Cedar Fair announces Geauga Lake will be water park only

Posted Friday, September 21, 2007 3:37 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company announced today that Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom in Aurora, Ohio, will become exclusively a water park attraction beginning with the 2008 season.

“After four years of operating Geauga Lake as a combined water park/amusement park attraction, we have concluded that its future should be entirely as a water park,” said Dick Kinzel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. “Visiting Geauga Lake is a 119-year-old tradition in northeastern Ohio. That tradition will continue, but in a new and exciting way.”

“Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom has been recognized as one of the finest water parks in the country,” Kinzel said. “Over the past three seasons, we have invested approximately $25 million to create and develop the premiere water park in northeastern Ohio. Since its opening in 2005, Wildwater Kingdom has been the park’s highest rated attribute.”

Geauga Lake’s Wildwater Kingdom attractions will include Tidal Wave Bay, a 30,000 square-foot wave pool featuring seven different types of wave patterns; Liquid Lightning, a 60-foot-tall tornado slide; Thunder Falls, Ohio’s tallest water slide complex; an activity pool; an action river; and a multi-story play structure. The park will also provide a catering facility and picnic pavilions for group outings and poolside cabanas will be made available for daily rental.

Read the full press release from Cedar Fair.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 3:42 PM
Well, this causes a domino effect in many ways:
  • This is good for Waldameer Park.
  • This is good for the 3 parties interested in leasing Conneaut Lake Park.
  • This spells the end for Soak City. Yes, that is what I said.

And, I like Geauga Lake. I will miss the classic rides. On the record. Cedar Fair will miss having a secondary park with a decent ride package. I hope Lake Erie does not rise again.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 3:42 PM
Can't say we didn't see it coming...

I have no respect left for Cedar Fair.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 3:43 PM
Holy cow. Just wow. Disappointing to say the least.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 3:49 PM
Noooooo! Someone please save the Big Dipper.

So glad I bought into the rumors and drove out ther fore closing day.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 3:49 PM
Glad I got there this past summer. The ride side will be missed by some.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 3:54 PM
Disappointing isn't even beginning to scratch the surface.

I can't say we didn't see it coming, but seeing it in print still makes this a painfully difficult pill to swallow. The article talks about other rides being introduced at other CF properties but I'm sure the crown jewel of the park- the Big Dipper- will be left for demolition. What a shame. What a waste. What a crock.

With this, Cedar Fair has shown that they have absolutely no respect for any kind of amusement history. I know, I know... CF parks are not museums. But this could have ended a lot differently. It didn't have to end at all. What happened to the plans to make Geauga Lake a smaller, more family-oriented traditional park? They never tried. All the company did was remove ride after ride and expected that was going to be the silver bullet that would save the park? Get real. There was never a plan to do anything with the rides. This was a tactic meant to eliminate Cedar Point's competition and it came with a very high price for people that appreciate amusement parks... and there are more people out there aside from the people on this site that are going to be affected by this.

I'm crushed, I'm saddened, I'm a whole bunch of things that I can't say right now. It's safe to say it will be a long time before any CF park sees my business again. That's not a boycott, it's just my personal decision.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:00 PM
CF is in the business to make money, not to save coasters for enthusiasts, not to preserve a historic ride for a couple thousand people to enjoy and be happy about. I'm sure it's not financially realistic to relocate the Big Dipper, otherwise, they would.

I guess I'm the only one who is happy with this announcement.

Rob, you're gonna deprive yourself of coasters that you probably love, just because the company doesn't save an old wooden coaster? Yes, I know you're the wooden preservation king on Cbuzz.

Then again, we don't know for sure if Big Dipper's being demolished, do we?

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:05 PM
If I'm the king, I wear my crown proudly. I'd rather be the wood coaster king rather than another corporate tool spewing forth a bunch of textbook business terms when people try to talk about passion for their hobby.

I'm all for the expression of personal opinion, but I see no reason why anyone with a remote interest in amusement parks would be happy about this. It's another park gone... erased from the map... for good. And it's not just about a wood coaster, it's about a place that serves as a fun distraction for many people. Places like that are becoming fewer and father between, and now Cedar Fair can be thanked for that as well.

And somehow I think I'll survive without Cedar Fair's collection of overbraked wood coasters and unreliable steel monsters in sterile parks completely lacking personality and character.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:07 PM
I guess this may give some more clarification to the Dominator & Thunderhawk issue. From CF's standpoint though it was a good move, as much as it pains me to say, (I've always loved GL). As already mentioned, the waterpark was the driving reason for most attendees, the rides/coasters were something to ride on the way out of the park. Even me, myself would go to ride Dominator & Big Dipper, after that, it was all about the waterpark.

However, the waterpark is top notch, and if they have the vision to keep building for the future, it could be one of the best waterparks in the country down the road.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:08 PM
Perhaps I was a little too strong in saying I was 'happy' with the decision. But I'm certainly not torn apart. I've only been once, and it was this year, and I was very unimpressed, especially by Villain and Big Dipper.

To each his own.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:08 PM
I would think (referring to Big Dipper) part of it might be if it would fit in at any of the other parks? Off the top of my head I can't think of any (except perhaps WOF?) I don't know the woodies of the former Paramount parks that well. The other problem is...I could never see CF (or any big corporate entity) relocating any wooden coaster, especially one this old.

This decision is going to have so many negatives. Has anyone considered what will happen to the employees? Most seasonal employees at amusement parks go back year after year expecting to have their job for them. I feel bad for the GM too, now all he has left is a waterpark.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:10 PM
This is only a "good move" in context because Cedar Fair failed miserably to rescue the park in the first place. Had they accomplished what they originally set out to then we wouldn't even be talking about this "great move" Cedar Fair is making.

Along with Rob, I don't see myself visiting any other Cedar Fair parks in the next few years. Its not because I want to boycott or prove a point, but because Cedar Fair parks are getting so expensive and not getting any more fun.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:10 PM
You obviously love Great Adventure, Kevin (and I'm a bit surprised you'd say what you said about me since we've had a good relationship in the past.) Would you be thrilled if that park were closed and demolished? I can't say Geauga was one of my favorite parks but it's a cool place with a great setting and nice rides. Cedar Fair made decisions that were just as bad as the ones Six Flags made and now they act as though they have no choice but to do this. That's my main problem with all of this.

*** This post was edited by Rob Ascough 9/21/2007 4:13:52 PM ***

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:13 PM
Dipper has been running great this year. If there is a park that it could fit in, I don't see why it couldn't be saved.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:13 PM
I don't wanna argue Rob. I am very much into wood preservation; I was just playing devil's advocate. And, I need a new username, this was from before I knew any other park existed.

^^ Paul Blackstone, CF is getting to expensive?!? I can get into Cedar Point for 42.95 and SFGAdv or SFMM for 59.99. Explain that to me.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:14 PM
Rob Ascough said:
I'm crushed, I'm saddened, I'm a whole bunch of things that I can't say right now.

Yeah, what he said.

SFGAdv lover said:
CF is in the business to make money, not to save coasters for enthusiasts, not to preserve a historic ride for a couple thousand people to enjoy and be happy about.

Its not just the coasters. It's the whole park. That's why I was upset that CF bought the park. They seem to look only at $$$ whereas other companies, like Knoebels for example, seem to look at the whole picture, not ONLY $$$.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:14 PM
However, on another note, this proves the power of Kennywood Entertainment. Not only did they withstand the Six Flags farce, they re-marketed heavily in the Cleveland Area, and went after groups in Eastern Ohio.

Without Conneaut Lake Park making noise, KP went unchecked into Geauga's market, and Cedar Fair was powerless to stop them. Enter 2008, and no-one will oppose them, if your group wants a ride-style outing. Not every group wants waterslides.

Now, go back to 1993, the Flynn family, former owners of Conneaut Lake, makes (against my advice, mind you) the bonehead press conference announcing the mothballing of the Blue Streak, selling the rides, and focusing on the waterpark market. well, that really worked out well.

Cedar Fair should really think through about keeeping 'Old Geauga Lake' vs only water rides. Just my thoughts, but in this industry, like the NFL, history repeats itself.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:16 PM
Technically, Big Dipper doesn't exactly fit into any CF park, but so what? It's not like the ride would be rebuilt at another park and no one would ride it. Put it at Dorney, Worlds of Fun, or even Cedar Fair and people would surely line up to ride the thing. If anything, it could increase the capacity at any park, and "saving" the ride (that they ironically endangered) would create some good press. The fact that the Dipper's fate isn't mentioned says it all. The coaster's done.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:17 PM
It doesn't mention Dominator or Thunderhawk though, does it?
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