Conneaut Lake ride and hotel operators stuck in limbo over tax situation

Posted Friday, May 3, 2013 9:16 AM | Contributed by Jeff

While a plan has yet to come forward on how Conneaut Lake Park will resolve hundreds of thousands in back taxes owed to area governments, business operators at the amusement park worry about the potential fallout from negative publicity about the lack of a repayment plan.

Read more from The Meadville Tribune.

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Saturday, May 4, 2013 12:28 AM

Riiigggghhhtt, because bad publicity over the delinquent taxes is the park's biggest problem.

I don't know if this is really bad reporting or if what I'm reading is accurate. Between two different leasing agencies, more than 1.5 million dollars has been put forth in renovations and restoration of the piece of crap property we see today? And one of those folks is in a dispute with the park over a long-term lease agreement that the company didn't have a lawyer present for signing and therefore didn't know it needed to be notarized to be recorded? Was it on a napkin in the Beach Club?

And then there's this gem:

Park Restoration LLC has submitted a proposal to Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park to have Park Restoration not only pay real estate taxes for the entire amusement park property, but also reopen several other areas including the water park, the Jungle Cruise area, the building hosing the Ultimate Trip ride and the park’s convention hall, Sutterlin said.

There is no building that housed the Ultimate Trip. It burned to a crisp. It's gone. But more importantly, that's the same group who is in dispute with them over the signing of the initial lease agreement....that they didn't know how to make legal and stuff.

But yeah, if only the Trustees could save all of the investors from the bad publicity over the delinquent taxes by setting up a payment plan...and you know, continuing to pass the bong...then everything will be ok.

Correction: One leasing agent invested 1/2 a million to operate the park, while the other invested 1 million for renovations and restorations. My bad.

Last edited by Carrie J., Saturday, May 4, 2013 12:32 AM
Saturday, May 4, 2013 12:48 AM

Can't Pepsi Refresh pay their taxes?

Saturday, May 4, 2013 9:29 AM

Carrie J.: the building that housed Ultimate Trip did not burn in the ballroom fire. Ultimate Trip's roof collapsed but the building is still there--it was not lost in the fire.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 10:25 AM

No, you're right in that it might not have burned. But the building beyond the facade is definitely not still there. It can't just be "reopened" but rather would need to be rebuilt.



Saturday, May 4, 2013 11:40 AM

NO, the building never did burn. It was a building pushing 90+ years that once housed a theatre, then a bowling alley, then the scrambler, then walk-in freezers. Never burned. The roof collapsed, and the rest of it was removed, but the facade was saved. I am not 100% certain it will be around much longer either, but we will see.

The article is based off old information. Park Restoration wanting to 'spend more' is in lease disputes with the Board, and the Board has the upper hand in several of the issues. The rent payments are in question, and thats a legal issue that Crawford County has to work out. PR LLC and Adams Amusements have made good adancements, but they are two different mindsets and entities.

Their will be no Jungle Cruise ride, as thats in a runoff area, and the waterpark needs heavy repairs. PR LLC is not a park operator, and its much easier to throw money at something, then walk away in leiu of investing in a plan to operate and maintain. The Hotel Conneaut, which at one time was a decent place, is poorly reviewed on Trip Advisor. Training maids and front desk staff is different than lifeguards.

Its still a long road to making progress, but the past debts are slowly being paid, and Adams is moving forward with upgrades.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 12:34 PM

AJ - you'd probably know better than anyone else here - is Adams Amusements the parent company of STI (Structural Technologies, Inc.)? Seems more likely than the other way around...?

(Of course, if anyone else knows for sure, feel free...)

Last edited by rollergator, Saturday, May 4, 2013 12:35 PM
Saturday, May 4, 2013 1:05 PM

Agent Johnson said:

NO, the building never did burn. It was a building pushing 90+ years that once housed a theatre, then a bowling alley, then the scrambler, then walk-in freezers. Never burned. The roof collapsed, and the rest of it was removed, but the facade was saved. I am not 100% certain it will be around much longer either, but we will see.

Yep, I acknowledged that. My original point was that the building cannot just be "reopened", because it's not there anymore.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 2:52 PM

"the building hosing the Ultimate Trip ride"

Maybe if they had a hose, the housing may not have burned down.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 3:35 PM

Adams Amusements is the 'amusement operating co.' of STI, correct. Same folks, different tax ID number. I was up their in February doing an extensive tour, and Adams has done some really good things. The rides are getting the much overdue TLC, and the Blue Streak is greatly improved.

But, with the County-Trust, there is limitations on just how much people can do. The whole public ownership thing, which also is in effect at Playland and Lakemont Park, all leads to different results. Lakemont scored when RAS Construction took the reins, and recently signed a 50 year lease extension. Playland, well there is a new sheriff in town, and we will see if they have a big enough checkbook.

At Conneaut, PR LLC is interpeting the lease a certain way to help their balance sheet. As I stated earlier, its easy to fire a warning shot in the press about 'whats over there' can be made better. Anyone who works this business knows its never easy to do anything and show a fast profit.

I am more than aware of sections of the park with look deplorable. I hate that they use volunteer labor. But, if the Trustees are getting full rent payments, there can be continued cleanup, upgrades, and back-tax payments.

Saturday, May 4, 2013 8:55 PM

Honestly, I think the fact that the rubble at the park needs to be clarified by source (fire, roof collapse, vandalism, etc) does nothing toward the idea that there is still potential at the park.

Monday, May 6, 2013 6:41 PM

The term reopen could also mean rebuild, renovate or repair.

If the local community and government wants this park in their future then I think it's time to forgive some of the past property taxes. Conneaut has never had a clean slate to move forward with.

Monday, May 6, 2013 6:43 PM

It could also be argued that the building is already open.


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