Geauga Lake's WWK, 6/7/08 Park empty.

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 1:36 PM
Ok, so on a whim we decided to test our Platinum Passes at WWK this past Saturday afternoon, and it paid off. We pulled into the lot at about 1:30PM and made our way to the parking booth. I observed the rolling parking lot as we approched, it wasn't hard to do, there was nobody in it. After handing my pass to the booth attendant, he scanned it, the machine beeped, and he handed it back to me and we went on our way. The old Sea World lot is on a hill and there WERE in fact cars parked in the lot once we crested the top of the rise, maybe 150 cars?

You see where I am going with this? The bottom line is this, we had the BEST DAY EVER at a park twice in a two week span. Two weeks ago it was Cedar Point, this past Saturday it was GL's WWK. The park was empty. The 3 body slide 4 tube slide towers were walk ups and ons.(After a short break to catch ones breath since there was NO WAIT!) Liquid Lightning was a one tube wait. I couldn't tell you about lockers because we didn't bother trying them. We just took our bag to an empty set of beach recliners, there were plenty, and made that our home base for the rest of the day minus the trip out to the "Picnic Pavilion" for dinner.

Some observations: It's a new season, and the employees take their jobs seriously at this point. I watched a plethora of lifeguards walking and bobbing their heads and scanning the water in a very serious manner. Music plays all day long, and when a song ends, all employees blow there whistles and raise their arms and do a little dip. Yes, dip. They also test them all day, every day. One lifeguard jumped into the wave pool during an ON cycle because she saw the "dummy" that they put in the pool. I'm glad they test them, just irritated that we had to wait for the waves to start again, but that's minor compared to a dead body. Saw someone else fail miserably at testing later at Splash Landing. The child dummy was in about 9 inches of water and they guy did not notice it for a good 15 minutes.

The picnic facilities are atrocious. The brochure said "Picnic Pavilion's by the main entrance." There are none. Zero. Ziltch. There's about a dozen picnic tables across the street by the RV/BUS/Handicapped lot, that's it. There were a good 6 or seven coolers just stacked up by a bench near the park entrance.

Somebody missed the boat at the park exit. I was coming back from returning our cooler to the van and a kid was coming up the hill with an inner tube, the ones you rent at the Wave Pool, they should never leave the park. His Mom told him to take it back, he dumped it on the grass around the corner, I picked it up, brought it back in, mentioned this to the gate attendant, then proceeded to get someone elses money's worth out of it at the wave pool a few hours later. ;) When returning it I discovered that there was apparently a deposit due back to the renter. I informed her that I was not the renter, I did not have a receipt/ticket, but feel free to give me any money if you'd like? I got nothing.

Security was VERY visible in their neon yellow/gold shirts. According to a 7 year employee we talked to at the end of the night she said that they hated those shirts. :) This same employee told us as we were packing up not to be concered because they were doing a fake rescue operation, CPR included, right next to us which attracted a small crowd of gawkers looking for death.

The most disturbing thing she told us were the numbers. They expected 3,000 people opening day Memorial Day weekend, they got 130. Yes, 130. Granted it was not 92 degrees but 130??? The day WE were there it WAS 92 degrees and there MAY have been 500-1000 in the park. She said that "They want to make this the biggest waterpark in the Midwest but we need people!"

I'm worried.

Tom

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 1:50 PM
That's sad to hear about the attendance. Just for a quick comparison, Zoombezi Bay, the Columbus Zoo's new waterpark, had an attendance of 4,000 on Memorial Day.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:05 PM
karma
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:15 PM
I wonder if its bad marketing, people think the whole park is closed? Thats terrible attendance on a ridiculously hot weekend at a really nice water park.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:44 PM
How many times did we hear about people who didn't even know SF had sold the park to CF, and how many people in the gen. public didn't even know the park was still open? Now, I can't speak for the advertising in North-eastern Ohio, but I'm guessing there isn't a whole lot. We hear about CP & Zoombezi Bay all the time in Southern-western Ohio, it's a big deal down here.

But you take away all the coasters/rides, and if you have a weak approach to advertising WWK...what do you expect?? This plot of land has a storied history that makes it nearly impossible to survive based on word-of-mouth.

I'm beginning to think that it may not matter what they build on that land...it's going to fail! Could it also be that Ohio, in general, is a state with a lot of indoor & outdoor waterparks, and many of the them have admission included with either season passes or hotel stays?

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 2:51 PM
Maybe. But if I lived within 30 minutes of WWK this past weekend I would have been there!
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 3:43 PM
Wow, 92+ degrees and they only had 1000 people.
Hope they drank a lot of pop and ate loads of food. With numbers like that, they won't even cover their employee costs.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 3:54 PM

LdScotsman said:


... His Mom told him to take it back, he dumped it on the grass around the corner, I picked it up, brought it back in, mentioned this to the gate attendant, then proceeded to get someone elses money's worth out of it at the wave pool a few hours later.

Tom


You're so cheap... That sounds like something I would do!

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 3:56 PM
Dick Kinzel -- (1) mastermind of greedy plot to ice the competition? or (2) simply as dumbfoundingly wrong as a CEO could possibly be?

Either way doesn't make him look particularly good.

I have yet to see/hear a TV/radio/billboard ad for WWK, and I live in Cuyahoga Falls (35 minutes away). However, I have seen multiple TV commercials for Kennywood and driven by the billboard a mile from my job that says, "Kennywood: Have a Family Adventure".

To me, it sounds like WWK is getting supported about as well as GL had been. Which is to say, not.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 4:00 PM
It's really a self-fulfilling prophecy. Just give it more time. It will happen. (and I say that regretfully)
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 4:00 PM
I've heard the radio ad several times in Canton, but have yet to see a TV ad.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 5:15 PM
I also live in Cuy Falls and I know of 2 places that have billboards. I also have seen ads in the local Gold Clipper (mail ads).

No radio or tv though...

Rollski

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 5:26 PM

Ensign Smith said:
Dick Kinzel -- (1) mastermind of greedy plot to ice the competition? or (2) simply as dumbfoundingly wrong as a CEO could possibly be?

I have yet to see/hear a TV/radio/billboard ad for WWK, and I live in Cuyahoga Falls (35 minutes away). However, I have seen multiple TV commercials for Kennywood and driven by the billboard a mile from my job that says, "Kennywood: Have a Family Adventure".


If #1 were true wouldn't you be seeing commercials and billboards for CP, not KW?

On the subject, I see as many ads (if not more) here in the Dayton area for CP as I do KI.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 6:12 PM
Oh, I've seen plenty of ads for CP. And Geauga Lake is (was) much closer to Sandusky than is Kennywood. People talk about GL not being in competition with CP (ha!), while here a park much farther away is battling for one of their primary markets.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 6:29 PM
I don't think it's a matter of proximity, but rather a matter of product.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 6:48 PM
Kennywood is doing a huge marketing blitz on the Cleveland and has been for years. Shoot, they are even doing radio giveaways for tickets for KWood and Idlewild.

~Rob Willi

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 7:25 PM

super7* said:
karma

Ah yes, the CF hater, its people like you boycotting that park that will cause it to close.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 7:50 PM
Its Advertising! Back when six flags owned the park there was commercials on TV all the time. After CF purchased the park they hardly ever advertised in my area. Now they never advertise at all! People around here (Erie PA) think the place is commpletly closed up. I personally miss the animals I allways enjoyed that side of the park, I wish they would have kept them. And of course I loved the ride side, I miss xflight, dominater, and Big dipper! However I do like the new water park that is there and many more people would too if they knew about it! Bottom line thay need to advertise the water park that is there now!
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 8:42 PM
Rollski, where did you see the billboards in the area? I wanna drive by and check them out some time.
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Wednesday, June 11, 2008 9:05 PM
Stop the presses!!! A friend was at Sandcastle here in Pittsburgh and he experienced the same thing there. He said there was no one there and they walked on to every slide.
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