Geauga Lake----Why bother?

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 1:54 AM
Cedar Fair successfully wiped out 33 years of a highly valued park in this area. Taking the animals away is like taking the family right out of the park. I have been a passholder with my kids for years and this is the first year we don't have one. Why do we need just another amusement park? Why would I want to stand in line all day with hot and crabby kids? Is that their idea of a family fun time? If I were from out of state, GL is the last place I'd go for $35 for half a park. (actually for only 1/3 of the park since the water side isn't open yet)

If they are so wonderful, they would have listened to the many letters and calls they got on behalf of these animals. The animals...y were such a draw, not to mention the only park like it in this part of the country. CF claims it has no expertise in animals, but they had the experts right in place from the former Sea World. Although Six Flags didn't do it justice, CF could have combined their management expertise with those of the Wildlife side and could've made it work. What a joke they listen to customers. IF it suits their wallets it does. I for one, cannot help make them richer when they put so many good, caring, talented people out of work.

Sorry for all the typos as it won't let me erase. I know some of you will be angry, but I am too. It makes no sense to rob us of what we loved. And, They did it so quickly it was almost underhanded. Maybe it will work without the animals as they arrogantly think it will, but I as well as many other locals won't be there to see it.


Tuesday, May 4, 2004 2:07 AM
Why bother posting this thread? It is done and over with. And yes, if it suits thier wallet they do it. Cedar Fair is a business, not a charity.

In any case, Six Flags sold it for a reason, and that reason was $$$. Is it a good thing they did what was best for their pocketbooks too?

I had to edit this to throw in some more thoughts.

Geauga lake functioned as an amusement park without animals for years. Why would it not function now? Remember that before Six Flags, Sea World was a completely seperate park, with seperate pricing.

Why did you sign up on coasterbuzz just to post something that you admit will make people angry?

Also, you can use the edit button to fix your mistakes. *** Edited 5/4/2004 6:10:51 AM UTC by James K***

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 2:43 AM
And saying it is now "half a park" is not really right either. If Geauga Lake now is half of a park, then I guess Geauga Lake 1888-1999 was half of a park too...

I think Cedar Fair did the right thing, why keep the animals when they have no experience with them, they don't want to risk screwing something up, resulting in the animals' death.. If you want to see animals, don't complain here, just go to the zoo...

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 6:28 AM

The animals were such a draw

They were?

underhanded ... arrogantly

You obviously have a personal attachment to the wildlife side, but you're not going to win a lot of fans with that argument. We've been over why the animal side doesn't work. Sea World jumped ship and Six Flags couldn't make the "mega-park" stick.

Like James said, Geauga Lake was its own park for decades. It worked before and it'll work again.

If you don't want to stand in line all day with hot, crabby kids and you miss the wildlife, may I suggest the Cleveland Metropark Zoo. It's a very cool place and well worth the visit.

*** Edited 5/4/2004 10:59:41 AM UTC by Gemini***

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 7:08 AM
Maybe instead of *****ing about CF's actions, you could realize that Busch sold the park, and Six Flags did, too. Its not like CF brought over a bunch of tanks and just took over the place with force.
Tuesday, May 4, 2004 7:18 AM
wildlife fan

Finally, someone who agrees with me. The wildlife side is the only thing that got me to buy 4 season passes and travel from Pittsburgh 6 or 7 times last year. Don't get me wrong, the rides side is great, but without the animals, those of us in Pgh. might as well just go to Kennywood or the Pittsburgh zoo. While its true that GL was successful before the Six Flags conversion, Sea world was open at the time and it brought a lot of the customers to the area. I think much of GLs gate came from those who came to Aroura for Sea World and visited GL while in town. The kids, at least my kids, LOVE those animals. I must have seen the Shouka show 6 times last year. Without downsizing, I'm not sure GL can survive without the wildlife.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 7:32 AM
If the wildlife side wasn't there I might have never visited in the first place.

Both times I went that side was just as busy as the park side durring the mid day

Chuck, who liked both sides but what can I do?

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 8:09 AM
I liked it too and I am sad it is gone, but I think it is obvious and it has been stated before that it was not a profitable business.

I think the park will just fine without it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 8:18 AM
What many people don't know is that there are very few zoos across the country that make money. In fact, most are heavily subsidized by local governments.

As beautiful as the Animal Kingdom safari is, the park isn't successful because of the lack of other attractions for the kids (which is now being addressed with the Mt. Everest coaster).

Sea World did ok when Shamu and friends were there. But Shamu was to Sea World what Shivering Timbers is to Michigan's Adventure. Without Shamu you had a shell of a park, Shouka or not. was Six Flags who took the animals, it wasn't Cedar Fair. Though I suspect that if Six Flags had not taken the animals that Cedar Fair would have looked to sell them off anyway.

I confidently say that Geauga Lake is a better value for families when it is in full season. They have a great waterpark that is included in the price of admission and a terrific lineup of rides (far better than in the old Geauga Lake days..which is one good thing to say about the Six Flags era).

If you are just devastated that the animals are gone go back and support your underattended zoos.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 8:19 AM
Look I said it before and I'll say it again:

The entire result of what happened in the last 5 years in Aurora, OH is that Sea World CLOSED. Geauga Lake was bought out by Cedar Fair and Sea World closed. If it was really such a draw and the only reason that the park was worth a visit, then why did Busch see fit to get out in the first place? They knew back when they sold the park to Six Flags that it was going under and wasn't cost effective, so don't blame Cedar Fair or even Six Flags for the departure of your beloved animals. Blame yourself and your fellow regional parkgoers who didn't visit Sea World enough to make it worthwhile for anyone to keep open.

Is it really that hard to see?

Edit: And SFWoA is *not* the only park of it's kind in the states. There is a truly wonderful park with some great rides and some great animal attractions (now including the ones that formerly resided at SFWoA) just outside San Francisco called Six Flags Marine World. Again, if you're so concerned with having animals in your stay to satisfy your kids whom you apparently don't like being around (which is sad in and of itself) then buy four tickets to San Fran and spend a day or two at SFMW. *** Edited 5/4/2004 12:21:25 PM UTC by Impulse-ive***

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 8:39 AM
Anheuser-Busch got out for a reason. If you really need to "blame" someone for the demise of the park, start with them. I for one wouldn't blame them either, because operating a seasonal animal park in a market where you had an amusement park across the the lake, Cedar Point 90 minutes away, and a really outstanding zoo 30 minutes away, started to be a real losing proposition.

Six Flags made an even worse decision by combining a declining gate with another declining gate then failing to run it right. They were so desparate to get out that they sold the entire property for only a little more than what they bought Sea World for in the first place.

You can hate on Cedar Fair all you want, but I think Six Flags and Busch share the "blame," if not the market conditions in general.

And I agree with the above that the park is hardly "half a park." It got along for decades by itself, and I don't doubt it will do so for decades to come.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 8:46 AM

It's not as simple as if Sea World closed and Cedar Fair bought GL. Six Flags put in a lot of rides and slides in the last few years. This translates to a much larger operating budget. Which, in turn means higher ticket prices. Like it or not, the animals were the parks 'signature attraction'. They were what made it unique in the market. Now it's just another amusement park. An expensive amusement park. I'm not saying it would have ever been profitable as a mega park, but I'm not sure it can ever go back to being a local park either.

*** Edited 5/4/2004 12:48:07 PM UTC by jimster03***

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 8:58 AM

Jeff said:

Six Flags made an even worse decision by combining a declining gate with another declining gate then failing to run it right.

Although I would say your right on Jeff, "failing to run it right." The rides gate was not a declining gate after 2000. It was extremely successful and broke records for a newly "flagged" park. After it was combined with Sea World it started to decline. Sea World had small attendance for years and all these people complaining need to realize Sea World did not work in Ohio. No room to expand, not allowed to build amusement rides, and was the bastard son of the SW properties. I don't blame Cedar Fair, it was a smart move.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 8:59 AM
So you're saying that if Cedar Fair, not Six Flags had bought the park at the end of '99 and Sea World had closed for the '01 season that Cedar Fair would have put no improvements on the park, would not have installed more roller coasters, would not have installed a waterpark, and would have just left it as a stagnant park?

The growth would have happened anyway, the park "changed hands" right in the middle of the coaster boom. Maybe not 4 in one year, but I would put good money that something on the order of SV, Dominator and Villain would have shown up at the park anyway.

If the animals were the park's signature attraction, please explain how Geauga Lake managed to function without them since as someone stated above, I believe 1889? I feel bad for them that they didn't have the animals since they must have just been scraping by to make it without them for all that time.

Wah wah wah, guess what, things cost more money the more time goes on. A buck doesn't go as far as it used to. If you're so concerned about price, find a mini-park somewhere in PA that only charges $15 a head to get in, and go ride their one coaster. I'll keep riding Dominator, SV, Villain, X-Flight, Dipper, Double Loop and maybe even a flat or two and that'll be one less person in front of me complaining that Sea World closed (which no one seemed to care about in '01)

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 9:18 AM
A few points to rember.

Sea World was open and drawing customers to Aroura prior to the Six Flags purchase. Many of those customers went to GL while they were in the area visiting Sea World. They did not travel to Aurora for Geauga Lake.

Many local parks flourished up until the 1950's and 60's. There were no interstates. Cars were not reliable. People had much fewer options. We are not talking about 1889.

If Cedar fair wanted to keep it a locak park, there would have been much less expansion. Just look at MI.

You can get a ride all day at Kennywood for $18. Last time I checked they had 5 coasters, free parking, and you don,t need $20 in gas and turnpike tolls to get there.

I still say its no longer a destination without the animals.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 9:31 AM

jimster03 said:
wildlife fan

Finally, someone who agrees with me. The wildlife side is the only thing that got me to buy 4 season passes and travel from Pittsburgh 6 or 7 times last year. Don't get me wrong, the rides side is great, but without the animals, those of us in Pgh. might as well just go to Kennywood or the Pittsburgh zoo.

I take exception to this. While I love Kennywood as much as any Pittsburgher, I still would rather travel to GL because of one reason...season pass. Being a single income family, we need to stretch our money and it's a lot easier to do that with a season pass to GL (which more than pays for itself in two visits let alone 6 or 7) than making a few visits per year to Kennywood even if we buy discount tickets.

And anyone who honestly believes that $36 is too expensive for a park with 10 coasters, some pretty cool flats and a water park, needs to take a good look at what some other parks offer for even more money.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 9:34 AM
If Sea World had been *successful*, A-B would still be in Ohio...SF offered A-B too much money for the park in an effort to put a big DENT into CP's dominance of the lucrative Northern Ohio market.

I don't disagree that Sea World, or even that the SFO/SFWoA "Wildlife Side" was a draw....just not big enough to keep the place afloat. IF SFI had come across this "customer service fad" just a few years earlier, WoA might still exist. But the fact reamins that there weren't ENOUGH people visiting when the animals were there, when it was A-B or SF....personally, I'm happier for the animals themselves that they've been relocated to places where they'll have the quality of care and the expert handlers that they deserve.

I can appreciate your disappointment, but really, this IS what's best for the animals...and in the long term, the park in Aurora as well...

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 9:39 AM
This is really simple. If you don't think the park is a good value for your time and money, don't go. If you do, do.

In a few years, we'll find out whether or not enough people think it's a good value to make it a going concern. It sounds like CF's play is to bet that the loss in "destination visitors" will be more than made up by an increase in "local visitors".

For my family with two vertically-challenged, young children, WoA with the life side was a bigger draw than GL without it. But, with CP an hour closer to us, we're not "local", we're "destination," and we never went to WoA when the life side was there.

Eccept for a family trip to Disneyland/KBF, we've never travelled to a park other than CP just to visit a park. MiA is also only an extra hour away from us than is CP, and we've only gone there because we were already in the general area---and, we get in there for free.

Time is just too precious, and Cedar Point is closer. Perhaps as the kids get older we'll want more diversity, but until then, there's no need.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 9:49 AM
I'm not sure what Kennywood you're talking about, but the one I know hasn't had a ride all day for $18 in years. And no, it doesn't cost $20 in gas and tolls to get to Kennywood, only $15 in gas, and fighting the Parkway East, Carson St. or the High Level Bridge to get there.

Personally, I feel that $1.50 to get out of PA, which I only pay because its convenient (I could get around that) and the $1.80 to the GL exit is worth my money ... especially since including a parking pass, my season pass which gets me into the lots and the park for "free" cost less than $100. I can rack up $100 in Kennywood costs and similar gas and traffic frustration cost sin 5 visits, and there's no Dominator, Villian or SV at Kennywood.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 9:49 AM

I agree with you about the season pass. That's why we had them last year. I think WOA was a fantastic value (perhaps, too good a value). It's a shame Kennywood dosn't offer a season pass. But for one day it's a big difference, and I just don't think GL is worth the extra money without the animals. I could be wrong, but I don't think they are going to draw from Pittsburgh like they did the past few years.


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