Senator asks Cedar Fair to preserve Geauga Lake's Big Dipper

Posted Thursday, December 6, 2007 9:08 AM | Contributed by Fun

Last month Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, addressed a letter to Cedar Fair chairman, president and chief executive officer Dick Kinzel asking the company to develop a plan for Geauga Lake's historic wooden roller coaster, The Big Dipper. In the letter Brown said he hopes company officials will keep the ride at its current location or have it moved to another site where it can continue to operate.

Read more from The Sandusky Register.

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Friday, December 7, 2007 9:44 AM
Legacy Village has at least six open spaces not including the second floor space in the middle. The place is a ghost town during the week except for the four main restaurants. I'm not imagining this, I go frequently. Church, er, the Apple store is there.

Geauga Lake does suck to get to. It's out of the way unless you live in Solon or points east. These lifestyle places tend to be more destination oriented and in the middle of a larger population. GL is not. It takes me ten minutes to get there from work, and that's in Solon. I can actually get to Legacy faster.

Friday, December 7, 2007 9:59 AM
"Well, Screechin' Eagle is SBNO, but as far as operating coasters go, it would be LD. That's disturbing."

LOL, if you want to go that route then head to Chippewa Lake. That park closed in 1978 but their "Big Dipper" built in 1925 is still standing. It's pretty much part of the forest now but it's still there! :)


Friday, December 7, 2007 12:02 PM
I thought the remnants of Chippewa Lake were torn down last year? If not, I gotta get me on a, reconnaissance mission.
Friday, December 7, 2007 2:17 PM
Every good republican knows that Mike Dewine would have already saved the Big Dipper by now. ;)
Friday, December 7, 2007 2:25 PM

For most of my life, I lived on the western side of the state where lake effect snow doesn't really exist. Then, I came to college in Akron, which is not really even considered in the snowbelt.

The first thing I noticed about winter is that it seems to snow every day from December to March. Some days it will drop 2 inches, others it may drop 10 inches. Aurora is seriously in the snowbelt, and it may be possible for 15+ inches of snow to fall with a lake effect storm within a matter of hours. You're right Rob, it does snow in other parts of the country, but in very few places can such amounts of snow fall in such short amounts of time, and with very little warning. Lake effect snow warnings sometimes come about within 3 hours of the snow beginning to fall. At least most places in the country have the luxury of a couple days of notice before the storm hits.

All that said, what use is a shopping center themed around an amusement ride - and the centerpiece attraction can only be open 3-4 months a year?

Friday, December 7, 2007 3:55 PM
I don't think the roller coaster would be centerpiece attraction as much as it would be one component of the project.

I understand lake effect snow and what it means to the northeast Ohio/northwest Pennsylvania region but I still don't see it preventing people from patronizing the place as a shopping center. It's not like lake effect snow keeps people from going to Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

Friday, December 7, 2007 4:11 PM
Former ACE president Carole Sanderson is proposing the building of a strip mall around the Big Dipper and sounds like a cool idea. However, if it becomes a reality, I think it would decline in popularity after just a few months of operation. It could probably take off if this was somewhere down south, but not in Northeast Ohio. The Eastwood Mall attempted to operate amusement rides at the defunct indoor Pocket Change Park.

At best, Big Dipper would be much better off getting adopted by an amusement park. It would be fantastic if the new Hard Rock theme park at Myrtle Beach purchased the Big Dipper.

Friday, December 7, 2007 11:01 PM
Name it "Classic Rocker" or something and give it a makeover with a sweet paint job on the trains, that would be awesome.
Saturday, December 8, 2007 1:57 AM
So let's say the Big Dipper is saved and whatever is built around it is built. I don't see what the big deal is with it running only 3-4 months out of the year. You're only going to employ a dozen at most employees to run and maintain the coaster- all you would need is a little cash cow store, even a Circle K gas station, to bring in the extra dough needed in the winter months. Making the Dipper into a local attraction, like a mini-golf course complex would be easy to do, and compliment the existing businesses across the street.
Saturday, December 8, 2007 12:03 PM
think roadkill is on the right track here. It doesn't necessarily have to take that much to turn a stand alone coaster into a profitable attraction.

Instead of spending so much energy trying to prove why something like this *can't* work, maybe we should try to figure out how it *can*.

I think an enterprising FEC ought to take the opportunity to invest in some of the land around BD, and build a mini-park to fit the structure. Just capturing the clueless people who come to GL expecting the park to still be there could turn the bottom line from red to black.

Plus such a company could capitalize on the name. Although Cedar Fair owns the name "Geauga Lake" as a park name, it doesn't own the name to the lake. I imagine something like "Super Fun Time at Geauga Lake" might pass muster.

Such an FEC could tie directly into some upscale shopping/entertainment district on the site.

Saturday, December 8, 2007 3:13 PM
Jeff said: "Everyone keeps plugging the outdoor mall thing. It was in the teens today. That's cold. Those places suck when it's cold. I never go to Legacy Village (which is 20 minutes at most from GL) this time of year. I can't be the only one."

I don't know Jeff! I personally agree with you, but just a year ago in August "The Greene" opened in Beavercreek, OH, (Gonches stomping grounds). That place is challenging to get a parking spot in no matter what time of the year you go. Granted, it's Christmastime right now, but it's still 23 degrees, (currently), and that place is filled to capacity.

I know there's not a lot of love for the BD most times, but I love it, and hope it does stick around long enough for my kids to both ride it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007 4:24 PM
Geauga Lake is a pending trademark owned by Cedar Fair for the purpose of retail. Look it up.

Southern Ohio and the Northeast Ohio snow belt is radically different in terms of weather. Ask Gonch, who complains the snow is inadequate there.

Saturday, December 8, 2007 5:33 PM
I'm too lazy to do so, but I'll take your word for it.

I have some extra snow Gonch can come and take...

Saturday, December 8, 2007 6:31 PM
Can I have some of the snow please? I miss it. There better still be some left in Ohio in two weeks.

Pending usually means it's not approved yet, right? It's also the name of a body of water. So, I highly doubt someone couldn't name a retail complex "The Shoppes at Geauga Lake".

I have a feeling the closing of the park might have some implication on Cedar Fair's rights to the name as well.

Saturday, December 8, 2007 11:34 PM
Keep rubbing it in, Tim. I'd rather be a frozen Midwesterner than a Caribbean amphibian. ;)
Sunday, December 9, 2007 2:14 PM
No, honestly - I miss the snow and cold. That's why I'm looking forward to my trip back in a couple weeks. When you have the same weather 365 days a year, it gets boring. Plus, it's very hard to get in the Christmas spirit when it's 88 and sunny - it's just not the same.
Monday, December 10, 2007 5:34 PM
So it would be a bad idea to include the coaster in some sort of retail/entertainment venue, because it would only run 3-4 months out of the year? This is as opposed to the 3-4 months out of the year it ran for the past 80 years. Ummm, OK. :)
Monday, December 10, 2007 6:10 PM
When your business isn't running an amusement ride, yeah. You can figure that out, right?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 4:17 PM
And what if running an amusement ride becomes part of your business, factoring into the decision the fact that it will only run 3-4 months out of the year?
Tuesday, December 11, 2007 6:00 PM
OK time to open a can of worms. Could any type of business that decides to open on the same location, contract with Cedar Fair for the upkeep and operation of the coaster. They have the people, and they already know how the ride is to maintain and operate. I know a lot of that would come down to cost (how much Cedar Fair would want) versus income, but if done correctly I don't see a problem with it.

It would be nice if these new stories had a link to the new posts, like the forum does. Or even use the forum for discussion like Point Buzz does. :)
*** This post was edited by Morté615 12/11/2007 6:01:57 PM ***


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