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Geauga Lake Discussion Thread

P. 130: Park land purchased for retail, dining & commercial development

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I miss the Big Dipper. After the Beast lost it's edge in the late 80's, Big Dipper and Screechin' Eagle at Americana were the best woodies in Ohio. I know plenty of coaster/park fans like newer, over-engineered (and super tight seats) of RMC and Intamin (and I respect their opinions), but give me a true classic anytime. I like the new stuff too, but nothing can take the place of a good old woodie (that hasn't had it's trains modified or a GCI altered profile). We only have a few left, and I'll enjoy them every chance I can get.

Edited by JT325
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That's usually how it works. Like Robb said, some hillbillies with their pick up trucks thought they could just take it down piece by piece, with no prior engineering or construction experience. In all honestly, as much of a running gag that the Big Dipper was, it's a shame to see this the fate of this park overall. And I guess that these same locals who wanted to save the ride are to blame in a way for the dwindling attendance of the park.

 

A similar thing happened at Crystal Beach Park in Ontario when it closed and went up for auction. Many rides were bought and relocated, most famously the Comet. The second largest coaster at the park was the "Giant Coaster". It was a large yellow wooden coaster, that was the second last side friction ride. Some random joe bought it for like 2,500, and he found out that he didn't have the resources to do anything with it, so it sat until someone set it on fire or something, and it was demolished anyways.

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If CF sold the plans to the Dipper (I am under the impression they have them) to a small park that could rebuild it that would make some people very happy. Rides have been rebuilt in this manner before... though they sadly don't turn out as well (such as Raging Wolfbobs).

 

The problem with that is that the parks who would benefit most from recreating a beloved ride already have an older woodie, and they are usually pretty good. Knoebels already has Phoenix, and it is incredible and they don't really need another airtime machine. Maybe some of the other little PA parks would be a good fit, but there are other great options for them now. Heck, I'd even love to see Knoebels buy an RMC version of the Revere Beach Lightning or Crystal Beach Cyclone (no inversions needed, but their track, trains, and supports could handle the transitions in a way the original could not) more than adding another ride like Phoenix.

 

Anyway, that's the only way it's coming back, and I don't see it happening. I miss the park. My best day ever at a park will probably always be there (it's hard to beat a memory when the place you made the memory is gone) back when it was SFWOA and everything was a walk-on but Superman and X-Flight, and we got fast passes for those. My friend who was an animal science major got us talking to the animal trainers and we got to touch dolphins. We walked on Batman Knight Flight so many times. We saw a bunch of animal shows. I fell in love with Bip Dipper and Villain. The two parks together under Six Flags featured something for everyone, and it was the best trip I've had to a park with a group of friends to date. Everyone was happy, and the food on the "Sea World" side was still wonderful.

 

...and six years later it closed, and I never could have predicted that as a college kid newly in love with coasters and parks and everything that comes with it. I'd love to see more of it preserved, but I know I'll have to settle for visiting Dominator and Possessed.

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That's usually how it works. Like Robb said, some hillbillies with their pick up trucks thought they could just take it down piece by piece, with no prior engineering or construction experience.

I don't know why but whenever I think of these idiots coming to the ride with a bunch of pickup trucks to take it apart it makes me think of this Family Guy episode with Peter and the forklift....

While he's trying to do something right, he's too stupid to even have a clue how to move a whale! lol

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  • 2 weeks later...

In this video, beginning at the 22 minute mark, Dick Kinzel finally fesses up to the real reason Cedar Fair bought Geauga Lake. As suspected, they did not want someone else to buy the property to make it a big competitor for Cedar Point. It is interesting how he finally admitted it.

 

 

Skip to minute 22 for part about Geauga Lake.

He talks about it again at 28.

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In this video, beginning at the 22 minute mark, Dick Kinzel finally fesses up to the real reason Cedar Fair bought Geauga Lake. As suspected, they did not want someone else to buy the property to make it a big competitor for Cedar Point. It is interesting how he finally admitted it.

 

 

Skip to minute 22 for part about Geauga Lake.

He talks about it again at 28.

 

You say "fesses up" as if his reasons were in any way nefarious. I guess I don't get the CF hate when it comes to GL. It wasn't successful under Six Flags, so CF purchased it in order to maintain security in that market and tried to develop it into another successful product by investing in the property.

 

They succeeded at securing the market, but unfortunately failed at reviving the struggling park and closed it down.

 

Totally understand being upset nearly 10 years later, but I don't get demonizing CF on this one.

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The only thing Cedar Fair did wrong was overpay for this property it was never going to be real competition to Cedar Point under a cash strapped Six Flags

 

True, it wouldn't impact CP in a meaningful way if it remained as-is under SF. The real threat was SF selling it to another operator who could potentially impact the market. CF knew SF was struggling and obviously thought that the park has potential to grow in the market when they purchased it.

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CF gets the blame, because after a series of poor management decisions, they pulled the plug. Anyone that says the park was dying apparently missed the increase in business that went to Kennywood and Waldameer immediately after GL closed. The park could have survived on a regional level. Abandoning the rides and opening a new waterpark on the Sea World property was the final poor decision made by management.

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CF gets the blame, because after a series of poor management decisions, they pulled the plug. Anyone that says the park was dying apparently missed the increase in business that went to Kennywood and Waldameer immediately after GL closed. The park could have survived on a regional level. Abandoning the rides and opening a new waterpark on the Sea World property was the final poor decision made by management.

 

Us folks at Waldameer have benefited from an uptick of Ohio business over the past eight years, particularly from Astabula County that borders Pennsylvania. Lake and Geauga County are also big players for us (note that Geauga Lake was between Portage and southwest Geauga County). However, based on sales and marketing data, we have benefited from Ravine Flyer II significantly more than the loss of Geauga Lake which was more of a timing thing when Ravine Flyer II opened in 2008. Based on visiting schools and businesses in the former Geauga Lake market among other measures, the market is still being educated about Waldameer and Water World. As for guests in the park, the only ones in my six years with the park who have mentioned Geauga Lake are enthusiasts. I have heard more things about Idora Park, Conneaut Lake Park, and Kennywood from families who visit Waldameer.

 

In my opinion, it was not noticed until it was too late the benefit of having two unique but separate family attractions. Two parks meant many 2-day visits to the area. Two parks meant free exposure to visitors of one park to the other park. Partnerships and packages between separate parks also benefited both parks. It would be shortsighted to expect a merger of the parks to equate to the sum of both parks' annual attendance figures, or anything close to it. Demographically, the nearby region was not gaining anything in population or income to support some mega-park. The lack of onsite accommodations was a major disadvantage when trying to attract enough people from far and wide to support such a mega-park. Two separate gates with two separate admission tickets had a strong role in keeping the Geauga Lake and SeaWorld bubble from popping. Reverse back to the days of only Geauga Lake before SeaWorld, the Cleveland-Elyria Metropolitan Statistical Area was in boom times before the region evolved into the Rust Belt. If Geauga Lake were to be around today, I do not see it performing particularly well even in a downsized form due to its secluded location, stagnant market, and regional competition. Transition back to Waldameer and Erie, a huge thing that keeps our small park viable is being a neighbor to Presque Isle State Park that attracts 4 million visitors annually.

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  • 9 months later...

New user resurrecting an old thread (hello). Looks like Wildwater Kingdom is being cleared out, most of the fixtures have gone and only a few slides left now. A fan was able to purchase the sign on Rt43 a couple of months ago, and an old Sea World relic is now listed on Craigslist for $2,500: https://cleveland.craigslist.org/for/d/for-sale-tree-haus-or-sign/6272906426.html

tree1.thumb.jpg.cd5f6d7d9b15ea1b784c4ac5fe6a363b.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...
What happen to the water slides at wild water kingdom?

Did CF sell them?

Trash them?

Transferred any?

Just curious...

Liquid Lightning was sold to Camelbeach Mountain, and the kiddie complex also sold but I don't know who to. Thunder Falls, originally on the ride side, is still for sale but nobody has made an offer yet. Last I heard Cedar Fair was getting quotes for demolition.

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