For many past years, CLP was closed on Mondays. Actually for the past few they were closed Tuesdays as well. This year, they extended hours during the week and on weekends, closing at 10 pm or later on the weekends. Mondays just didn't work out even with a discount promotion. It's the right move to make, especially since they're financially troubled. Why have the place open, with everything powered up and operators standing around, if no one's there to ride. They tried various incentives (I believe Mondays were $5 off all Ride-A-Rama, Wednesdays were half price) to boost attendence on slack days, but to no avail.
The biggest problem at CLP (aside from inexperienced management) is they don't have the money for "marketing". No one knew about the incentive plans or what was a good day to come. They can't afford major advertising blitzes, relying instead on the website and word of mouth. If someone truly wants to help the park, this is where it's needed. The place is a gold mine waiting to be tapped--it's just that few know its there!
As for season pass holders, they actually did a pretty good sale in them this year (a lot more than 5!). And many of them come to the park and spend money, unlike those pass holders at other parks...
I wouldn't write CLP off yet. They're in the best shape ride-wise they've been since the "dark times" and they've been making money (sometimes despite themselves). And while I hate to see any of the park lost, if the land sale goes through, they'll be on very stable ground.
If you haven't been to Conneaut Lake Park, you should go. Book a few nights at the Hotel and see what amusement parks were really like. Until you've experienced the whole package, you have no idea!
I do see an opportunity for them with the closing of Erieview. They should promote the park in NE Ohio and target the people that have been going to Geneva-0n-the Lake but who want to visit an amusement park. They are only an hour's drive away.
Next season they should try to get another flat ride back in operation (maybe a whip or a scrambler). More waterslides might be a good addition as soon as possible in order to boost attendance, especially on weekdays. New water attractions should help boost the season pass sales as well. In the long term, I believe that a walkthrough attraction and a mouse coaster should be added, once the park's finances permit this.
Conneaut was really hopping on Saturday. They had several company picnics booked. The hotel was busy with a wedding reception, and Camperland was packed. All the rides had lines (and people were really enjoying the beautifully restored tumble bug) until several downpours scared a lot of folks away.
That's Fred. My friend Steve told me that he used to be a fixture at Idora Park before moving onto Geauga Lake. He says he won't go to Geauga Lake anymore... something about them not running the ferries in the water anymore...