Hotel operator says Conneaut Lake Park trustees need to go

Posted Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:42 PM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

Volunteer trustees in charge of Conneaut Lake Park are not properly maintaining or improving it or paying its delinquent property taxes, said Greg Sutterlin, of Conneaut Lake-based Park Restoration LLC. The 121-year-old amusement park has fire-damaged buildings, other buildings "literally rotting and falling to the ground" and tree roots growing through the midway, Sutterlin said in a new posting on the Hotel Conneaut Facebook page, and in electronic mailings sent Tuesday night.

Read more from The Erie Times-News.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013 12:48 PM
Jeff's avatar

The unfortunate thing is that the guy is right, that there's no leadership or action on the part of the trustees that is improving the situation, but it sounds like he's being a douche about how he is going about things. To an extent, he probably has more to lose than anyone else by a half-baked, rotting park.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, February 21, 2013 6:12 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

Conneaut responded on their Facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/conneautlakepark


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Thursday, February 21, 2013 8:33 PM
Jeff's avatar

That's not much of a response. It doesn't address what the hotel operator's allegations are, that they're not really doing anything.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, February 21, 2013 9:17 PM
jkpark's avatar

The days of Conneaut Lake Park being a functional and profitable business are long gone. It hasn't been a real success since the 1980s. When the park built those gates at the front entrance and tried to reivent themselves in the early 90s, everything went down hill fast. I'm not raining on the parade, just telling it like it is. I have fond memories of this place with my family as a kid, but that was a different time. Its just not feasible to keep a place like this open. I last visited CLP back in 2011, and wondered what kind of insurance policy they have for this park after a walking past dilapidated buildings, aging amusement rides, and a hotel that appears to be a fire trap.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013 5:43 AM

The whole thing is really a shame. Bushkill Park near me is a park that had something similar happen to it, in that a shady shyster said he was going to reopen the park and the whole thing eventually went to the dogs. These parks that are a bit more obscure are already endangered, and it just makes me sad. I hope someone figures out how to fix it sooner rather than later.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Saturday, February 23, 2013 10:15 AM
LostKause's avatar

There's always hope, I guess. If they made this park a place that people wanted to visit, it could be wildly popular. Heck, including myself, there are at least ten people on CoasterBuzz that I can think of from the top of my head who's imagination and knowledge about amusement parks that could successfully help pull off a resurrection of this dying park, but doing so would take an investment, and I don't think anyone would see it as a good investment.


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Saturday, February 23, 2013 1:35 PM
jkpark's avatar

The Conneaut Lake region in general doesn't get the tourist traffic it did 30 to 35 years ago. With the exeption of nearby Pymatuning, there's not enough supporting area attractions to draw people in for at least a weekend.

With Waldmeer just 45 minutes up the road, it's right off a major interstate highway with casinos and a beautiful state park right in their backyard all along Lake Erie. The park sits between two major cities, Buffalo and Cleveland, along with many folks here in Youngstown that visit Erie each summer.

I hate to see Conneaut Lake Park go, but they will continue to struggle without the capital to invest in maintaining the existing infastructure, let alone annual operating expenses. The area the park sits in is still nice, with a beautiful natural lake, and has the potential to still be a summer weekend getaway. I can picture a resort constructed similar to the Lodge up at Geneva-On-The-Lake.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013 1:48 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

LostKause said:

If they made this park a place that people wanted to visit, it could be wildly popular.

This is my favorite line on CoasterBuzz ever.

It really is that simple. If you can't do that, you don't deserve to survive "just because" of some arbitrary reason or another.

If you've created a product with a demand, you'll be fine.


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Saturday, February 23, 2013 4:23 PM
Jeff's avatar

I can't put the pictures that Carrie posted a few years ago of the place out of my head. I mean, fire damaged buildings and melted street lamps... that's not charm.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Saturday, February 23, 2013 5:33 PM

Jeff, and what is sad is that some of that would be easy enough to fix. Sure, getting new rides is expensive, but replacing street lights and fixing some buildings? In the cost spectrum, I would imagine that is significantly cheaper and would draw in a few more people at least.

Of course, large financial scale issues are beyond me, as I have said many times, so I could be wrong. But if there is not the capital to fix these things, perhaps everyone involved needs to stop sitting on their butts and make some decisions on what needs to be done.


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Saturday, February 23, 2013 7:30 PM

For the curious re: Jeff's post:

http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Topic/conneaut-lake-park-july-3rd-2010-part-1

http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/Topic/conneaut-lake-park-july-3rd-2010-part-2

Carrie also posted some pics from her childhood for comparison:

http://coasterbuzz.com/Forums/ForumPhoto/PhotoDetail/conneaut-lake-...0?p=813176

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Saturday, February 23, 2013 8:56 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

LostKause said:

If they made this park a place that people wanted to visit, it could be wildly popular.

This is my favorite line on CoasterBuzz ever.

It really is that simple. If you can't do that, you don't deserve to survive "just because" of some arbitrary reason or another.

It is also a somewhat empty statement. It essentially boils down to: "If they made it a place where people wanted to come, people would want to come."

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Saturday, February 23, 2013 8:56 PM

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Saturday, February 23, 2013 9:59 PM
jkpark's avatar

I think the park will eventually go to sheriff's auction and the new owner will redevelop the property.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013 11:14 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

It is also a somewhat empty statement. It essentially boils down to: "If they made it a place where people wanted to come, people would want to come."

Profound in it's simplicity and truth. Especially in context.

Say what you will about Conneaut. History, memories, preservation, donations, business plans - whatever.

The bottom line is that if it was place people wanted to go, they'd be there and the park would be fine.

It's not. They aren't. And only one thing is going to change that.

Make it a place people want to visit.


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Sunday, February 24, 2013 12:26 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Yeah, but you could say the same thing about the dumpster out behind my house and about Disney World. The meaningful question is "How?"


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Sunday, February 24, 2013 12:55 AM
LostKause's avatar

I agree that it was probably too simplistic of a statement, but in context with the rest of the post, I hope it makes more sense. I wasn't trying to make a profound statement or anything. I was kind of just daydreaming out loud.

I left the "how" out because I think it's obvious.

I guess I could have said that I don't understand why they aren't addressing the problems with the park and making it more of an historical and nostalgic place to visit.


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Sunday, February 24, 2013 1:37 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

ApolloAndy said:

The meaningful question is "How?"

Pepsi Refresh money, obviously.


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Sunday, February 24, 2013 8:10 AM
jkpark's avatar

I agree with Gonch. If Conneaut was a place people wanted to go, they'd be there and the park would be doing great. The bottom line is that you go into business to make money. While I have sentimental feelings for CLP, as I did for Geauaga Lake and Idora Park, it's not going to get the buisness out of the red.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013 10:30 PM
LostKause's avatar

As the originator of the thought that we are both agreeing with, I agree with Gonch as well. :D


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