Couch on LeSourdsville Lake: "It hurts me"

Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 9:14 AM | Contributed by Jeff

LeSourdsville Lake, an amusement park that opened in 1922 and entertained thousands of families over the years with swimming, rides and concerts, is coming down. The owner has decided to dismantle the southwest Ohio park to expand his RV dealership. "It hurts me, but I've got to move on," owner Jerry Couch said. "I'm moving on with the business that's been good to me, and that's campers."

Read more from AP via The Plain Dealer.

Thursday, May 25, 2006 9:25 AM
What a waste. It doesn't hurt him one damn bit as he pours $2 million into his other business. Two faced liar.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 9:34 AM
If it hurts so much, then I have a great idea on how to ease his pain. ;)
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 9:42 AM
So, "come buy an RV and get 10 free rides on the eagle"?...sad
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:04 AM
Man, another good park down the crapper. You never know. Maybe his RV bussiness will go down the crapper also. ;)
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:16 AM
What a load of b.s. The guy is full of it.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:45 AM
Sometimes I wonder about the thought process of enthusiasts.

"Couch said he lost $500,000 in reopening the park."

I supose he should continue to loose money for you guys in case you have not gotten "the credit" yet. (sigh)

Tip to the 5 posters above: Don't start your own business.
*** This post was edited by Patrick K 5/25/2006 10:48:29 AM ***

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Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:46 AM
It's his property, he can do what he wants with it.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 10:59 AM
Well, there's a big difference between spending $2 million on a business that will make that $2 million back, and one that won't. Obviously, the place has a hard time being competitive as an amusement park. Businesses close everyday. This guys a jerk just because his business is an old amusement park?
*** This post was edited by Gravitationally Challenged 5/25/2006 11:00:47 AM ***
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 11:34 AM
I tend to agree. The business failed. That's life. Every time these debates come up it's as if enthusiasts have no concept of money. The park closing for good is sad, but being sad has nothing to do with having a sustainable business.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 11:55 AM
I see both sides of this but what it boils down to is that when you buy something like Americana/Lesourdsville you are not only buying a business but you are buying an institution. This needs to be considered and taken into thought when you consider closing such a place, wether you like it or not you owe it to the public who has gone there for years and take into consideration how they might feel. In my opinion he should have put it up for sale and gave someone the oppertunity to keep the park open. Yes it's about the money and that is a sad fact!*** This post was edited by Coasterbear 5/25/2006 11:56:15 AM ***
*** This post was edited by Coasterbear 5/25/2006 11:57:36 AM ***
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 12:16 PM
You owe it to the public? An institution? If it was so important, people outside of enthusiast circles would know about it and would have gone there frequently. I never heard of the place until a few years ago, and I've lived in Ohio my entire life.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:13 PM
Yeah, enthusiasts have no concept of money. That's a pretty false blanket statement.

This has nothing to do with the park having lost money when Couch operated it. It has to do with the fact that he claims he has exhausted all options while also claiming he received numerous offers from others to operate/buy the park. It doesn't exactly sound as though the guy was backed into a corner. If he was upfront and honest about things this might be understandable but it always seems as if the guy is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:22 PM
Letting a bankrupt carnival operator run the park in 2002 was probably a big factor in the park failing that season. Didn't he turn down all the other offers to purchase or operate the park for him?

Patrick K: I have been quite successful in business and on my own, actually.

The article states:
"would-be buyers weren't prepared to operate the park "the way it should be done." "

I fail to see how keeping the park closed, partially liquidated, and partially redeveloped into a different business is "the way it should be done". If Couch bought it for the land he should just be honest and upfront about it.

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Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:25 PM
As I posted in another LeSourdsville thread that seems to be buried...

Okay, here's some food for thought... but first a quick story...

About a decade ago, the stores in the center of my hometown were vacant. It wasn't because of lack of demand, it was because the property owners (who were involved in many business ventures) jacked up the rent prices so high that no company in their right mind would take the space. And since the stores were left vacant and were not making the owners any money, they were able to write them off as losses to offset the money made from their other profitable businesses.

Is it possible that Couch WANTS a vacant amusement park? It's been said several times that he was approached with offers by people that wanted to both lease the park and purchase the park but he turned them down. Maybe he is selling off the rides that he knows he can make a quick buck on while keeping a certain number of signature rides that allow him to maintain the property as an amusement park that doesn't operate and "loses" money each year? Maybe a closed amusement park helps his camper business make more money when tax time comes around?

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Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:29 PM
I still can't grasp why the "permanent" rides are not for sale. If he is just money hungry then he would try to sell them. He must have some long term plan for them.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:50 PM
Come on, Rob... you're making character judgments about a guy you don't know, and probably have never met. Again, put your emotion aside for a moment and consider that there's a business position he has to take.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 1:51 PM
Naw, It's not I care about money. Hell, I'm broke. I'm just the type of person that loves nostalgia and I'm sure that the park has alot of it. It just saddens me to see parks close, thats all. I mean, I could give monkey's balls less about the money he lost. Maybe he does good with the RV's. My point is why does it have to always do with the money? I worked for an optical company for many years as an optician and lab tech while I had a side occupation as a welder, just to make ends meet and put food on the table. All they cared about was money and the bottom line. They could have gave a rats (you know) about the customers. Anyhow the world we live in is all about the $ and that stinks to high heck.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006 2:21 PM
Let me just clarify my first .02 cents. My comment really meant, "why are you selling off most of the park but deciding to keep a few things around"? I can understand what losing half a mil can make people do.

It's as though if you're not some superpark with huge backing your small family owned place is doomed...that's what is really sad!

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Thursday, May 25, 2006 2:23 PM
I'm not making character judgments, I'm merely stating what I DO know about the situation (that he claims he is losing money on the park while also claiming that people have been offering to lease and buy it). I'm also offering up a suggestion for his stance based upon a situation I'm very familiar with (the two situations have many parallels).

I never said or even insinuated that I don't understand Couch's business decision and I don't understand why you always insist on assuming my emotions blind my ability to understand the many aspects of a capitalistic society.

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