My two cents on Geauga Lake

Sunday, August 22, 2004 5:19 AM
Attendance - Down by a lot! Last year SFWoA had on the average about 14,000 to 18,000 visitors a day. This year GL has maybe 4,000 to 8,000 a day (and that is being generous). Recently there has been days where there are more employees then guests.

People have commented on how clean the park is... honestly how hard is it to manage something with that few people in the park? Talk to those who were at the park on Cleveland Clinic day, the park was in horrible condition. If GL saw the same amount of visitors as SFWoA did it would be the same thing.

Ride Ops - Oops, lets dispatch Double Loop and not secure the riders. The entire department has issues starting with Andre down to the bottom. Lets hope this is taken care of for the 2005 season.

Security – Lucky! Lucky that nothing serious has happened this year. That department has been scheduled so thin. I hope nothing of yours is lost or stolen at the park. Their lost and found department (or lake thereof) needs some serious help! And one last thing… Trooper Dave needs to realize he is not at the Highway Patrol anymore. Stop trying to run it that way!

The management at the park needs to realize something, GL is not CP, the policies at CP will not work at GL. GL is more community oriented, not transient oriented. Focus on what the surrounding communities want and maybe you just might have a successful park. SFWoA may not have been run correctly, at least they made employees feel wanted and listened to the community. GL has not.

Tomorrow some of the sister park GMs and CF board members will be at GL looking at the park for development ideas for the future.. I hope some good ideas come about this meeting, and I hope they realize some people shouldn’t have certain managerial roles!

Just my two cents,
Steve *** Edited 8/22/2004 9:22:21 AM UTC by insider***

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 6:07 AM

insider said:
honestly how hard is it to manage something with that few people in the park?

Go to SFKK and ask that question...

I agree that attendance is down, but that dosen't seem like Cedar Fair's fault to me. As for everything else, c'mon, its the first year of new ownership. Things need to be worked out.

The sale took place almost over-nite, but getting the park up to CP standards will take some time. You think Cedar Point was like that the first day it opened?

Give them a break and come back in a year or two and look back at what has happened. I honestly think people are expecting a miracle @ Geauga now that CF has taken over. The miracle happened already when SF sold the park, give it time to sink in.

I thought nothing but good thoughts about the park on my recent visit this week. *** Edited 8/22/2004 10:07:34 AM UTC by TeknoScorpion***

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 10:01 AM
The attendance issue has a lot to do with current policies. I expected a drop with the loss of the old Sea World side, however I did not expect that much of a loss and it keeps dropping. August should be the park's busies time of the year with the "Oh sh*t school starts next week what are we going to do" vacationers.

Search through the local news organizations web sites (especially Cleveland.com for the Plain Dealer articles) GL has received tons of bad PR (even more then SFWoA). I wouldn’t be surprised if you see a Part 3 to the article written in the consumer affairs section of the paper very soon. (within the next couple weeks)

I work at Geauga Lake I see things on a daily basis that most wouldn't. Am I a bitter employee, no. Just some things need to be brought to attention to have a better 2005 season. I would ask other GL employees to post their thoughts, however most of them fear doing so because somebody from the park might figure out who it is and they will lose their bonus or fire them. *** Edited 8/22/2004 2:02:10 PM UTC by insider***

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 10:05 AM
Well, I wouldn't give them THAT much of a break.

The sale actually was in the process for several months, for one thing. The actual take-over was just a mere month or two for them to prep the place up for opening day.

Attendance shouldn't have taken that much of a hit. I really can't NOT (double negative, eh?) blame Cedar Fair because they could have drawn the guests, if needed. They could have allowed Cedar Fair passes from all parks either to include their park, or for their season pass to include all Cedar Fair properties. They could have marketed a BOGO day or have coupons all over the local papers for BOGO, or mass discounts.

Just something to bring the people through the gates, Cedar Fair could have done a lot more in terms of promotion. Sure, they don't have TOO Much to show since it's a transition year... but to show that they are changing back to the "family atmosphere" of yesteryear (actually crica 1998), it would help...

...this is only going to make Cedar Fair work MUCH harder the following years to try & bring the peopel thru the gates. The locals are now aware that Six Flags Worlds of Adventure is no more & Geauga Lake is back... but if they've recieved such a light reception with so few crowds & ride-op complaints (ie: Customer service), it's going to be a tough sell to bring the attendance to Six Flags peek attendance in 2001.

I honestly have no sympathy for Cedar Fair. They could have easily brought in the guests this year if they really wanted to. I know that it's a transition year, and probably a little ugly... but you can't just have everyone look away & expect the big crowds to come back again the following year.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 10:37 AM
The purchase happened too late in the year. The marketing was a mess. There was no clear message about the park, probably because the park isn't sure what that message is even supposed to be. Personally I think their ad agency blows, but that's just me.

Here's a tip, Steve, if you value your job, you won't post on sites like this and you sure as hell won't name people. You wouldn't be the first in the company to get canned for it. While the park has problems that haven't yet been resolved, they've still got a hell of a lot more experience than you do.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 11:32 AM

TeknoScorpion said:

I honestly think people are expecting a miracle @ Geauga now that CF has taken over. The miracle happened already when SF sold the park, give it time to sink in.


There it is- the explanation.

Attendance would have been down for the '04 season whether Six Flags, Cedar Fair or Disney owned the park. Years of damage done in the years following the 2000 season resulted in an attendance slide that is terribly difficult to stop. Cedar Fair realizes this- they weren't expecting a miracle and anyone else who was expecting one was being naive.

I've spoken to many people that frequent that park and they all tell me that the mentality has changes in every department- customer service, ride operations, maintenance, marketing. But the effects of those changes will happen over time and not overnight. If CF stands by this park, it will come out of this mess looking golden. After all, how many parks has Cedar Fair NOT been successful with?

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 11:51 AM

Rob Ascough said:
After all, how many parks has Cedar Fair NOT been successful with?

There is a first time for everything! *** Edited 8/22/2004 3:53:07 PM UTC by Alizabeth***

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 11:52 AM
Yeah but their track record is better than most. A good thing to consider when trying to gauge how successful GL could be in the future.
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Sunday, August 22, 2004 11:59 AM
There's no miracle that ever happens when CF buys a park. It breathes, but it's pretty much left in a coma and given flowers when someone thinks about them. The character and atmosphere SFWOA used to have for me is definitely dead. I hope and will be impressed if CF can cook up some more.

+Danny

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 2:11 PM

Jeff said:
The purchase happened too late in the year. The marketing was a mess. There was no clear message about the park, probably because the park isn't sure what that message is even supposed to be. Personally I think their ad agency blows, but that's just me.

Here's a tip, Steve, if you value your job, you won't post on sites like this and you sure as hell won't name people. You wouldn't be the first in the company to get canned for it. While the park has problems that haven't yet been resolved, they've still got a hell of a lot more experience than you do.


Very true Jeff. I knew comming from Cedar Point to work over here wasn't going to be the same as working at Cedar Point. You have to give it this year and on the off season to see what happons. I have no Idea what is going next year but I know a few things that should , but I don't know if they will do it. I don't ask them, I just wait and see what goes on.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 2:27 PM
i think CF is a lot more respectable management that SF i think about 70% of the problem is that the management, not just CF SF operated the same way too, thinks that a new water slide or flat ride will attract the big crowds, this is my hometown park, i know this marketing scheme DOES NOT work they havent had a new coaster since X-Flight in 2001, thats 3 YEARS! what they need is a new LARGE coaster not a kiddie one, they need like an Intamin or something period a new coaster should boost attendence. Also next year CF is combinining all passes like SF so i think a lot of people will get CP passes and go to geauga lake as well. But overall they need, not just could use they NEED a new coaster! *** Edited 8/22/2004 6:28:42 PM UTC by drummerkid88***
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Sunday, August 22, 2004 4:09 PM

drummerkid88 said:
not just CF SF operated the same way too, thinks that a new water slide or flat ride will attract the big crowds

Ummmm.....well I guess adding flat rides and water rides most only work for PKI. Their attendance has been impressive with these additions. In fact, it seems to be up this year with a new waterpark. But again, it may only work at PKI!

New coasters do not do a damn thing but draw in the coaster buffs. When in the world is that going to sink in people's head. SFWOA added like 4 new coasters in one year and their attendance didnt sky rocket. CP's attendance stayed steady with the addition of TTD. There was no major jump. I dont care what a park adds, as long as its quality, the people will still come.

Since the year 2000, PKI has opened 1 new adult coaster (SOB). CP has opened 3 new coasters (MF, WT, TTD). Both parks attendance in 2003 were similiar if not the same as 2000. Which shows you can add anything with quality and bring in the crowds. So I really wouldn't blame attendance on lack of new coasters. Nor would I say this is in anyway the answer to the problem. I think GL needs to focus on quality attractions and experiences for 2005. I have faith that they will do this. As a side note, GL added 5 coasters since 2000 and we see what happened!!!!!!! *** Edited 8/22/2004 8:19:05 PM UTC by Beast_2004***

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 4:17 PM
well as far as CP and TTD goes the attendence has been steady becuase people arent coming because of the rep TTD has, if they got it operating all day everyday like MF im sure the attendence will jump, and yes coasters definitly do matter whan a park hasnt had a new one in almost 4 years so get that through your head
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Sunday, August 22, 2004 4:21 PM
Again GL has recieved the most coasters since 2000 and their attendance is the worst off!!!!!! SO apparently it aint cutting it. PKI hasnt recieved a new adult coaster since 2000, and wow imagine that their attendance is doing just fine. Actually higher this year!
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Sunday, August 22, 2004 5:21 PM
I agree with Jeff on their ad agency. I agree with Rob about peoples expectations. Just because CF has taken over doesn't mean instant quality, cleanliness, and attendance boost! It's awesome that CF has taken over, but GL will NEVER be a CP! They are their own separate entity.

The last time I was there, (summer '02) I liked it for the coasters. They have one of the better line-ups of coasters as far as variety...in my experiences. I wish PKI had a flyer and a floorless.

I can't wait for Labor Day weekend, that's where I'm at for the weekend.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 6:13 PM
I think the ad agency does a great job overall. The annual Cedar Point campaigns are exceptional ... and I think it's obvious which part of CP's media effort is handled by a different agency. I have no doubt that any advertising issues that came up this year will be addressed next season given more time to work with the product.

The 'FUN' guy is a little dubious, but I think the song works. The song reminds me a little of amusement park commercials from the 1980's (and not in a bad way).

I haven't been to Geagua Lake yet this year, so I can't comment on park operations.

*** Edited 8/22/2004 10:15:46 PM UTC by Gemini***

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Sunday, August 22, 2004 6:29 PM
GL should never be CP! It would be foolish on the part of Cedar Fair to create another park like their Sandusky location just 90 minutes away. GL should be different from CP (for a number of reasons) and I am sure that CF understands that.
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Sunday, August 22, 2004 6:50 PM

Beast_2004 said:
SFWOA added like 4 new coasters in one year and their attendance didnt sky rocket.

That's completely false. In 1999 Geauga Lake's attendance was a 1.2 million. By 2000 SFWoA's attendance was near 1.7 million. In other words, by adding those four coasters, SFWoA's attendance rose by a whopping 30%. The problem is SFWoA couldn't sustain that attendance due to a variety of problems and couldn't reach attendance goals set after the SeaWorld purchase.

-Nate
*** Edited 8/22/2004 10:51:49 PM UTC by coasterdude318***

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Monday, August 23, 2004 1:43 AM
And it was in 2000 when they had those record amounts of people, gave nearly all of them a bad experience due to long lines, bad employees, dirty bathrooms, overflowing trash cans and outragous other prices where they dug there own grave. I was beyond annoyed that year, and it was so croweded, you couldn't move.

Its still taking years for people to come back and try it again, GL will get them back.

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Monday, August 23, 2004 2:01 AM
Oh, and Danny, just wanted to say that I see your point, and that I wasn't implying that just because Cedar Fair bought it, its a miracle. If any other chain had bought it, It would have been the miracle, is that confusing?:)

I'm still a Paramount Fanboy at heart, but I really liked Geauga Lake. I would be none the happier to live across the street from the park, even with the other side of the lake not fully opened.

I have a feeling that CF will do some good with both sides of the park eventually.

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