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 4:42 PM
What makes me mad?

The fact CF destoyed one amazing park (Sea World) and one pretty good one (Geauga Lake). I have a CF season pass, I will not be getting another next year, and probably not visiting any CF parks for awhile. Six Flags seems to have their heads on straight now, Disney is magical, Universal is amazing, and Busch still has beautiful, fun parks. And what does CF have?

Pavement.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:42 PM
I'd love to see Kinzel resign. He's not the genius people make him out to be, and that opinion of mine has little to do with this latest development. The company is in a downward spiral, regardless of the stock price. In another five years, CF will be the new Six Flags.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:44 PM
I'd love to have Thunderhawk and Double loop here in Michigan. Miadventure needs some kind of new coaster, even if it's a hand me down.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:48 PM
Cedar Fair didn't destroy Sea World. Anheuser-Busch destroyed Sea World. Six Flags tried to make a go of it but the bottom line is that park wasn't going to work out without Shamu making a big splash.

As for Kinzel's role in all of this. I don't think he broke the camel's back. Honestly, I believe he needs to step aside and let some new blood shape the company but I don't feel that way because of Geauga Lake.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:49 PM
Out of 100 or so woodies I have ridden, Big Dipper is one of my top ten favorites. IMO, it is the best coaster in the state of Ohio.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:51 PM
This is sad news. I guess no company could save the place, not Cedar Fair, not Six Flags.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:51 PM
Definitely. It's a classic, and Cedar Fair seemed to acknowledge that... well, at one time they did.

^ As AJ said, the park didn't need saving. It was fine before Premier got their hands on it. It wasn't broken until the mid-90's.

*** This post was edited by Rob Ascough 9/21/2007 4:52:19 PM ***

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Friday, September 21, 2007 4:53 PM
Please Holiday World or Knoebel's....

Save Big Dipper!

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:01 PM
Well the waterpark has been the main draw & after the damage SF caused when they ran the place you can see why they were struggling year after year to increase attendance levels.

CF just can't continue to operate the park at a loss.They went into the deal hoping for the best but it just didn't turn out that way because SF ruined the park's reputation with their poor management,operations & service....still I'm suprised to see them just walk away from the ride side though.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:02 PM
I can see why some of you guys are getting very upset...for very sentimental reasons. But it's happening and no matter how many times you state you'll never visit a Cedar Fair park again or in the near future, it's still going to happen (please, be real, you're saying that out of anger and contempt, not for "personal reasons" WE ALL KNOW THAT, no need to lie to the rest of us and yourself too, we're not dumb).

I've been to the park once before and to tell the truth, was very underwhelmed. It's best that the rides section be removed as stated before, and by the company, the water park really is the strong drawing power to the venue now.

Like all other businesses, things change, and people will always be left distraught or angry during change. But seriously, get over it. That simple...you will eventually. It's not the end of the world and it could have been worse. It's not like they permanently shut it down or razed it over for apartment buildings or as a golf course.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:05 PM
I find it funny that a lot of you will not be visiting another Cedar Fair park for a while. Honestly, that is just so dumb, why do that? Because one park closed? Who cares about the company! As long as the park is fun, then go.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:08 PM
Wow what sad news another classic park gone. You know what brings people to a park? It's not always the biggest and tallest, it's the tradition. Sure attendance may spike if you add a new thrill ride but after that ride is done what will bring those customers back? With the outlook of our economy sinking into another recession I think it would be wise for many of these companies to go back to basics. If I have to chose what park gets my money most would take the park that consitantly gives me a good time. I think FUN is in for a shocker when those people fail to return to their new waterpark. They'll go to Kennywood instead.

Also I think the big dipper would be a great addition to Idlewild. Tell Kennywood there is no market for Miller coasters sheesh.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:12 PM
The park was open for over 100 years. Many people have been going there since they can remember and have great family memories of the park. We are at a message board dedicated to fans of amusment parks and the industry.And kRaXLeRidAh wants people to get over this announcement in about an hour.Seriously, your points are somewhat true and many of the people vowing never to give CF their money again will go to Cedar Point or some other CF park next year. Most people will get over it, but, really, this is an emotional time for a lot of people and it should be.- Jeff
*** This post was edited by Uncle Coaster 9/21/2007 5:13:04 PM ***
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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:13 PM
Couldn't they use the Big Dipper as part of a boardwalk style area that leads to the main waterpark? I think with the available real estate now from the rides side, they could easily build an indoor waterpark/hotel combo, and connect to the waterpark side. There might be a silver lining to this development in the future.
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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:13 PM
This gives me a reason not to give cedar fair any more of my money. Kennywood, Waldameer Park, and Knoebels will get my money. Only time they'll get my money is in 2009 when magnum turns 20 and the beast turns 30...if that.

Goodbye Dipper, Villain, Double Loop, Dominator and the rest of the ride side.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:15 PM

You know what brings people to a park? It's not always the biggest and tallest, it's the tradition. Sure attendance may spike if you add a new thrill ride but after that ride is done what will bring those customers back?

Tradition? Knott's had over 75 years of tradition under its belt and recognition as the first themed amusement park in the Americas, and a friendly family atmosphere. But tradition didn't keep its attendance from gradually plummeting in the mid 90's before Cedar Fair stepped in and breathed some high-tech attractions into it.

Tradition only goes so far.


The park was open for over 100 years. Many people have been going there since they can remember and have great family memories of the park.

Newsflash the park IS STILL GOING TO BE OPEN. Did I miss something or does everyone posting in this thread seem like they were misinformed about what exactly is happening with the park?

Geauga Lake is still going to be an operating park -- albeit with just water attractions. It's not closing, or being torn down, or being sold off to a developer.

All I am reading about is really deep down just a bunch of whimpering over a handful of lost amusement park rides rather than anything to do with the park (some of which, may I remind you are planned for relocation). The park is and will still be there in the future.

*** This post was edited by kRaXLeRidAh 9/21/2007 5:21:45 PM ****** This post was edited by kRaXLeRidAh 9/21/2007 5:22:22 PM ***

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:20 PM
What a very sad thing to do to GL that park is 120 yrs old now what are they gonna do ge rid of the classic rides such as Big Dipper,Double loop,and Raging wolf bobs roller coasters and the merry go round well i only care about the roller coasters because the coasters are classics so, I hope that save the coaster compaign saves those coasters especially Big Dipper a Classic 1925 woodie.

So save Geauga Lake!!!!!

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:23 PM
" I can see why some of you guys are getting very upset...for very sentimental reasons."

You did this in the Astroworld thread, too, and while you're entitled to your opinion I'm not sure why this is the time or place to tell people to "get over it." There's the business side, and there's the enthusiastic/sentimental side. We don't have to be dismissive of one or they other just because they're not in agreement. Perhaps this is the time for many of us to say "get over it" to those who seem to have such a problem understanding that.

"All I am reading about is really deep down just a bunch of whimpering over a handful of lost amusement park rides"

Really, this is just rich. God forbid anybody be sad about a favorite ride closing. What bunch of babies we are.

What's the point of even being an enthusiast if you can't be saddened by something like this? I just don't get it. I mean really what's even the point of being in the hobby?

*** This post was edited by matt. 9/21/2007 5:27:23 PM ***

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:28 PM


The fact CF destoyed one amazing park (Sea World) and one pretty good one (Geauga Lake).

Six Flags made that mess, not Cedar Fair.

I am sad about this. I thought they would give it a few more years cause it seemed like performance in the park was good this year.

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Friday, September 21, 2007 5:29 PM
This is the day of pain personally for me and my family. I have attended this park with them for as long as about 20 years every year. I had so many cherished memories that will last decades. Its the the second park that my dad has watched go as he was a avid visiter of the Euclid Beach park years back. My dad sad it sadly enough last Friday that this was the last year for the park. Now he doesnt ride the rides or any of that anymore, but he comes out for the park. That and him and my brother coming made for once last special time there as a family.

Now getting down to the point. All this starts with lost opportunity and then a huge opportunity for Cedar Fair. The lost opportunity started with the acquisition of the park. They had a fledgling park in their hands when it opened, and attendance never hit its peak. Then boom add a waterpark and watch things grow, nothing did. What then really was the kicker is that Kinzel buys out paramount and adds more money to a budget and needs to make more money to support his financial decisions. Then Geauga Lake is obviously real estate worth selling which im sure he has already reached an agreement on, note buying of shares. He knew he was gonna make money off it and its going to cut losses not operating one side. But i hope it fails to say the least. Me being very upset will not see how well that waterpark does, its not going to bring in that much income.

However, just like a few others i want to say that Cedar Fair has lost my money. I will gladly give to the parks that have the whole package in the views of their patrons. I would prefer going to Kennywood and Holiday world much more than dealing with this bs of fattening his Ohio cows that are Cedar Point and Kings Island. The almighty dollar is a sickening reality when things like this happen. A good business man is a also a snake, Dick Kinzel you are just one of those creatures that crawls on your belly. Good luck, with your egotistical ideas, and your legacy that we once talked about, but to me its been tarnished by ruining something that has always been a part of my life and brought me happiness.

Flame me i dont really care, it just upsets me i can see others points and i can see my own, i am just pretty disappointed with this decision.

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