Columbus Zoo buying Wyandot Lake

Monday, April 17, 2006 11:16 PM
I know there's been rumors about it before, but it looks like its about to become official.

Monday, April 17, 2006 11:23 PM
This is very interesting. This so called 'extra 15 acres' of land for expansion, would that be the parking lot or that golf club place right behind Wyandot Lake? *** Edited 4/18/2006 3:25:16 AM UTC by Mathyou***
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 1:48 AM
I believe it is the land to the East of the parking lot.

There are a lot of layout changes in the works up there, re-routing roads, relocating parking lots, stuff like that. I haven't seen a master plan, but I have heard quite a bit about it over the years.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 7:12 AM
^I am really not surprised in the least. I just wondered WHEN it was going to happen.

Wyandot is ok, but the Zoo is much more fun. ;-)


Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:23 AM
This is a hell of a deal for the zoo in my opinion. I think we will see that they will add some more water attractions these next few years.

Zoo's have to find their own niche to really stay alive, whether it is some sort of attraction or shows.

After hearing all the crap about the detroit zoo it is good to hear some positive news about a zoo for once in a while.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:52 AM
Not too long ago, there was a conceptual map of the expanded zoo on the Columbus Zoo website. I can't find it there anymore but it did show a new combined entryway for the zoo and Wyandot Lake.

The zoo has been agressively expaning over the last few years. The former carnivore/herbivore exhibit is currently being transformed into the new Asia Quest area. Future plans include an African Plains exhibit and a polar bear exhibit. Lately, there has been a ton of earthmoving around the parking lot, probably preliminary work for the re-routing of Powell road (which will allow the zoo to connect to its land holdings on the other side of that road.

I think this is really good for Wyandot Lake. It's a nice-looking little park, there just isn't much to do there. I do hope that it doesn't get converted into strictly a water park. And they better not do anything too drastic to Sea Dragon (although it *did* survive Six Flags control!)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 11:32 AM
I posted something on this about two months ago. I was told directly by the zoo's Executive Director Jerry Borin that this was going to happen.

Ideally, they want to expand the park to include more modern slides.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 11:48 AM
Yeah, this is great news. Millrace...I saw the same conceptual map months ago appears to have been removed from the site. (I imagine it was originally posted as part of the campaign to get the levy passed in '04.)

Is anyone else surprised by the low price tag ($2M) for the zoo to buy all the physical assets of WL? That might pay a month's interest on SF's $2B debt <g>.

I know that doesn't include the land, but still... (I always figured I'd need about $10M if I won the lottery and wanted to buy WL <G>.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:47 PM
Yeah, I was shocked by the price tag too. The zoo already owns the land, and some of the rides though (including the roller coaster). That has got to be a loss for Six Flags. It may be one of their smaller parks, but the crowds were always big, and they hadn't put any money into it in years.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 2:55 PM

Cedar Creek Mine Ride said:
That has got to be a loss for Six Flags. It may be one of their smaller parks, but the crowds were always big...

According to this article, the park's attendance in 2003 was just 370,000.

In comparison the article states that the zoo brought in 1.3 million people in 2005.

It might not have been as big a loss as we think.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:28 PM
Well, Im undecided. But what has Six Flags done for the park? Other than being THE CHEAP SF SEASON PASS the last couple of years the've only added a slide or two to my knowlege. The rest of the rides and park already existed.

Know I know some locals like to visit a couple times a summer but IMHO a Zoo inclusion can only be a good thing for the Park and may lead to some new things in both slides and rides. No, I never see them gettting a 20 million dollar coaster but a mouse or spinny mouse might be possible in the future to keep things interesting.

Chuck. whos never really had a reason to go there except the wooden coaster. A Zoo included would make it more worth a stop or visit for me.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:43 PM
I see they added a go-kart track called Sunshine Speedway for their lineup in '06. It is a pay per ride attraction though, which they usually are anyway.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 4:11 PM
Yeah, Wyandot Lake "sucked it hard", when I went (only once)the Jet Stream managed to shoot me about 10 to 12 feet in the air after the slide ended. It hurt like hell! Also some rude kid shoved me into a concrete edge on the "lazy river" type ride and managed to give me nasty cut on my toe that caused me to have leave. I'm glad it getting brought out. *** Edited 4/18/2006 11:52:55 PM UTC by Pizzaguy***
Tuesday, April 18, 2006 4:47 PM
I really don't think you can totally blame Six Flags for the lack of activity at Wyandot Lake. The land and parking lot is owned by the city of Columbus, and I think that they were holding off on any expansion until the rerouting of Powell Road and other reorganization plans with the zoo and the adjoining golf course were finalized.

Still, even though Wyandot is tiny, there is space within the existing boundry for Six Flags to erect a ride or two. The only "new" attractions were to replace something taken away: carousel, bumper car fire, etc.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 5:22 PM
I do think this will be a good thing in the end. While losing the cheap SF season pass isn't great, I can't say I've made it another Six Flags park in a couple of years (besides, I question how long the season pass policies will remain under Snyder anyway). I wonder if they'll keep it as 2 gates (guessing yes, and think they probably should), and if the name Wyandot Lake will remain (hopefully it will).

I think we'll see improvements coming more rapidly now. The zoo has been telling Six Flags they wanted them to expand for at least a couple of years. It will probably be more on the water side, but I bet we'll see a couple of new rides eventually too.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 12:40 PM
I just found the masterplan images:

Several images on there.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 3:33 PM
Whatever. This is nothing but a bunch of hullabaloo.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006 3:36 PM
Actually, the hullabaloo was sent to another facility while the zoo renovates the former herbivore area. It will return when the new African Plains area opens a couple years.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006 6:38 PM
Interesting stuff in the drawings. Like that combined main gate, with routes to Wyandot Lake, to the Zoo, and to the picnic grove. If Wyandot becomes part of the Zoo, and it all becomes one big park, then that means they can have a combined picnic and catering facility, and that means that running Powell Rd. through the South end of the property won't destroy Wyandot's picnic grove.

I'd still like to see a drawing, big enough to see some detail, that shows how Riverside Drive, Powell Rd., Glick Rd., the Zoo, Wyandot Lake, the parking area, and the former Church property to the East of the site all relate to the master plan...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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