Police called to Conneaut Lake rally, nothing actually happens

Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2021 9:22 AM | Contributed by BrettV

A rally by supporters of the Blue Streak roller coaster at Conneaut Lake Park on Saturday resulted in Pennsylvania State Police being called, though no arrests were made.

Read more from The Meadville Tribune.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2021 9:52 AM
Vater's avatar

This is sure to make the Meadville Tribune's "Hottest Story of the Year" award.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 10:40 AM

Call me when someone chains themselves to the structure, and not until then.

Thursday, September 9, 2021 8:42 PM

Chaining oneself to a decrepit wood structure would be quite the flex.

Sunday, September 12, 2021 11:20 AM

Well, the deed is just about done ,most of the older iron rides are gone, and the carousel was put up for sale on Used Rides yesterday. As far as the Blue Streak, it's odds of survival are slim to none. But the trustees got their money.......

Last edited by Dutchman, Sunday, September 12, 2021 11:29 AM
Sunday, September 12, 2021 12:50 PM

Yesterday he updated the carousel listing to include the Blue Streak (there are screenshots of this all over the place), but today the listing is back to just being the carousel.

He also put the entire set of kiddie rides up for sale yesterday for a whopping $1,000. That listing is still up.

The park is done.

Sunday, September 12, 2021 1:11 PM

I still always think back to the early 2000s and marvel at the fact that if someone from the future came and told me that at the end of the 2010s, Geauga Lake would be more than a decade gone and nothing more than a giant abandoned lot, but Conneaut Lake would still be around, I would have bet a significant sum of money that the futuristic figure had mixed up the lakes.

Sunday, September 12, 2021 3:44 PM

It's hard to imagine the scenario where Conneaut Lake could ever be viable, but I'm nevertheless disappointed by this news. And it certainly seems the new owner was, um, less than forthright about his intentions.

Sunday, September 12, 2021 5:56 PM

hambone said:
It's hard to imagine the scenario where Conneaut Lake could ever be viable, but I'm nevertheless disappointed by this news. And it certainly seems the new owner was, um, less than forthright about his intentions.

As much as I hate to say it, I think this hits it on the head. I'm not sure how Lakemont does it - as it has been through similar tribulations - but it seems to be in better shape than Conneaut.

Sunday, September 12, 2021 8:48 PM

I went by Lakemont a couple of times in ‘20, once for a leg-stretch on my way to Knoebels and again for rides on my way back.
What they’ve done is de-emphasized the ride part of the park and have leaned into the sports park aspect. The place was full of local teams playing softball. Families took advantage of a couple of miniature golf courses. So essentially they’ve gone from an expensive to maintain amusement park to a low overhead community center. It looked to me like it will work.
Which is far away from what this jackass in Pennsylvania has planned for Conneaut. If it’s possible to bring that property to a new, all-time low he's about to win the prize.

Sunday, September 12, 2021 9:15 PM

I just saw a Facebook post saying that an even bigger protest than the last one is being planned. If 12 people didn’t change the owner’s mind, I’m sure 2 dozen will have him pretty frightened.

Monday, September 13, 2021 12:07 AM
LostKause's avatar

If I'm not mistaken, Lakemont Park is funded by the city of Altoona, and that's part of the reason it hasn't ever closed for good.

I grew up in Altoona, and I have close friends in the area, but I haven't had the chance to check it out since they changed the park when I am there. I'm always so busy when I'm there.

As far as Conneaut, I'd guess that not many people, even enthusiasts, care.

I was thinking though, maybe the guy needs to sell everything so he can rebuild from scratch. I know that's what I would do. I'd modernize the park so that it would resemble a real amusement park, and not a collection of really old rides and buildings.

Like I say here a lot, I am a dreamer.

Monday, September 13, 2021 1:55 AM

I get the feeling this person is going to build lakeside condos and sell them for over inflated prices, either that a trailer park........

Monday, September 13, 2021 8:30 AM

Used to work at Conneaut off and on as a summer job around the 2000's and again in like 2005-2006... My uncle ran the midway games for a handful of years so it was a fun job on the weekends to make a few hundred bucks when they needed extra help, or even in the later years for a few weeks straight.

I have some fond memories of the place... It was good times working on those busy holiday weekends as a teenager... Often times, I was working Ring Toss with my cousin smack dab in the middle of the main midway. Always a good time and a high volume game that was always busy. Then of course, the summer was spent (trying) to flirt with girls, hitting up the rides on break (Devil’s Den, Tumblebug and Blue Streak were favorites of course), messing with the carnies we worked with, enjoying the car shows or other events going on…. Busy weekends were the best. We often had breakfast at the hotel in the morning on weekends and after close, we often hit up the Sheetz down the street for some subs on the way home. In a weird way, was like a classic 'coming of age' TV series, but real life. Some drama, some close friendships, a few dates… Nothing but good things to say, really, it was a huge part of my childhood. Some people I still keep in touch with to this day.

But I will admit, I only have visited I think twice after I stopped working there and the park just didn't feel the same… Not just because I wasn’t working there anymore, but more rides were closed, the fire damage on the main midway, low crowds, etc... This was well over a decade ago now and things never got better from the sounds of it. Even back in the early 2000’s, it needed some TLC.. But at least a majority of the park was open (I recall certain mornings when maintenance would notify over the radio that all the rides would be open that day, we got all excited as that usually meant the park expected to be busy).

Conneaut holds almost as many memories for me as Geauga Lake did… GL was an even bigger part of my life for many reasons, but both were special to me. Makes me a little sad to see CLP go, but at the same time, it’s a shell of it’s formal self and I am surprised it didn’t happen years ago. I am just as much “Well, it’s about time” as I am “Sad to see it go…”. So while it’s bittersweet, mainly because of the memories I have there, it’s not like the park is worth keeping at this point in it’s current state without a ton of work.

Monday, September 13, 2021 8:46 AM

Lots of organizations donated tens of thousands to refurbish blue streak, this new owner needs to reimburse those who donated if he wants to tear down that rollercoaster.

Monday, September 13, 2021 9:47 AM

Nicely said, Steve. My first visit to Conneaut Lake was in 2003, and at the time it had that funky old school "it's falling apart but not really" feeling. I spent a full day and had a great time. I also had a few visits in 2005-2006 that were just as enjoyable.

My last visit, in 2014, had more of a "it's falling apart... but no really, it is". It was sad and felt like I was in a weird abandoned park, but nobody told the staff it was closed. Blue Streak was still running great though.

And your sentiment about “Well, it’s about time” as I am “Sad to see it go…” is how I felt about Geauga Lake closing in 2007. It wasn't until a few years later that I really started missing that park. I don't see the same thing happening with Conneaut Lake.

Monday, September 13, 2021 11:29 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Goonch79 said:

Lots of organizations donated tens of thousands to refurbish blue streak, this new owner needs to reimburse those who donated if he wants to tear down that rollercoaster.


Was there some clause on the donations about the longevity of the park? Did the donors not see the writing on the wall? If not, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Monday, September 13, 2021 12:10 PM

Yes there was a clause that stated no future owner could remove the park. But from what i understand that was voided by the local government right before the sale of the property, but that action alone may have been totally illegal and all who donated should take this asshole to court.

Monday, September 13, 2021 12:35 PM

I have always assumed that donations are gifts, and therefore the donors have zero legal control over how the gift is used. Is this not the case?

Brandon | Facebook

Monday, September 13, 2021 12:56 PM

Donors can place restrictions or conditions on the use of gifts (its purpose, when it can be used, etc.) In most cases, it wouldn't be worth the cost of legal action to claw a small gift back, but you sometimes see it with larger donations.

Since the sale of the park and the dissolution of the nonprofit board, I don't know what if anything happens to any conditions that may have been applied to those gifts. One could argue that they were used for the intended purpose, so the conditions were satisfied, and if more maintenance was required that's a totally separate matter.

(I've always found the situation with the tax debts the park owed a little strange - normally a nonprofit org doesn't have to pay property taxes, but Pennsylvania's law seems to be a little muddy.)

As an ethical matter, it's a different question. All the early statements from the owner were that he planned to restore the park (even to the point of bringing in new rides - which he now is selling?) As of today, there really aren't any actions that suggest that was his intent.

Again, was the place viable, if someone like Gene Staples had come along and poured a bunch of money into the place? That's not obvious. Still, it's a loss, and the way it's happening is pretty distasteful.


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