More Problems For Conneaut Lake Park

Lord Gonchar's avatar
The story is here.

It begins with:

"Financial advisors were brought in to look at the books and try to help the park, but the news wasn't good."

and ends with:

"A lot of changes will likely be needed to keep this historical amusement park open."

I wish that someone that knows what changes need to be made would be hired so the changes could be made!
Lord Gonchar's avatar
Yeah, but I'm wondering if any changes can be made that would truly 'fix' things.

I'm not exactly known for my love of preservation, but speaking honestly, I'm wondering if CLP is just no longer a viable business.

Jason Hammond's avatar
I am not a business man, and I could be way out in left field. But, perhaps making it a Paid Admission park would make better business sense. Obviously there would have to be infrastructure changes to make something like that work.

IIRC, it was a donation last year that allowed them to opperate. You obviously can't count on that year after year. And unless something that has happened recently I think that land is still for sale. With the economy the way it was I can understand why it didn't sell when they put it up. However the economy seems to have picked up over the last year or so.

Who knows if that will even be enough though. It has to be more than just enough to opperate, or they'll be in the same boat next year. They need to be able to pay down some of their debt. Does any one remember what the debt was? 2 million? And what were they asking for the land? *** Edited 1/29/2007 4:21:09 AM UTC by Jason Hammond***

884 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries My YouTube

It is obviously not a viable business. Even if there is a plan that could work, the $2 million plus debt load will drag it to the bottom of the lake before it could make a turn around.
Mamoosh's avatar
But, perhaps making it a Paid Admission park would make better business sense.

IIRC city streets run through the park.

This is truly disheartening news. I'd like to say it's unexpected as well, but I think we all know how this story is ultimately going to play out.

I'm just glad that the last couple years, I've actually gotten off my a** and gotten over there. Blue Streak is just the sweetest coaster. Rickety, paint peeling, no seat dividers or lap bars, just you and gravity. It's a cliche, but they truly don't make them that way anymore. We'll all be the poorer when this place is gone, whether we know it or not. :(

This doesn't surpirse me at all.

When you have a restaurant in your park that loses approx 2,000 bucks a day and no one realizes it, you have problems. I remember reading a few years ago that the park purchased a new accounting program that would prevent this kind of error from occuring.

How much did that land sell for?

also: *** Edited 1/29/2007 2:52:01 PM UTC by FLYINGSCOOTER***

Great Lakes Brewery Patron...


CLP did try a paid admission setup a few years ago. It didn't work then, as a lot of "regulars" were chased away and din't come there. I'm not entirely positive without looking in the book upstairs, but I believe this resulted in the first 2 year hiatus for the park.
I remember the park charging admissions when they had the concerts on the lawn. We went when they had Loverboy and Reo Speedwagon, 25.00 admin. The place was mobbed! yeah, the locals might not have liked it, but they made money.

Great Lakes Brewery Patron...


Do any parks really recover after they go to an admission after being free w/ tickets for years?

I mean, look how well it worked for Myrtle Beach Pavilion...

Edit: If this place closes, it's not my fault - I think I dropped close to $100 between ride tickets and merchandise. :) *** Edited 1/29/2007 3:11:08 PM UTC by dannerman***

"Life's What You Make It, So Let's Make It Rock!"
I think Conneaut could be a viable business if more was added to the resort area. The park certainly has some internal problems but I think a lot has to do with a general lack of tourist traffic in the area. The place could be a really nice lake resort with some improvements elsewhere and that would definitely help the park in the long run.

I don't see this being the end for the park. There are people behind the place that are obviously supporting the park in unspeakable ways and since it seems to hang on every year, I see it opening for 2007. At least I hope...

rollergator's avatar
They need something to DRAW people to the they have concerts?

No, I don't mean the karaoke booth, LOL.

I hate to admit it, but I'm kinda with Gonch on this - I doubt the park will last more than another year or two... :(

Can I put in now that Blue Streak, Devil's Den *and* Grandma should be relocated in case of park failure...along with the Bug. Have to wonder about the fate of the Erieview dark ride in case Conneaut DOES go under.

People said that Kennywood would lose business when they took away their $10 General Admission, but the park is doing better than ever.
Lord Gonchar's avatar
Hmmm...examples of parks forcing guests to pay more and doing fine or better than ever...

Where have I heard that before? ;)


No idea what the park can do. I do think it's the area the park is in that's dying more than the park itself.

Location, location, location!

And the location of CLP seems to me to be a dying, seasonal, very localized, weekend getaway style town.

But what do I know. I'm not a resident Pennsylvanian anymore, so I have no business making such accusations, I suppose. :)

Jason Hammond's avatar
It's location is why last year was my first time ever going there. If the dark ride opens, I'll probably go again this year.

884 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries My YouTube

Lord Gonchar's avatar
What I'm saying is the built-in, summer-long, audience of vacationers doesn't exist anymore. (at least not on the level it used to)

Enthusiasts will always get to the parks. And this is another case of proof that enthusiast love & support doesn't mean squat. The GP makes or breaks a park.

eightdotthree's avatar
Gonch is right, the entire area as a resort destination is not there anymore. I used to go every year for my Erie GE's company picnic. Man, it was so much fun, and this was with us going to Cedar Point a lot as well. I credit the Blue Streak and Magnum for my coaster love. Every time I hear bad news about the park I feel bad, but it's falling apart and won't draw without it the area being a destination.

I don't know what they do as far as fireworks, festivals, or craft shows, but it seems like that is where they need to start. And follow up the shows with open rides, and stocked food and drink stands. They should allow pets as well. Be less restrictive and more fun.

Jeff's avatar

PerrysburgGuy said:
It is obviously not a viable business.
This is what I've been saying for years. All of the peace, love and good will won't change that. Location really is a significant portion of the issue, not to mention that people like to spend their disposable income in shiny new places. I don't have any real evidence to back that up, but even for an amusement park fan like me, I've yet to see anything compelling enough to get me there. If you can't get me there, how do you get the general public there?

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

I maintain the park has the potential to be something but I doubt they have the money to make it happen, which would also require money for proper marketing. Cash is a big problem and the cash problem has to do with mistakes that were made in the past, not necessarily things that are being done wrong today. The park's past is the anchor that is sinking it to the bottom of the lake.

It's true that lakeside resorts are a disappearing part of the American landscape, although Conneaut Lake has something that most do not- an amusement park. If the amusement park were to evolve into something more than just an amusement park- perhaps a proper waterpark, venue for concerts (outdoor, indoor or both) and restaurants with entertainment, the future for the park would be brighter. But like I said, that takes money and then some more money to spread the word.

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