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Bainbridge Township residents complain about abandoned Geauga Lake eyesore


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I live in a city where people complain that there is "nothing to do" and "our skyline sucks", yet every time something interesting is proposed it gets denied by neighbors because "it doesn't fit the neighborhood." People get what they ask for and will still complain. I will be honest though, by now the state should have gotten involved and destroyed everything.

On a similar subject, I will never understand the people who complain about hearing roller coasters (or even seeing them) when they are the ones who decided to live near a park. In some cases the residents may have been there before the park was built, but generally amusement parks are built in undeveloped areas and then later neighborhoods are constructed.

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On a similar subject, I will never understand the people who complain about hearing roller coasters (or even seeing them) when they are the ones who decided to live near a park. In some cases the residents may have been there before the park was built, but generally amusement parks are built in undeveloped areas and then later neighborhoods are constructed.

Valid point, difference is this park is closed. Who wants to live in a town where they have abandoned buildings/coasters?

Everyone here on the site complained about SOB for the last 3 years. It is an eye sore when it is just SBNO.

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"Six Flags got approved to do over a 200-foot rollercoaster. As soon as that was approved, Cedar Point bought it and killed the park to kill the competition for Cedar Point," Watson said. "They don't care about the residents. The proof is over there. The structures are gone."

Umm... Cedar Point bought the park? And is this guy correct about the 200 ft. coaster? I don't recall that, but I have missed things before.

Either way, I laughed.

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I got the chance to drive by the park back in the beginning of November on my way back from Cleveland while on business. It is an eyesore; I don't ascribe to the whole Cedar Fair bought it just to close it mentality- from a business perspective it makes perfect sense why they bought it. From where I sit, Cedar Point had some digs into their profitability in the early years of the Worlds of Adventure experiment, but was failing and a new buyer was sought. it made perfect senses to buy it while the price was low to keep someone who may have done it "right" from coming in. Have it succeed on your terms, or no one's.

A few reasons it failed:

1) inadequate road infrastructure

2) limited access to main highways

3) NO HOTEL INFRASTRUCTURE- closest block of hotel rooms almost 20-25 minutes away.

4) removing the "Wild Side" aspect removed anything that made it unique.

the concept was incredible and located within 5 minutes from an interstate with hotels surrounding it- it would still be in business today thriving. But its location only lent itself to being "regional" For Cedar Fair it was low risk: if you can't make it profitable on your terms, there are millions of dollars in used "new" rides to circulate out into your network of parks- ie: Firehawk, Dominator, Possessed, a Carousel, Americana, etc...

A lot of people in the Aurora area still today think that CF/Kinzel bought the park to "stick it to them."- maybe, but I don't buy it. You don't take $100+ million in shareholder funds and gamble it on a vendetta. It was a low-risk way to assure that a pesky competitor succeeds or fails on your terms with plenty of resources to be assumed by a potential demise.

That being said- the property is a dump. There is an "upscale" shopping area just to the north that seems out of place when compared to the weed lot across the street. They may find that the lot would be more attractive to potential buyers of any development if CF were to take bulldozers into the lot and clear out EVERYTHING: building remains, footings, pavement, cement, RWB, and yes- the Big Dipper- restore it to top soil and plant a field of corn in there for a year or two, The location would be much more attractive to buyers in that state than it currently sits.

And before I get slammed for advocating the demise of Big Dipper by purists- what other future does it have? It may be historic and classic, but has been out of operation for 6 years and likely has trees growing through it. SOB sat SBNO for just 3 and it had visible vegetation growing through it. And, if by some miracle it could be operational again, it would need to be brought to 2013 codes which would make it nearly unidentifiable from the last ride it gave in Sept. 2007.

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agreed on the hotels. If you think about GL and its proximity to Cleveland, Canton, Youngstown, Akron, Columbus, and Pittsburgh- it's success would seem to be a slam dunk. But it was a terrible maze of stop signs, stop lights and two-way traffice to get there. You'd go through that mess to reach an attraction that had the likes of a Sea World (or similar). Once you remove the Sea World-type attraction and replace it with a water park suddenly you suddenly have something that every other park seems to have (including Columbus Zoo).

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To be fair, I feel like the fact that New Jersey has a fairly well-rounded mass transit system that goes straight to the park (NJ Transit) probably factors into that somewhere, though. It's how my group was able to stay at a hotel in Tipton Falls, NJ this past summer and take a day to travel to NYC and back. The fare to SFGAdv was decent, depending on where you left from. I know Cleveland has mass transit, but to my knowledge, it doesn't/didn't extend to Geauga Lake.

It probably also helps Great Adventure to be the only huge corporate park in the state. Even at its prime, GL likely shared some sphere of influence with CP and Kennywood.

(This conversation is now making me miss El Toro. I hope you're happy, Interpreter. :P )

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Of course Cedar Fair had nothing but the best of intentions when they bought the nearest competitor of their flagship park then almost immediately destroyed it, while lying the entire time...... Nothing suspicious there......

My opinion... I don't buy that. It was failing under Six Flags ownership which explains why the whole complex sold for near what they bought Sea World for. I think that CF saw the writing on the wall that a recession was in the wings and things were only going to get worse. I you need proof of that, search GL pictures and look at Dominator trains not even 25% full and most people that did come were pass holders.

In the meantime, CF had a park with a decent roster of transportable rides that they could install as "new" attractions elsewhere in the even of a GL demise. When they bought GL in 2004, they had no idea that Paramount would put their entire Park network up for sale, and in 2004- a recession in 2007 couldn't be predicted completely.

I think it was a smart business move to buy GL, and once bought... it's theirs to do with whatever they want... they own it. They could have kept it open, closed it, whatever. I do think that the major blow came when they decided to close the Wild Life side.

Again, though, the lot is a dump that CF should remedy (actually should have long ago).

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Of course Cedar Fair had nothing but the best of intentions when they bought the nearest competitor of their flagship park then almost immediately destroyed it, while lying the entire time...... Nothing suspicious there......

As my economics professor here at OSU would say: "Welcome to capitalism."

Like it or not, this industry is a competitive market. Not everyone will be happy all the time, and the strong will weed out the weak one way or another. It might be suspicious or deceitful, but it's how the system works. Not everyone is happy or successful, and there are always toes to step on.

I agree that it could have been handled differently, but it happened how it did.

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Cedar Fair operated it longer (4 seasons) than it had operated as Worlds of Adventure (3 seasons).

I don't think that they expected attendance to drop as sharply as it did after deflagging and closing the marine side. They lost the remainder of SeaWorld's super-regional draw while failing to bring back locals. The attendance at the end wasn't even close to what was needed to support a park of that size.

After the Paramount acquisition, red ink clearly became a much larger concern, and there were suddenly a large number of successful parks in the chain overdue for major ride(s).

By the way, I do blame Cedar Fair for failing to market Geauga Lake properly.

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Cedar Fair was doing the right thing. They were trying to de-commercialize it and bring back the family aspect of it, much of which was lost during the Flags days.

I thoroughly think Kinzel wanted Geauga Lake to thrive, just not as a thrill capital.

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A few reasons it failed:

1) inadequate road infrastructure

The local communities resisted widening the roads to the park for years. ODOT finally did 43 through Aurora a year after the park closed.

Cleveland has mass transit, but to my knowledge, it doesn't/didn't extend to Geauga Lake.

GCRTA had a bus that ran shuttle service between Warrensville and Van Akin Rapid Station to the Park. Of course any one from Cleveland can tell you how reliable and convenient RTA is to use. :rolleyes:

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