe on one of their rides due to an oversight of inspections and/or upkeep & proper maintenance.

 

I am sure that there are a lot of us that have ridden their rides and had "knock off Chinese rides" or "OMG, I'm really going to die!" going through the back of their minds.

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On one hand this is really good news. My partner and I are going on a trip to Kennywood and Cedar Point this coming August and CLP is on our "bucket List". The bad part is the feeling that even though CLP is opening this year, is that because we are going the 2nd and 3rd week of August is that this poor lil park may not make it that long. I have a feeling this is the parks last hurrah this year, and I really hope we can make it there before they pull the plug. (queue sad music theme song)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just curious here ,because it's been really quiet about the park lately. Did the park get to re-open this year ? I am still hoping that by the time we get up in that neck of the woods in august it will still be open. So far our trip includes Kennywood and 3 days at Cedar Point. Flights booked, car is rented, now just adding those little extras and CLP would be nice. Last chance for this place ?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a video I shot of the Blue Streak last week.

 

The park was in good condition but very empty. I would suggest visiting it this summer before it's too late.

 

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Edited by pianojohn
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Woah, they tore the roof off almost all the tunnel. It was all there last October, but in very poor shape. Looks to be some new beams strung across so hopefully the plan is to get it all rebuilt.

 

Sadly the train is crawling in that video. Was there anyone else on the ride? How was the airtime? I'm really itching to get back here this year, just love this coaster.

 

For anyone curious - the park and the ride ops could literally not care any less about loose articles or onride videos, plus there are no other guests to endanger.

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I am really hoping this place makes it this year as we are planning to be there the 2nd week of August on a sunday. Its kind of a bucket list thing as i really want to experience the tumble bug in its full glory, the Blue Streak and of course, Devils Den just for shi-s and giggles. Bugs were one of my favorites when I was younger and this place is the only one that runs it full on balls to the wall. I cant wait ! Thanx for posting the coaster vid !

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For anyone curious - the park and the ride ops could literally not care any less about loose articles or onride videos, plus there are no other guests to endanger.

 

That's interesting to hear. Last summer I filmed the Devil's Den (the lights were all on for some reason) with no issues whatsoever. About 30 minutes later, a different ride op was there and said that filming is not allowed and I need to put away my camera or I will not be allowed to ride (my camera is a very small Sony HandyCam). Same went for the Blue Streak. I rode in the front seat and the ride op told me that I wasn't allowed to film the ride. I had no intentions of filming the Blue Streak without park permission anyhow as I am afraid of the Internet Forum Camera Police showing up at my house and stoning me to death.

 

Maybe since they are the "New Conneaut Lake Park", they have changed their rules this year!

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