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Geauga Lake is closing

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Geauga Lake is closing

Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:54 pm

I guess this fits here since it qualifies as entertainment. Cedar Fair is closing the amusement park portion of Geauga Lake and only keeping the water area for 2008. Many of the rides will be relocated to other Cedar Fair parks and the land will likely be sold for residential development.

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

http://wwk.geaugalake.com/
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Unread postby Spin » Sun Sep 23, 2007 1:11 am

Who didn't see this coming when Cedar Point finally got their hands on their chief competition?
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:00 am

Spin wrote:Who didn't see this coming when Cedar Point finally got their hands on their chief competition?


I didn't think they'd want to close it unless they couldn't help it. The dwindling attendance is what did Geauga Lake in. That's why Six Flags dumped it after investing a lot of money in it.

I don't think Cedar Fair has ever seen Geauga Lake as competition for Cedar Point. Geauga Lake has always been more regional while Cedar Point draws people from across the country and around the world. I don't think Geauga Lake detracts from Cedar Point much at all.

The park just really wasn't making the money that Cedar Fair was looking for. It's worth more if sold for development and serves as a source for rides. They can either move or sell the rides at Geauga Lake.

There's been some construction activity at Cedar Point as of late, so it's possible that they could move one of the coasters from Geauga Lake to Cedar Point. They'll likely also move one or more down to King's Island and probably send one to Virginia and another to Knott's Berry Farm. They might also want to add another to Worlds of Fun in KC.

I wonder what they'll do with Big Dipper. It's the oldest coaster in the state. Will they move it to Cedar Point or will they not do that because they don't want to steal the Blue Streak's thunder?

Dominator could be an interesting one for Cedar Point because they don't have a floorless and it's a B&M. I haven't ridden it, but if it's anything like Kraken at Seaworld down here then it must be a great coaster.
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Unread postby swerb » Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:15 am

I live like 5 min from Geauga Lake. A bummer. Kid just starting to get to the age where I coulda brought him there, and I spent many a day there as a kid myself.
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Unread postby consigliere » Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:06 pm

Someone will ties to the situation told me they are keeping the outdoor waterpark portion, but are going to use the other land for a giant indoor waterpark.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:35 pm

Consigliere wrote:Someone will ties to the situation told me they are keeping the outdoor waterpark portion, but are going to use the other land for a giant indoor waterpark.


That'd be interesting and not out of character. Castaway Bay at Cedar Point features an indoor waterpark, though I don't know how large it is.

That would keep Geauga Lake open through most of the year and give residents a place to have a warm swim or go down some water slides during the winter.
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Unread postby mswerb » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:07 pm

Local news was all over this. Geauga Lake will remain a water park attraction. What is to be done with the roller coasters and other rides is beyond me.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:22 pm

mswerb wrote:Local news was all over this. Geauga Lake will remain a water park attraction. What is to be done with the roller coasters and other rides is beyond me.


Relocated to other Cedar Fair properties or scrapped. I'd imagine that the Double Loop may be scrapped like many of the 70s Arrow coasters have been. The others will be moved and some could be sold off to other non-Cedar Fair parks.
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Unread postby Naxos » Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:44 pm

Too bad.

I remember Geauga Lake, and for that matter Sea World, fondly.

I definetly remember Octoberfest celebrations at Geauga Lake
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Unread postby leadpipe » Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:37 am

The thing I remember most about Geagua Lake is that they never seemed to clean it.
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Unread postby dmiles » Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:36 am

Wow, we always bought the season passes, and the wife and kids would just go up there on a whim about 4-5 times throughout the summer. Out here we kind of miss having something so inexpensive and close, GL was about a 40 minute drive from Warren.

I see they are keeping it as a water park, and here SoCal CedarFair uses the name "Soak City" for those venues. Maybe they can transfer some of the coasters to Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County, which has a decent location, but is otherwise pretty lame. We end up going to Six Flags which is way the hell up in Valencia, (and seemingly thug infested) but it does have more of the good coasters.
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Unread postby FUDU » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:43 pm

The thing I remember most about Geagua Lake is that they never seemed to clean it.


Yeah I remember that as well, there were always a couple parts of the park that reeked from some nasty ass water.

Cedar Point has a spot like that as well, near the Mantis IIRC.
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Unread postby swerb » Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:47 am

http://blog.cleveland.com/business/2007 ... s_cat.html

Closing marine attractions catalyst for Geauga Lake's demise

Never underestimate the power of Shamu.

Some analysts say executives' failure to recognize the drawing power of the superstar killer whale next door is why Geauga Lake ultimately couldn't bring in enough money to survive.

The downward spiral of the 119-year-old amusement park in Bainbridge Township began around 2000 when Six Flags, Geauga Lake's owner at the time, bought neighboring Sea World and merged the parks. For the first time, guests could visit both parks with one ticket.

"It made people come for one day instead of two days," said David Sangree, president of Hotel & Leisure Advisors in Cleveland.

Even though Six Flags poured $100 million into new rides at Geauga Lake, attendance steadily declined after 2001.

"They couldn't get a return on their investment," said Hayley Wolff, a senior equity research analyst for Rochdale Research in New York.

Sandusky-based Cedar Fair L.P. bought the money-losing park in 2004 for $145 million, hoping it could turn things around. But the company's decision to close the park's marine and animal attractions, some analysts say, was the kiss of death.

Cedar Fair said Friday that Geauga Lake's days as an amusement park are over. Instead, it will operate next season as a 30-acre stand-alone water park, Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom.

"They made a big miscalculation by selling off the animals," Sangree said. "The reason people went there was as much for Sea World as it was for Geauga Lake."

He said the animal park was the only major distinguishing factor between Geauga Lake and Cedar Point in Sandusky. Cedar Point, one of Cedar Fair's 11 other parks, was a tough competitor with its record-breaking thrill rides.

Stacy Frole, a spokeswoman for Cedar Fair, said Monday that the company invested $25 million replacing the park's animal attractions with water attractions.

"We thought by developing a larger water park area, we'd be able to offset the loss of the animals," she said.

But the company was wrong.

"Unfortunately, the market demand isn't there to support the park as it's currently structured," she said.

The park's eight roller coasters and other dry rides will be sold or moved to Cedar Fair's other parks, which include King's Island near Cincinnati, Frole said.

Although she said Cedar Fair tried its best to keep Geauga Lake afloat, some of the park's fans are skeptical. An online petition to "Let Cedar Fair Know How They Mishandled Geauga Lake" sprang up after the announcement.

The protest claims the company "never had any intention of turning Geauga Lake around."

By Monday afternoon, the petition held the ventings of more than 630 people upset at seeing the park's ride come to an end.

Jeremy Forester, a season-pass holder for a decade, called Cedar Fair's chief executive, Richard Kinzel, an amusement park version of Art Modell, who moved the Browns out of Cleveland in the 1990s.

"Cedar Fair bought [Geauga Lake] just to kill it," he said, guessing that the company simply wanted to eliminate competition for Cedar Point.

Some analysts hinted that there could be some truth to his assertion.

"In a market that doesn't really have good population growth, you have to ask yourself why you would want [to own] two parks competing against each other," Wolff said.

Frole, the Geauga Lake spokeswoman, acknowledged that there was some overlap in the areas from which the two parks drew. She said that next year the water park will "draw from a much closer geographic market."

But it could be tough for the newly branded water park to win over locals grieving the loss of Geauga Lake.

Howard Gillooly, who works as an information technology manager in Cleveland, chose his Twinsburg apartment because of its proximity to the park. He would go to the park about twice a week to meet up with friends and to ride his favorite roller coaster, the 82-year-old Big Dipper.

He was crushed when he heard that the park wouldn't reopen next season. "It happened so fast," Gillooly said. "I really don't know what I'm going to do."

He was looking to buy a house in Aurora, a block from the park - but now he's having second thoughts.

"It would just be too sad," he said.
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Unread postby Jumbo » Sat Sep 29, 2007 9:16 am

"It made people come for one day instead of two days," said David Sangree, president of Hotel & Leisure Advisors in Cleveland.

People went to Geauga Lake and Sea World for two days? I dunno...being a regional park it seems like a one-day only kind of place, and besides, if you had two days to spend you'd go to Cedar Point.

I hadn't been to Sea World in years, but I remember wondering how it made enough money to stay in business...the arenas always seemed to be built to fill about five times the number of people who actually watched the shows. Still, it was fun for a kid.

I haven't followed GL since CF bought it, but it seems to me that there would still be a market for a classic amusement park in the NE Ohio. (Resurrect Euclid Beach!) If they tried to market GL as another coaster park (investing tons of money into rides) competing against CP, that seems like a mistake.

Not that it means a lot except to a small number of coaster enthusiasts, but it also means that Ohio will lose some of its cache as a roller coaster destination.
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Unread postby Mr. MacPhisto » Sat Sep 29, 2007 10:10 am

Jumbo wrote:
I hadn't been to Sea World in years, but I remember wondering how it made enough money to stay in business...the arenas always seemed to be built to fill about five times the number of people who actually watched the shows. Still, it was fun for a kid.


There's a reason why Busch actively pursued selling SeaWorld. It wasn't doing to well in Aurora. It had the worst attendance of any SeaWorld park when adjusted for winter closures. SeaWorld here in Florida drew 5.7M people last year versus 3.07M for Cedar Point. CP's numbers are excellent as a seasonal park, but I'm sure that SeaWorld Ohio's numbers were always far below that - probably half of that. I'm positive that Geauga Lake also was at least half that and they may have struggled to get to a million.
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Unread postby dmiles » Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:43 am

I was at a party and started talking with this lady who used to be a trainer for Sea World here in San Diego. Anyway she was describing to me the annual ritual involved in shipping the whales up to Aurora. Special containers, transferring to cargo planes, it was a chore. I wish I could remember more of the detail.
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Unread postby General » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:44 pm

I was working for a lawn care company in the 80's. We had the Sea World contract. We had to be there at sunup so that we could finish before opening. I was pushing a spreader near the whale tank and stopped to take a look, Jesus you would have thought I was Bin Laden in a synagogue for god sake. Next post I will tell you a tale about a friend got Geauga Dog fired.
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Unread postby General » Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:48 pm

My pals went to GL late 70's-early 80's. They went out to the car to commune with natures bounty (weed). When they came back they were feeling mellow and one in particular was extremely mellow. He started bugging Geauga Dog for photos and camraderie. One thing leads to another and GD takes a swing at my pal. He goes to park management and they interrogate the Dog, he admits to swinging, they fire him on the spot. According to my idiot friends he walked off stage with the dog head in his hands, utterly dejected. True? I don't know, but still get's a good laugh when we all get together.
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Unread postby sandlot33 » Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:05 pm

Last time i went to Geauga Lake was 4 years ago and it was just filthy...and the bees were out of control...you couldnt have paid me to return
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