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Geauga Lake Discussion Thread

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Yeah I agree, Six Flags learned that here in the Dallas area when they bought Wet 'N Wild in Garland and Arlington and then bought Boardwalk Water Park.


They closed the Garland Wet 'N Wild, shipped slides there and to Waterworld and other Six Flags water parks and also closed Boardwalk, even before they re-opened for the 1996 season, they knew those would create bad attendance at all 3 parks if they were open. Granted Garland and Arlington are roughly 45 miles apart .. but still a smart move.

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Well, I dont know about amusement parks, but many chain restaurants will expand and thin out buisness for one restaurant if it makes the overall corporation more profitable-- Carrabbas have opened up all over right next door to Outbacks-- which hurts the individual Outback restaurant, especially in the short run. But it the long run helps Outback Inc, which owns both.


My point being that it isn't just competing with yourself that is causing the problems. There's something wrong with the park itself...

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Well those are chains with different styles of food .. that's typical, Yum! brands do that everywhere .. and places like McDonalds have started opening Boston Markets and Chipolte's near each other.


Theme parks are different .. eateries can handle only so many people per hour and having more options is a good thing to get around that 2 hour wait. Theme parks WANT the crowds, simply because they know the longer you wait, the more stuff you will buy in the long run .. why compete?

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I loved Six Flags Ohio/SF Worlds of Adventure the first couple of years. When you add five coasters in two years and then pull in a Busch park, that's pretty impressive. What wasn't impressive were the operations and employees but the attractions at the park were great and the overall park package worked well. Initially it was great to go over to the Sea World side and still have it feel like a Busch park even down to Busch food the first year.


Now with Cedar Fair, you have great operations and employees but you have a park that eliminated a big draw with Sea World and a park in complete transition. The park doesn't make much sense currently with two half waterparks across the lake from each other and some leftover attractions on the former wildlife side. The wildlife side only shows minor signs of the Busch quality that used to exist over there. CF now gets to pay the price for poor SF wood coaster maintenance too. The Villain has gone from a top ten ride to nearly unrideable. The park seems to have a somewhat depressing atmosphere compared to what it used to be even with good CF operations, employees and even food.


Here are some things I think need to happen at GL. Finishing the new waterpark next year to have one, completely new waterpark will be very important and determine the park's fate. I think they need to look at Dorney Park as a model. The waterpark is a huge draw at Dorney. On a nice day the ride park is rather empty while the waterpark is jammed. Still Dorney is able to add major rides all the time.


The park needs to undo the damage done by SF while taking advantage of what SF did for the park. They did some work on Raging Wolf Bobs but more help is needed on that ride. Villain needs a complete retracking ASAP. All of the sparking, new steel structures of the major coasters SF added are faded. The park painted the SLC this year and hopefully they can give the rest of the rides a coat of shiny paint soon. The flat rides on the old wildlife side have almost no ridership anymore. Those rides should be moved to the rides side, possibly where the old water park site is.


As for new rides, I can't see the park justifying much. SF added five new coasters recently which is way more than the current park could justify adding. GL is on par with Kennywood as far as their playing field. At one time I felt Six Flags had moved up to a higher playing field but now they're on the same level as KW with GL probably slightly lower at this point. I can't possibly see a new coaster anytime soon. I wouldn't remove any coasters since that wouldn't be a positive PR move regardless of the needs of other CF parks. The park would be wise to add an occassional major attraction. How about replacing Mr. Hyde's Nasty Fall with an S&S tower in 2007? Even a small tower would be a great improvement.


Finally, don't insult the customers with the same $9 parking charge that SF had. This park isn't Worlds of Adventure anymore and it certainly isn't Cedar Point. Lower the slap in the face parking charge and just raise the park admission a buck or two. The current admission is way lower than it used to be anyway. Undercutting Kennywood admission by $1 may seem like a clever marketing move but in actuality it's meaningless with the high parking fee.

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Geauga Lake itself is a great park, it's just in a terrible location. With CP and KW so close by they need to offer something that makes them stand out. Since it's not the animals any more (which was not a profitable venture) I would suggest Knoebelizing GL. Drop the parking to $3, charge nothing for admission and make the rides either tickets or POP wristbands. Finally add a wide variety of interesting and tasty food/beverages (basically replace everything there) along with plenty of shade and picnic areas.


The park also needs to be better insulated from the surrounding suburban mall scene with more landscaping. If liquidating the park is a possible long-term outcome then I would say initially move X-Flight, Steel Venom and their boomerang to other CF fair parks and replace with trees and grass and make it more like a park.


One could argue they need to add a big steel coaster, something along the lines of Magnum like Mr. Kinzel has alluded to in the past. But my *guess* is that downsizing the park will be more likely. If for no other reason than to match the local economy and accept the reality that it is not a vacation destination park. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see the park grow and put in new hotels but it's already been proven that major capital investments are not the way to increase profits at GL.



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Initially it was great to go over to the Sea World side and still have it feel like a Busch park even down to Busch food the first year.


About the Busch food...


When SeaWorld was sold to Six Flags, most people like me stayed on as Six Flags employees. And trust me, we were bitter. We drank Miller and Coors just because of it. I'm still bitter about it.


Anyway, when the sale was announced by Vic Abbey, BEC President, Mitch (the other buyer for SWO) and I already placed all the national orders for the next coming year. So When SFO opened, it was all Busch food to begin with, them slowly turned into SF crap.


And a little note about those that eat at Busch Entertainment Parks; a lot goes into what you are eating. Very little of the food you enjoy is pre-made. There are thousands of recipes that the parks go by to make the food fresh daily. I can’t even remember how many trips I made for fresh cilantro.


And if you guys go to ANY park, not just Busch, the dolphin and whale toppers for the souvenir mugs were my idea.


Oh, and I should also mention, Bart Kinzel is in charge of food operations at Geauga Lake. Yes, Dick's son. He did wonders for the TGIFriday's at CP. And it's rumored that GL will soon get a TGIFriday's.

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CP and GL do not compete as much as one thinks, GL is more in competition with Kennywood. CP draws from the west more then anything, there are more Michigan license plates in the park then anything else. GL draws from Cleveland East. This is not a small area we are dealing with and the poulation of the area is massive. CP competes with GL just slightly more then they compete with Michigan's Adventure.


We went to the park earlier in the yaer and had a great time, the new waterpark is easiliy one of the best I have seen and will be even better with phase 2.


The park did fine beofre Six Flag's took over things, it was a real money maker, then Six Flag's absolutely killed the place with craptacular service and wonderful one train slow as heck ops.


Today everything runs at full capacity, crews are great, lines really move and people are slowly rediscovering the park.


Give it time, CF has a lot to make up for after the Six Flags years.


With the waterpark investment they put in, I don't see them ditching the park anytime soon.


It will come back, they just have to make up for the damage Six Flag's did to the PR of the park.

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And if you guys go to ANY park, not just Busch, the dolphin and whale toppers for the souvenir mugs were my idea.


Then maybe you can explain this to me. Why can't I have a straw, but I can purchase a crazy straw attached to a large plastic "tuna sammich"?


// curious


Elissa asked me the same thing awhile ago. I was always told it was for the safety of the animals. But yet, we still had crazy straws. WTF? I really don't know why. When you work for Busch, you don't ask to many questions... you just do what you are told.

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On another site, I said that losing the animals would hurt them. Granted, i understand their logic for not having them. When it was 6 flags, we'd spend a mojority of our time watching the shows after the kids got burned out on rides after the 3-4th visit. (we were sesaon pass holders).

It would make sense for them to sell the park, either whole or in pieces after they move what they're planning on keeping.

Let's see how the people of Solon and Bainbridge like it now. Sure, they'll have less congestion, and a quieter area, and a lot less cash for their cities.

Hard to believe that even conneaut lake might outlast GL.

The only time this season they were busy was the weekend for the Clinic Foundation picnic. The next time will be for the Progressive picnic, but for that the park is closed to general public as that draws enormous crowds of mostly non-riders.

Sad news, indeed.

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Cedar Fair buying GL was a semi-descent decision executed very poorly. Closing the SeaWorld side was by far the dumbest move. Yeah, they can say they are adding a new, huge waterpark, but its not there yet. There is nothing bringing people in any more. If they want this park to succeed, they are going to have to treat it like it's full blown competition with Cedar Point. They need to add multiple rides that are monumental that CP doesn't have. If I had bought the park, I would have come at the Ohio competition like Six Flags did. They came in and built a slew of rides, including some that were unlike anything the area had ever seen before.


The park itself is sad. It's a good park in poor condition. There are a lot of places in that park that could use some serious TLC. Once again, If you want it to succeed in the light of CP, you need to treat it like CP. Landscaping should be right up to par with the rest of the Cedar Fair Parks. Of the 4 CF parks I've been to, GL was the most neglected.


Advertising is a joke. Take a drive through Cleveland and take a tally of how many CP billboards you see and how many GL billboards you see. I think by the time you've gotten to the other side of town, you will forgotten if you had even seen a GL billboard.


Once again, just to beat the horse, it was a descent idea executed poorly.


Let's recap what Cedar Fair did:

-Bought the park

-Tore out the WildLife side :?

-Didn't add anything new after taking away a popular name (Six Flags)

-Advertised poorly


Right now, they are doing too little. The cheap price is great, but there needs to be more incentive.

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One major thing I noticed that the park needs to improve is lack of places to go indoors an cool off. I didn't think the park was that bad, but once I started feeling overheated, there was nowhere to go in and cool off. I think there was one gift shop that was air conditioned, then the Robots from Mars show...and that was it. I didn't see any place to get a bite and sit in the AC and eat. Everything was either open air or walk up windows. This made me very uncomfortable for most of the day, and made me want to leave just so I could cool off.

I think, given time, this park will be just fine. They need some more updated rides, make the rides they have better, and do something about that little half of a water park over on the rides side.


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I still don't understand why they didn't do that right off the bat. I mean, CP could have gotten the floorless, Michigan's Adventure could have gotten a Boomerang or SLC, Valleyfair could have gotten an Impulse, and WoF could have gotten another woodie. There are tons of flat rides and water rides that would give all the other properties small new additions for the next 2-3 seasons!

Robb, Vallyfair already has an Impulse. Its called Steel Venom! Anyways I also say Geauga Lake is a cool park in poor condition. It was really stupid of Cedar Fair to take out the Sea World section. They say they're getting Geauga Lake new stuff but so far they have nothing.

Kevin"Do you remember an Impusle with a creepy sound"Bujold

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Well, one bright side of closing it would be no add on to a CP season pass... Even though I wanted to visit the park, I just hope they move the flyer and the floorless to CP. Unfortunately, I dont see where they could fit the floorless, but I can see them having room to put in the flyer....


Jared "Plans on buying a CF pass next year, and has never ridden a flyer or floorless" Becker

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Last Time I was at GL, It was pre-6flags, when they offered the "carload special". Let's just say it was quite an experience, and I vowed never to return. Very trailer-park/ghetto. My nephew and sister went there when it was 6flags, and they were quite disappointed. CP would be better to just spread the rides at it's better parks and dump the property for condos.

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