More Problems For Conneaut Lake Park

Monday, January 29, 2007 1:59 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
..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...

That's the crux of my side of things in that big SF thread you refuse to read. I couldn't agree more.

Big & shiny beats small & full of 'charm' everytime.

That combined with that pesky location thing equals death.

People from west of the park are probably visiting Geauga Lake or CP. People south go to Kennywood. People to the north have Waldameer (or SFDL once you get into NY a bit) and to the west is Lakemont and DelGrosso's - both essentially offering the same CLP experience.

Quite frankly, CLP is surrounded by 'better' options (better options that you have to drive right by to get to Conneaut) and have to rely on people in the area - the only problem is people aren't coming to the area like they used to - not even close.


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Monday, January 29, 2007 2:06 PM
Which is why I believe that Conneaut has to become something else; something that offers something a little unique. Concert venues with a good offering of entertainment options seem to do well- maybe that would be the draw that the area needs to bring people back?

Maybe Conneaut, as it is right now, is not a viable business, but I stand by what I said about it being weighed down by the mistakes of past leadership. I truly believe Conneaut could be a viable business if the right things were done with the right resources.

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Monday, January 29, 2007 2:30 PM
If Conneaut Lake goes, then I would like to see Idlewild build a replica of the Blue Streak from the original plans. That would be a nice addition to that park.

The Tumble bug would be a good addition to Knoebels.


Arthur Bahl

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Monday, January 29, 2007 2:37 PM
What original plans? The Blue Streak has undergone so many changes, I don't think anyone knows what was part of the original coaster. Heck, there's a chance the coaster could have been built from parts from a coaster that existed in the earlier part of the century.

Any park would make a good home for the Bug, now that's running. But I'd like it to stay at Conneaut.

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Monday, January 29, 2007 2:38 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yeah, Rob. Conneaut did ridiculous crowds with the 'C-list' concerts in the early 90's. I wonder why that stopped?
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Monday, January 29, 2007 2:55 PM
I remember reading/hearing complaints about the concerts bringing drugs and heavy alcohol usage to the area. (It's a resort/vacation area, isn't alcohol a must?)


When we stayed at the Mckinley the weekend of the Reo Speedwagon/Loverboy concert, they'd said they wished the park would run more of them. That hotel would have no vacancies at all on concert weekends and they'd book weeks in advance.


The year after that last show, they closed the park for the next season and to the best of my knowledge, never had a concert again. That concert ended abruptly when the area lost power during a major thunderstorm. People mobbed the ticket booths for refunds.


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

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Monday, January 29, 2007 3:00 PM

rollergator said:


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



Now THAT was more frightening than the Devil's Den dark ride.


"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
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Monday, January 29, 2007 3:10 PM

SLFAKE said:

rollergator said:


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



Now THAT was more frightening than the Devil's Den dark ride.


Oh yeah, that had it's moments alright. I remember my girlfriend (who can sing very well) was singing Crazy. This drunk staggers over by me and says, slurring every word: "Wow, she can sing as pretty as her boobs. " then he just sort of waddles away. i told her to take it as a compliment.

I can say I survived the Achey-Breaky marathon of 2005. Every other song that people sang was the achey breaky song.... uhg...


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

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Monday, January 29, 2007 3:19 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
Yeah, Rob. Conneaut did ridiculous crowds with the 'C-list' concerts in the early 90's. I wonder why that stopped?

Is that sarcasm, or were the concerts actually popular? I remember you mentioning once seeing a hair band play there...

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Monday, January 29, 2007 3:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
I maintain the park has the potential to be something but I doubt they have the money to make it happen.
Potential as what though? Seriously, I don't see it.

The concert venue idea is silly. There isn't a population base to support that. You could barely get people from Cleveland to go out to Richfield when the Coliseum was out there.

Let's face, it they've been throwing loaned money at the park for years now, and nothing changes. That sounds like a pretty good indication that it's time to just give up.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Monday, January 29, 2007 3:41 PM
eightdotthree's avatar Their concerts did draw big crowds when they had them. I went to plenty with my parents and they would let me and my friends run around the park. It was a good time.

What makes a place like Indiana Beach so successful? Is it because there isn't much else in the area? Is the lake nicer? The campground? When you compare the two parks with CLP in its prime and IB today, they are pretty similar.

When did CLP go down the tubes, before or after the tax case? *** Edited 1/29/2007 8:42:11 PM UTC by eightdotthree***


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Monday, January 29, 2007 3:54 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
Is that sarcasm, or were the concerts actually popular? I remember you mentioning once seeing a hair band play there...

No that was serious. The concerts they held back then were wildly popular and I was honestly curious as to why they stopped, but I think flyingscooter answered that.

But like Jeff is saying, if they have to resort to concerts and other events to bring in crowds and money, then are they really even an amusement park anymore or just an entertainment venue which happens to have rides nearby?

As an amusement park, I have to agree that it's probably not a sustainable business anymore.


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Monday, January 29, 2007 4:07 PM
rollergator's avatar If they could have a *successful* entertainment venue with rides, I'd be ALL for that....

Sadly, I doubt that could happen. Here, you just throw any two GOBs (good ole boys) on stage with a geetar or two, and voile, Cypress, WA, or even Silver Springs draws a HUGE crowd of elderly folks with oversized belt-buckles and hyperabundant gun-racks.

Not sure how that translates into PA, though.. ;)

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Monday, January 29, 2007 5:01 PM

Jeff said:


The concert venue idea is silly... Let's face, it they've been throwing loaned money at the park for years now, and nothing changes. That sounds like a pretty good indication that it's time to just give up.


Why is it a silly idea? Because you don't agree with it? I like how things that you don't agree with are "silly" or "stupid". Most people would simply disagree yet you have to build yourself up by attempting to prove the other person inept.

As Gonch and eightdotthree just mentioned, the concerts that used to be held at the park drew some pretty big crowds. That being the case, why would it be silly to try that again? More people on the park grounds means more people to spend money in the park... sounds like a no-brainer to me. Maybe the park doesn't turn a profit because it doesn't cover operating expenses with a thousand daily guests (arbitrary number pulled out of thin air), but maybe operating expenses could be covered by 1500 people and a profit realized by 1600.

Yeah, loaned money is getting tossed about and I'm not sure it's a great idea- seems like a band-aid to me and not a solution to the problem at hand. That said, people seem pretty passionate about keeping the park operational- how else can you explain how the park has survived against all odds these past few years? People that work for the park want to see it kept in operation, and since more than enthusiasts frequent the park and spend money there, there's a portion of the population that wants to see it kept in operation. I'm not sure you're in a position to say that it's time for them to throw in the towel.

That's one of the problems with much of modern society... people are too quick to quit on something that isn't working. Look at this country's divorce rate compared to the divorce rate throughout the rest of the world- I think that proves what I'm saying to be true.

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Monday, January 29, 2007 5:10 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I suppose that depends on the definition of 'too quick', Rob.

The park did originally close for that 1995 season. That makes 11 years of borrowed time (and money) - when exactly is it 'ok' to throw in the towel? 20 years? 25? 30? 50?

I suppose the flip side to giving up too easily is not knowing when to quit. How much money, time and effort have to be wasted before you just can't waste it anymore?

I'm surprised they've kicked the horse this far.


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Monday, January 29, 2007 5:13 PM
In my eyes, it's time to give up when an overwhelming number of people want to give up. That doesn't seem to be the case right now.

The horse is still there and people are still kicking it, so why make them stop?

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Monday, January 29, 2007 5:44 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Because it's dead and it's never going to walk on it's own again. Doesn't matter how far you push, pull or drag it - once you stop physically moving it (or in the case of the park, spending money you'll never get back) it will just lie there...dead. As dead as it is now.

As long as there's someone willing to keep kicking the horse along (spending the time and money necessary) then it will keep moving. But how long before those folks get exhausted or tired of kicking (realize they're throwing time and money away and will never see it given back, let alone a return)?

(sticking with the analogy, of course :) )

I can't help but think of the current SF situation -parks in debt with serious issues from previous times. But the big difference is that SF is making money and covering the bills (maybe not getting ahead, but at least treading water. CLP is losing money each year and according to the article it's snowballing downhill fast with each year getting worse than the last. They're drowning.

How long can we really expect money to be thrown at a losing proposition? All the care in the world won't pay the bills.


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Monday, January 29, 2007 5:57 PM

Jeff said:
even for an amusement park fan like me, I've yet to see anything compelling enough to get me there. quote]

Those are my feelings exactly about Six Flags. :)


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Monday, January 29, 2007 7:31 PM
Lakemont and DelGrosso's were mentioned in this thread as competitors to Conneaut Lake Park. Let's look at why those two parks are still around, and in DelGrosso's case, thriving.

Lakemont Park has a wonderful event during the summer months. They call it "Wing Off", and the event is once a week. This gets tons of people there. They section off the an area of the picnic area, charge money to get into this area, have live local bands, and sell beer. Many different resturaunts come in and compete for the best wing title.

I've noticed that the amount of ride-all-day-wristbands that are sold during these events seem to be more than even a normal Saturday. Lakemont's ride-all-day-price is only around $7.

DelGrosso's has free weekly outdoor concerts along with other events during the summer as well. These free concerts sell a lot of ride-all-day wristbands for them as well, which are around $10-15$. Sometimes during these events the park is packed.

Would a weekly event like these get people to come to Conneaut Lake Park? The more people there for one thing, the more money they will spend on other things.


Lord Gonchar said:
Hmmm...examples of parks forcing guests to pay more and doing fine or better than ever...

Where have I heard that before? ;)


I'm assuming that you're talking about SF. SF is not doing fine or better than ever?

*** Edited 1/30/2007 12:34:17 AM UTC by dexter***

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Monday, January 29, 2007 7:49 PM
Gonch, the way I see it is that the people that keep pushing to keep the park open are the ones that see many of the current troubles have to do with bad decisions made in the past and not anything they're doing wrong now. I'm not saying that tossing money into a bottomless pit is always a good idea, but I don't think they see it that way. What they see is a park that, if it weren't saddled with its past problems, might be in a much better position to succeed.

The park has done some good things in the past few years. The Blue Streak- the marquee attraction- is running great. The grounds are cleaner. The Tempest (Witch's Brew or whatever it's called) looks and runs fantastic since it's rehab. And the park's Tumble Bug seems to be very popular among park guests (they deserve accolades for getting that thing running again). Maybe they're dealing with a dead horse but at least they're trying to administer CRP to get the thing breathing again.

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