Township supervisors approve zoning change for Conneaut land sale

Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 9:42 AM | Contributed by browntggrr

Summit supervisors gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a zoning change and subdivision request Sutterlin said was crucial to his plan to purchase the park land. The park needs the land sale money in order to prepare to open May 26. Summit’s zoning changes officially go into force Sunday, and the judge’s approval of the land sale is the next significant hurdle the park must clear to open.

Read more from The Meadville Tribune.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:30 AM
After the "recommendation" that the zoning change be rejected became public, it got pretty dicey as to whehter Sutterlin's purchase would go through. While by no means *finalized*, this is a BIG step for Conneaut. If they can get this sale DONE...then they can get on with the business of running thair park. Sure, it's not going to be a megapark, or hugely profitable, but hopefully now the park can continue to operate as a "labor of love" for another generation.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:50 AM
Good news indeed!

I believe this Sutterlin guy is the same person who bought Erieview's Frightzone for Conneaut. That tells me that he isn't just trying to scam his way into building condos but is actually interested in Conneaut Lake Park.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:58 AM
This is bad news. More housing inside the gates are not the answer.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 11:02 AM
But it was housing previously. There isn't a loss of park land. Or am I completely wrong?
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 12:54 PM
This is park land being sold to develop condos on.

It's another band-aid for wound that's never going to heal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 1:38 PM
On the other hand, this may be the park's last, best chance to survive and perhaps, someday, to thrive.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 2:09 PM
Yes, it is park-owned land, but not land used for the park. It's the former site of the Flynn House if I am thinking correctly.

My point is that they are not giving up areas previously used for amusements.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 2:13 PM
And the people cheered!

Chuck, who thinks if the debts are paid, this park has a opportunity to improve and grow some. Most of the debt wasn't incured by the current overseers and in some cases is more than ten years old and adding interest.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 2:51 PM
Are you guys just magically expecting the revenue to come flowing in? I can't believe it was poor management alone that led to the debt situation it's in.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 3:26 PM
The place doesn't have to be profitable. It only has to cover expenses, and they will be in a much better position to handle expenses without the debt load (the bulk of which was created by former management, several of whom were indicted, right?). Nobody is saying that this is the end of all the problems, but it will be the end of one major problem (and hopefully not the creation of new ones, like persnickity condo dwellers complaining about noise from the park). The park does attract decent crowds (except when I go which always seems to be during a massive thunderstorm).
Wednesday, April 18, 2007 5:41 PM
for now, lets just be concernerd with the present, which is to establish the parks opening for 2007.

hopefully this will be the shot -in-the arm that the park needs to continue on.

tumble bug anyone!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 8:19 PM
They park having to pay sewer fees it's current operators never incurred or the 1.3 million in debt that was thrown upon it when it took over?

I don't think it's the cure but it shure eliminates the NO POSSIBILITY of breaking even or making a profit.

That being gone is sure a step in the right direction.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007 9:02 PM

The place doesn't have to be profitable. It only has to cover expenses...
Uh... isn't that what being profitable is?
Thursday, April 19, 2007 12:18 AM
I thought profit was the difference between the cost of doing business and the revenue obtained from said business. All millrace is saying is that they only have to break even, more or less, to keep going.
Thursday, April 19, 2007 3:51 AM
I think I read somewhere that Conneaut Lake Park lately has been doing okay revenue-wise, but they are burdened by some terrible debt from the past. If they can retire a lot of that debt with this sale, they will at least have a chance to continue on if they are in fact making enough revenue to survive with current operations. I for one am glad about this and hope they are able to make it. It is a special place that should be preserved. And last year was the best year they ever had in terms of having nearly all the rides working again!
Thursday, April 19, 2007 9:49 AM
And when you just break even, then what? What about capital expenditures? Expansion? A rainy day fund? (Literally, given what bad weather does to an amusement park.)

It's not a charity. It's a business. Businesses that can't do better than break even cease to exist.

Thursday, April 19, 2007 3:15 PM
There is a big difference between breaking even and turning a profit. Right now, considering the current situation at Conneaut, I think it should be the park's goal to break even... keeping in mind that "breaking even" includes setting aside some money for a rainy day, not money to stuff someone's pockets. And what is wrong with that?

I don't see why every business has to be a profit machine. There are plenty of businesses that exist because the people running them have a passion for what they do instead of a drive to make heaps and heaps of money. Just the other day I read an article in Fortune Small Business about a former stock broker that made millions on Wall Street and is now running a small general store in Vermont. The business is currently losing money but he claims he'll be happy if it breaks even in the next year and keeps him busy in his "retirement". Obviously the guy, who knows how to make a lot of money, feels that a business venture of his breaking even is a good idea. I'm not going to argue with his logic, and I doubt that many people on this site have made as much money as he did and are in a position to tell him that he's wrong.

Sorry Jeff, but I don't think everyone subscribes to your logic. Not everyone's in it for the money... some are in it for the passion... the love... the enthusiasm. And as long as those people are paying expenses and drawing some kind of salary for themselves, they seem perfectly happy. Conneaut does not have to turn a profit in order to survive, it just has to pay the bills.

Thursday, April 19, 2007 3:25 PM
No, but you still have to have (or make) money in the end.

In the case of the Small Business guy in Vermont, he HAS money. He doesn't need the general store to be profitable, he's fine either way. But if he didn't have that security and was relying on the store to survive, he'd be a lot less carefree. In fact, the ridiculous profit he earned previously is the exact reason why he can be so nonchalant with the general store.

Same with an amusement park. Whether the owners are stockholders, corporations or a local family - assuming the lack of complete financial security - they gots to get paid. :) If the park supplies their income, then it is profitable and it's a business. If the park does not supply them income and they earn a living in another way, then the park is a hobby. Something they enjoy doing, but not their livelyhood.

Say a park like Conneaut does break even. By definition (to me) that means their revenue equals operating expenses. Anything extra (money for future Cap Ex, a 'rainy day' or whatever) is profit. A business has to be profitable in order to grow and to a lesser exent survive. Things that cost you money or at best, that you break even on are hobbies or interests, not businesses (or at least they won't be for long :) )

Thursday, April 19, 2007 10:38 PM
Well put. And logical too. I'll never understand why this park encourages people to stop being logical.

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