'Damage control' just about sums it all up. For those unhappy with CF trimming down the GL season you have to understand that they need to make the park profitable before they expand the season again. I think the product is there, but its going to take time for the park to figure out how to draw people back in and find out for themselves.
CF knows that they need to turn this park around. They are going to have to promote the heck out of that park and I think we'll see that next year. They don't want to make the same mistake as SF did and under-deliver, which would explain the shortened season. Putting CP in charge of marketing and trimming down the season will allow the park to be fully opened, and most importantly fully staffed. Honestly I wouldn't be surprised if CP has a shortened season next year due to the staffing problem in recent years.
I have faith that they can make GL a great family park that it was in the 80's and early 90's.
As a season passholder last year, and a Maxx Pass holder for the upcoming year, I am not mad or surprised one bit.
Did I like going to the park and being one of the 15 people in attendance the first two weekends of the year. Sure, because I could ride whatever I wanted to and as many times as I wanted. Now I am sure CF was not as happy as me, because I am positive they bled Red Ink on both of those weekends.
GL being operated as basically a waterpark is what CF Has to do right now. I think this is the perfect setup for CF. Buy the Max Pass, go to CP in May and in Sept and Oct during the not as busy season. Go to GL/WWK during June, July and August when CP is packed to the gills.<--This is what I am going to do anyway, so this whole thing makes perfect sense to me.
IN essence they are only loosing 6 or so actual operating dates. They were even “discounted” dates last and it appears they didn’t do much with them. Another possible factor is getting the park up and running for an early may opening runs up a lot of overtime during those last weeks in April. It may not be worth the added expense and rush to get everything set for those 6 unprofitable to barley profitable days.
I believe that the best thing to do at GL is to make it a park more like Lake Compounce. LC has a waterpark that is a large part of the park and they also have a ride park that is about 2/3 the size of Kennywood. I would say that GL has too many coasters for a park with its attendance level. Some of them should be moved to other Cedar Fair Parks and replaced with more family rides, transport rides, and flats. GL should not be Cedar Point Lite.
As for Kennywood advertising early in the season in Ohio, why not put up ads with the famous arrows saying "Kennywood's Open". Now if that highway would get built, KW could go ahead with their expansion and have 2 million annual attendance.
I can't believe that some people think that Geauga Lake is doomed and will be closed soon just because it is starting its season a couple of weekends later next year. It is a couple of weekends later. Many amusement parks operated successfully on that schedule. In fact, Cedar Point used to operate on a similar schedule until recently. Why open the park early, pay for staff, work overtime to get the park up and running on time, not have the water park opened and have practically no one in attendance. It doesn't make sense. Staying closed a couple of weeks longer, getting things right and then openining for the peak season makes a lot more sense.
Also, those of you complaining that your home park will be opening later, get over it. If your home park is Geauga Lake then you most likely live closer to Cedar Point, Kennywood, and possibly closer to PKI, Dorney Park and several others than I live to any single amusement park. If I have a home park, it would be Michigan's Adventure which is a four plus hour drive away for me. Cedar Point is about a 6 and a half hour drive away and all other parks are further (with the exception of Thunder Falls Water Park in Mackinaw City which is only about 15 minutes away and opens later than Geauga Lake).
Cedar Fair seems to be doing a good job with the park. But making the park successful probably does require some money savings. Would you rather have the park open in April and close in October but keep half of the rides not operating or only operating one train? I have a feeling that you answer to that is no.
The reason that Kennywood opens in early May and is on a daily schedule by mid-May is because of the school picnics that are a tradition in the Pittsburgh area. Schools actually take a day off so that they can go to Kennywood. In return, they get reduced admission and the use of the picnic shelters.
This is a tradition that was also once prevalent at other parks in the area such as West View. The effect of this is that Kennywood is busy every day in mid May through early June. Meanwhile, many other parks are either closed on weekdays at this time or they have sparse attendance on such days.
The thing that makes me more mad other than the day it opens and closes, is the price too get in. Don't get me wrong it is cheap to get in, but with no attraction (not 100 percent sure about that) being built for 07 do not raise the price. We need people before we can do that.
Another example of a park shortening the season is Idlewild. Previous to 2004, they opened weekends starting the Saturday before Mother's Day. In 2004 they started having opening day the week before Memorial Day.