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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Rihard's avatar
Cleveland Scrap bought Villain for $30,000. Double Loop also went to Cleveland Scrap for $25,000 as did Happy Harbor for $37,500.

The biggest ride buyer of the day was buying on behalf of the new Schlitterbahn Kansas City park. Rides bought by the Schlitterbahn buyer included...

Shark Attack slides ($47,000)
Turtle Beach tube slides
the entire Kids Play Zone/Rocket Sled ride($10,000)
Gotcha Games Ball Factory ($11,000)
Time Warp ($5,000)
Eli Scrambler ($3,000)
Pirate Swinging Ship ($35,000)
Pirates Flight ($14,000)
Shark Encounter Tank w/ accessories ($35,000)
3-D Movie Theater building w/contents (9,000)

It's interesting because when Carole spoke at our school (UCF) in November she was very vocal about preserving and saving the Big Dipper. Geauga Lake being my old homepark, we struck up a large discussion around the closure and selling of regional parks. If I was willing to guess, Carole must not have been aware of a deal - if there was one. She was speaking during the IAAPA time about what could be done to save it. I quote "Big Dipper is the 9th oldest coaster in existence. ACE is trying to save this coaster as it is a gem in the industry." I can understand how she would have been upset because this would have been a great opportunity. Politics.
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
I feel like I'm a bit closer to getting to ride one of my favorite coasters again. Hopefully the Dipper doesn't become a static monument like the Coney Island parachute tower.
Jeff's avatar
I don't think politics have anything to do with it. Cedar Fair's only priority is shedding assets as inexpensively as possible. I think there's something scandalous, and not with any action of Cedar Fair's.

Again, just scratching my head.

WOW!! For just $30,000 any park could have had Villain. What a shame!! I know that there is expense of removal and transportation and re-building of the ride, but even still. Now it is going to become scrap metal.
I am sad on the Double loop and Villain. I hate that they will become scrap. Anyone know about Raging Wolf Bobs? Did it sell and to who?
Rihard's avatar
Raging Wolf Bobs was purchased by the same buyer who bought Big Dipper. It sold for $2,500.
Not a bad price for two coasters...$7500. RWB could be a pretty good coaster with a new track on it. We will have to see who the person that bought the two coasters actually was working for and where those two coasters will end up.

Does anyone know what happened with any of the other flat rides that were not sold to Schlitterbahn? Specifically the starfish and el dorado??

Soggy's avatar
Dang, The Villian sold for scrap? That was one Cedar Fair woodie I never would have guessed would have ended up on the scrap heap. Meanwhile, Mean Streak & Son of Beast still exist... irony anyone?

Not sure what to think about the Big Dipper. Something smells fishy, but I'm not sure which side stinks. All things considered, even if ACE did aquire the Dipper for free, would they have the means to actually maintain and/or run it? I think it would take a bigger pockets investor to do that.

Word on Raging Wolf Bobs is only the equipment/hardware was sold, not the ride itself.
OhioStater's avatar
From a total outside perspective (i dont know or pretend to know anything about ACE or its members) my first reaction is this:

The ride sold for 5,000. I could have bought that ride myself, and I just graduated from grad school. If ACE really cared about the ride, why didnt they buy it?

Put your money where your mouth is.

*** This post was edited by OhioStater 6/17/2008 10:49:14 PM ***

Jason Hammond's avatar
Bster & OhioStater, even though ACE could have afforded the $5K, they couldn't aford to dismantle the ride, and rebuild it or even store it. You tell them to put their money where their mouth is. Well, they don't have enough. Never have and never will, without outside financial backing.

SK610, El Dorado wasn't for sale. Star fish wasn't part of the auction either. It was listed on Intermark Ride Group and may have been sold already, though is still listed there.

As originaly stated on the Norton website, Cedar Fair still has to approve of the sale of Dipper. My guess to wht they did that is because of the potential development proposal that Herschman Architects and a Developer whose name eludes me right now suggested. If they want to use their proposal, the Dipper would have to remain right where it is. I'm not holding my breath though.
*** This post was edited by Jason Hammond 6/17/2008 10:55:00 PM ***

Jeff's avatar
Herschman Architects? Are you kidding me? You know who works for that firm, right?
Jason Hammond's avatar
Yes and I'm not joking. It would really be the Developer making the offer. But it was my understanding that it would be Herschman designing it.*** This post was edited by Jason Hammond 6/17/2008 11:15:35 PM ***
Jason Hammond's avatar
To clarify, I belive they were only going after the 20 acres around Dipper and the Ballroom. So the bigest problem would be if another offer came in for the entire proporty or a large offer that included that proporty.
Jeff's avatar
Which you absolutely know that's what was going to happen. No developer is going to build around the ride and have a little island inside of their property, at least, not for the maximum amount of cash that Cedar Fair can get. If what you say is true, then it's another piece of the puzzle that goes beyond head scratching and light bulbs start turning on.
MidwavePC's avatar
Does anyone happen to know if anyone of the (non-CF) regional parks showed up and won their bids?
^ yes. Schlitterbahn in KS showed up and made out like bandits... good for them!
MidwavePC's avatar
Sorry, but I meant if any Ohio or PA amusement destinations, like Kennywood, Waldameer, Pioneer Waterland, etc. showed up and won their bids?

I would like to visit the places that will have former GL rides operating in the more local region, if possible.

I'm not sure who I should be directing my anger at, but three rides of this caliber...just gone?

I'll get over it, but having adored all three of those coasters, I am just so disappointed right now. I don't know what else to say.

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