What happened to Funtime Inc.?

Wednesday, December 6, 2000 11:15 AM
What happened to this company after selling all of there parks to the Six Flags people? They had Geauga Lake, Wyandot Lake, Darien Lake, and some little park in Cleveland somewhere with kiddie rides. Did this company just die off or what? Anyone know?

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Wednesday, December 6, 2000 12:12 PM
It was a complete buyout. So much so that Gasper Lococo participated in the grand opening ceremonies for Six Flags Geauga Lake this spring. Remember, when Premier bought Funtime, Funtime was the big company but Premier had the money. Funtime as a separate entity went away and became part of Premier Parks.

At least Tierco became Premier Parks before buying Funtime........

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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Thursday, December 7, 2000 1:38 AM
Does this Australian Company have anything to do with Funtime Inc? They manufacture Sling Shots.

www.funtime.com.au/

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Thursday, December 7, 2000 3:39 AM
I don't believe so. Hmmm...I saw that Spring Shot ride at IAAPA. Impressive idea; I think that's the only version of the rocket-launch type ride that does not use bungee cords...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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Thursday, December 7, 2000 5:39 AM
Ah yes, you can see photos of that thing in the dome in the IAAPA section. I, for one, did not have the guts to get on it.

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Jeff
Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com
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Wednesday, January 24, 2001 8:28 PM

I think Funtime needs to come back and save the three Lake parks!!
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Welcome Back Raptor Riders how was your ride?
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Wednesday, January 24, 2001 9:30 PM
Save? What would you have them do? Remove all of the coasters than have been put in the two big parks and send them back on the route to a slow a painful death? Though it would be nice if Six Flags Inc. would invest some money in more pathways at SFO.

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Everybody calm down, the coasters do not open for another fifteen minutes.
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Wednesday, January 24, 2001 9:41 PM
I think what Raptor is trying to say is that Geauga Lake lost just a bit of its individuality. Individuality that made it enough money to develope a nice waterpark-element, rebuild a lost wooden coaster classic, save a struggling family park in Columbus, take over management of a fledging park outside of Buffalo and build the largest steel looping coaster in the world.

Add Turtle Beach, introduce Butch Hightide, promotions like the movie 'Jaws' being shown in the 'Wave', pack the car for $25, ferry service to Sea World to pick up guests for the after 4pm admission, build western New York's first outdoor amplitheatre, offer combo packages with the Columbus Zoo, and the list goes on and on.

You know what? I wish I could have taken my management team to that park and ran it. I loved that place. "Overflowing with Fun---Geauga Lake!" *** This post was edited by Agent Johnson on 1/25/2001. ***
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 12:30 AM
Agent Johnson...If Wyandot Lake could grow... they would. Its all up to what the zoo lets them do. The park was granted an additional 20 acers in 1998, but since Wyandot lake had no "set plan" the zoo said "No. we need a long-term one". So therefore Wyandot still sits as it always has. Premier have done wonderful things with the park so far though!

BTW, Geauga Lake had the highest gross attendence under the Funtime name at slightly over 1 million guests a year. I think they are up to 1.6 mill. now which was Gary Story's goal.
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 12:36 AM
Maybe SFO has lost some of its orginal charm from the Geauga Lake days, but if Funtime Inc. was still running the place, the park would have eventually died. They wouldn't have been able to keep up if they wanted to compete for the visitor's dollar.

They did not invest in Geauga as much as they should have. I mean their last coaster under FI was Raging Wolf Bobs back in 1988. Premier takes over in '96 and builds Mind Eraser, the first coaster since then as well as Grizzly Run, a much needed water ride.

So much potential and Funtime just didn't see the vision.
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 4:09 AM
20 Acers in Wyandot Lake?!

I can just see them on the Sea Dragon ;)

How well do the Zoo and Wyandot get along? I know of several zoo employees who aren't very fond of it (Wyandot).
*** This post was edited by millrace on 1/25/2001. ***
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 4:29 AM
That park would have survived because of Sea World. AB tried to buy that park sevaral times over the years, but they never came to an agreement. I do not disagree that the attendance has not grown, but there are 2 sides to this 'lets buy the park and make it biggger coin.'
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 5:01 AM
millrace, I ought to point out that the Sea Dragon can only carry sixteen riders at a time...:)

Actually, some years ago Wyandot Lake was one of the hosts for the ACE Preservation Con, and ACE had morning ERT on Sea Dragon. Loads of fun, and they let us under the structure to take pictures... :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 6:07 AM
I had some real ERT on Sea Dragon this summer. I was literally the only one it for quite a while. Then the other guest in the park got on. :)
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 6:19 AM
That park would be dead without Funtime. I didn't even know it was still open until they stepped in. Too bad, if they were around earlier, the may have save Walbridge Park in Toledo, maybe Chippeawa Lake, Idora. Made them all picnic parks.
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 2:05 PM
Definatly. If Funtime had NOT stepped in, Wyandot and Geauga Lake would have gone the way Of Chippewa and Idora. When my parents were first married, back in 66, they would go to Geauga Lake since Euclid Beach was having hard times and closing in 69.

According to them, Geauga was a DUMP. the coaster was on its last leg and the parks future looked bleak. Ah, but with clever marketing and new high-capacity family rides, Geauga once again florished. They made a little Cedar-Point-styled-park with the flume, looping coasters and Space Needle.

Unfortunatly, the park would go through hard times again under the powerful Funtime name 20 years later. Its bad when the ride of the year is a Little Tykes playground.
The big ride of their 100th season, Raging Wolf Bobs, would just not draw the crowds as much as they hoped, so the park had a very large bill and not enough gate revenue

I am just afraid that Six Flags could suffer the same hardships as its forerunners. As long as they can pay off all new attractions, they should be okay. Thats why I laugh when i see people complaining about how "their park" may not get something whereas another puts $40 mill. in that season. The park not recieving anything usally has the most money left after general expenses, and it helps to keep the other parks above water.

Wyandot don't spend anything, so their seasons money remains in the company.
Except for $300,000yr which goes to the zoo for the land taxes and 30% of gate admissions which also goes to the zoo.

Boy oh boy! I love how I just write my sweet little heart out!

*** This post was edited by john peck on 1/25/2001. ***
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 5:21 PM
That 'Lil Tykes year was a bummer. They owed Bank One about $10,000,000, and had about $900,000 of it. Refinancing only made them marginally better. I just think that unofficially, AB was shopping SWO around, and SF new about it. They should have waited on Geauga Lake's expansion, and now they cramed a bunch of rides into a much smaller area than they have now. I would have rather seen a Hurrican Harbor across the lake, or anywhere than next to route 43.
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 6:17 PM
I thought I remember hearing that the Funtime.inc had something to do with Cedar Point before Cedar Fair LP was created, like a group of the former owners of CP formed Funtime.
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 8:29 PM

Sorry, I didn't know all of the past.
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Everybody calm down, the coasters do not open for another fifteen minutes.
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Thursday, January 25, 2001 9:04 PM
A group of Senior Management and minor partners that were involved with Legros and Roose at Cedar Point left on, differences of opinions in the mid seventies, and took over Geauga Lake. There intention was to rebuild a classic traditional park, with some modern upgrades, such as the western village, water attractions, coasters. They knew that Cedar Point was years ahead with the Hotel Breakers, camping, employee housing, a full service marina, etc.

They just were at the point where they did not wish to invest any more large amounts of capital, with Wyandot Lake as is and Darien Lake in the black. All three of their parks were similar,yet were all unique to the industry. They were 'good people' and actually at one time offered to purchase Sea World, but the name and shows had to remain. Busch made several offers to ourchase them, but they held out just a bit to long for the big payday.

After that, the only major attractions that showed up were the Texas Twister, Mirage, and such. Nice flats, but no more major coasters or water rides. They were actually pretty agressive on the group sales department, they severely damaged Conneaut Lake Park in 1992 by virtually offering a $5 admission if a catering package was purchased. Not bad. They also led the way in the region for a postseason by holdong the Oktoberfest. Awesome festival. And you got in for like $10. It was great.
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