Help Conneaut open this year.

Thursday, April 26, 2007 11:03 AM
I know some of you don't believe that Conneaut is worth saving, but for those of you that do, you can try to help.

The Park is selling ride tokens to raise the funds necessary to open this season. These tokens are from the 90s and were used as ride tickets during the Gary Harris era. They are $5.00 each and can be redeemed for a day at the Park any weekday it's open. If you'd like to purchase some, you may do so by calling Lisa at the Park at 814-382-5115, ext. 104.

http://www.meadvilletribune.com/local/local_story_114231637.html

They have sold about 10,000 over the last 2 days.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:16 PM
Good news, although I'm sure someone will step forward and find a reason to complain about this.

10,000 x $5.00 in two days? Easy math... that's $50K, or 1/6th the amount of money the park is looking to raise. Not too shabby, especially when you consider the statements many make about no one caring about the park. Nice to see people putting their money where their mouths are, and something I plan on doing before the end of the weekend.

Now no one can complain that the park is looking for government handouts that hurt the taxpayers- this is being funded by people with a personal interest in the park. If that doesn't shut down the critics, I don't know what will.

Anyway, nice to hear the good news!

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:43 PM
The question is can they sustain the momemtum long enough to get to $300,000.

And what will they do next year if they still haven't come up with a long term plan or solution?

And why is Lord Gonchar feeding me talking points?

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:53 PM
As crazy as this might sound to some....this is just one of those parks that just wont give up even when on life support. I am sure I will buy some too. Not sure how many but then again will I redeem them??? Sounds like a great souvenier to hang on to if the park doesnt reopen. Why dont they try the rings from the carousel too while they are at it.
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Thursday, April 26, 2007 12:54 PM

Rob Ascough said:


Now no one can complain that the park is looking for government handouts that hurt the taxpayers- this is being funded by people with a personal interest in the park. If that doesn't shut down the critics, I don't know what will.


While I would hate to see the park get shut down ( I have bought 10 coins myself), taxpayers are not benefiting from the park in it's current state.

The majority of the debt the park has is back taxes. If the community leaders in the Meadville/ Conneaut lake area were depending on the tax money for their budget, and the park can't pay it, the money has to come from somewhere. So it will be taken out of the tax payers pockets, or something in the community that was budgeted for will be lost.



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Thursday, April 26, 2007 1:00 PM

millrace said:
And why is Lord Gonchar feeding me talking points?

LOL!

Because if I say these things myself, I get accused of wishing ill on the park.

But you're right. This is exactly the 'band-aid' thing that we keep talking about.

I'm not sure giving away 40% of your estimated attendance at half price is a good answer, but hey, it's an answer....I guess.

I do suggest anyone interested buy some of these things, it may be your last chance to see the park...and at half price! :)

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 1:08 PM
I plan on buying several, purely as a donation. I'll keep the tokens as souvenirs for my collection (and if CLP really doesn't make it, they'll be items to treasure). Then, if they open this year, I'll gladly pay my regular admission into one of an ever shrinking number of historic, traditional amusement parks.

Probably a lot of people who buy them will do the same, if not through altruism then for the same reason people often don't redeem gift certificates and coupons. They forget about them. They lose them. They don't get a chance to use them. So the great probability is that only a fraction of the people who buy the tokens will ever cash them in.

Doesn't sound like a bad plan to me.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 1:15 PM
It may be a band-aid but it is also an interesting experiment to see how much interest there really is in the park. The numbers could be surprising. Not many people are going to pull $300,000 out of their pocket but finally there is a way for small contributers to actually make a difference.

Whether the park opens or not, the immediate plan is not to close it permanently. People are working on a solution. This just might allow them to open up while longer-term plan is developed. At least I hope so.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 1:21 PM
I don't plan on using mine for admission either should the park. I'm thinking of them as souvenirs.
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Thursday, April 26, 2007 1:35 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
I'm not sure giving away 40% of your estimated attendance at half price is a good answer, but hey, it's an answer....I guess.

Except that if they don't get whatever they can now, they wont get ANYTHING this year. This isn't about making money. It's about making enough money so they can open. A cash advance if you will. If they don't get it now, they wont have the funds to get it later (even if it was more).

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 1:55 PM
For those trying to buy the coins online, I just called the park office and they said the website should be updated by tonight.
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Thursday, April 26, 2007 2:14 PM

browntggrr said:


The majority of the debt the park has is back taxes. If the community leaders in the Meadville/ Conneaut lake area were depending on the tax money for their budget, and the park can't pay it, the money has to come from somewhere. So it will be taken out of the tax payers pockets, or something in the community that was budgeted for will be lost.


True, but I tend to look at it this way:

If the park closes forever, the community is never going to see that debt repaid. If the park manages to stay afloat, it will eventually have to either repay those taxes or pay new taxes, so either way the community is ultimately getting something. And something is surely better than nothing.

Is this a band-aid? Absolutely. I won't even pretend to consider it being some kind of long-term solution. But if the park manages to open this year, it will buy them some time to come up with a better solution, and that won't be a bad thing. I guess that's what it comes down to right now: buying time.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 2:47 PM
If they can operate this season and *somehow* get the land sale approved (geez has THAT proved to be trickier than it should be!), then the park stands SOME chance of making some headway.

I totally see where "the detractors" see Conneaut as not being viable in the longer term. But at this point, even living on borrowed time is living to SOME degree.

For the park to THRIVE, it's going to take an infusion of captial above and beyond that to pay off existing debt. But who knows, maybe one of the park's benefactors does have the $3-5M to sink into the park? Stranger things HAVE happened...

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 2:59 PM

Rob Ascough said:


If the park closes forever, the community is never going to see that debt repaid. If the park manages to stay afloat, it will eventually have to either repay those taxes or pay new taxes, so either way the community is ultimately getting something. And something is surely better than nothing.


If the park would unfortunately close forever, the sale of the assets, and mainly the sale of the land through a sheriff's sale will recover the debts owed.

You are right. The only way for the park to try and recover from their debt is to be open. If they can't open, then there is zero chance.

But when is it time to throw in the towel? The park has been struggling for many years now. It has operated through the kindness of volunteers to help out it's greatest asset (Blue Streak) on many different occasions as well as generous hand-outs from different sources. While it has helped the park open, it really has not helped the community. The park really needs something to turn it around- a really big draw. All this constant talk of "will it open or not this year" has really killed the park. We are all enthusiasts here. But for the general park guest, as well as some I have spoken with, many question if the rides are safe or not just because there is not a big financial backing there. I'm sure that the rides are safe, but how do you convince a non-enthusiast that the rides are safe?

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 3:51 PM
Ok, so maybe they will possibly open this year if the money is made, but we just expect the same stories to come around next year. Enough is enough. Obviously the park just isn't making the cut. It's sad to see a traditional park lost.

Location really is the problem of the future. Practically right up the street, I-79, lies Erie which is home to Waldameer, Splash Lagoon, Peach Street (major urban area), Family First Sports Park, and not to mention Presque Isle Downs & Casino. Those attractions are gold mines for Erie. Also, that casino really has made the biggest change, and it isn't even finished yet. Tourism will increase dramatically pulling more people past Meadville and into the Erie area going to their attactions. That is where the people who used to go to this park are now going to. The number of loyal park goers is way less than the tourists looking for the place with the most to do, and besides CLP, there isn't much to do in Meadville. So, ya, their location pretty much sucks for drawing new tourists.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 4:11 PM
Casino? So people are once again sucked into the national religion of trying to get something for nothing.

Ironically, I've heard that idea thrown around for Hotel Conneaut.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007 4:55 PM
Talk about band-aids... it's amazing how often the idea of a casino is tossed about when discussing the revitalization of an area. I'm not sure what can be done to increase tourism in the area but I'm sure a casino isn't a great idea.

Maybe tourism doesn't need to be increased at all? Maybe the park could improve enough over time to get enough locals to survive? Not all parks depend on tourism to survive- it is possible for a smaller park in a remote location to thrive on local support.

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Friday, April 27, 2007 1:07 AM
Another article about the tokens

This says they sold just 477 at the end of day one.

So is it almost 500 or 10,000 sold?

(and not because I'm hoping for the worst or wishing for failure or whatever, but because that's two pretty different numbers)

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Friday, April 27, 2007 2:19 AM
I'm buying 10 tokens ($50)...the LEAST that an Adult Amusement Park Fanatic can do to save a park...especially that we visited the park 3 times last year.

The fact that the food was great, and it was a great time on the beach with the kids, and Fireworks for the 4th of July...just a great time we had, and I want those times to continue.

Do any CBZ'ers volunteer during the cleanups at Conneaut Lake Park?

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Friday, April 27, 2007 7:52 AM
Lord: The difference could be the data available when the story went to press vs what happened since. Maybe a new article will come out with updated numbers.
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