I follow conversation posts to get an idea of the daily crowd. For the most part this year seems the same as last with a decent but still small crowd most days. Not enough to make them profitable but at least they are working hard to improve the profitability.
Today was a $5 Second Sunday and the park was PACKED with the line for Blue Streak filling the entire queue and spilling down the midway. I've been there when it is that busy and that's probably a 45 minute wait.
I'm glad they were so busy but it's unfortunate people don't show at the normal $10 price but when it is $5 hoards of people buy into it. It goes from too empty to too crowded. It's always nice seeing the park packed though and the park is definitely in full operation and looking good.
Where do you follow these posts at, exactly? And that's good about the discount days attracting a lot of people. But I guess if people enter the park, they may buy food, etc. and that helps. The water park has to be helping their case out a bit, too (same with the campground which appears to be improving,too).
Taylor Finn wrote:Where do you follow these posts at, exactly? And that's good about the discount days attracting a lot of people. But I guess if people enter the park, they may buy food, etc. and that helps. The water park has to be helping their case out a bit, too (same with the campground which appears to be improving, too).
I agree, anything that can draw people in is a good thing. It is just too bad the park can't bring in many people except for on those discounted days. I think the supply of customers is just too small for an amusement park. The water park and Camperland expansion should help that.
To keep up with the park on a daily basis I just follow a few fan pages and also do a search for "Conneaut Lake Park" and scroll down to "conversations" and you can find mentions from random people on Facebook.
Here is a picture of the line for Blue Streak on Sunday
Conneaut Lake Park Manager Matthew Briggs uses words like “wonderful” and “incredible” to describe the Crawford County park’s season so far this summer.
With 24,382 ride, water park and combination wristbands sold through the first half of the season, through July 10, sales are up 51 percent from the same time in 2016. And sales then were up from 2015.
“It’s been a fantastic season so far,” Briggs said. “We doubled our best day ever (on July 9) and took in just under $100,000 without concessions July 3 through July 9.” Those sales got a boost from the Fourth of July holiday and a $5 ride day July 9, Briggs said. The park offers all-day rides for $5 on the second Sunday of each month. Rides typically cost $10.
Water park rides also cost $10. Combination wristbands for both water park and amusement rides cost $18. “Sales overall are up from last year. And last year was a better year than (2015),” Briggs said.
The park has been operated since 2015 by the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County through a management agreement with park trustees, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the park in December 2014. The economic development agency proposed reorganizing, revitalizing and revisioning the park to make it profitable again, and so far it’s working.
Basic improvements, including the repair and reopening of park water attractions in 2016, and basic changes, including free park admission and lower ride fees, have attracted more visitors. “It’s priced right now, and that’s bringing people in,” Briggs said.
People now also go to the park to walk or walk their dogs, Briggs said, and often buy food or drinks or trinkets on the midway. “There are people who drive in and pull up just to buy park fries,” he said.
New visitors this summer included Denise Galicic, of Pittsburgh, who visited Conneaut Lake Park this past week with three generations of her family, including her brother and his children, from Ohio. “It’s central for us, and a nice place for us all to get together,” Galicic said. “We’re enjoying the area. It’s just so different and so quaint.”
Conneaut Lake Park was opened as Exposition Park in 1892. The park thrived for generations but in recent decades fell into decline and disrepair. A bankruptcy judge in September approved a financial reorganization plan for the park, including specifics on how it will repay more than $1.3 million in delinquent property taxes and another $2 million in debt. So far those repayments are on schedule, said Mark Turner, executive director of the Economic Progress Alliance.
“We’re meeting all of obligations and are even a little ahead of those obligations under the bankruptcy,” Turner said. “The park taxes are almost entirely paid off. We’re definitely happy with the way things are going, but our challenges right from the very beginning have not been customer oriented or revenue oriented, but the hole that was dug so deep over the years that coming out of that hole is going to take some time.”
Property not essential to the amusement park is being sold to pay down park debt. The bulk of a $611,000 insurance settlement on the park Beach Club, which burned down in August 2013, also went toward debt. “At least the trajectory of the park has changed. It’s going in the right direction,” Turner said.
Besides wristband sales, other park revenues are also up this year. Gift shop sales so far are up 17 percent from 2016. Game and miniature golf revenues are up 93 percent. Camperland revenues increased by one-third, Briggs said.
A company hired to run park concessions has increased sales by almost 100 percent, Turner said. “We went to a contractor, somebody who is in the concessions business and knows what they’re doing,” he said.
Conneaut Lake Park water attractions are open Mondays and Thursdays. Rides and water attractions are open Fridays through Sundays and on Monday holidays, including the Labor Day season finale. There’s also a special Park After Dark event Aug. 19 with rides from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The park is closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but in the future might be open seven days a week, and open four seasons. Economic Progress Alliance plans for the park include construction of a performing arts center, expo center, beach club and pavilions to attract visitors year-round.
For now, Briggs is focusing on opening extra days for company picnics and other private events. “I’d love to be able to rent to a Channellock or Walmart for their own day at the park,” he said.
Its a rainy overcast day and I just came across this discussion page while researching CLP information. My life long local roots compel me to add to the discussion. The reports in the local papers about the park are seriously mistaken and in error. Local newspaper articals are nothing more than propaganda. It is nothing but false free advertising for the park trying to attract need visitors. After 25 years of steadily costing the community money and making false promise after false promise there is no end to the parks still rising debt. Now they have failed to pay their back tax debt by last April like they agreed to in their own bankruptcy. And the park has still not paid the back taxes. Millions more have been lost since filing for bankruptcy. The park is a money pit and it will never end. The tax bodys publicly stated the park was not capable of paying the back taxes. And now it has happened. It has hurt the local schools for a quarter century now. And now once again the park has failed to pay what they owe. Locals vote with their hard to come by dollars . The Crawford County fair will have many more paying visitors in 8 days this month than the junkyest looking amusement park in the country will bring in all year. The fair will generate more cash profit revenues for the actual benefit of the local citizens then the park has ever made in all of the last 25 years. Hanks Custard has more paying customers than the park. Eddies Hot Dog stand has more. Food prices were significantly increased this year with the park actually making even less now contracting the food services out. $5 to ride on one day a month? You wait hours in line because of limited seats due to broken seat out of service. Hours wait to use the dirty rest room. The majority of locals are tired of the never ending costs and drama. It only benefits a select a self-promoting chosen few. If it were not for a few honest posters on social media locals would not know about the local papers propaganda efforts. The two area local papers are not doing the hard working tax paying locals any favors at all. The papers have totally buried and ignored the actual facts and are only promoting the park’s false promises. False promise which once agin have failed to deliver. With the rising economy we would be seeing significantly more economic advantage with the park being liquidated at the sheriff sale. The sheriff sale the park filed for bankruptcy at the last hour to stop the sale and avoid paying the back taxes. Now the parks paid management has earned themselves more money than the park managed to scrape together selling lakefront land to pay on the 20 years of over due back taxes. It is just irritating. Conneaut Lake town is fed up with the park’s endless economic costs. The town obtained millions to pay for changing the town into the areas money-generating tourist attraction. If you enjoy the park thats fine. But know when you come to the park you are only hurting the local community in dragging out the endless costly drama out. Its called enabling and it is not healthy. Most locals have little opportunity to have any voice or impact on the shenanigans.. The truth is definitely out there. You just have to pay to the government to get it. If you find the truth objectionable and can not add anything of value you can call me childish names and troll the post. I am familiar with being verbally abused. Nothing new there. If is all you can manage to provide to those looking for information so be it. Thank you very much TPR for having this forum to add my comment. And much thanks to the local tax people for doing the right thing. The papers have ignored that story as well and those hard working elected tax officials don’t get credit they rightfully deserve..
I read this article when it was posted. This seems like a ridiculous increase to experience in one year, but I guess when you were struggling as much as they were, doubling profits is more doable. I am glad to see some renewed interest in the park. If they can make payments on their debt and back-taxes and still have some money to make some improvements, that will go a long way.
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