5th Annual Blue Streak Challenge at CLP 7/11/05

Associated parks:

After being a participant in this event for the last two years for a cause that is near and dear to my heart (preserving the classic Blue Streak), unfortunately I was unable to register for this event due to a lack of vacation time. However, with it being a picture perfect summer day, the 2 hour drive from Pittsburgh after work was not going to prevent me from at least buying some laps and supporting the team.

I arrived at the park around 5:30 PM to find the park closed (at the beginning of the season, the park was originally scheduled to be open on Mondays which would have posed a problem for the challenge). But I heard the glorious sounds of the Blue Streak in action, so I hurried over to the station. One of the local radio stations was broadcasting live to encourage people to come over and ride some laps with the team.

I gave my donation and entered the one vacant seat towards the back of the train. The Blue Streak was back to its true form, running much faster than when I rode it opening weekend. I truly enjoyed my 10 laps with the team, a small drop in the bucket compared to my 200+ laps each of the last two years.

During the scheduled maintenance break, it looked like they were on schedule to break the previous year record of 303 laps.

While hanging out in the station, I did get to see a copy of the new book about Conneaut Lake Park--its is fantastic--a great collection of old photographs that I had never seen before. You can purchase this book through the park and supposedly through amazon.com--a must for collectors of books on amusement park history. One fact I learned from the book but did not realize that the Blue Streak came close to being demolished in 1992 by the previous owners of the park who were looking to take the park in a different direction. Fortunately, some locals stepped in and prevented this from happening.

Kudos to Kelly, the ride ops, and all the participants to keeping this event going for the 5th straight year.

Blue Streak Marathon Rider 2003 and 2004 KW Gor_y Park Team Member
The Blue Streak was 'mothballed', but never was intended to be demolished. Charley Flynn did not want to spend the capital needed to give the coaster the full rehab it needed.

By closing a number of rides, CLP's attendance dropped to a point where other local businesses experienced a drop that triggered a buyout by locals who in turn, went bankrupt because they thought they knew it all, but they new nothing.

The Blue Streak gets all the maintenence it needs to get by every year, and it is safe. But it has never been up for a 'demolition' discussion. Never.

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