Couch says Americana to remain closed this year

Posted | Contributed by Jacob

According to park owner Jerry Couch, American will not be open until next year. He says he needs more time to develop the surrounding area and establish a management team.

Local officials are skeptical and note that no permits have been filed.

Read the whole story from The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Jeff's avatar
I hate to say it, but I don't believe this guy even has a business plan. What's that line he gave about supporting the park with camper sales? How many amusement park goers want to buy a camper?

Sadly, I get the impression that the park is in the wrong hands. What a shame.

Webmaster/Admin -

I wish somebody would buy the park and then smack his hands with a ruler. I think we've seen the last of Americana.


"Hey kids, let's get one more ride on the Eagle, and then give that pop-up trailer a try!"
I smell a tax write off.....
john peck's avatar
Now, now boys, Couch is choking here a bit, as we know. He actually sold the Tempest To Coney Island (that info is on the unnofficial guide to americana) Couch also has all rides for sale on (though i don't know where.

Couch will do okay at the camping area, perhaps he will try to make a year round camping park. This will also be a place to stay "WHEN" Americana..The Thill Parkā„¢ opens.

I wonder what is up with the Fantasy Farm Amusement Park Hotel

I seriously doubt he will know how to run this when it dos open

He has also put a lot of money into the park for remodeling the dance floor. I think it will work.
Its got to work! *** This post was edited by john peck on 3/1/2001. ***
I hope somebody can save the Screeching Eagle if the park does go under, which according to the book "The American Roller Coaster" was built in 1927. We can't lose too many more of these old coasters. Hopefully someone will take a chance and move it like The Wild One, Phoenix, and Comet.
I think the basic problem is that he's in over his head. What he probably ought to do is to bring in a design and management consultant to run the park for him, at least to get the place restarted...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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I defend Couch for making an effort to save the park... its obvious that he has put money into Americana, trying to re-open it. However, I am now starting to doubt his intentions. He states that the park will re-open in 2002, but supposedly all the rides are for sale? He is going to add buildings, but no permits have been filed as of now?

In all honesty, I really don't see how Americana can survive. Ohio has SFWoA, Cedar Point, and Kings Island, and Kennywood is relatively close by in Pittsburgh, PA. That's a lot of competition in the area, and I don't see how Americana can grab enough patrons and make enough money to stay afloat as a wonderful little traditional park. The public doesn't seem to respect older, more intimate parks like we enthusiasts do (for the most part).

I hate to say it, but I think its time to start asking parks like Knoebels and Canobie Lake if they are interested in a 1927 John Miller out & backer!
You have to wonder what he is talking about with the last statement. Does he mean that he was going to take his profits from his Camper Business and sink it into the park, or that he is going to covert the park into an RV sales/amusement park? Having not filed for any building permits. Whats he waiting for? I am pretty skeptical.
I too fear for the wonderful Screeching Eagle. Although it's been a while, I remember it being WONDERFUL. If the park does not open I sure hope someone saves that coaster.

It's probably just wishful thinking, but I would like it if PKI took the Eagle. Man would that make their wooden lineup unparalelled!

What, so they can remove the padding from the seats, take out the last drop, and add a couple of trim brakes?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
I am sorry guys, but PKI better not TOUCH my Eagle!!! I do not want it turned into MI:2 THE VOYAGE HOME or whatever that movie thing was called. :) I don't want it changed at all. If they did take it, no one but coaster preservationists would understand, and everyone would still wait 6 hours for Sonny.

There is no comparison between the fun I had on the Eagle alone, and the reworked, heavily braked, dips removed (Racer) woodies that now reside at PKI. If only we could all travel back to 1983, when they were at their best. PKI would be great in the pine dept. if they ran theirs like Dominion does (Take a spin on their junior and Grizzly and see what I mean!). Maybe the Eagle should go there.......
"Scooby's Ghoster Coaster (PKD) looks too intense for me!"
Got to agree with RideMan and ARROW GUY. I would rather see the Eagle go to a smaller, traditional type park vs. a chain. First we need to know how confident Mr. Couch is that he can get the park opened next year so that the Eagle does not sit out in the elements too long with out being maintained or has he already had some work done on it lately?
john peck's avatar
Lets not forget the Eagle came from a small traditional park. Opening in Zanesville in 1927, at Moxhaila Park, the Eagle was removed in 1938 or so and came to Americana.

There are also people who think someone like Kennywood or Six Flags should buy the park.

Before Couch's purchase, there were 5 or six different companies looking to buy it. The owners wanted to sell it to somone local, so If Couch can't take care of it, It may go back up for sale locally.

Also keep in mind, people, that even with such large Amusement companies in Ohio, there are plenty of small picnic/local parks surviving here. Including:
Strickers Grove
Coney Island
Vollmers Park
Erieview Park
Wyandot Lake
Dover lake
Memphis Kiddie park
Tuscora Park

I just don't see why Park River West Inc. gave up hope with it so fast
This is a shame. I doubt there's a park out there - including the Kennywood/Knoebel's types - that would run the Eagle without modifications. The Eagle has insane air - I mean DANGEROUS air; in fact, there's more air on that last drop alone than on all the coasters at PKI combined. Oh well. At least I have my memories. Along with those bruises on the top of my legs from being catapulted a foot-and-a-half into the single-position lap bar ...
It more likely that Americana will either re-open in 2002 under someones ownership as a niche park, like Knobels, that it being torn down or otherwise moved. Her's hoping for someone to do something in 2002.

2001- the year of flight!
You are right about that air spewey! In my opinion it was the best stand-up coaster in Ohio!!! May someone somewhere rescue this glorius and unique thrill machine.
"I can't find Screechin' Eagle1!"
If a park needs the Eagle its Paramounts Great America. Then they could finally have a woody worth getting in line for, plus the fact that is been rescued and restored would be alot of free exposure. Damn im good......someone give me money.
I would fear for the worst if a them park chain were to purchase the Eagle, as it would probably be reprofiled to the point where no one would recognize it anymore. Personally, I think the coaster would fit into Kennywood perfectly, as it would round out their awesome collection of John Miller coasters... plus they would probably operate it with very few changes. After all, the Jack Rabbit has a moment of extreme air and all that secures the riders is a leather belt!

I'm not a preservation expert, but I think it might be wise to write some letters to a handful of our nation's remaining traditional/small parks and stress the fact that the Eagle needs a good home, and that other parks throughout the country that relocated wooden coasters have the utmost respect of enthusiasts and the general public alike. In fact, I'm going to do that right now, before its too late. We already lost one Miller coaster within the past few months, lets not lose another one.
You forgot a few parks...

Pioneer Waterland and Adventure Park
Erieview Park
Surf Cincinnati
Clay's Park

This is a fact. Ohio has some action.

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