Thursday, December 7, 2000 1:31 AM
Why did all of these parks close across Ohio? I see these pictures of Old Coasters in part or full just standing there like a puppy begging to be played with. It sounds crazy but I get sick to my stomach just seeing them standing there. Why haven't any of these huge billion dollar parks investing in a once great thing. Just look at it this way, if Cedar Point Just Closed without any warning, would you fight to reopen an American Classic? I know that I would.
Six Flags New Tag Line:
"Six Flags, Been To One Of Our Parks, You have been to All Of Our Parks!"
*** This post was edited by Spencer on 12/7/2000. ***
Thursday, December 7, 2000 4:53 AM
Time and money. Amusement Parks are a business, not a charity. If businesses like Six Flags or Cedar Fair don't find it profitable to buy into these abondoned parks then it wouldn't make any sense to do so.
You build it, I'll ride it
Thursday, December 7, 2000 4:58 AM
My history isn't what it should be, but Ohio does have a very rich tradition with amusement parks. I think the problem has a lot to do with over-saturation. We've got a lot of major parks with major attractions here.
There are other issues as well. Idora is, to some degree, symbolic of the economic decline of Youngstown. With big steel moving out, that area's economy was destroyed. Amusement parks are a luxury, not a necessity.
Chippewa Lake Park is just odd, but I think a part of its death was related to the construction of I-71. Before the freeway was built, people took US 42 from Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati. It was the only route to get you "efficiently" across the state. Of course, it took a long time, and there was time to stop and look around. To this day there are a lot of closed hotels and old restaurants along the entire route. Beyond that, the interstates could also get you quickly to Cedar Point, and the relatively new Kings Island in a decent amount of time.
Other parks, like Euclid Beach and Purtias Hill, I think just fell on hard times, and there's almost nothing left of them. That's one for my parents. The old Coney Island near Cinci, grand to see if you can find the photos, was apparently prone to flooding.
Here's a link to some of the other parks' history: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/ODNR/Parks/magazine/sprsum2000/amusement.htm
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Thursday, December 7, 2000 5:47 AM
And it's not just Ohio too. Pennsylvania at one point, had the greatest number of amusement parks in the country (the exact number is escaping me right now.) Take Pittsburgh, for example. The outlying neighborhoods were littered with small amusement parks (like West View Park, Luna Park, White Swan Park, just to name a few,) were affectionatly referred to trolley parks
as they were along the numerous trolley lines that went into the downtown district from the outlying suburbs. These parks were very popular with school and work picnics. Sadly, only one of these parks survives today - Kennywood.
Way back in the early 1900's, when only the wealthy owned autos, trolleys were the main source of transportation. Park-goers would rely on getting to these parks on the trolley. Moving into the 1970's, as the steel industry began to fade in the Pittsburgh region, so did the trolley. That, coupled with the booming popularity of regional parks like Kennywood, Cedar Point and Geauga Lake, these smaller parks just could not compete for business. The fate of other parks were sealed in the name of development (as I recall, White Swan still retained it's popularity until the very end, but was in the way of a major expressway from downtown Pittsburgh to the Airport.)
It is sad to see these parks fade into history, but for those who were old enough to remember these parks, the memories lives on.
Thursday, December 7, 2000 6:56 AM
Look what happened just after the "Golden Age of Amusement Parks" in the 1920's. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the resulting depression made it difficult for people to enjoy luxuries like amusement parks. They were more concerned with eating then coasting! Then along came World War II, rationing and other factors made it difficult for parks to maintain and build new attractions, not to mention the rationing of other resources that made visiting parks difficult for the public. Once the war ended, America found itself in a time of prosperity and a new consumer culture. Numerous activities competed for the public's leisure time. The parks that were able to hold out during the depression and war looked terribly old fashioned and out of date to the "modern" space age thinking of the fifties. The parks, hurt hard from the depression and war, barely had the resources to survive let alone the money to invest in updating their facilities. During this time came the emergence of Disneyland which set a new standard for amusement parks. The old parks were faced with a choice of either trying to hang on to the past or changing to keep compete with the new theme park idea. Some older traditional parks were able to make the transition (Cedar Point is a good example) Others folded, and others were able to hang on for a while. New Interstates and the emergence of the car culture made it easy for people to travel farther to larger more exciting destinations. People demanded modern parks that had the resources to invest in new rides and attractions. The Theme Parks got larger and the traditional parks became fewer and fewer. A few parks hung on but by the seventies, they had become seedy, decrepit shells of their former selves. The economy of the late seventies and the local park's tarnished reputation probably dealt the final blow to many of these small parks. The few that remain stand today as treasured monuments of a past era, but they are not the living dead! 栀攀 猀洀愀氀氀攀爀 瀀愀爀欀猀 漀昀昀攀爀 愀 搀椀昀昀攀爀攀渀琀 欀椀渀搀 漀昀 攀砀瀀攀爀椀攀渀挀攀 愀渀搀 䤀 欀渀漀眀 洀愀渀礀 瀀攀漀瀀氀攀 眀栀漀 瀀爀攀昀攀爀 琀栀椀猀 洀漀爀攀 氀愀椀搀 戀愀挀欀 愀瀀瀀爀漀愀挀栀⸀ 吀栀攀 氀愀爀最攀 瀀愀爀欀猀 愀爀攀 攀砀栀愀甀猀琀椀渀最 戀甀琀 琀栀攀 猀洀愀氀氀 瀀愀爀欀猀 愀爀攀 爀攀氀愀砀椀渀最⸀ 䤀琀✀猀 椀洀瀀漀爀琀愀渀琀 琀漀 猀甀瀀瀀漀爀琀 琀栀攀 猀洀愀氀氀 瀀愀爀欀猀⸀ 吀栀攀礀 洀愀礀 渀漀琀 栀愀瘀攀 琀栀攀 洀漀猀琀 甀瀀 琀漀 搀愀琀攀 爀椀搀攀猀 漀爀 琀栀攀 渀攀眀攀猀琀 愀渀搀 洀漀猀琀 攀砀挀椀琀椀渀最 挀漀愀猀琀攀爀猀 ⠀琀栀攀爀攀 愀爀攀 愀氀眀愀礀猀 攀砀挀攀瀀琀椀漀渀猀⤀ 戀甀琀 琀栀攀礀 栀愀瘀攀 愀 挀栀愀爀洀 愀氀氀 琀栀攀椀爀 漀眀渀 愀渀搀 漀昀昀攀爀 樀甀猀琀 愀猀 洀甀挀栀 昀甀渀 愀猀 琀栀攀礀 搀椀搀 椀渀 琀栀攀 瀀愀猀琀⸀ 䤀 琀栀椀渀欀 愀 氀漀挀愀氀 愀洀甀猀攀洀攀渀琀 瀀愀爀欀 椀猀 愀 挀栀攀爀椀猀栀攀搀 瀀愀爀琀 漀昀 琀栀攀 挀漀洀洀甀渀椀琀礀⸀ 䠀漀眀 洀愀渀礀 琀漀眀渀猀 愀渀搀 挀椀琀椀攀猀 猀甀昀昀攀爀 昀爀漀洀 愀 挀攀爀琀愀椀渀 ∀猀愀洀攀渀攀猀猀∀ 愀渀搀 漀昀昀攀爀 氀椀琀琀氀攀 椀渀 琀栀攀 眀愀礀 漀昀 爀攀挀爀攀愀琀椀漀渀 戀攀猀椀搀攀猀 琀栀攀 洀愀氀氀 愀渀搀 洀漀瘀椀攀 琀栀攀愀琀攀爀㼀 㰀戀爀㸀吀栀椀猀 猀琀漀爀礀 爀攀愀氀氀礀 瀀攀爀琀愀椀渀猀 琀漀 愀 猀洀愀氀氀 氀漀挀愀氀 瀀愀爀欀 椀渀 洀礀 栀漀洀攀琀漀眀渀 琀栀愀琀 猀栀甀琀 椀琀✀猀 搀漀漀爀猀 椀渀 琀栀攀 攀愀爀氀礀 攀椀最栀琀椀攀猀⸀ 䤀 欀渀漀眀 椀琀 椀猀 最攀渀攀爀愀氀椀稀椀渀最 戀甀琀 䤀 戀攀琀 琀栀攀 猀琀漀爀礀 漀昀 愀 氀漀琀 猀洀愀氀氀 瀀愀爀欀猀 眀漀甀氀搀渀✀琀 搀椀昀昀攀爀 琀漀漀 洀甀挀栀⸀ 㰀戀爀㸀 㰀戀爀㸀䤀 最甀攀猀猀 琀栀攀爀攀 愀爀攀 愀 昀攀眀 挀愀猀攀猀 漀昀 㰀椀㸀漀瘀攀爀瀀漀瀀甀氀愀爀椀琀礀㰀⼀椀㸀 欀椀氀氀椀渀最 愀 瀀愀爀欀⸀ 吀愀氀攀 倀愀氀椀猀愀搀攀猀 倀愀爀欀 椀渀 一攀眀 䨀攀爀猀攀礀 昀漀爀 攀砀愀洀瀀氀攀 ⠀琀栀攀 瀀愀爀欀 洀愀搀攀 昀愀洀漀甀猀 戀礀 䘀爀攀搀搀礀 䌀愀渀漀渀✀猀 猀漀渀最⤀⸀ 䤀琀 眀愀猀 氀攀瘀攀氀攀搀 椀渀 㤀㜀Ⰰ 渀漀琀 戀攀挀愀甀猀攀 漀昀 搀攀挀氀椀渀攀 戀甀琀 戀攀挀愀甀猀攀 漀昀 漀瘀攀爀瀀漀瀀甀氀愀爀椀琀礀⸀ 吀栀攀 瀀愀爀欀 猀愀琀 漀渀 愀 瘀攀爀礀 猀洀愀氀氀 昀漀漀琀瀀爀椀渀琀 漀昀 氀愀渀搀 戀甀琀 眀愀猀 愀戀氀攀 琀漀 猀焀甀攀攀稀攀 愀渀 愀洀愀稀椀渀最 愀洀漀甀渀琀 漀昀 爀椀搀攀猀 漀渀 椀琀⸀ 倀攀漀瀀氀攀 眀栀漀 氀椀瘀攀搀 椀渀 猀甀爀爀漀甀渀搀椀渀最 渀攀椀最栀戀漀爀栀漀漀搀猀 眀攀爀攀 昀攀搀 甀瀀 眀椀琀栀 琀栀攀 渀漀椀猀攀 愀渀搀 琀爀愀昀昀椀挀 愀渀搀 猀甀挀栀⸀ 吀漀眀渀 漀昀昀椀挀椀愀氀猀Ⰰ 眀栀漀 眀攀爀攀 渀漀 昀爀椀攀渀搀猀 漀昀 琀栀攀 瀀愀爀欀 爀攀稀漀渀攀搀 琀栀攀 氀愀渀搀 昀漀爀 爀攀猀椀搀攀渀琀椀愀氀 挀漀渀搀漀 琀漀眀攀爀猀⸀ 䐀攀瘀攀氀漀瀀攀爀猀 栀漀甀渀搀攀搀 琀栀攀 漀眀渀攀爀 琀漀 猀攀氀氀 漀甀琀 愀渀搀 栀攀 愀氀眀愀礀猀 爀攀昀甀猀攀搀⸀ 䔀瘀攀渀琀甀愀氀氀礀Ⰰ 昀愀挀椀渀最 漀氀搀 愀最攀Ⰰ 昀愀椀氀椀渀最 栀攀愀氀琀栀 愀渀搀 愀 搀攀猀椀爀攀 琀漀 爀攀琀椀爀攀Ⰰ ∀唀渀挀氀攀∀ 䤀爀瘀椀渀最 刀漀猀攀渀琀栀愀氀 猀漀氀搀 倀愀氀椀猀愀搀攀猀 倀愀爀欀⸀ 一漀琀栀椀渀最 氀攀昀琀 琀漀搀愀礀 攀砀挀攀瀀琀 昀漀爀 愀 瀀愀椀爀 漀昀 甀渀猀氀椀最栀琀氀礀 栀椀最栀爀椀猀攀 琀漀眀攀爀猀⸀⸀ 㰀戀爀㸀ഀഀഀ ⨀⨀⨀ 吀栀椀猀 瀀漀猀琀 眀愀猀 攀搀椀琀攀搀 戀礀 洀椀氀氀爀愀挀攀 漀渀 ㈀⼀㜀⼀㈀ ⸀ ⨀⨀⨀
Thursday, December 7, 2000 7:44 AM
The best example of these old trolley parks is probably Arnold's Park by Spencer Iowa
You build it, I'll ride it
Thursday, December 7, 2000 7:49 AM
How is Arnold's doing? I know it was close to closing on several occasions.
Thursday, December 7, 2000 8:57 AM
It is doing fine. They are getting an Arrow Flume for next season, courtresy of Morey's Piers. The Morey's have donated the ride from the recently purchased Hunt's Pier. It should be an excellent attraction for Arnolds.
Thursday, December 7, 2000 1:36 PM
Pennsylvania had parks in about every fairly big city at the turn or the century. In my area (near Knoebels in the middle of nowhere there were at several parks within a 30 mile drive of each other. Edgewood Park, Island Park, Rolling Green, Doodlebug Park, all gone now. www.defunctparks.com
has a listing of defunct parks state by state some even have pictures then and now.
I think most died off in PA due to the automobile boom in the 50's since most of the parks were trolley parks. Some early parks were built at the end of city lines so more people would use the trains on the weekend. Once families got cars the trains were't needed and the local parks soon met their fates.
2000 stats: 135 coasters in 26 parks
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Thursday, December 7, 2000 2:51 PM
Remember that at one point, Cedar Point was on the brink of death, too. When Emile and Roose bought the park in 1960, their intention was to destroy the amusement park and turn the entire peninsula into a mucho-expensive ranch housing development. However, a stream of sentiment came from Sanduskians and somehow Emile and Roose found a good way at making money by turning Cedar Point into the "Disneyland of the Midwest." The rest is history...
Coasters...the best natural buzz available.
Friday, December 8, 2000 12:51 AM
Soooooo...... whats the scoop on Americana, now?