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Geauga Lake Discussion Thread

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

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As someone who goes to Kings Dominion fairly regularly, I would have to say that it would be awesome if they would get another major coaster like Dominator. The only bummer is that I already have the credit.

 

As for MIA getting Thunderhawk, while I wish they could get something better, Thunderhawk is actually not a bad SLC. On the business side of things, this could be a great addition for the park since many people that are not enthusiasts may love it. I think that if this is in fact the plan, they should put it along where the rumored back walkway is going, to make for a new major ride to go along with the new path.

 

This could be great for the two parks getting the coasters, but I can't help but feel this may be one of the final nails in the coffin for the ride side of Geauga Lake. Granted they would still have 6 coasters (Big Dipper, Head Spin, Raging Wolf Bobs, Beaver Land Mine Train, Double Loop and Villain), but these coasters don't seem to be the more popular ones based on the two times I went and what others have shown here. That and while people said they thought the front looks empty without X-Flight and Steel Venom, I would guess that the area where Thunderhawk and Dominator are now would look just as empty.

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I think Ginzo nailed it.

 

It's just really frustrating to me. I loved Geauga Lake, well, at least back when it was an SF property. It had so much going for it back then. The SeaWorld side gave it something that no other park in the Midwest has, and then you had the tons of coasters and rides on the other side. And all of this was surrounding a lake. There aren't many better settings for major amusement parks in this nation than that. I'm sure what Ginzo said about Kinzel is probably true. They took a park that was doing pretty well and have slowly ripped it to pieces. Maybe they'll keep the older rides like Big Dipper and Double Loop and maintain it as a really small park, but at this point, they might as well just put the place out of it's misery. Just make sure the Big Dipper is relocated.

 

Anywho, Dominator would be good at KD. I've always thought that a floorless would fit in well there.

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I think Ginzo nailed it.

 

It's just really frustrating to me. I loved Geauga Lake, well, at least back when it was an SF property. It had so much going for it back then. The SeaWorld side gave it something that no other park in the Midwest has, and then you had the tons of coasters and rides on the other side. And all of this was surrounding a lake. There aren't many better settings for major amusement parks in this nation than that. I'm sure what Ginzo said about Kinzel is probably true. They took a park that was doing pretty well and have slowly ripped it to pieces. Maybe they'll keep the older rides like Big Dipper and Double Loop and maintain it as a really small park, but at this point, they might as well just put the place out of it's misery. Just make sure the Big Dipper is relocated.

 

Anywho, Dominator would be good at KD. I've always thought that a floorless would fit in well there.

 

Yeah Scott, it's just a bizarre scene. What gets me is CF's perfidy about it. If they don't want to support GL as a rides park anymore, then just come out and SAY that's what you're doing. This approach of slowly draining out all the big coasters, and then telling the media that you're frustrated with the park's attendance is not honest. If they were serious about turning GL around they'd be investing in the park, not removing more rides. There are so many great things that could be done for the park at a moderate cost, like say installing a GCII woodie.

 

Right now the rides park is basically an excuse to sell bad lemonade for $5. And they do super customer unfriendly stuff like yell at you for taking pictures in coaster stations, even though there is no posted policy about that.

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The park was doing well because it had the SeaWorld attractions, which bring in the families on the complex as well. When Six Flags sold the property, they took away the SeaWorld attractions which they merged together with Geauga Lake when they bought they park. That was this park's big draw, and without that, there is even less reason to keep operating Geauga Lake's amusement ride section as it was under Six Flags.

 

Since there was no more competition now that Cedar Fair own both parks, Geauga Lake is pretty much redundant. Why compete against yourself?

 

Now I've been to Geauga Lake, and it's not a great place to go now. It's very bland, and it doesn't pull in many guests to the amusement park side (the waterpark is much busier). Without the main draw to pull in families, it needs to start from the ground up once again.

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I wanted to visit Geauga Lake back in 03/04. Back then it seemed like a park with a solid ride selection and a nice looking "Sea World" park. But, it seemed like my prediction of GL has also came true, CF bought it just so they could monopolize Ohio and vanquish nearby competition so that Cedar Point and Kings Island could be the premier parks of Ohio.

 

Back when the park was SFWoA, it seemed like it could fare a decent battle against CP in terms of value and family friendliness [then again, this is Premier SF were talking about, not Shapiro's SF]. People still visited the park because Sea World was a huge draw for the area (wasn't it the only marine park in the area for like, miles?) Six Flags added some really good rides to the park that could basically start a friendly fight of sorts with Cedar Point.

 

But, Six Flags' debt was basically the killer of why SFWoA was sold to Cedar Fair. At first I thought Cedar Fair's management would clean up the park a little bit, but eventually it seems like the black sheep of CF parks.

 

While CF did a good job from what I've seen of a nice looking waterpark, they basically still haven't "completed" it yet. Look at the concept art from the announcement back in 2004. There is still a few more slides needed to be installed that I'm surprised CF hasn't done already with their wave pool last season. It also seems kind of pitiful (from a TR I've read about a month ago) to see a mostly intact water park covered in weeds, with a perfectly good slide complex still back there (it was the new Shark Attack tower SF installed in 2003).

 

I wanted to visit Geauga Lake because it just had that ambience of a perfect day with a ride side full of good rides and a water park that looked really good. But now, it's sad to see rides take a backseat so that Cedar Fair could say, "Ya want rides? Go the extra 90 miles to Cedar Point!"

 

In a way, I wish these rumors were fanboy murmurs for their parks to get "new" coasters. But, I guess not.

 

It's kind of sad to see the park go from its prime (back in 03/04) to its demise of sorts 4-5 years later.

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I think they are taking the park back to it's roots with the water park being the main focus. Six Flags pretty much ruined the reputation of the park (as seen by the attendance numbers the last 2 years under SF) and the removal of the animals didn't help. So now that they've been pulling about the same number in attendance for the past 4 or 5 years now (this is CFs 4th year of operating the park), they are scaling back the park to fit the market.

 

They know that the water park is their bread and butter and will continue to grow it, while the rides are going to be secondary. Removing rides with high maintenance/operating costs and high capacity (Dominator) that they don't need, helps keep their budget lower and more manageable for their size. The simple truth is, the attendance they are getting can not support 10 roller coasters. Even with a decent size crowd and cool weather (keeping people from the water park) on Sunday, the lines for the 8 coasters they still have were minimal. 2, maybe 3 train wait, if it wasn't a walk on, which some were.

 

I think they should move the flats from the water side over to the ride side and install FSS from Carowinds over by the water park to help ease the pain of losing so many rides. They also need to move the slides from the old water park over to the new and clean up that area. That area would be a nice place to move the flats to.

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CF yanking two more coasters does not surprise me, I just wish one of them wasn't Dominator. Take HeadSpin, please.

 

Who knows, maybe the rumor I heard a few months is true: The ride side will be turned into condos. All told, though, it doesn't matter what they do with it. Taking X-Flight and S:UE/(or whatever CF called it ), was bad enough. Remove Dominator and i have NO reason to go back.

 

I'll also think twice about going the CP.

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Lori,

 

Thank you for that moment of clarity in this sea of diarrhea. Cedar Fair did come out (when they bought the park) and said that they were going to return Geauga Lake to it's "roots".

 

"Going forward, our goal is to operate (Geauga Lake) as a traditional family park and not a theme park,'' said Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair's chairman, president and CEO, in a conference call to discuss the acquisition. "The focus right now is regional destination.''

 

I don't know too many "traditional family parks" that have an Intamin Impulse, B&M Floorless, and Vekoma Flying Dutchman. I do think that they should have kept the SLC however.

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Lori,

 

Thank you for that moment of clarity in this sea of diarrhea. Cedar Fair did come out (when they bought the park) and said that they were going to return Geauga Lake to it's "roots".

 

"Going forward, our goal is to operate (Geauga Lake) as a traditional family park and not a theme park,'' said Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair's chairman, president and CEO, in a conference call to discuss the acquisition. "The focus right now is regional destination.''

 

I don't know too many "traditional family parks" that have an Intamin Impulse, B&M Floorless, and Vekoma Flying Dutchman. I do think that they should have kept the SLC however.

 

Ted, you make a reasonable point about them removing large coasters to refocus GL into a local family park. Your argument fails in that they're only removing big rides, and not replacing them with family park attractions. Cornhole doesn't count. And they're not really keeping up the smaller rides, like the woodies, very well.

 

As someone who is probably moving to Cleveland next year, I would ***LOVE*** to see GL reinvented as a fun little traditional park. But I don't see it. I see a dead slab of concrete. I'll believe them more when I see the dark rides, fun woodies, smaller flats, etc. Guess I'll have to go to Waldameer for that.

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^ Touche' Ginzo

 

True, they haven't replaced the rides per se, but they did make about 17 million dollars worth of improvements (12mil first year and 5mil the second) to the "wild side" and invested money into The Dipper, Villian and Bobs having them retracked by Martin & Vleminckx.

 

I know that Bobs didn't run for much of this year, but it is unfair to say that they completely neglected the park.

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^ Touche' Ginzo

 

True, they haven't replaced the rides per se, but they did make about 17 million dollars worth of improvements (12mil first year and 5mil the second) to the "wild side" and invested money into The Dipper, Villian and Bobs having them retracked by Martin & Vleminckx.

 

I know that Bobs didn't run for much of this year, but it is unfair to say that they completely neglected the park.

 

I know that there was track work done on Villain, but it sure doesn't seem that way. That ride is still SOB rough.

 

Anyway, I hope they can turn the park into something better than it is now. Their current approach disturbs me though.

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Check out these rumors from Screamscape:

http://www.screamscape.com/html/kings_dominion.htm

 

Dominator - Rumor - (8/27/07) Several sources have now confirmed hat Dominator, a B&M Floorless coaster from Geauga Lake (formerly known at Batman: Knight Flight) will be coming to Kings Dominion, placed just to the left of the park’s main entrance area, somewhere behind the Toonpike and in the area near the Berserker, the picnic area and bus parking lot.

 

Well this is kind of sad. IMO, its the best coaster in the park. But I'm wondering if this could by the CP 2008 addition. It doesn't require a very big footprint!

 

http://www.screamscape.com/html/michigan_s_adventure.htm

(8/27/07) We’ve now heard confirmations from other sources backing up the story that Thunderhawk (Vekoma SLC) from Geauga Lake will be coming to Michigan’s Adventure. No word yet on if this year will just add the new coaster or if they’ll add that new back pathway as well.

 

My only comment on moving this notorious headbanger is its new name: The Michigan Migraine!

 

Having grown up at GL, CP, Idora, and CLP (the Big Dipper was my first "adult" coaster), I kind of look forward to GL returning to its smaller size. The expansion that Six Flags did obviously never drew the crowds. This will make GL a much more relaxed family park, much like Dorney, which I am looking forward to.

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It doesn't require a very big footprint!

 

Errrr.

 

I think they meant compared to other floorless coasters. Dominator is the longest floorless in the world, but it has a relatively small footprint compared to, say, Scream!/Medusa, or Superman Krypton Coaster.

 

The thing that I don't like is that Dominator was custom designed for the spot it's in, right by the lake. If it were to be put into an open field, or wherever, it would just, in my opinion, seem very out of place.

 

They could also be moving Dominator because CP might be planning to build a floorless and it would be pointless to have two floorless coasters so close to each other. I think that's the reason they took out SV, because WT is at CP.

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^ But in defense of relocation it is 100% flat. I have always expected this one to get moved out.

 

 

Back to the "return to a traditonal park" thinking. Why not go all the way and knock the parking price down to say .... nothing. I think the gate prices are in line with other traditional parks, but food and parking are another story.

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^^^ Yes, I know. I'm not saying that it can't be relocated, just that it would seem very out of place to people who have ridden it at GL. If you look at the satellite picture you posted, the footprint curves slightly on the edge of the lake, and goes around the ripcord, custom designed for the area it's in.

 

I am actually curious to see it's new color scheme if it does get moved. Hopefully it will still be called Dominator, because that's such an awesome name, but just have different colors. I am tired of the Batman scheme. I also hope that they at least get new seats, the carved out Batman logo is just sad.

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Looking it from Ted's satelite pic, it looks bigger than i thought.

 

Maybe what CF means when they say: Traditional Family park they mean, rolling grassy hills, a handful of swings and a teeter-totter. I seriously hope not.

 

Why not announce that Dominators last day is coming and get what money you can that way?

Bouncing this off a few people i work with that have Masters Degrees in business and communication, they think maybe CF does not want GL to pull in great figures. Does that make sense to me, nope. But as they said, sometimes business decisions don't make sense to anyone.

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Well, I'm glad I made the side trip to GL during the Midwest trip before everything was completely gone.. Dominator was easily in the top 5 I rode on the trip, and Thunderhawk was actually quite fun, and relatively smooth compared to my other SLC experience. Easily in the top 10 I rode on the trip. (out of 80+ coasters on the trip) I think the other parks will be happy to get them.. heck, I would have liked either here at Valleyfair except I'm hoping they put in something like (or better) Patriot in a year or two.

 

Thunderhawk was the only line there was at GL when I was there. And that's because they only ran one train, instead of two. I can't imagine what the park will be without those two coasters. Why does a family park have to be so lame? The poor people in that area who had a nice park and are having it ripped out from under them. At least they will still have the waterpark???

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Actually, I'd rather have them rip out Anaconda at KD and replace it with that B&M floorless.

Pure brilliance, Chuck.

 

As to the idea of Dominator's current location being better due to the lake it sits next to.....meh. It wasn't any different than Millennium Force or SFNE's ROS. The body of water they reside next to are only noticable on the lift hill ride up. Now, putting it in Anaconda's spot would be the stuff!

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I can see the higher ups wanting to take out some of the coasters, though when we were there a few weeks ago, the longest wait we had was for the SLC (only running 1 train, as was mostly everything else except Dominator).

 

Face it, Geauga Lake now mainly just draws interest in the waterpark, as that side is packed and the other side is empty. CF can pretty much remove everything that SF added and still keep the other side alive if they wanted to. Taking out the two waterfront coasters, clearing out the old waterpark area around Big Dipper, adding picnic pavilions to that area where SUE and Xflight were, and maybe a skyway or monorail from the waterpark side to the rides side would be a major help to have the park look nicer.

 

I think part of the problem is the fact that it's all 1 park now. After spending all day at a waterpark, people really don't have enough energy to walk across a lake to ride stuff, they just want to go home. Make each park like $20 to get into, and then have a ride and slide combo for $30, and that will help people decide more if they want to pay an extra $10 to do the rides, and they'll put more effort into visiting the other area. The rides side definitely still needs some work done to it, like adding more bathrooms, water fountains, and removing all the stuff that isn't working anymore (monorail, skytower, waterslides by Dipper, random closed walkway by Double Loop, etc). Something else that would majorly help this place regain "traditional look"....lots of trees, something Cedar Fair is definitely afraid of.

 

I still think this park is doomed (at least the rides side).

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