Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Conneaut Lake Park (CLP) Discussion Thread


Recommended Posts

I think they must get like 90% of their revenue for the year from Ghost Lake (total guess/exaggeration/but maybenot). It is wildly popular with the local community and draws absolutely massive lines - no joke.

 

Having gone last year, my recommendation would be to get there pretty early and be one of the first in line. I think we started waiting around 6pm, which was a little excessive, but we were first in the gate and it was cool getting all actors "fresh" and particularly enthusiastic. By 7pm when we actually went in, the line for tickets was probably already 45min. Those guests would have to wait in lines for each attraction, whereas we got a continuous experience. Better IMO, even though it wasn't as pitch black dark out to begin. The Blue Streak is the last haunt and on busy nights they apparently don't get everyone through until well after 2am. I think it took us about 2h without lines.

 

Also, the route to the different haunts is a little bit tricky. I happened to meet a group of enthusiasts who had done it before and they invited me along. The super early entry tactic was also their plan. Going through alone and unaccustomed would have been interesting, and perhaps a bit frustrating.

 

It is a unique attraction, very, um.... "genuine". I actually highly recommend it, but you have to have the right set of expectations. The full darkness BlueStreak ride is the highlight, and really was "one of those moments", completely sublime. Unfortunately, you generally don't get seat preference due to how intense operations are.

 

Oh, and if they have the soap out in this one walkthru, you're in for some fun. If you go on the last night when they need to get rid of all the soap, it's off the charts suds from floor the ceiling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did attend this event about five years ago or so and I really enjoyed it. My concern was that the park might go under before the end of September. I'll definitely take your advice about getting there early enough to be first in line, or with a few spots of it. Riding the Blue Streak in the dark is a treat, so long as the skunks stay out of the tunnel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

This summer I traveled with my nephew for two weeks and we talked about how we wish that amusement parks were open late-night. I noticed that Conneaut Lake Park is having a "Park After Dark" event this weekend (Saturday 9/6/2015) from 10pm to 2am and so it's the perfect opportunity to get some late night coaster riding in on the Blue Streak. I'll be going down with some friends and am curious if anyone else from TPR is planning on being there.

------------------------------------------------------

From the park's website:

First Annual Park After Dark Event

September 5, 2015

 

Come ride the rides in the dark at Conneaut Lake Park!

 

10pm - 2 am

$20 Wristbands

Season Passes not valid during this event

Limited quantity t-shirts available for purchase

Concession stands open

More Information: Call 814-382-5115

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This summer I traveled with my nephew for two weeks and we talked about how we wish that amusement parks were open late-night. I noticed that Conneaut Lake Park is having a "Park After Dark" event this weekend (Saturday 9/6/2015) from 10pm to 2am and so it's the perfect opportunity to get some late night coaster riding in on the Blue Streak. I'll be going down with some friends and am curious if anyone else from TPR is planning on being there.

------------------------------------------------------

From the park's website:

First Annual Park After Dark Event

September 5, 2015

 

Come ride the rides in the dark at Conneaut Lake Park!

 

10pm - 2 am

$20 Wristbands

Season Passes not valid during this event

Limited quantity t-shirts available for purchase

Concession stands open

More Information: Call 814-382-5115

 

I was dying to go to this but I live in Atlanta and just couldn't swing it. I visited the park 3 times last season and just haven't been able to do that this year (I am a huge Conneaut Lake Park supporter and it is worth it to me). I am trying to get there for Pumpkin Fest and Ghost Lake again because it was amazing last year but I just don't see how I can make it.

 

How was the park after dark event? Details please! I hope you had a great time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^The last reported net operating loss for 2015 through July 31 is -$450,621. August might not be as bad of a loss for the month, but I would be shocked if somehow the month is profitable or could even put a dent in the almost half a million loss that 2015 has been.

 

Ghost Lake provides only $25,000 for CLP as the event is contracted out to Mid-America Events.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Does that number through July include the expenses associated with their two loans (300,000)?

 

I only ask this because they used a lot of that money to upgrade the park, so some of those expenses, while still needing to be paid back, might not be normal seasonal operational expenses.

 

I assume their profit/loss is a much smaller number (whether positive or negative) in regards to what their average seasonal operating expenses are and not including upgrades that are not normal yearly expenses (though most probably are).

 

They had seasons in recent years that managed a small profit (I'm talking like 30k for the entire year) while not paying back taxes, so I find it hard to believe they are doing significantly worse this season than a few years ago, considering the attendance and employee hours this season are more in their favor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just hope CLP is able to pull through; that something great will happen and the park can revive itself into a thriving local park. Stranger things have happened (like SF Magic Mountain getting new shoulder-bar-less trains for Revolution!).

 

The park is not in great shape, but the rides they do have run well and Blue Streak was running better than I've ever experienced it a couple weeks ago during the ACE/WNYCC event. We only have a few classic coasters left; the amount of fun we had on that ride (for 2 nights!) is staggering. Still in my top 5 but still needs a LOT of work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^I feel like Conneaut Lake Park is a very special park that really does deserve to be saved. The amount of history alone is worth saving. Where else do you find a park that essentially owns the community it is in, with the streets running through it, on a lake with a beach and historic hotel? The rides themselves are great too. Blue Streak is one of the best woodies with ejector airtime like no other!

 

It is really sad the park didn't get the property tax exemption it deserves, even after the state attorney general sided with them. I still hope the state will step in a provide tax breaks and/or funding due to the nature of the park being owned by a public trust and the fact that the park provides free public beach, green space, and events. If not we can only really hope someone with a ton of money saves the park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Yes! It would be nice to get the exemptions, but it would be MUCH better to run the park successfully where they are able to pay bills and make a profit. After recent visits to Seabreeze and Canobie Lake, I have dreams of Conneaut being at that level. Kinda like a little Knoebels! It can happen... let's wish the best!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ I agree and absolutely love the park and have a ton of passion for it, but with no major population near the park, it being far off the interstate, Pittsburgh having Kennywood, and Erie having Waldameer, I just don't know if the park's success is feasible in today's world. Maybe if there were many drastic changes that would cost tens of millions to implement. I really hope it can become profitable but I feel like the only way is if they get significant help!

 

I just really hope the local and state and even federal government doesn't make the mistake of destroying the park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^Well, I hope they get that help! If just a *few* (thousand) more people would visit, I think it could thrive as a small local park. I'm not sure of the details, but didn't they have problems over the years - reputation stuff - and the bad people are gone? If "good people" who care run the place, maybe they can turn it around.

 

Related, here is a behind the scenes picture from the low-budget horror movie "Screampark" (starring Doug Bradley from Hellraiser fame) that was shot at the park:

creepy-scream-park.thumb.jpg.dd8471db48ef3ea2eaa6bca8ca027a14.jpg

Awesome, huh!? Being a huge fan of 80s slasher/horror stuff, this is just too awesome.

 

A couple coaster friends told me it's not a great movie, which means I would probably like it! There might be a sequel as well, here is the website for the film: http://www.screamparkmovie.com/about-scream-park/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Does that number through July include the expenses associated with their two loans (300,000)?

 

It does not. The -$450,621 is the simple difference between revenues taken in versus the cost of operation from January 1 2015 through July 31 2015. Most of this loss has been incurred during the operating season. For example, in June of 2015 CLP spent more than twice as much ($147,986) as it made ($68,342).-Source: Erie Times News

 

While I do not want to see another small park lost, the numbers paint a scary picture. I have done some research myself this past summer to figure out as much as possible what is going on behind the scenes, and there isn't a documented reliable source, besides CLP/EPACC (group managing the park), that claims the park is a viable business.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Does that number through July include the expenses associated with their two loans (300,000)?

 

It does not. The -$450,621 is the simple difference between revenues taken in versus the cost of operation from January 1 2015 through July 31 2015. Most of this loss has been incurred during the operating season. For example, in June of 2015 CLP spent more than twice as much ($147,986) as it made ($68,342).-Source: Erie Times News

 

While I do not want to see another small park lost, the numbers paint a scary picture. I have done some research myself this past summer to figure out as much as possible what is going on behind the scenes, and there isn't a documented reliable source, besides CLP/EPACC (group managing the park), that claims the park is a viable business.

 

So you are saying the 300k would essentially need to be added to the 450,000, since it technically is money they "spent" this year (borrowing is still spending ultimately)?

 

Anyways, I don't think CLP is realistically profitable (I am just confused why their expenses this year are ridiculously higher than previous years) and I don't think they can ever be profitable in today's world and in their location without an overhaul that would require an investor with tens of millions of dollars, but I do think the park deserves to be saved and protected by the state government and I will always fully support the park.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How was the park after dark event? Details please! I hope you had a great time.

 

The event was a lot of fun; I made the I made the 3 hour journey down from my home in New York along with three friends who hadn't ever visited the park before. We stopped at Waldameer from 5 - 9 and arrived at Conneaut Lake at around 10:15. There weren't many cars in the parking lot and so for a few moments we were worried that perhaps the event had been changed. We were relieved to see the rides lit nicely as we approached the front gate and some people wandering around; we quickly made our way over to get our wristbands. They were giving attendees and staff glow necklaces to wear and I thought that was a great touch. The Blue Streak train was also decorated on the front and back with glow necklaces outlining the features of the train--it looked neat flying through the woods that way! I had a few glow things back in the car and so I went out to get them after our first few rides. All of the adult rides were running and we rode almost all of them. We had a wonderful LONG bumper car ride, some awesome night rides on the Blue Streak, and some great fun on the Tumble Bug. I loved how the operator at the Flying Scooters asked each rider if they knew how to work the ride. I've ridden a lot of Flying Scooters in my life and she is the first person who has ever cared enough to ask. I thought it was really nice that she did that. Along the way we chatted with some guys who seemed to be 'official' and 'in-charge' and I thought that it was really nice that the folks who are running the show were out and about with the staff and guests. The staff was quite friendly and we enjoyed chatting with a bunch of them along the way. One lady was telling us about the work her husband has been doing on freshening up the props in the Devil's Den and there is no doubt that it looked quite nice! I especially liked the lighting effects on the facade; awesome touch!

 

We stayed until 2:00 when the park closed and we had an absolutely awesome time. I truly hope that the park runs this event again because I would return without a second thought. Before leaving I picked up a few souvenirs: a Blue Streak cup, a Blue Streak hoodie, and an event t-shirt. Many thanks to the park and their staff for a really fun end to the summer season! We had the time of our lives; what a fun night at the park!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
So they're investigating the possibility of opening the water park next year. I'm not even kidding.

This has been in discussion for a few months now, and I don't think it's that bad of an idea if it isn't expensive.

 

I believe they are only focusing on the lazy river, but that's better than nothing! The slides are possibly damaged beyond use.

 

Honestly, I am sure it would attract people from the beach, even if it is just a lazy river and hopefully a decent lounge area.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But... aren't they still hemoraging money? How is this working - how are they even able to consider another expansion?

 

Seems risky to me to go through the effort and expense if they're only going to be able to get the lazy river open. If they get the pool and slides open as well it could help them out, but it's just not enough to be a draw.

 

I think they're always going to be trapped in this cycle of struggling forward with little projects, but not being able to do enough to actually draw enough people in to make it worth it. It takes a certain critical mass that at this point would require rebuilding everything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re-opening the water park with what money? Through August, the park has a annual net loss of -$455,993 which does not include two loans totaling $300,000 just to get the park operational for 2015. Of course not all expansions are paid for upfront, but Conneaut Lake Park doesn't have the income to meet day-to-day operating expenses much less any additional financing expenses. Ghost Lake will bring the park about $25,000 in revenue through their contract with Mid-America Events, but $25,000 is a drop in the bucket for an amusement park when considering costs of labor, utilities, and general upkeep.

 

Right now, CLP should be more focused on whether or not there will be a 2016 based on the current Chapter 11 Bankruptcy proceedings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re-opening the water park? Really? If they are going to do the same kind of job the way the rest of the currently looks, then that is going to look horrible.

 

I'm sorry, but having been there and even though I didn't get a chance to ride Blue Streak, I really have little or no hope on this place surviving. First of all, the park is pretty much located in the middle of nowhere and unlike Knoebels, the only way to know about this place existing is a small directional sign on Route 6. As for the park itself, it honestly looks like someone just randomly walked into it after being closed for 10 years, and just opened the rides up with little to no up-keep on painting, maintenance, or landscaping. When I went, there had to only be 10 to 15 people in the whole park and the ride operators pretty much ran the rides until another guest would show up, which would sometimes take up to 10 minutes.

 

Going back to the water park, it looked absolutely horrible this year and it doesn't shock me that they have trouble keeping water in the lazy river. I just hope they clear out the trash, weeds, and malaria-infested water first before filling it back up. They also would need to hire some lifeguards too, which would cut into their bottom line.

 

I know the place might have some historic value, but I just don't see the reason on keeping the park on life-support in the way it currently looks.

 

Here are several photos from my visit back in July:

IMG_1334.thumb.JPG.8a1778c452d15ae9e997fe0013154895.JPG

Umm...ew.

IMG_1316.thumb.JPG.0fb2300170d72cf8baa2816dbb813d31.JPG

I think rust might be the only thing keeping things together.

IMG_1327.thumb.JPG.f4246d3e0aad3d459607c850871527c4.JPG

IMG_1273.thumb.JPG.c1a4014785cbaf4def68f8bdc80740c6.JPG

There were maybe an additional three cars just outside this photo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those of you that think the water park revival is unrealistic, keep in mind it is likely just the lazy river and some lounge space. It is a very cheap investment for the park. Also, for those concerned it won't attract anyone being just a lazy river, the local population seems to really like the old water park and people have been wanting it back open. There are many people that visit the park's beach and swim, but do not buy into ride wristbands. I am sure having the lazy river may attract beach goers to pay to enjoy the lazy river.

 

It is all about getting people around the park into the park spending their money, and this could help as long as the renovation of the lazy river and necessary facilities is very low in cost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Update from the park below, not good news I'm afraid.

 

Update:

 

At the most recent hearing before US Bankruptcy Judge Deller on October 9th we reported that despite our best efforts, a consensual plan of reorganization for CLP was not possible as no modification to our plan would likely be supported by either the Taxing Authorities or First Capital Finance (Ron Anderson). Also, the Taxing Authorities sought and secured authorization to submit a competing plan to permanently shut down and liquidate the assets of Conneaut Lake Park to pay creditors.

 

Judge Deller ordered the Taxing Authorities to submit their competing plan by October 16th, indicating the likelihood that both plans would eventually be submitted to creditors for a vote before the court formally authorizes a final plan.

 

Last Friday the plan to liquidate Conneaut Lake Park was filed by the Taxing Authorities and will be subject to a hearing in about three weeks. This plan generally involves transferring control of the assets of CLP to the Taxing Authorities who would then sell them all to satisfy back taxes and potentially other debts of the Park. This plan calls for the permanent discontinuation of all operations relating to Conneaut Lake Park and the eventual dissolution of the Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park, Inc. Additionally, and of critical importance, the liquidation plan presented contemplates the removal of the deed restriction currently in affect that grants public access to the lands of Conneaut Lake Park, and the “rejection” of all existing cottage leases regardless of their vintage.

 

In our view, if implemented, the Liquidation Plan would have a disastrous effect on those owning or leasing cottages in the area as no provision has been made to assure either road access or water services to properties after the proposed liquidation.

 

The Liquidation Plan stands in stark contrast to our Plan of Reorganization. Our Plan pays the debts, saves and revitalizes the Park for future generations, and promises considerable positive economic and social impact for the region. The competing plan seeks only the repayment of debt without regard for the adverse impact liquidation will have on existing or future residents or the region.

 

As this process of competing plans continues to develop, we urge those in support of our plan of reorganization to remain engaged and to be ready to voice your opinions to the Court with regard to the Taxing Authorities’ proposal to eliminate the public’s right to access and utilize Conneaut Lake Park.

 

On a very possitive note, Judge Deller seems to have recognized our collective efforts in support of CLP as he noted the increased use and activity at the Park this past season.

 

We will keep you posted as to important developments in support of the reorganization and revitalization of Conneaut Lake Park.

 

Please stay tuned and supportive…

 

It's not over yet, but it sounds like it would take a near miracle or major investment of liquid assets to save the park at this point.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/