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Gordon Bombay

Kings Island Resort After it Closed

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So I recently had the chance to check out and visit the Kings Island Resort & Conference Center (formerly the Kings Island Inn) after it had closed. It's currently in the process of demolition, but I thought you guys might enjoy seeing some photos from the inside:

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I used to post a lot of "Photo trip report" threads here on KIC. Eventually that evolved into the kind of writing I do on my website where you can see all of the photos in a new article I put together: http://queencitydiscovery.blogspot.com/2015/02/last-guests-of-kings-island-resort.html

And I wrote another story back when it closed in November, detailing some of its history here: http://queencitydiscovery.blogspot.com/2014/11/the-end-of-suburban-cincinnatis-alpine.html

Also, as a special treat for KICentral I thought you guys might like this. I picked this up amongst the trash on my way out:

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Awesome! Love stuff like this, and at the same time, hate stuff like this.

Glad you were able to get in and document it as it sits.

Facility still looks very, very viable...

Wife and I are staying at Hueston Woods Resort, a place I fell in love with while a student at Miami, with that same "alpine" feel. I hope that it does not fall victim to a similar fate.

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Ronnie,

I wasn't sure we'd ever get such a last glance at the ol' Inn, but somehow I knew you'd come through for us on this! Thanks for posting it! Although it is very, very bittersweet to those of us who can remember across four decades to a time when it seemed that place was here to stay forever; one had to feel it slipping away as it deteriorated and faded into the shadow it had become.

Time marches on. :(

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Awesome! Love stuff like this, and at the same time, hate stuff like this.

Glad you were able to get in and document it as it sits.

Facility still looks very, very viable...

Wife and I are staying at Hueston Woods Resort, a place I fell in love with while a student at Miami, with that same "alpine" feel. I hope that it does not fall victim to a similar fate.

Thanks for taking the time to check it out. From talking to people at the site, the biggest problem with the hotel's viability seemed to be mold in the building's closest to the highway. They were built much differently (and probably far cheaper) than the initial two resort blocks in order to meet an increasing demand in an era where hotels weren't too common on that exit/in the nearby area, not to mention in a time when finding a hotel meant lots of research and no internet to sort our best prices and deals.

In all reality, I'm sure the problems could've been fixed and someone could've kept it running, but at what cost? The facility is huge and only used the majority of its rooms during a single peak season. It's convention and reception halls are not unique and rivaled even by nearby options at regular chains such as Holiday Inn and Marriott not to mention the convention areas of the Great Wolf Lodge. On top of all that you're trying to maintain two full service restaurant and an indoor pool.

The Kings Island that facility was built to serve in 1972 was vastly different - truly a full, resort and entertainment destination (one that was intended to be year round). Now, while Kings Island is still great, it's simply a regional theme park.

I used to drop by the Inn after my work at the Holiday Inn Northeast and had a great time downing a few beers or four or six or whatever.

I always wondered about "Coasters," the bar at the hotel. It seems these days that hotels have drifted away from offering their own restaurants and bars. Even so, having those kinds of facilities within a lodging establishment raises the question: "Are these for guests or outside visitors too?" As someone who enjoyed sharing drinks with coworkers after a shift - "Coasters" was never on our radar when it came to area bars.

Those pictures are hard to look at. Really sad.

In the times I've been photographing abandoned places it's always interesting to see the emotional reaction people have to the photographs. At times I share the disappointment in seeing a place close, especially if it's place I had the chance to visit when it was open. Other times, If I've never been to that location, it's more of an objective thing.

With KIR&CC, I had never been when it was open, but it was still tough to see it go when you take into account the history it shares with the park next door. It's truly something of a bygone era, where regional parks of the 70's were thought to be Disney class rivals with bold ambitions and dreams.

Ronnie,

I wasn't sure we'd ever get such a last glance at the ol' Inn, but somehow I knew you'd come through for us on this! Thanks for posting it! Although it is very, very bittersweet to those of us who can remember across four decades to a time when it seemed that place was here to stay forever; one had to feel it slipping away as it deteriorated and faded into the shadow it had become.

Time marches on. :(

Thank you for the kind words and taking the time to check it out! It certainly ended up being a far cry from what it was in the 70's, but in the end it seemed like a reasonable and halfway decent hotel (then again, I'm someone who's perfectly fine with Motel6 or sleeping in my car if need be).

Whenever I see a deserted pool I think of Chernobyl.

Did you ever play the Call of Duty that takes place in Chernobyl? It's great.

^I think of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2.

Best game of that series.

Thanks Gordon! Its sad to see it like this, but then again, the rooms were a moldy dumps. Just sayin'.

Reviews seemed to be mixed. Did you ever stay there?

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Also, thanks to Boddah1994 for letting me use his scanner that's currently sitting on our kitchen table. I hate printers and haven't owned one for two years, if it wasn't for him I probably wouldn't have bothered to scan that brochure.

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I last stayed at the "resort" in 2013. I also stayed there in 2011, 2009, 2008 (and 1992). I don't think anyone that walked in up through 2013 (can't speak to 2014, but can't imagine it was much different) would even remotely call it "run down". The entry area/foyer was really nice. In 2013, I thought the room I stayed in could stand updating. I noticed things like trim around the doors, etc. were a bit worn, but that's it. Can't speak for every room and every hallway, though.

Having said that, it's footprint was massive. Once I got to be a little bit older, I began to wonder how they supported it, especially given the amount of competition.

If you never, or just not recently, visited the Kings Island Resort, it wasn't something that was decaying away...it just had gotten a bit dated. As much as I hate to see it go, it is completely understandable why it did.

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Thanks Gordon! Its sad to see it like this, but then again, the rooms were a moldy dumps. Just sayin'.

Reviews seemed to be mixed. Did you ever stay there?

Yes, I did, and I really hoped it wouldn't be as bad as the reviews said, but sadly, it was. The amenities and lobby were ok, but the rooms were horrifying! The bathroom had mold and cracks on the ceiling, and the carpet looked like it was original.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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So Towne Properties is building new apts there. I live in an apartment run by them i wonder if they would let me switch apartments :-)

I think Towne Properties is trying to build apartments there. My understanding is that the property has to be rezoned first.

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This made me sad. I grew up just down the road in Loveland and I can't count the number of middle school slumber parties I attended at KI Inn in the late 80's. That's where everyone had their birthday parties, packing 15 girls in one room so everyone could go there and swim. Good times. :)

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My dad invited our aunt, uncle and cousins to spend a Friday and Saturday with our family there in 1973 (from the date on the back of the instant photos my mother took of the get-together) -- I was too young to really remember much else that running through the halls chasing my big brother and older cousins, but I was impressed with how big the place was. I remember it still smelled like fresh paint and carpet glue our rooms (my mom explained it to me when I asked). It is that aroma which I believe the Brady Bunch mistook as a "fish" smell when they stayed there later that year (source Nick at Nite Pop-Up Brady).

My last visit ever was to attend a reptile exhibit, where I ran into an old high school friend who sells snakes as pets. I was wondering when they were ever going to change the yellow, "All In The Family"-era wallpaper from the hallways! ...Well, I guess they're changing it now... to ...air.

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Great Article but I see a mistake.

The two existed under the same ownership, management and operation until 1987 when Cincinnati icon Carl Lindner sold the park to Paramount communications

The Park wasn't sold to Paramount until August of 1992.

Oops! Thanks for pointing that out! Usually I'm putting this stuff together at 2 AM and not all cylinders are firing.

My dad invited our aunt, uncle and cousins to spend a Friday and Saturday with our family there in 1973 (from the date on the back of the instant photos my mother took of the get-together) -- I was too young to really remember much else that running through the halls chasing my big brother and older cousins, but I was impressed with how big the place was. I remember it still smelled like fresh paint and carpet glue our rooms (my mom explained it to me when I asked). It is that aroma which I believe the Brady Bunch mistook as a "fish" smell when they stayed there later that year (source Nick at Nite Pop-Up Brady).

My last visit ever was to attend a reptile exhibit, where I ran into an old high school friend who sells snakes as pets. I was wondering when they were ever going to change the yellow, "All In The Family"-era wallpaper from the hallways! ...Well, I guess they're changing it now... to ...air.

You wouldn't happen to have those family photographs available would you? I would LOVE to see them.

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