Why Geauga Lake Cannot Survive as Part of Cedar Fair

Sunday, May 27, 2007 1:29 AM
My visit to GL last year was rather dissapointing in the sense that my son was not tall enough to make it onto the "super" coasters, and that the park had ANYTHING but a "traditional" park appeal. Concrete and steel. And now that they have removed some of the major attractions, I guess it's still the same atmosphere, just less of it. :(

Too bad, I used to love that place years ago. I still think moving the few flat rides from the waterpark side to fill up the crappy voids in the park side, and toss in a new water attraction or two where they take the flats from on the other side would be the fastest and cheapest improvement they could make. I will try to stop repeating myself now.....

Maybe there is still hope for the Cleveland market there... "Drew Carey Land".... 60s and 70s classic rides, cheap greasy food, and Drew and Mimi descend to the midway in cages dancing to the Vogues "Five O Clock World"? Heh heh.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 1:50 AM
I went by the park today. Maybe a hundred cars in both lots. A few of the workers at Home Depot thought the placed closed for good after last season.

One lumber person even said: Hey, when it was 6 FLags, you saw people on the water rides, monorail running, Superman and Xflight running. Now, from the road (rt 43), the place looks like crap.

SAD...

You have to wonder this: Would the cost of two dolphins and a show hurt the place?

I give the park 5 yrs, tops.

Side Note: The only Booking I'm aware of is the Progressive event in Sept. Not sure about the Cleveland Clinic and USW (united Steel Workers union). *** Edited 5/27/2007 5:56:04 AM UTC by FLYINGSCOOTER***

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 1:59 AM

jar said:
the problem is as the park currently exists, it wont survive as a 'Cleveland' park. it needs to pull strong from akron/canton. cleveland is very a very depressed area and it would be difficult to support to major amusement parks. GL needs to really focus on the water side for now, keep improving their current coasters ie villian, and hope for the best at this point....

Granted, Cleveland is a depressed area, but Cuyahoga county is doing great. As far as counties are concerned, it's like the forth richest in Ohio.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 2:08 AM
I was at the park I would have to say a year from Monday (last Memorial Day).

It's a holiday, right? People look for something to do on the holiday, right? Well, apparently one of their plans was NOT to visit Geauga Lake. I'll admit I had a great time at Geauga Lake if only because I was not only able to ride the monorail, but also ride just about every coaster a multitude of times because there was virtually no line what-so-ever, even on X-Flight. While that was great for my friends, who's first trip to there it was...

...to me, it was a sad realization of what has become of this park. The last time I visited it prior to last year on Memorial Day was in the early part of the season of 2003, when it was the last year of Worlds of Adventure. The park feels like a complete (pardon the cliche) apples to oranges comparison when Six Flags owned it to how Cedar Fair is running it.

Back in "Worlds of Adventure" days... there were crowds & crowds of people. Parking lots were filled quite a bit, and lines for all the bigger rides had decent wait times while smaller rides also had some considerable wait-times. Even the 4D/virtual shows had long lines (the shark 4D & Pirates 4D). The whole atmosphere along the entire park felt great... you really felt like a part of the 'experience' because there was life around every corner. From the newly expanded waterpark to the new Chinese buffet restaurant, to the coasters with full trains & themed Batman area, to the wild-life side which was a hoot to visit & walk-thru the exhibits or catch the dolphin and tiger shows. It was a park that actually could use two days to visit, and would be an EXCELLENT park for families with young children due to the supurb Loony Tunes area, and the whole 'sea-world' side of the wild-life. Oh, did I mention that they also had a really cool Batman show? The Ferry Boats? The fact that the boardwalk finally made sense by putting it on the other-side of the lake for a full-loop?

You fast forward 4yrs, and now you look what happens... you'd think a horrible natural disaster has hit the park! Gone are the crowds, the boardwalk is in the middle of the lake, of all palces.
No longer are there the two sit-down restaurants. All animal traces have been removed, the park is missing two of its top-billed coasters, the old waterpark side is a complete smelly & dirty mess with the old Shark Attack slides that were brand-new 4yrs prior. Prices seem to have gone up & they've stripped any/all theming around the entire park.

The only thing that seems to be nice is the old wild-life side of the park which has somehow turned into a new waterpark about half the size of what it was intending to originally, and completely demolished any of the old charm that was once Sea World.

The park has severely gone down-hill since Cedar Fair has taken over... and that's due to the fact that they have their main showcase less than 90 minutes down the road. Six Flags at least kept the attendance up & really made the park look nice.

Cedar Fair was trying to bring the old 'charm' the park had back to the Premier, Funtime, and even before that... but you know what? It's impossible... the park has made its progressions to the 21st century... it's expanded to that of a world-class park. It should have been kept that way, because if it was handled right, they could have been very successful.

Now that Clevelandites and others have had a taste of Worlds-of-Adventure with all its offerings, you take that away year after year... and not replace it with anything, it's no wonder your crowds are dropping each season! A waterpark will not bring in the profitable crowds you're looking for so as long as the rest of the amusement park is operating.

...but you drop the rest of the amusement park, and your crowds will dimish to essentially nothing because the waterpark is honestly nothing special and nothing you can't find anywhere else.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 5:56 AM
"The park that is closer doesn't even come close". Remember that?

I agree that CF should divest this park. They recognized that it could never succeed as CP lite but they can't seem to find the right direction for the park. I have said it before. This park should be more like LC.

The one thing GL has over KW is the looping coasters; in most other respects KW is a better park. The PA park is cleaner and more attractive, better maintained, has better flats, good darkrides and water rides, and better food. While there is no waterpark there, Sandcastle is 3 miles away and a combination ticket is available for both parks. GL may have a lower admission price but KW makes up for that with free parking and food, drink, and game prices that are much less.

I wonder how many people KW has attracted from the Cleveland area. There is that hard-to-get-to problem but the park has so many things going for it especially for those looking for a different park experience than is found in megaparks such as CP.

Another up and coming alternative to GL is Waldameer once they have RF2 going. This park would be well advised to start promoting itself in the Cleveland area next year.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 8:53 AM

DawgByte II said:


...to me,... the park feels like a complete...apples to oranges comparison when Six Flags owned it to how Cedar Fair is running it....

Back in "Worlds of Adventure" days... there were crowds & crowds of people.... It was a park that actually could use two days to visit, and would be an EXCELLENT park for families with young children due to the supurb Loony Tunes area, and the whole 'sea-world' side of the wild-life. Oh, did I mention that they also had a really cool Batman show? The Ferry Boats? The fact that the boardwalk finally made sense by putting it on the other-side of the lake for a full-loop?

[Now], the only thing that seems to be nice is the old wild-life side of the park which has somehow turned into a new waterpark about half the size of what it was intending to originally, and completely demolished any of the old charm that was once Sea World.

The park has severely gone down-hill since Cedar Fair has taken over...


I COULDN'T AGREE MORE. I used to think that Cedar Fair could do no wrong, but after seeing the laughable mess GL has evolved into, it makes you wonder if this wasn't part of their "corporate plan" - kill off the competition, take it over and let it die a slow death. Really, really stupid. Six Flags had the right formula. Batman show??? Cedar Fair is so far off the mark I am tired of talking about it. I just hope this park lasts the 5 years that somebody above mentioned..... I'd be surprised if it lasted until next year.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 9:08 AM
I think if Maverick opened when it was supposed to you would had a better turn out at GL. Gl's opening and Maverick's opening in the same day is the reason for the low turn out.
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Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:04 AM

DawgByte II said:

Back in "Worlds of Adventure" days... there were crowds & crowds of people.... It was a park that actually could use two days to visit, and would be an EXCELLENT park for families with young children due to the supurb Loony Tunes area, and the whole 'sea-world' side of the wild-life.


You are overlooking the fact that neither Seaworld or Six Flags could operate the park with a profit. The park was busy, but it wasn't busy enough to offset the cost of the wildlife park and all the rides Six Flags added.

I loved the park as Worlds of Adventure too, it was an awesome park once you got past the Six Flag-ness of it, but it was way too big for the market it was in. I miss it too, I think I miss Sea World and the old Geauga Lake even more.

What they need to do IMHO is make it less like every other Cedar Fair park and more regional for their area. Parking and food need to be cheaper, they need to get company picnics booked every weekend, maybe they need to start inviting schools to come out and march in a parade once a week. Have more events. I don't know. They need to let people know the park is there to stay.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:26 AM
IMHO getting rid of "Sea World" hurt them, period. If no one was there for the rides, they were there for Sea World. Everyone remember how upset families were the 1st year they came and heard Sea World was gone? Do you honestly believe those same families are there now because of WWK?

If you look at Dorney, their water park is the main attraction. It is always packed, and their WWK is in no shape or form as nice as GLs. Also, there is rarely long waits on any of the rides. However, they must be doing well as a whole since they did razz Hercules for Hydra and now Steel Venom is heading that way.

Maybe that was GLs plan. Get people in for the water park and let the rides be secondary.

I for one love GL, and since I could do without X-Flight and SV, we still plan on going a few times this season.
But I can't imagine Dominator staying, and when and if it goes, it's a safe bet we won't be going to GL anymore.
However, it would be nice if CP would razz MS and put Dominator there **sigh**

Jo
Lifetime Raptor flights: 1168 :)

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:38 AM
Mean Streak at CP would be best replaced by something similar to El Toro.
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Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:59 AM
JUDGE: "And how does the jury find the defendant?"

JUROR: "We, the jury, find the defendant, Six Flags of America, guilty of theme-park murder in the first degree"

JUDGE: "This concludes your duty"

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:04 AM

LuvRaptor said:But I can't imagine Dominator staying, and when and if it goes, it's a safe bet we won't be going to GL anymore.

I have heard people say that the removal of Dominator will be the final nail in the coffin as once that ride goes, the park goes with it. Villain has become re-rideable again but that ride alone will not help the park. Dominator is the stand-out now.

Having been to Dorney I can see what Geauga Lake can be if given the chance but after Dick Kinzel's recent remarks in the paper it doesn't look like that is going to happen. More focus on the south side (WWK) is going to actually hurt the north side (rides) more if you're not going to invest in it. Now there's a huge gaping hole where a once thriving main midway used to be. Fill it with flats and other family type rides and things may turn around for the better. *** Edited 5/27/2007 3:05:30 PM UTC by X Factor***

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:38 AM
The weather was the main problem. Days before, the news report said it was going to be in the 70's and Sunny with no rain. We were supposed to head out to the Beach but I woke up Saturday Morning to rain and temps in the high 50's. We went to the Metroparks and the whole time we weere there, we were greeted by little pops of Thunder. In the end, we decided to head to the movies where it was PACKED. Give the park some time. Memorial Day weather has so far been crappy.
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Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:43 AM
^^ That's no excuse, however, to last year's Memorial Day weekend where it was sunny and H O T. The rides were open & functioning, but the people weren't present.

This year it's only going to get worse with nothing new to offer.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:49 AM
"I don't think Cedar Fair is a good investment right now"

That's funny, as Cedar Fair paid out dividends of just under $2.00 per unit last year and will do so this year as well. I own several other shares of companies most folks would consider successful (including Wall Street) and not a one of them pays me in such a manner.

Over the 2001 base period, Cedar Fair unit value has performed with a return rate at almost 57%. Not bad for a company with problems. Sure they have 1.7 billion in debt. Their revenue for 2006 was just under 1 billion and that only included 6 months of PPI. 2007 will see them break the 1 billion mark easily as the debt decreases.

I get that financial analysis can be confusing. But I get that doom and gloom statements based upon unknown or misunderstood fact is pointless.

Specifically for GL, yes the company states that its operations have been disappointing, but that does not mean they are losing money. In the same area of the annual report they discuss diappointing numbers for Cedar Point - should they divest it too.

The cost of Geauga Lake was minimal. The possible return is great. Cedar Fair learned (I suspect already knew) from Six Flags that pouring capital into an underperformer is not the answer.

If in 2010 GL is still underperforming, they I will join the crowd of people calling for it to be divested. Until then, I will enjoy my high returns.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 1:33 PM
Slowly fix up and move all flats around. Move the coasters and sell of the land from the ride side and focus on the water park. Move the old slides to the new park. Rename GL to Wild Water Kingdom. Completely get rid of GL, and only have WWk.
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Sunday, May 27, 2007 2:47 PM
And how would that help anything?
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Sunday, May 27, 2007 2:58 PM

Arthur Bahl said:
The one thing GL has over KW is the looping coasters; in most other respects KW is a better park. The PA park is cleaner and more attractive, better maintained, has better flats, good darkrides and water rides, and better food.

Kennywood has a vastly superior atmosphere as well. When you're at Kennywood you actually sense that people are having fun. Everything that Kennywood does that makes the place special will never happen at Geauga Lake (under current management) the free parking, the fresh food, the rides with reasonable height requirements that kids can actually ride with their parents and grandparents. None of that exists right now at Geauga Lake; and that is the reason Geauga Lake will never become the "family park" it wants to be.


FLYINGSCOOTER said:
Granted, Cleveland is a depressed area, but Cuyahoga county is doing great. As far as counties are concerned, it's like the forth richest in Ohio.

Just look at what Geauga Lake's very own block has become. Solon is a suburb that didn't exist 25 years ago and is now one of the wealthiest in greater Cleveland. Ten years ago the massive retail center across the street and now down the street from the park didn't exist. If Cedar Fair could attract as many people to Geauga Lake as Target attracts to its store the park might be in pretty good shape. But when you think about it, with season passes more expensive than ever and a parking pass around 70 dollars, you can't blame the locals for not wanting to visit the park; especially when you could have just as much fun at the movies.

If the weather really is to blame for poor opening day attendance then Sunday and Monday's crowds should tell us something, as long as the weather isn't rainy. If anyone plans to visit the park on Sunday or Memorial Day let us know what the crowds looked like. It sounds like if history repeats itself, Memorial Day will have poor crowds, even if the holiday is as beautiful as last year (and boy was it nice). *** Edited 5/27/2007 7:03:49 PM UTC by Paul Blackstone***

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 9:59 PM
Geauga Lake can survive,Cedar Fair needs to talk to the people and find out what they want aside from new coasters.

Here is a few things i have thought of some people on this board have thought of some of these. Cedar Fair needs to kinda start from scratch with this park

1. Lower the price of everything ,parking, ticket and food should be lowered, if they wanna bring the families in.

2.Drinks should be free.

3.Snoopy should be replaced at this park by the old favorite Geauga Dog

4. fill in some of these places left empty with some walk in restaraunts or Flat rides

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Sunday, May 27, 2007 10:34 PM

Arthur Bahl said:
Mean Streak at CP would be best replaced by something similar to El Toro.

I actually think Mean Streak would be best replaced by a cloud of dust from a wrecking ball!!

But as for the GL prices, I think they are already a lot lower as when I went to Meijer tonight (in Indianapolis) a discounted CP ticket was $35 while GL's was $23!?

And as for the Cleveland market, it's definitely not "very very depressed" as the area my sister lives in Bay Village (and Westlake/Crocker Park area) is really growing!! And I don't think relying on the Akron/Canton "market" (if you want to call it that) is going to do anything to help attendance top 700,000!

And finally, as someone who has only been to GL a couple times in the past few years only under CF ownership, I think the Sea World removal was a massive mistake (as admitted so by Kinzel), but so why not correct the mistake and bring the Sea World aspect back?? I mean, with the closest actual Sea Worlds in FL or TX, there's a very unique competitive advantage here!!!!

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