Meijer and movie lot are possible options for the former Geauga Lake

Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2015 10:33 AM | Contributed by Gemini

A weed-choked parking lot and the skeleton of the Big Dipper roller coaster now loom where grocery superstore Meijer – and maybe a movie production back lot -- could soon stand. The future of the now defunct Geauga Lake Amusement Park will be the result of who wins the tug-of-war between Bainbridge Township and Cedar Fair, the amusement park giant that owns the land.

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Monday, June 8, 2015 11:31 AM
koolcat1101's avatar

birdhombre said:

No, northeast Ohio is Giant Eagle country. There are plenty of Meijer's'es in the western half of the state, from Toledo to Cincy. I believe the first one in the Cleveland area will be the one opening in Avon next year.

Ok I don't really go western area of Ohio much so I have never seen one in Ohio.

Last edited by koolcat1101, Monday, June 8, 2015 11:33 AM

(Insert funny signature here.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 8:27 PM
Shawn Meyer's avatar

Anything new with the talks of what might happen with the land?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 10:20 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I heard they're moving Shoot the Rapids to the water park at Geauga Lake.

R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 11:43 PM

It's a shame that nice lakefront property may end up with a warehouse type store like Meijer on it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 11:44 PM
Jeff's avatar

The way the article reads, it wouldn't be near the lake at all, it would be in what used to be the main parking lot.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 7:47 PM
Shawn Meyer's avatar

I'm hoping the Movie Lot and Meijer's can move in at the same time. That way something can be done with Big Dipper. Not trying to be negative here, but Big Dipper is beyond saving and just needs to be rebuilt from scratch at another park. The only thing worth saving would be the trains.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 8:39 PM
Pete's avatar

Big Dipper had some historical qualities to it but it really wasn't that great of a ride to rebuild from scratch at another park. The park could get much more bang for their buck with another, more exciting design. Big Dipper just needs to be razed to put it out if its misery if no effort will be made to make it operational at its current location.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 9:14 PM

The trains were left out in the elements by CF in the years following the closure. They too are a total loss.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 11:49 PM
LostKause's avatar

I'm with Pete here. I never understood the love for that ride. It was fun, but not a coaster worth saving, in my opinion. It was like a kiddy coaster with really steep hills.

As for building a movie lot, that sounds like a silly childhood fantasy. Let's turn Aurora into the next Hollywood! lol

I would love to see a shopping center of some kind there, but designed in a way to take advantage of the lakeside view.

Thursday, June 18, 2015 9:45 AM

I'm going to go opposite of you guys and proclaim Big Dipper as a ride I will always ache for. As you know, I'm a fan of historical attractions, and when I think of a John Miller rotting away like that it makes me sick. High, steep hills? Yes. And a return trip that made us scream and laugh every time.
I was lucky to ride the ride in the 70's (still The Clipper) before the double down was altered. That spot remains one of my favorite coaster moments of all times.

I'm resigned to the fact that there's nothing to do about it now.

Thursday, June 18, 2015 9:51 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I always thought the ride was OK - I'm more for directional changes and an out-of-control feeling, but it was still a fun ride.

What it means to me, though, is nostalgia. When I think of Geauga Lake and the fun times I had when I was a kid, I think of Big Dipper. That ride *is* Geauga Lake.

I'd love to see it up and running again, so I can at least have a sliver of my childhood from there still around.

R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
Thursday, June 18, 2015 11:24 AM
rollergator's avatar

My first trip to GL was after Six Flags had hyperinvested in the attempt to create competition in NE Ohio.

It was fairly obvious the place wasn't prepared infrastructure-wise for all the new coasters, but was still a great time. Wolf Bobs eluded me personally (felt like it wanted to reflect the older-style Bobs coasters, but just didn't deliver). Villain, on the other hand, was a real powerhouse. The trains weren't my favorite, but wow was it fast and powerful. Finally, there was Dipper. I'd been on a John Miller quest of sorts (only missed Jackrabbit at Clementon), and this was a real gem. Might not have been the insanity of Lesourdsville monster ride, but it had sweet strong air, and the slams at the bottoms of hills in the back seat (what I consider amateur chiropractic therapy). Totally LOVED the ride.

So happy to get back with a large group of friends during that last season - got there JUST after Bobs had run itself off the rails. We had a fabulous time, and I'll never forget how well Dipper was running again that day (Villain having become a rough shadow of its former self). Dipper - you are truly a lost legend.....RIP.

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Thursday, June 18, 2015 12:24 PM
birdhombre's avatar

Looks like Big Dipper has seen better days... although other than the addition of some "botanical theming" the structure doesn't look as bad as one might imagine:

Thursday, June 18, 2015 2:42 PM

Big Dipper was probably salvagable until 3ish years ago. It has now been nearly 8 years since it has operated, and at this point it would require a total rebuild rather than just a refurbishment.

It was my very first coaster and although I don't identify with the "they bought it to close it" folks, I grew up with that place in my backyard and I still miss it every day. When Cedar Fair decided to go waterpark only, I really wish there had been a way to include Big Dipper. But they obviously did not see the significance in keeping it around, and all these years later it has now likely gotten to a point of no return.

I thought it was a great coaster, but I always will wonder now how much of it was nostalgia for me. At this point it really does just need to be razed, although when that day comes I'm sure there will be some local outcry.

But if CF ever even had an inkling of saving it to reopen on site, they have not kept up any basic maintenance to allow that to happen now

Thursday, June 18, 2015 3:06 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I find that it looks a lot more like the Big Dipper at Chippewa Lake Park did right before it was bulldozed, than it does its former self.

That will be incredibly sad if/when that thing gets razed, but life goes on, I suppose. It's really impressive to look across the lake when we're at Wildwater Kingdom, and see just how far back to nature it has become over there.

Also, looking up on the hill behind the wave pool, and the areas by the 4-D theater and things that you can't see behind fences, it's just... sad.

R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
Thursday, June 18, 2015 3:32 PM

LostKause said:

As for building a movie lot, that sounds like a silly childhood fantasy. Let's turn Aurora into the next Hollywood! lol

There must be some massive shortage of facilities for filming, since I can think of a number of times I've heard of that as a suggested use for abandoned locations of different varieties: it was floated as an idea for both Texas Stadium in the Dallas area and the Astrodome and now we're hearing the same for the GL property. Wasn't a movie filming lot included in the Dreamland farces in Alabama and Texas?

Thursday, June 18, 2015 6:29 PM

Raven-Phile said:

It's really impressive to look across the lake when we're at Wildwater Kingdom, and see just how far back to nature it has become over there.

Also, looking up on the hill behind the wave pool, and the areas by the 4-D theater and things that you can't see behind fences, it's just... sad.

This is the main reason why I did not particularly enjoy my one visit to WWK post-GL closure, which I took in 2013. It is an awesome park, but the corpse of the ride side (and even some of the Sea World stuff) is just depressing to me, especially given my attachment to GL/SFWoA over the years. And especially if you remember the awesome view of the ride park from the Sea World / Wildlife / WWK side when the park was still around, it just make it even more sad.

As much as my heart will sink when Big Dipper comes down, getting it down will actually help the place lose the sad, abandoned look.

Friday, June 19, 2015 11:40 PM
Shawn Meyer's avatar

Does the unknown buyer still own Big Dipper? I was just curious because If someone bought the land, would they have to go through that particular person?

Friday, June 19, 2015 11:55 PM
Thabto's avatar

I think nostalgia is the only thing Big Dipper's got going for it. From photos I've seen, I think it's pretty much beyond repair. The best thing to do would be to make a replica elsewhere.


Sunday, August 9, 2015 10:07 AM
Shawn Meyer's avatar

How come it's been quiet lately regarding the possible land acquisition between Cedar Fair and Meijer? Did Meijer back out of the deal?


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