Conneaut Lake Park looking for $125k in donations to get Blue Streak running

Posted Monday, February 1, 2010 12:25 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park are seeking donations to help put the Blue Streak back in operation this summer for the first time since the 2006 season. Jack Moyers, chairman of the Trustees, said $125,000 is needed to not only make repairs, but to get the Blue Streak in a position where the $65,000- to $85,000-a-year maintenance fees previously required of the Blue Streak would no longer be needed.

Read more from The Meadville Tribune.

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Monday, February 1, 2010 2:41 PM

SOO happy to see this up :) Thanks Jeff! I may be only a minority, but I believe in miracles and just 'cool things happening'. So I hope to ride Blue Streak this summer and many more to come! MUCH stranger and unlikely things have happened in the industry...

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Monday, February 1, 2010 4:03 PM

Doesn't change the fact that I think it's a waste of time. It just happened to be newsworthy enough for a mainstream outlet to report on it.

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Monday, February 1, 2010 4:57 PM

It bothers me that a business is seeking donations. If a business is that bad off that they cannot get a flagship attraction operating, then it's time to move on. My family went to Conneaut Lake every summer for a week at a time, I have very fond memories of Blue Streak, The Bug, Hell Hole and many other attractions, but still I'm not moved enough to donate to it's cause.

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Monday, February 1, 2010 5:12 PM

If Conneaut Lake Park truly is as lost as some believe, I have to wonder why and how Arnolds Park which was in a similar situation managed to get enough donations to pull itself out from a possible doomsday scenario. I firmly believe that if the area wanted the park to pull together they would find a way to do it. Maybe some things just need to change in how they get funded. Why couldn't they come up with some system to aid the park if it truly helps the areas economy as much as we are led to believe.

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Monday, February 1, 2010 7:19 PM

What if they do? Will they be back again next year looking for handouts? This has been going on for years now.

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Monday, February 1, 2010 7:58 PM

DS said:
It bothers me that a business is seeking donations. If a business is that bad off that they cannot get a flagship attraction operating, then it's time to move on. My family went to Conneaut Lake every summer for a week at a time, I have very fond memories of Blue Streak, The Bug, Hell Hole and many other attractions, but still I'm not moved enough to donate to it's cause.

Personally, it bothers me that businesses seek taxpayer money to stay in operation. At least a donation is voluntary. It bothers me that Dick Kinzel sees the money I invested in units for his company as a donation toward his golden parachute.

Even beyond the direct bailouts we've been seeing the past few years, businesses commonly receive grants and low interest loans from the state or feds for improvements or to increase or retain their workforces. Not to mention all the incentives and tax breaks companies receive to move to a certain location. Why not give parks state grants for economic development or for tourism?

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Monday, February 1, 2010 8:11 PM

Jeff said:
Doesn't change the fact that I think it's a waste of time. It just happened to be newsworthy enough for a mainstream outlet to report on it.

But you made someone happy (who quite often differs on your views) anyway. How cool is that!? *kudos*

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Monday, February 1, 2010 8:40 PM

I'm starting to get tired of the underhanded things you imply about bias. The guidelines for what gets posted in news have nothing to do with what my views are. Bona fide news gets posted, regardless of what I think.

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Monday, February 1, 2010 9:11 PM

^I wasn't trying to be underhanded or bias Jeff, I was thanking you sincerely. And being honest, and doing my best to be nice :) Things get lost in translation, didn't intend it any other way than a nice way.

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Monday, February 1, 2010 9:25 PM

Conneaut has been suffering for years from peoples doing in the past. It's not like the park isn't making any money, it's just what they're making isn't enough to cover the lingering mistakes.

Being from a family with a business loss, it makes me happy that they can plan to open at all.

I really hope 2010 is the year where they can get enough money saved to where they can quit asking for help and move forward.

That brings up a question... did the park get an insurance check from the fire, or was the ballroom not insured?

Last edited by john peck, Monday, February 1, 2010 9:25 PM
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Monday, February 1, 2010 10:42 PM

To be honest this seems like alot to be asking, just to restore a roller coaster. Sure it may be sentimental to a lot of people around the area of the ride or who have rode it, but it seems a bit excessive to ask for money even from these people.

If i were to a run a company and not foot the bill for all of my expenses and ask others to do so i would be laughed at. If you want to run a business you must provide a service that is started with your own money. I however, do not believe that even if they were to foot the bill to fix it themselves that this single ride would bring people there to create a solid base of money to improve other rides or bring other attractions in as well.

No offense to the park, but this type of behavior seems to repel customers rather than encourage them to patronize the park.

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Monday, February 1, 2010 11:33 PM

Hey, I need some money to buy me a midi keyboard controller for my next music project. I already have the guitar, and some other instruments that I plan on using to write and record with, and the Mac and recording software, but I need a midi keyboard controller before I can begin. I am asking for donations to help me raise $300 for the item. You will be helping me to make create music that I can sell on ITunes and other music sites. Fans of music, please help...

I'm not really looking for donations. I'll save up and buy it myself. But my point has been made.

It's really nice to see that my opinion of the subject is a shared one. I don't see that everyday here at CoasterBuzz. :)

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010 12:19 AM

I don't see the point. No harm in asking. If the park gets the cash, swell, if not, so long Blue Streak. I'm with RGB in that it certainly beats looking for government bailouts.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010 12:14 PM

RatherGoodBear said:


DS said:
It bothers me that a business is seeking donations. If a business is that bad off that they cannot get a flagship attraction operating, then it's time to move on. My family went to Conneaut Lake every summer for a week at a time, I have very fond memories of Blue Streak, The Bug, Hell Hole and many other attractions, but still I'm not moved enough to donate to it's cause.

Personally, it bothers me that businesses seek taxpayer money to stay in operation. At least a donation is voluntary. It bothers me that Dick Kinzel sees the money I invested in units for his company as a donation toward his golden parachute.

Even beyond the direct bailouts we've been seeing the past few years, businesses commonly receive grants and low interest loans from the state or feds for improvements or to increase or retain their workforces. Not to mention all the incentives and tax breaks companies receive to move to a certain location. Why not give parks state grants for economic development or for tourism?


Good points! AIG, GM, not to mention PNC so they could use the bail-out money to buy National City. Our taxes bailed them out. Next time you buy a GM, ask them for a bail-out and watch them laugh...

At least asking for donations is better than having some governing power say:;" Hey, here's a few million/billion! The American People won't mind and who cares if they do? I can't run for a third term anyway..."

Last edited by FLYINGSCOOTER, Tuesday, February 2, 2010 12:15 PM
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Tuesday, February 2, 2010 12:50 PM

I don't think the source of the money is nearly as relevant as how it is used and whether or not it will solve the problem. CLP (whether under current mgmt or not) has asked for money several times in the past under the same premise that it's all that is needed to get the park back on its feet and successful. And those times in the past, it wasn't enough.

I think it's fair to at least be asking the question, what's different about this time versus the last times. Yes, it's being run by different management now. Maybe that's enough to make the difference this time in operating revenue along with the plan to pay off the old debt from different sources of revenue (leases, I think?). I don't know.

I think people have a right to see the business model and plan before being asked to commit their money to this endeavor. But hey, if folks are willing to give money without those reassurances, then that's ok, too. (I mean, I think that's what the investors at Wild West World did, right? ;) )

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010 2:41 PM

I completely get that. I really do. The question is, can they run it like a business and still turn a profit? Wanting to and being able to are two very different things.

One of the red flags to me (and to be clear I'm not "poo-pooing" this initiative; I'm just wanting to discuss all of the angles) is that they indicate they need to have Blue Streak operational in order to sustain the park. A single attraction should compliment the park experience, but I'm not sure it should wholly support it.

And where did this $125,000 figure come from? How is it going to eliminate the previously required $65 - $85,000 per year maintenance expenses? Hasn't the wood just been rotting on it the past couple of years? Seems to me that a great deal of repair will be needed. Anyone with a better understanding of such things know (RideMan?)

Has CLP published their financial statements from last year?

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010 3:08 PM

I have to still question why a "public trust" isnt funded publicly. If they really want it to remain a public entity then the public must provide a means financially for it. This might not be quite on the same terms as a library, the police, or a fire department. If the public doesnt want to fund their public trust maybe the public should sell the park so that it can return to private ownership where in theory they might be able to go through bankruptcy to get rid of the debt from previous owners...Isnt that what Six Flags is doing?

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010 4:12 PM

Then if it's government owned, operating a business for any reason doesn't seem to be in anyone's best interest.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010 5:25 PM

LostKause said:
Hey, I need some money to buy me a midi keyboard controller for my next music project. I already have the guitar, and some other instruments that I plan on using to write and record with, and the Mac and recording software, but I need a midi keyboard controller before I can begin. I am asking for donations to help me raise $300 for the item. You will be helping me to make create music that I can sell on ITunes and other music sites. Fans of music, please help...

That is essentially what a lot of parents do on a regular basis with respect to their kids' activities. Friends and family hit me up all the time asking for donations or to buy raffle tickets (which typically amount to nothing other than a donation) to help pay for new uniforms, the cost of some activity/sport, etc. At first, I thought it was a joke. Then when I found out it was serious, I was amazed that they could actually make the request with a straight face. I asked one of the dads if he was going to subsidize my kids computer camps or horseback riding/music lessons and he just looked back at me blankly. I told him never mind and wrote him a check. To me, I expect to pay for my kids activities and other parents should pay for their kids activities and we can call it even. But at least in my neighborhood, those are fighting words.

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