Geauga Lake Case Study (from 1988)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005 2:11 PM
While doing a Google search on past years’ attendance for PKI, I came across an interesting link to a business case study:

http://marriottschool.byu.edu/cfe/resources/cases/geaugalake.pdf

It’s old information (1988), but what I found particularly interesting is that it provided a complete P&L for Geauga Lake during the 1989 season. I had never seen this kind of detail for a park’s financials before, and thought you guys might find it interesting as well… Joel *** Edited 4/20/2005 6:12:40 PM UTC by JZarley*** *** Edited 4/20/2005 6:14:01 PM UTC by JZarley***

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 4:15 PM
This interests me a great deal, particularly since I worked there in '88 and did many of the surveys.

Of course, what they decided on was Turtle Beach, a water play area designed specifically for children. At the time, and for many years to follow, it was widely regarded as the best children's water play area in the country. It was quite popular and even without a major coaster they had a great year in '89 and followed it up strong in '90.

It goes to show that you need not build the highest, fastest rollercoasters in order to succeed in the park business. Six Flags went vertical at Geauga Lake and what do they have to show for it? A "former" park.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 4:21 PM
Interesting that most people said they liked water rides best. Cedar Fair is probably hoping that holds true today.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2005 6:31 PM
I find it most interesting, I will have to save that for a report on operating costs, amusement parks, and how they effect the economy. I find it all very interesting! Thanks for the info!
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Thursday, April 21, 2005 1:53 AM
yeah that info is great. i have a question though. Wahoo Skipper, i used to have a season pass for GL back then i was really young, like four. My dad has told me that their used to be lines going up that hill that leads down to the RWB, i find that hard to believe, bless my dads heart, but he doesnt get out much like he used to and the beer he drinks makes him senile sometimes, but was that true. Cause i know the RWB was installed that year and im too young to remember, plus it makes me feel good to be a part of history, i love people that enjoy the history of places just as much as me and this would help.
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Thursday, April 21, 2005 8:17 AM
RWB was installed in 1988, GL's 100 year celebration.
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Thursday, April 21, 2005 9:01 AM
MagnunBarrel...your dad isn't blowing smoke up your nose. When Raging Wolf Bobs first opened it was insanely popular and lines, particularly early in the morning and late at night (2 completely different rides day and night), could stretch up the hill (past what is now Grizzly Run).

In my opinion, the resurgence of wood coasters can be traced back to the Texas Giant and Raging Wolf Bobs. Prior to then it was steel, steel, steel. The Bobs generated amazing publicity considering the size of Geauga Lake. Of course, most coaster enthusiasts will say the Bobs doesn't hold a candle to the original Bobs but the comparison was enough to draw a lot of interest.

The uniqueness of Geauga Lake was that not only was it pay one price for wet and dry rides, but the water area was pretty decent, particularly for the kids. The question will be can the market respond with enthusiasm if, down the road, Cedar Fair decides to have two separate gates?

Finally, Geauga Lake's timing couldn't be better for the Turtle Beach expansion. '89 and '90 were some of the hottest and dryest summers in the past 20 years. That certainly helps the waterpark business.

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Thursday, April 21, 2005 12:05 PM
I actually marathoned Kabobs its opening year (summer before grade 10), long before I knew what an enthusiast was. My dad was working for National City and they had the company picnic there. It had rained earlier in the day and chased everyone away, so we basically had the ride to ourselves. That was awesome. I wouldn't ride it again until maybe '99 and was disappointed with the state of the ride. Have been ever since.
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Thursday, April 21, 2005 10:17 PM
I don't know, the Kabobs aren't terrible, I ride it just cuz I can, Although the better woodies in the park would be big-dipper for air time, and villian. Thats just me, I'm sure there's much better!
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