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That was a good story. And There we go. People thinking the whole park closed. Its going to be intresting to see how Gl's WWK turns out.

I agree. Some time soon you have to just sit down and take this all in. You really don't realise how sad this is until you drive by and there's Dominator siting in the parking lot. :(

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Its seems clear that this was not handled in a good way. PR and financially.

I admit that I have no knowledge about the inner workings of CF, but from the outside looking in they seem to be in some disarray. Its just a shame that an Ohio company would do this to an Ohio historic institution.

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It always amazes me. People with this mentality that Cedar Fair did such a terrible thing by shutting down Geauga Lake. All this 'historic institution' stuff. Cedar Fair is in the amusement park business. If Geauga Lake was not making enough money to cover its costs, and attempts to correct the parks issues had not proved successful, they would have to pull the plug sooner or later. Afterall, they can`t keep throwing money into a bottomless pit. Its not like Cedar Fair is exactly in the position to keep throwing money around either.

Would it have been nice had Cedar Fair indicated they were going to close the ride side of Geauga Lake a couple weekends before the park closed? Absolutely. Would it have impacted their decision to close? Probably not. I believe that when they made the decision to move X-Flight to Kings Island, they had also decided to eventually close Geauga Lake. It was just a matter of time before they pulled the plug. With dealing with all five of the former Paramount Parks, dealing with Geauga Lake was simply a distraction to the integration process. Not to mention that they could sent some of Geauga`s rides to other parks as a slightly cheaper was to introduce new attractions at other parks.

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Cedar Fair is in the amusement park business. If Geauga Lake was not making enough money to cover its costs, and attempts to correct the parks issues had not proved successful, they would have to pull the plug sooner or later. Afterall, they can`t keep throwing money into a bottomless pit. Its not like Cedar Fair is exactly in the position to keep throwing money around either.

I CF thought GL could have been viable in any way, they would have kept it open.

Just look at what they did with SoB and the money they put into a ride where at least 90% of riders hate it. Is that not proof enough?

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Yeah, I'm with Ronny here. I love the front seat ride...very very smooth. Actually I would go so far as to say my front seat rides on SOB were the fastest smoothest rides in the park! Now, the backseat is a complete other story.

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90% may have been generous.

http://www.ushsho.com/detailedwoodrollerco...results2006.htm

Please notice #176 out of a total 179 in 2006.

http://www.ushsho.com/detailedwoodrollerco...results2005.htm

#173 of 175 in 2005.

And in a different poll here:

http://www.geocities.com/wcoasterpoll/wcprs02.htm

Sure, coaster polls are worth about the same as a week old newspaper. But usually there is much arguement for the coasters at the top of the list, but in this case, the general concensus seems to be the same for the bottom of the list.

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Those polls are in no way a reflection of the average guest and are old predating even SOME of the pre-sob accident modifications, not to mention they all pre-date the most recent 2007 modifications. Now that doesn't completely rule out the fact that maybe the majority of the GP dislikes SOB, but at the same time it lends no credibility to the claim that 90% of the guests coming through park gates dislike the ride. Regardless, the topic here is the closing of GL, and SOB is not GL nor is its situation comparable. Regardless of how much has been spent on SOB, GL is an entire park featuring its own unique problems and complications, where as SOB is a single ride. A very irrational comparrison.

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I believe that comparing GL to SoB is a very fair comparison.

Obviously not from an asset comparison, that would be just dumb. One ride just cannot be compared to an entire park.

But from the general attitude from CF, both are very comparible. Each has been failing for many years, each has not left CF in the black, and each has not been popular for a long time. Yet CF felt one entity was worth the expense of saving while the other was not worth the expense.

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Yep like comparing apples and oranges...they do make a dandy fruit salad. Or Peanut butter and Jelly....aw hell they do make a wonderful sandwich...wait...what am I trying to say?

Noone hit me with their keyboard...just trying to lighten the atmosphere and make some what of an interpretable post!

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I guess that makes more sense. While they have shown they intend (or atleast to this current point in time; intended) to keep SOB up and running, I dont think they ever intended to do anything with GL except close it. If it happened to work out for them on a minimal budget....great...if not....they can do what they are doing now.

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Well if you wanna talk proof where is there any proof to back up your statement that 90% of those who ride SOB, hate it?

well, there are times when top gun's line is longer than SoB's.......that say something to me right there......the only line for SoB is in the first couple of seats....everytime i've went to the park, even on the weekends, SoB has been about a 5-10 minutes wait....

chris

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wow, everytime Ive tried to ride SOB which is 8 times the line has been about a half hour long. One exception was on a wednesday at like 1 PM when everyone in the park seems to eat, the wait was 5 minutes for the front seat!

Could also be to the fact that the trains capacity have been reduced yet AGAIN this season to a measley 24 passengers. Two 24 passenger trains on a 7,000 foot ride.....you do the math. Being generous, lets say they dispatch a train every two minutes. Thats 30 trains an hour, multiplied by 24 passengers in each....you get 720 pph. Not exactly a people eater.

I'm still scratching my head why they dumped the money into the ride in the first place. Has anyone paid attention to people coming back to the station? Its still generating the same reaction.....OUCH. While I agree that the front seat IS smooth....the other 11 rows of seats are crap.

With regards to Geauga Lake, I personally don't think they gave it a fair shot. I think downsizing the Park by removing X-Flight and Steel Venom were good moves, I think the rest of the Park could have been successful. Honestly, I think after swallowing up the Paramount Parks they just put Geauga on the back burner and forgot all about it. Meanwhile, they increased food prices in the Park much the same way KI is currently raping its guests on prices. CF has been no better than SF in running the Park. I'd go as far to say that I MUCH preferred the Six Flags days actually.

- Todd

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  • 2 weeks later...
BRICKBATS: To Cedar Fair L.P. of Sandusky, which owns Geauga Lake and numerous other amusement parks around the country, for the way it handled the recent announcement that Geauga Lake was becoming strictly a water park.

Cedar Fair waited until after the park closed for the season to make the announcement. The company claims the decision wasn't made until then, but that's little consolation to those who would have wanted to visit the park one more time before the change was made.

"At least they could have given us some notice so we could ride our favorite rides one last time," said longtime season ticket holder Diana Sloban of Eastlake. "They didn't handle this in a people-oriented way."

From: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=...20548&rfi=6

(second item)

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I do think that closure is important. After KI announced that H-B Land would disappear and be replaced by NU, I took it hard. I grew up with Hanna-Barbera toons, watch them on Boomerang, and own over 30 DVDs. They have a special place in my heart.

On the last day possible, I rode my last H-B rides that I could, took lots of pictures, and my wife video-taped my good-bye to H-B Land. This closure helped me accept it.

Nowadays, we have NU and my son LOVES it. So I am thrilled to enjoy NU with my family. Saying good-bye did help me with the transition.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have two questions:

1)Where were all of these people when GL needed attendance?

2)Why weren't the people who did attend singing the praises of GL to their friends and family?

I realize that they spend money on advertising, but, I always spread the good word about KI and CP to family and friends. Marketing goes a long way, but word of mouth is a very good way to get people talking about a park that some may not even know exists.

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My 5 cents (which with inflation and calculating the deflating dollar might be worth 2), CF did lose an opportunity to promote a "Farewell" season to get one last, and REALLY GOOD payday from GL. And really did themselves a disservice in the PR department to not even announce it until after the last guest left when it closed for the season.

From CF's perspective, they are saving millions in a 2-3 year span to distribute seemingly "new" coasters to the other parks by recycling GL's coasters. Just like last year... KI got a "new" coaster and nothing else but general improvements/maintenance. Granted there were some costs involved in the move and site prep... but saved $$'s on the front end without having to order new.

hmmmm.... whch parks's coasters are going to be "poached" from next. maybe Vortex IS "sinking"......

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I have issue with the closing of Geauga Lake for these reasons

1. The issue with profitibility is due to management, not the market. Kennywood operates in the same market and is expanding the park. Half a million guests (which were the low end estimates) is plenty of customer base to remain open. They chose to pit Geauga Lake against Cedar Point when they removed the marine animals. There was no difference between the two parks. They then chose to develop the other side of the lake away from the rides instead of scaling down the rides side and building over there. They then chose to add no new rides and make small improvements (albeit good ones, but nothing to grab attention). They never really advertised or put any serious investment into marketing, and if they did, it had zero effect.

2. They didn't announce the closing until the end of the season. It would seem to me that if they were planning to close, it wouldn't be an immediate decision. They have to have had this in the works for some time, as evidenced by the fact that old Geauga rides are being announced and moved as we speak as new rides in other parks. The park has been a tradition for Cleveland area residents for 120 years, and Cedar Fair at least owed it to the city and the fans to give them one last chance to visit. In addition, they lost out on a probably lucrative "last ride" or even "last year" type of promotion to get visitors in.

3. They have ignored their roots. For a company as rich in history as Cedar Fair, it sure was an unceremonious closing. I would have thought that they would have a little more appreciation for one of the few parks (and it's old attractions) that survived the Great Depression, WWII, the advent of television, the suburban flight, and the bottoming out of the industry. To see it go for the reasons it did disheartens me, and to think that a true piece of Americana (that could have been profitable) will be cleared to make way for condos or another soulless shopping center sickens me.

The question of where were the people when it was open is already answered. They were there at the park all year (all half million or so), and there were enough of them to keep the place open. Geauga Lake, as it has been before, was a victim of mismanagement, overdevelopment and overspending. Six Flags did it during their ownership, and so did Cedar Fair, for when they bought Paramount Parks and took a couple of billion in debt, Geauga's fate was sealed in their eyes. I don't buy the end of the season decision, it was probably made at the end of the '06 season, and they can say that Geauga Lake still exists because of the waterpark, but it doesn't. What exists now is a shiny new waterpark that used to be part of a great old amusement park. I now see absolutely no need to visit Geauga Lake, and neither does anyone else within 30 miles. I love Cedar Point and Kings Island, but the company management seems to have become a bunch of businessmen instead of entertainers. I guess it comes with the territory of having to keep that stock price up. I'll be at these parks next year because they are great places, but to say I am happy with Cedar Fair about the closing of Geauga Lake just would not be the truth. I'm also 120 miles away. I can only imagine what the longtime local residents and fans think about it.

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ernie.. one comment to your post- I don't think removing the marine animals was entirely CF's decision- and someone may correct me on this, but I think 6 Flags opted to pull them with their ownership, or at least did not include them as part of the sale... other than that I think most of the posts on this topic are very similar.

If the parks not profitable, it's not profitable- although being in the Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Youngstown area I can't imaging that you couldn't make a serious run at profitability. You've got metropolitan areas north, south, east, AND west.

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Sure, they have all those metro areas surrounding them, but I'm reminded of Idora Park. However, their situation was a little different where their main coaster, The Wildcat, was destroyed in a fire in 1984. They tried to operate without it, but closed the next year. If they had stayed open I wonder what they would have been like today. Unfortunate, another park closing. I wish I had the chance to visit Idora, my wife raves about going there as a kid. And last year, I was down the street from GL for a wedding, had I known that they would be closing a year and a half later, I would have definitely gone. :(

http://www.defunctparks.com/parks/OH/Idora/idora.htm

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ernie.. one comment to your post- I don't think removing the marine animals was entirely CF's decision- and someone may correct me on this, but I think 6 Flags opted to pull them with their ownership, or at least did not include them as part of the sale... other than that I think most of the posts on this topic are very similar. . .

Actually, Six Flags incurred substantial expense in moving the animals to Jackson, New Jersey and Vallejo, California. Six Flags had offered the animals as part of the sale to Cedar Fair, but the latter demurred, saying it was not in the marine park business, nor did it want to be.

Mr. Kinzel has since said on several occasions that Cedar Fair understimated the popularity of the animals. . .

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I have issue with the closing of Geauga Lake for these reasons

1. The issue with profitibility is due to management, not the market. Kennywood operates in the same market and is expanding the park. Half a million guests (which were the low end estimates) is plenty of customer base to remain open.

The only thing that I have seen people say about the park is that it was dead and all the rides were walk-ons.

Kennywood operates 122 miles away. I'm not sure how that can be considered the same market. But even if it is Kennywood has not undergone the same type of changes that GL has gone through over the last 10 years.

CF is notorious for not releasing park attendance figures. Where did the 500,000 figure estimate come from? And even if that figure is accurate, how do any of us know if that is enough through the gate or not?

2. They didn't announce the closing until the end of the season. It would seem to me that if they were planning to close, it wouldn't be an immediate decision. They have to have had this in the works for some time, as evidenced by the fact that old Geauga rides are being announced and moved as we speak as new rides in other parks. The park has been a tradition for Cleveland area residents for 120 years, and Cedar Fair at least owed it to the city and the fans to give them one last chance to visit. In addition, they lost out on a probably lucrative "last ride" or even "last year" type of promotion to get visitors in.

CF was in a no win situation. Announcing the closing a potentially lose all your employees before the gates are locked. -OR- Announce the closing and pi$$ some people off. CF took the lesser of two evils.

Why did CF owe anything to Cleveland? They certainly were not going to the park when it was open.

3. They have ignored their roots. For a company as rich in history as Cedar Fair, it sure was an unceremonious closing. I would have thought that they would have a little more appreciation for one of the few parks (and it's old attractions) that survived the Great Depression, WWII, the advent of television, the suburban flight, and the bottoming out of the industry. To see it go for the reasons it did disheartens me, and to think that a true piece of Americana (that could have been profitable) will be cleared to make way for condos or another soulless shopping center sickens me.

Conneaut Lake Park in PA has suffered the same fate as GL- low attendance figures. There is a bottom line here: if people are going, then the park makes money. If people are not going, then the park does not make money. It is a simple as that. You can blame CF for closing GL because of the Paramount Parks purchase like many others have, but that has nothing to do with GL running in the red. Even without the purchase of PP, there would have been a very good chance that the same thing would have happened to GL. Even if you disagree with it or not, CF has investors to report to. If one of those investments is failing, it is gone.

GL had it's fate sealed the moment that SF purchased Sea World. Now look at it from this point of view: Busch Entertainment, who has been very successful both with rides and animal attractions, had as much of a chance as anyone to purchase GL before SF bought the park, but instead of expanding, they chose to sell off their own property.

Now consider the reasons why they would make that decision.

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Yes, CF was darned if they do, darned if they don't. Many people were somewhat agreeing with the sentiment that the park had too many rides and coasters. CF started to downsize last season. Many people moaned and complained about removing two coasters when in the same breath, they were stating how GL was over-developed. Then, they started hearing more complaining when it was rumored that Dominator and Thunderhawk were being removed. Yet, those same people were still claiming that they agreed with what CF was trying to do. But still, they weren't doing the most important thing of all, actually visiting GL. Nor were they spreading the "good word" about the park either.

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