Commissioners vote to move forward with sheriff's sale of Conneaut Lake Park

Posted Monday, August 11, 2014 6:20 PM | Contributed by jkpark

Conneaut Lake Park is being moved toward a sheriff’s sale to pay off its more than $925,000 worth of property tax debt owed to four government entities.

Read more from The Meadville Tribune.

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Monday, August 11, 2014 6:29 PM
birdhombre's avatar

And then the next day...

Mark Turner, executive director of the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County, says park trustees will consider filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to stop the sale and freeze assets. He said the redevelopment agency could then proceed with plans to revitalize and expand the park.

Last edited by birdhombre, Monday, August 11, 2014 6:29 PM
Monday, August 11, 2014 6:54 PM
sws's avatar

I hope they have the fire department on stand-by.

Monday, August 11, 2014 7:21 PM

It wouldn't surprise me if a sale yields only ten percent of the monies owed, hardly worth the effort. Of course there will be those that say that's ten percent more than what they had recovered up to this point.

Last edited by Dutchman, Monday, August 11, 2014 7:23 PM
Monday, August 11, 2014 8:19 PM
rollergator's avatar

But doesn't putting the park out of business eliminate any chance of recovering any additional funds beyond the "flea market" price of this sale? Or are they willing to concede that the local area is unable to sustain a minimal amusement park? I don't know how much business the park brings to the local economy, but a shuttered business brings ZERO...

Monday, August 11, 2014 8:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

The land itself has to be worth something. I don't know that it's worth a million dollars, but they'll certainly recover something for it. Regardless, if it is sold off, I doubt very much it will ever be an amusement park again.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Monday, August 11, 2014 11:09 PM

Lakeside land like that is surely ripe for housing development. I don't know who lives there, or what they have, but I picture nice houses going for a pretty penny.

Sadly. I'd heard about Conneaut all my life, imagined it must be a really great, unusual place, and then finally was able to spend an afternoon/evening there just once. And this was after everything started to go downhill, and it wasnt nearly as bad off as it is now. This may be a foolish, but I've often thought how great it would be if I could get my hands on that place and really turn it around. And foolish because I'm not sure who would come after I was done.

Monday, August 11, 2014 11:25 PM

Someone please, once and for all, stick a fork in this park. Time to move on...

Monday, August 11, 2014 11:57 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I have to agree with Hanging n' Banging. Conneaut was one of the host parks for ACE's 2010 convention; my traveling companions and I stayed at the Hotel Conneaut.

Sometimes, you just have to acknowledge it's time to let go. The people running the park and the hotel have made a valiant effort... but it's just too late.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 12:13 AM
LostKause's avatar

If only they had decided to offer a front-of-the-line pass and charged $25 for parking, maybe the park could have been saved. ;)

I said a long time ago that they should just give up. If not enough people are interested in purchasing your product, you should either find another product to sell or just stop.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 12:50 AM

I just read another article about this, and it indicates something rather interesting...

Apparently, the original "plan" was to sell the park at a tax auction, which would require each of the properties making up the park to be sold separately. The sheriff's sale allows for a foreclosure on the entire property, which would then be sold as a single unit. That would seem to increase the chances of the park being sold to a single entity, possibly including a single entity who would be interested in operating it as a going concern.

What I wonder is who would buy the park, and could it possibly bring enough to cover the outstanding tax bill? And what becomes of the tax bill? If the park sells for less than the $900k, is the tax bill considered discharged? Or is a buyer buying himself a massive tax debt along with a burned out hulk of an amusement park?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 1:02 AM
birdhombre's avatar

From the article Dave linked:

Watts said a general promise to pay taxes by using the sale of excess property may not work because there also is another $2.5 million owed by the park to other creditors.

Yikes, that's the first I'd heard of this additional $2.5 million owed. What a mess.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 2:00 AM

I discovered last week that this park has actually been on borrowed time since the mid-1990s.

See the article reproduced in my trip report:

I develop Retro Games for macOS, iPhone, and iPad when not riding coasters.


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