My two hours at Geauga Lake 06/14/2006

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 12:56 AM
[Edit: Date: 06/13/2006]

After work, Mandy, and I went to enjoy a few hours at the park.

We arrived at the park around 6pm, we must have just missed the crowds, since the parking lot was trashed, and there were less then 100 or so cars in the lot. Maybe Geauga Lake could put a few extra garbage cans in the lot to collect some of the rubbish.

We entered the park to find a ghost town. No guests to be seen, just employees. There was trash on the midway, and I was wondering with all these employees, no one could bend over and pick up the empty soda cups, and the cotton candy cones? So Mandy and I did as we passed the garbage.

I don't know why I do this, but I always relate everything in the amusement parks to something in my restaurant. I told Mandy, who is an assistant manager, that if all of our employees were to just pass garbage on the floor, we wouldn't have any guests. I know that Cedar Fair has done a lot to this park and all, but they still need to screen their help a little better. Common sense isn't something that can be taught, but it should be quizzed during the interviewing process.

First Ride: We first headed over to Dominator, to see three trains dispatch without a soul on-board. We got up to the station, just to get a little cheer upon arriving. We jumped in the front row, and took a lonely spin on the bumpiest B&M I've ever been on. I've been on this iron beast several times in the past, but my god, no weight in the train was just awful. Square wheels?

Next we went to Double Loop to find a closed ride. Pretty sad, since it's one of my favorites in the park.

Since we were in the area, it was the perfect time to grab a ride on Vilian. I’m not a huge wood fan, but I just adore this ride. I love the roughness and surprise drops. It just makes me smile. The two-man crew was childish, and annoying. Kicking lap bars down, rather then just bending over, and pushing them down. When he got to us, Mandy explained to him that if he kicked her lap bar down, and would never see his shoe again. He just laughed and said “yeah, sure”, no common sense. The ride delivered like usual, fabulously!

We made our way over to Raging Wolf Bobs, but opted out from riding, since Mandy saw the train shaking on the first turn around, and didn’t really want to ride.

We made our way to the front of the park, and got a quick launch on Steel Venom, which was nice and smooth, as steel should be. Then over to X-flight. Again, a crew with no common sense. If they spend half of the time they waste on joking around, on something productive, they could probably run two or even three trains successfully.

We were simply annoyed with the way the staff was acting; therefore, we decided to leave around 8 PM.

It’s hard for me to go to this park, since it’s sad to see what it’s become from the early 90’s. My family lived in Aurora, and we went to the park at least once a week, and we all had a great time. Now, it’s like being at a Kindergarten Christmas program. Everything out of order, and annoying.

. *** Edited 6/14/2006 5:08:05 AM UTC by DS***

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 6:34 AM
One reason why GLs main competitor, KW is so busy in June is because of the many school outings that fill the park. This is a long standing tradition at the Pitttsburgh park as it was at many other parks (West View, Idora, etc.) in the past. KW offers the school groups reduced price tickets and the use of picnic shelters within the park.

KW remains one of the largest parks that still permits outside food inside the park. This is mainly because of the picnic tradition that remains so important there. The way they get people to buy park food as well is to offer better quality and lower prices than most major parks do.

Meanwhile, I saw another of those billboards hitting at KW without mentioning their name. It is true that GL has more coasters than KW but what GL needs to do is to continue improving the other elements that enhance the overall experience. GL is in a better location than KW but Cedar Fair still needs to do more to broaden the park's appeal and to undo the negative preceptions that people have from the Six Flags days. Keeping the park clean must be one of the top priorities.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:59 AM
Kennywood has also begun to heavily advertise in Cleveland. ON my way downtown and also around the city, Kennywood ads are everywhere! I also see the occasional Kennywood ad on TV. Maybe they know that Geauga Lake isnt doing so hot these days and it's time to move in on the Cleveland market? All I know is that I have always enjoyed Kennywood more than Geauga Lake.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 10:14 AM
It is quite tough to stay focused and civilized when there are 100 people in the park. Try working 12 hour days bored out of your mind and see if you can keep your sanity. Put yourself in their shoes.

Next time you should just try to enjoy yourself and stop nit-picking every little thing. I promise you may actually enjoy the park. :)

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 10:35 AM
The weather isn't helping them right now. Geauga Lake most likely makes a huge percent of their income on water park guests, and with the temperatures staying as cool as they are, no one is wanting to go to the water park. I bet you anything, though, that if you go this weekend, you'll see a packed water park as temperatures rise up into the high 80s.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:02 AM
Though i would agree that when people are bored it can be difficult to stay focused, that is still no excuse for a dirty park when crowds are low.
If there are broom-pushers, maybe they'd be less bored if they did their jobs.

My most boring job was running an OD grinder at a hydraulic company. I'd actually work maybe 2-3 minutes out of every 90 minutes. I could just see the bosses face if i had trashed a 50,000 dollar part because i was bored.

And the big rumor is: It might hit 72 degrees today in NE Ohio.
:) *** Edited 6/14/2006 3:12:29 PM UTC by FLYINGSCOOTER***

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:17 AM
So having a gripe about a park covered with trash, and ride operators who don't do their jobs in the manner in which they were taught, is now considered nit picking.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:43 AM

I am only calling it "nit picking" because the truth seems stretched.

Go to SFDL or another really DIRTY and unorganized park and GL will be Disney compared.

With my experience at this park, I have never seen GL in the past two years dirty. HOW can a park get dirty if nobody is there? If you think a cup or two on the midway is dirty, there are some problems. I honestly think GL is by far the cleanest park I have been to. I also doubt this day was an exception unless it was cleveland clinic day or such.

Im sorry, but I do not think the ride operators were not doing their jobs properly. OK, so they may of been joking around and taking a few extra "seconds" to check harnesses, but unless the park has LINES, does it matter? Your visit will go from two hours to two and a half hours... Let them have SOME fun, it's not easy to stand around and do nothing for 12 hours.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:49 AM
If the supervisors saw us acting like that at kennywood we'd either get cited or fired right away, no excuses. But they would never see us like that b/c our crew managers wouldnt allow us to act like that. Who knows, they need to get their acts together. But as long as they keep acting like that, it means more business for Kennywood =)
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:54 AM
Steve, ride ops aren't getting paid to screw around at the sake of guests. Besides, it's very easy to have a great time and include guests in your fun. That is how I survived a summer on Mean Streak.
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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 12:03 PM
Regarding advertising in the Cleveland area, will Waldameer start advertising in Cleveland once Ravine Flyer II is built? Pittsburgh and Buffalo are other places they could draw from once they have this major attraction.

As for KW, the ability to draw from eastern Ohio could be important to the park's future growth. If the park has enough to offer, people might go there even with the difficulty getting to its location.

What is so remarkable about KW's attendance relative to GL is that it is as high as it is (approx. 1.3 million vs 700-800 thousand) even without water slides and season passes. If you add attendance at Sandcastle, (KWs waterpark which is 3 miles away) the park closer to Cleveland "doesn't even come close" in attendance.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 4:42 PM
I don't think I'm nit picking, but I put myself in the guest aspect all day long. Since I was the guest, I was disappointed. That's what needs to be instilled into these employees. "How do you think the guest would feel?"

No, I've never been an employee of Cedar Fair, and I do not know their trained pratices, but I can clearly see that they need some with it.

I know that Geauga Lake is not Cedar Point, but they really need to train their people the same way. I've never seen CP employees act this way. Maybe is't because big brother is right there watching them, but maybe they need to put some type of branch there at Geauga Lake, god knows they have the property to do it.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 7:19 PM
Gl needs a lot more work than what CF has done. It takes more than sign changes and new paint. The management and employees of the park are poor. It doesn't matter whether GL is cleaner than other parks. If attendance is down and employees are standing around the place should be SPOTLESS.

There is a certain professionalism that goes with every job. Joking around that causes an annoyance to guests is NOT acceptable. While the job shouldn't be punishment, you are being paid to serve the guests. Your job is to insure that your customers are having the best time possible. If you fail at this then you are not doing your job properly. As a guest I should not have to wait an extra hour, minute, or even second for you to get your act together.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 9:46 PM
As far as Kennywood vs. Geauga Lake, I am constantly overhearing/talking to people who don't go to Kennywood, and come to Geauga Lake, most of their answers are for the simple reason is because they feel there's more here to do, etc... (that's the one that I got today).

But Ride ops "not doing our jobs" because we don't pick up a cup or two? I highly doubt that, Ride ops are constantly picking up cups/cotton candy sticks. If not us, then it is Park Services. I do think that we could have a better time at the park. I make it my simple job to make every guest I encounter have a great time, if they're not Im not doing my job, I've never had a problem with that.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006 11:46 PM
I too went to the park on the 13th, and it was a terrible experience! Many of the park employees are incompetent, and they can easily overshadow the good things the park has going for itself.

Lets just say that my experience at the park last night was so bad that I almost cried on my drive home!

-Sam

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Thursday, June 15, 2006 12:20 AM
First of all I must side with GL's ride ops. With the crowds as light as they were, what are they supposed to do, sit there and pick their noses? You have to remember that these are only high school kids, not the college kids you find at Cedar Point. I don't mind if they joke amongst themselves as long as they do their job correctly and as required even if it means a few extra seconds or so before a ride being dispatched. They deserve to make the job fun instead of boring.

I went to Geauga Lake for a few hours today and encountered similar attendance as you did. I did not find the park to be dirty as you described. I think the Geauga Lake of the 90's you so miss was a bit dirtier IMO.

Dominator running three trains - on a June weekday no less - never happens and never will unless needed. GL only runs two trains on the ride so this is somewhat hard to believe. Why run three if there is no need for it?

Regarding Wolf Bobs:

"Mandy saw the train shaking on the first turnaround and didn't really want to ride"

How is that so since the park just completed a multi-year retrack on this ride? It runs almost like new again. If you're referring to the shaking of the high station turn's structure, it's always done that since day one. Other than that you might as well say Villain's trains shake, especially in the trick track, and Dipper's trains shake.

X Factor

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Thursday, June 15, 2006 6:48 AM
One of the things that GL should do to boost attendance is to promote school groups attending the park. As mentioned earlier, this is the reason why KW is so busy early in the season. School groups add about 20 good operating days to this park's schedule.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006 6:55 AM
DS, Instead of being irrational and telling you that your perception of the park is wrong, I will simply point out that the majority of the trip reports of the park this summer have been positive, including the operators and cleanliness.

Avalanche Sam, you are just bitter about being demoted last year and given no rehire status for Cedar Fair. Stop harrasing the park and move on already!

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Thursday, June 15, 2006 7:13 AM
I was at the park that evening and found everything to be enjoyable. I am more a member of the general public then an enthusiast and can tell you, I had a pleasant evening. By the way the general public is who makes or breaks the park not enthusiasts.

Two things:

1. Go to a park and enjoy it, if you find walking around a park and scrutinizing every aspect of the place enjoyable, I think you have a problem....something with control issues. I was at a certian park in Jersey and took note of horrible operation but had a great time.

2. If your such an expert on amusement park operations, work at one. Even though, (having previously worked in the industry) I found most enthusiasts to be horrible employees. They think they know better than management....... They base their job on what they read on message boards like these, instead of listening to their immideate supervisors. Funny how they are the people that never make it in the industry. *** Edited 6/15/2006 11:15:59 AM UTC by Industry Force***

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Thursday, June 15, 2006 7:38 AM
^^It's quite obvious that you've worked with the wrong type of enthusiasts then. Funny how you start out by saying "most enthusiasts", yet by the time you finished your rant about them, it seemed like you were talking about all enthusiasts.

BTW, you must have worked in every facet of the amusement industry, for every amusement company, over the entire existence of your working career, to be able to say; "Funny how they(enthusiasts) are the people that never make it in the industry.

Last time I checked a couple of "enthusiasts" were now working at GCII. So it now looks like your vague attack has just lost any weak merit it may have had to begin with. *** Edited 6/15/2006 11:39:08 AM UTC by Coasterphan***

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