Geauga Lake auction begins, Big Dipper sells for $5,000

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

The gavel came down and The Big Dipper, Geauga Lake amusement park's centerpiece roller coaster, went for $5,000 to Apex Western Machinery Movers of Akron. A shouting match erupted between the auctioneer and former ACE president Carole Sanderson over a dispute over whether or not ACE was offered the ride.

Read more from WKYC/Cleveland.

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Jeff's avatar
So does anyone want to connect the dots about where bridges may have been burned? Or the dots between a partner in an architecture firm that consults retail construction projects and the part about building "mall-like development" around the ride?

Not alleging anything, just scratching my head.

Someone over on the GL board just posted that Villain and Double Loop were bought by Cleveland Scrap. Toast, I say.
Jeff's avatar
Losing Villain I consider an actual loss. What a bummer.
$5,000.00? Even ACE could have afforded that!
Norton also addressed the crowd at the very start of the auction.

"We are witnessing the end of an era," Norton said, just before he began the auction.

That's what he says at all of his auctions.

Yup...he said that at Santa's Village in Dundee in Oct. 2006
Until you are handed the 'bill of sale', sort of like your car's title, it belongs to Norton. Quite emotional.
eightdotthree's avatar
Regardless if the ride was offered or not, it was still up for auction and sold to a buyer who was not ACE. If ACE or Carole wanted it they could have purchased it at auction.
"We move machines, we don't buy them. The buyer intends to move the coaster. It will be re-erected but not as a ride, but as a nostalgia piece," Woosnam said.

Interesting. Any guesses where it will end up?

As usual ACE is stirring things up. There is a reason that I have distanced myself from ACE.
"ACE stirring things up?"

The auctioneer is making false claims, ACE says, "Nope, that statement is not true."

That to me is not "stirring things up"...that is "setting the record straight."

How do you know the auctioners are making false claims? Just because one ACE says it wasn't true doesn't mean it isn't. Someone around here I think posted a link to an ACE who said they were offered the ride for free.
Well the entire executive board is saying the same thing...are they all lying?
Very sad to hear that Villain and Double Loop were bought for scrap metal. I guess the cost of moving an existing coaster is almost as much as the cost of building a brand new one. I know that Double Loop was going to be tough to move due to the welding and such that it would take to move that ride. I truly thought that Villain would have made an excellent addition to almost any decent sized amusement park. Very sad in many ways. I do wonder how much Villain went for though. Anybody know??
That's interesting now. I posted before that I felt ACE should have written to their membership were they offered the ride.

If they were in fact not offered it, then it raises more questions than it answers.

What's the point of removing, transporting and re-erecting the ride if you're not going to run it? Are they going to continue to take care of it once it's erected or let it just sit there and rot? Seems like a waste of money.
Jeff's avatar
My suspicion, based entirely on rumblings and the whole faux Munch press release nonsense a few weeks back, is that Munch and/or Sanderson were trying to broker some kind of deal and they just happen to be ACE members, and thus it came into the conversation as if they were doing something on the club's behalf. That's one theory, again, based on a lot of whispers and chatter among people I don't entirely trust. I don't believe that Norton is saying anything they don't believe to be true based on the information provided to them.

That said, if I were an ACE member, I'd be asking a lot of questions too, not the least of which was any kind of official statement, even if it is, "We have no idea what Norton is talking about, and by the way, we did or didn't try to work with Cedar Fair to save the ride." Without that kind of statement, the club is thrown back into the Usenet nonsense of the last decade regarding its lack of transparency between its elected officials and its constituency.

If I had to make an assumption I would assume ACE would have more a reason to lie that Norton Auctions. If I paid X dollars a year for, among other things, preservation of the classics, I'd be inclined not to pay any longer if they screwed this up this badly.
So who isnt suprised about a ruckus being caused that involved ACE. From the day that it was announced that Geauga Lake was being sold, I think many people knew that there would be some kind of clash between enthusiasts and Cedar Fair/Norton.

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