Conneaut Lake debt auction may force sale of park

Posted Wednesday, December 31, 2008 1:29 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Summit Township has accepted the lone bid for the sale of a $152,000 debt the township is owed by Conneaut Lake Park. A bid of $200,000 was submitted Tuesday afternoon at the township’s year-end meeting. The as-yet-unnamed winning bidder could end up forcing a sale of park assets — including land — to satisfy the judgment by filing for a writ of execution with county court, according to Bob Bailey, an attorney with Shafer Law Firm, who handles sheriff’s sales for the county.

Read more from The Meadville Tribune.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008 2:10 PM
MidwavePC's avatar

Times were looking up for the park's reorganization and change of management, including over $46,000 of income during the combined PumpkinFest and Ghost Lake events, plus current Holiday At The Park event which continues into the upcoming weekend!

http://www.conneautlakepark.com

http://www.clpbeachclub.com

Hopefully the people now leasing the lake properties successfully can somehow be able to keep their profitable new businesses going

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008 8:02 PM
Jeff's avatar

That's what we've been hearing now for years. I don't think optimism alone is going to get the park anywhere.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, January 1, 2009 9:01 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

How is the park able to pay any employees at this time? I guess I figured there wouldn't be any due to the park's status.


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Thursday, January 1, 2009 9:09 PM
Carrie M.'s avatar

That's cool. I'm interested in knowing more. What do you do for the park? How many others are volunteering their time? Are there any liability issues with that? What kind of work is being done at the park?


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Friday, January 2, 2009 7:38 AM

Im of two minds on this. Without any debt the park could probably survive and at least break even. The three times I was there were pretty steady crowds. A bigger waterpark is needed.The other mind is, The park wasn't able to swing a big enough profit to pay down the debt in relativly good times. How would it work now?.Trust me, I know the feeling, I've got a park ten miles from me that I find much more enjoyable than KI just rotting away. Only a couple of its rides were auctioned off and the Screechin Eagle will never fly again.

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Friday, January 2, 2009 9:21 AM

Hey Key,

Have they begun the renovation on the Hotel?


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

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Monday, January 5, 2009 8:24 AM
MidwavePC's avatar

WOW....not as bad as it seemed....


SUMMIT TOWNSHIP — “Our intent is in historic preservation of the park and our intent is to cause it to happen,” Peter Acker said Friday.

Acker, of Hermitage in Mercer County, is the attorney for First Capital Finance Inc., which had the lone bid that bought some of Conneaut Lake Park’s outstanding debt from Summit Township.

read more here....

http://www.meadvilletribune.com/local/local_story_002224933.html

Last edited by MidwavePC, Monday, January 5, 2009 8:26 AM
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Monday, January 5, 2009 9:10 AM

I think there is a dirty little secret about Conneaut Lake Park that everybody knows, but nobody *really* wants to talk about, and I think it's the secret to the park's survival thus far.

I think the problem is that if the park goes away, a big chunk of that region suddenly becomes economically unviable.

Last time I was up that way, it looked to me like Lake Pymatuning was supporting a pretty extensive recreational ecosystem, but over at Conneaut Lake, everything seemed to be dependent on the park. And by "everything" I mean *everything*. I wonder if that point is well understood (albeit not talked about) by everyone in the region and if that is the reason Conneaut Lake hasn't...and won't...just die.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Monday, January 5, 2009 9:30 AM

I dunno. It seems to me that no park is truly indispensable to its local economy, except for WDW of course. I hope you're right, though, since that would bode well for CLP in the long run.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Monday, January 5, 2009 9:58 AM
Jeff's avatar

That seems kind of chicken-egg, Dave. It sounds to me like the bigger problem is that there is no market period.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, January 5, 2009 11:22 AM
Jason Hammond's avatar

^^I would have to disagree. I'm sure there are a few cities out there that depend quite a bit on the draw that their local park has. Where would Sandusky have been without Cedar Point? It would have been just another rural town in Ohio that no one ever heard of.

Last edited by Jason Hammond, Monday, January 5, 2009 11:23 AM

843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
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Monday, January 5, 2009 12:09 PM

Obviously, Cedar Point has been a big draw for the city. But even in its absence, the city would still have had the Lake, the bay, access to Kelly's Island/Put-in-Bay, fishing tourism, etc. Sandusky isn't completely dependent on CP for its survival.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Monday, January 5, 2009 4:13 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

I would agree that it isn't completely dependent on it now. But, I doubt Sandusky would be what it is today without the park. You can get to the islands from Sandusky. But, Marblehead and Catawba are a lot closer. I'd venture a guess that of the people going to the islands from Sandusky, most are either residents of the area, or vacationers who are in Sandusky because of Cedar Point and the other resorts. I'd feel safe in saying that the Indoor resorts would never have shown up if Cedar Point wasn't there first.


843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
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Monday, January 5, 2009 4:22 PM

Yeah, I would say that's a safe bet (about the waterparks). Or maybe Sandusky would only have received one -- much as Erie, PA did with Splash Lagoon (I'm estimating Waldameer to have a much slighter drawing effect than CP, obviously.) Although then again, Erie is probably three or four times larger than Sandusky, so maybe it's not a valid comparison.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Monday, January 5, 2009 8:18 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

They have the casino and the state park there too. I remember Steve Gorman saying that Presque Isle State Park is the most visited PA state park.


843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
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Monday, January 5, 2009 10:56 PM

Someday I'll have to plan a visit in town to do more than ride the Comet, Wacky Shack and RFII all day. :)


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Monday, January 5, 2009 10:57 PM
beast7369's avatar

I have to actually wonder if some of these cheaper smaller parks will do really well the next couple of years while we are in the midst of our economic catastrophe. It is a much cheaper way to go to spend some quality fun family time together. This economy might be the best time to relaunch a local park such as Conneaut.


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Tuesday, January 6, 2009 2:19 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RideMan said:
I think there is a dirty little secret about Conneaut Lake Park that everybody knows, but nobody *really* wants to talk about, and I think it's the secret to the park's survival thus far.

I think the problem is that if the park goes away, a big chunk of that region suddenly becomes economically unviable.

Interesting.

If I had to make the call, I would have said the opposite. The park is dying because the area has become economically unviable over the past few years.

I think it was a delicate balance - especially in the last decade or so and the two played off of each other. One little change on either side and the death spiral is set.

Not sure if less people seem to be going to that area because of the park or less are going to the park because of the area, but something gave.


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Tuesday, January 6, 2009 2:02 PM

Either way, Gonch, it comes down to the same thing. There is a real attitude in that area (where I am not, I should mention...) that for the area to survive the park has to be there, and yet we already see that the park appears to be economically unviable. So why has the park been able to hold on all of this time? Go back a couple of years of podcasts and listen to Gonchar try to figure out why Conneaut hasn't died yet. From a purely economic perspective, none of it actually makes any sense.

There is apparently something more powerful at work here that is keeping Conneaut alive. I suspect it has something to do with the raw numbers coming out of local businesses in years when the park does or doesn't operate.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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