Cooperative wants to resurrect Whalom Park

Posted Monday, April 4, 2016 8:37 AM | Contributed by Jeff

If 1,000 local residents managed to band together and invest $300 each, New Whalom Treasurer Mike Coutamarsh says the new park could be open within the year. A concentrated effort from locals isn't far from what members of the New Whalom Cooperative are hoping for. Because it is a cooperative organization, the new park would be owned by consumers, each getting a stake in the project after paying a minimum $300 buy-in.

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Monday, April 4, 2016 9:42 AM

I think they're *enormously* underestimating how much deterioration takes place over the years.

Or they're talking about downsizing on the order of Miracle Strip...

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Monday, April 4, 2016 11:12 AM

My goodness yes. My first thought was resurrect from what? Literally, the ashes, right?
Miracle strip ended badly for a variety of reasons, but I think the best approach (if you need to have an amusement park in a spot formerly occupied) is to just start over. And don't try to call it or have it be something from the past that it clearly is not.
I'd guess it's a tactic used to garner greater public support and perhaps even successfully raise funds when they announce that a long-time favorite could be "coming back".

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Monday, April 4, 2016 12:14 PM

It's just like the "save Geauga Lake" folks. It's impossible to save what is already gone. You can always build a new one, but it's never going to be the same.

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Monday, April 4, 2016 1:19 PM

Isn't that exactly what they're trying to do? If they're talking about site selection, it's not to open an existing site.

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Monday, April 4, 2016 2:35 PM

Whoops, jumped right in there before I completely read it.

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Monday, April 4, 2016 5:35 PM

Another pie-in-the-sky concept that will never get built. $300,000 probably isn't enough to buy the building, let alone rides and attractions to fill it inside.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016 3:38 PM

I volunteer for the New Whalom Coop, so I will try and respond to your comments the best I can.

rollergator said:

I think they're *enormously* underestimating how much deterioration takes place over the years.

Or they're talking about downsizing on the order of Miracle Strip...

This project would not be on the original property. regretfully what was Whalom Park is now condos. The Whalom rides were are looking to return are well cared for and being stored or operated by the individuals or companies that purchased them.

Yes the park would be downsized but only as a starting point but Whalom wasn't a very big park to start with. The park was 33 acres and much of that was parking lot and picnic grounds.

RCMAC

My goodness yes. My first thought was resurrect from what? Literally, the ashes, right?
Miracle strip ended badly for a variety of reasons, but I think the best approach (if you need to have an amusement park in a spot formerly occupied) is to just start over. And don't try to call it or have it be something from the past that it clearly is not.
I'd guess it's a tactic used to garner greater public support and perhaps even successfully raise funds when they announce that a long-time favorite could be "coming back".

Exactly resurrect what! With the park closed and condos there what is there to resurrect. The goal is not simply about bringing back a piece of Whalom park but return family entertainment and memories to the area. Currently there are very few entertainment options and much of it is seasonal.

As for using the name it's simply locals want it back and we would be accomplishing that in a small way. The rides we would be starting off with are from the original park and we would be creating a permanent location to the Whalom museum which we have been presenting at local events.

BrettV

It's just like the "save Geauga Lake" folks. It's impossible to save what is already gone. You can always build a new one, but it's never going to be the same.

We started off like them with a focus on the original property. We are at IAAPA talking with banks when The news of a new developer was to take over the property and build condos. we looking into the parking lot but the property has 3 owners and let led to problems. we stepped back and built up our museum while looking for new opportunities. with a opportunity available we're trying to move forward.

Mr Six

Another pie-in-the-sky concept that will never get built. $300,000 probably isn't enough to buy the building, let alone rides and attractions to fill it inside.

your right it won't buy the building. The purchase price with equipment is $1.5 million. The $300k is based on a lease to own agreement we are currently negotiating. it would also go into installation and transport of a few kiddie rides and basic rehab. We would grown from there.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016 9:50 PM

I have no idea how there's demand for a huge condo complex in this out-of-the-way place, yet it happened. However, it's an even further stretch of the imagination that there's a demand to rebuild this park. It failed for a reason; no one was interested.

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Thursday, April 7, 2016 11:05 PM

bjames said:

I have no idea how there's demand for a huge condo complex in this out-of-the-way place, yet it happened. However, it's an even further stretch of the imagination that there's a demand to rebuild this park. It failed for a reason; no one was interested.

The park itself didn't fail. in it's last years it was profitable. The park was the unfortunate side effect of greed and nothing else. The park was owned by many family members and some of them were not interested in staying in. instead of selling to family or settling for their share they sold to the highest bidder. That bidder also ran the food for the park. He got majority control and decided he could make more money selling the land to a developer then to operate the park. He also went as far to award his company an extended food contract and sued the park for lost revenue after he forced the closure.

As for interest it was a small park and in turn got a small park attendance pulling an average annual attendance of 300K. While by definition it was a park it was more of a family Entertainment Center.

As for condos, most of them are sold and other developments have popped up on land of old attraction like local drive ins. The original park wasn't that out of the way. 15 minutes of driving from a exit of a major highway rout.

Last edited by MRCEagle, Thursday, April 7, 2016 11:06 PM
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Friday, April 8, 2016 8:44 AM

Kiddieland in Melrose Park, Illinois suffered a similar fate. The family members that owned the land and the family members that owned the park couldn't come to agreement; the landowners sold the land and the park owners had to close the park.

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