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.

Read more from The Plain Dealer.

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Sunday, August 9, 2015 11:29 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

The wheels of government grind slowly...

Shawn Meyer said:

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?

According to the most recent issue of ACE's RollerCoaster! magazine, Big Dipper was sold to the only bidder, Tom Woosman of APEX Western Machinery Movers of Akron, Ohio for $5,000. Woosman said he was representing another buyer who wished to remain anonymous. He claims that Cedar Fair rejected the price and the actual selling price (which has not been disclosed) was higher.

He has made several attempts to sell the coaster, including reaching out to offer it to ACE, but each time stipulated that his company must be hired to move the coaster and that the selling price of the coaster would be $700,000. ACE obtained an estimate for the removal costs from an established company that has experience moving coasters; Woosman's estimate over twice as much.

So, as it stands, the coaster is owned either by Woosman or his anonymous buyer. Cedar Fair will leave the coaster standing until either the ride is moved or sold or until the property is sold.

If I may toot my own horn: this information is from a sidebar to an article I wrote on the history of Geauga Lake which, I think, turned out nicely.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Sunday, August 9, 2015 1:14 PM
Shawn Meyer's avatar

That answers my question. Hopefully Cedar Fair could at least level some of the property around the Big Dipper to make companies actually want to buy the land.

Sunday, August 9, 2015 1:15 PM
birdhombre's avatar

I enjoyed reading your article -- nice job!

As to the sidebar, Tom's last name is actually Woosnam, not Woosman. I haven't heard any updates on the Big Dipper situation since the Kat Jones/Harold Garmonsway deal fell through in 2011. I wonder if they ever got their down payment back?

Sunday, August 9, 2015 1:18 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Thank you kindly!

I'll pass along the Woosman/Woosnam issue to the editor.

Last edited by slithernoggin, Sunday, August 9, 2015 1:21 PM

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Friday, September 4, 2015 10:25 PM
Shawn Meyer's avatar

I don't know If any of you read this article or not, but seems positive for some of the land for the former Geauga Lake property.

Friday, September 4, 2015 10:55 PM
bjames's avatar

This reminds me of the south park episode where Walmart paves over Stark Pond to build its store. I can easily imagine Meijer paving over the lake and everything, which honestly might be the best thing to help us forget about that tragedy.

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

Friday, September 4, 2015 11:30 PM

I drove past the park twice last week on the way to WWK for the first time since GL closed. Actually seeing it for myself pretty much puts the nail in the coffin. I already believed the idea of "saving" Geauga Lake was silly becasue there is no Geauga Lake anymore. You can build a new park and call it that but it will not be the park of my childhood and the only recognizable feature would be Dipper and the lake itself. Geauga Lake is just gone. Gone just like my grandparents' house that was in the way of I-480, gone just like my other grandparens' house that was in the way of airport expansion and is now an industrial park, gone like the first house my family lived in which is currently the site of a Litehouse Pools store. Maybe my previous experience of places being gone makes it easier for this to sink in than for some people I guess. My only hope was for Dipper because it was my first coaster and my older son's first coaster. My younger one wasn't tall enough yet. He missed it by one year and often laments that his brother got to ride it and he didn't. My last ride on it was wild. I went to the park with a sore back and assumed that after riding Dipper I would be paying for my foolishness but strangely after it beat me around and threw me all over that night my back felt better than it had in weeks. I'm honestly not sure if I would prefer it to stand for a while longer or be put out of its misery. If anyone truly had any intentions of doing anything with it all this time you would think they would have at least slapped a coat of paint on it at some point to help keep the wood sealed from the weather.

Sunday, December 13, 2015 5:17 PM
Shawn Meyer's avatar] Anyone see this? This had me excited last week when I saw this. Figured I would share it.

Sunday, December 13, 2015 10:04 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

On a related note, 2 years ago I emailed J.J. Abrams telling him some ideas that I'd like to see in the new Star Wars movie. Later this week the world will be able to see my genius...

Or not... he never actually responded.

Saturday, December 19, 2015 1:37 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Just a comment about Meijer. If they are interested in the property, chances are they will want a deal to own the entire lot. They tend to buy large portions of land, knowing that their location will attract other businesses to them. they will will then split up the property into lots, and then sell the ones around them to restaurants, and strip malls. Rural Meijers in Michigan near metro areas, also have a hotel chain that sets up shop next door. I am guessing the water park is still open, so, I'm sure the hotel chain will build there to get their business. I think it is American suites.

As for the movie studio idea, I'm not sure how well that will go over with the local community. Unless it is similar to Universal in Florida, and more tourist oriented, then Hollywood oriented, people might worry about what a Hollywood version might attract. They talked about building one in Grand Rapids, but it was shot down due to worry about increased crime, and more police protection. As Hollywood is not as glamorous as people think.

I also want to comment about the Big Dipper. I am actually surprised some park didn't want to move it, and restore it. Out of the 3 wooden coasters at Geauga Lake, it was by far the best one there. The Villain sucked, and the Bobs was one of the worst coasters I have ever been on. I'm still curious as to what has happened to those rides. But, still the most dull coaster at Geauga Lake was the double loop. I never thought I would ride a coaster shorter than the corkscrew at MA.

However, if the new owners of the land is a movie studio, they may do what they did with the Belmont Dipper, and turn it into an attraction to make extra cash. But, I am betting that area is more Meijer friendly.

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Saturday, December 19, 2015 4:37 PM
Jeff's avatar

Villain was far and away the best coaster there when it was maintained. Dipper sucked. It was completely boring, and no amount of nostalgia would change that.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Saturday, December 19, 2015 7:46 PM
OhioStater's avatar

Meijer representative Cris Jones said the family-owned business is open to ideas for incorporating the park heritage into the store "where there is a line of reasonableness," but there are few Geauga Lake artifacts available.

That more or less eliminates each idea suggested.

Sunday, December 20, 2015 7:16 AM

Timber-Rider said:
I'm still curious as to what has happened to those rides.

I think they've still got em back there in the shed.

Thursday, March 3, 2016 11:04 AM
Thabto's avatar

Sorry to bump this topic, but I just found this article that talks about Meijer opening up new stores and Aurora isn't on the list. Is that still happening or did they pull out? But that list only includes new stores for 2016. At this point, the one in Aurora likely wouldn't open until 2017 at the earliest.

Last edited by Thabto, Thursday, March 3, 2016 11:09 AM


Wednesday, December 14, 2016 10:53 AM
Thabto's avatar

Sorry to bring this back, but it looks like the Meijer store is still happening, but not until 2019 at the earliest:


Wednesday, December 14, 2016 11:57 AM

My favorite wooden there was Villain, then RWB, then Big Dipper. Just my opinion.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 7:27 PM
August Mueller's avatar

I much enjoyed Villian. Might have cracked a rib once or twice, but was still fun. Dipper was boring < a day shopping at Meijer though.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 8:21 PM
Shawn Meyer's avatar

Not sure what you were trying to say with the < there but alrighty then!

Thursday, December 15, 2016 5:24 AM
August Mueller's avatar

"<" is generally used with numbers and was to suggest "less than"

Thursday, December 15, 2016 9:20 AM
Tekwardo's avatar

Yeah according to that Big Dipper was less (fun?) than shopping at Meijer.

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