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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Conneaut Lake Park to rise again?

Conneaut Lake Park to rise again?

Bluestreakaddictt

Posted:
7/23/13 at
10:14:56 PM

Been a while since i have posted, so lets get right down to it! First and foremost fo this group...the Blue Streak had its 75th birthday party last week, and what a party it was!! More people than i have seen there in a looong time. Blue Streak rolled out on time and ran full from start to an hour and forty-five minutes past scheduled closing without missing a beat. Generally a three to four train wait.

Much more landscaping and painting has been done. Hoping to finish up the cosmetics on the Tilt this weekend, before CLP goes Hollywood! Yep..you read that right.

As many of you probably already know, the Travel Channel is coming in from July 29 thru Aug 3 to give CLP an extreme amusement park makeover. The reults of tbat makeover will air on the pilot episode of a new series about Amusement Parks this fall. If ya want to get your mug on tv, go to conneautlakepark.com to get instructions on how to volunteer. Yhe Travel Channel will be leaving Conneaut Lake Park a new attraction in its wake, but have yet to.announce what it is.

So, other then general cosmetic upgrades, not much new. All regular volunteer work will probably stop until tje TC is outta there. Cant wait to see the results of the makeover!!

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by leviathan leviathan Profile at 7/26/13 9:24:15 PM
This is awesome news! I wish I lived a little closer. I would definitely have volunteered some time, not just next week but this season.

Sounds like great things are happening at CLP. Can't wait to see the improvements! I need to get me some Blue Streak...it's been waaaaaaay too long...

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by ray_p ray_p Profile at 7/30/13 1:28:44 PM
Below is a link to an article in the Erie newspaper regarding the start of the Conneaut Lake Park Reality Show.

They still say that the production company will leave a new attraction for the park when they leave. My guess is a new (or used) Eli Ferris Wheel to place at the front of the park where the original wheel once stood. Or they could surprise me and get that Zamperla Air Race I have been hoping for in my area! ;)

Makeover begins at Conneaut

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by ray_p ray_p Profile at 7/31/13 10:59:14 AM
According to the park's Facebook page, this Saturday at 7:00 PM, Conneaut Lake will announce their new attraction and "many more improvements to 'your park'". They are calling the event "Park After Dark" and ride wristbands are $15 (including Blue Streak). Emil and the Palookas will be providing live music and food will be available during the event. Park opens at 1:00 with the party starting at 7:00. I may have to make the trek out there and see what happens...
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 7/31/13 12:16:37 PM
I've never been to the park, but I was considering trying to work it into the CP/Waldameer junket I have planned for two weeks hence. Rock and Roll HOF was on the docket, but I may forego that (been there, done that 3X) if I can go to Conneaut. But based on what I've read here and elsewhere, I dunno if it's worth a visit. I've read a lot of things that make me think I might not enjoy it much. And the funky schedule they keep doesn't help. Should I bother?

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/31/13 12:45:19 PM
beastmaster said:

I've never been to the park, but I was considering trying to work it into the CP/Waldameer junket I have planned for two weeks hence. Rock and Roll HOF was on the docket, but I may forego that (been there, done that 3X) if I can go to Conneaut. But based on what I've read here and elsewhere, I dunno if it's worth a visit. I've read a lot of things that make me think I might not enjoy it much. And the funky schedule they keep doesn't help. Should I bother?


Mike

The reason I made it a point to finally visit this year is due to the uncertainty of the park's future. I didn't want to miss the opportunity, in case the park does close in the near future. I was actually impressed with Blue Streak. Now they claim to have taken care of the bumps on the bottom of the the first 2 drops. I'm tempted to go back myself and see how it's running. They also have the Tumble Bug running now, so that's another reason to visit. You only need about 2 hours in order to get your fill. If you have 2 extra hours, then I say do it.

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Katie Katie Profile at 8/1/13 9:14:51 AM
Unfortunately, the park just had another fire over night in the beach club area. Very saddening to hear.

Conneaut Lake Park Fire

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Patripman Patripman Profile at 8/1/13 9:21:45 AM
Here is the news from the Post gazette.


Conneaut Lake Park restaurant, beach club destroyed in fire
August 1, 2013 8:33 am

By Molly Born / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A restaurant and beach club at Conneaut Lake Park were destroyed in an early morning fire.

A Crawford County emergency dispatcher said no injuries had been reported in the blaze, which started in the Dockside restaurant about 2:19 a.m. and spread to the Beach Club next door.

It was under control by 5:21 a.m. but units were still on scene about 8 a.m.

"The building completely collapsed and firefighters are still putting water on the flames," Crawford County fire marshal Pete Albaugh said this morning.

He also said it is too early to determine what caused the fire and the investigation will likely begin Friday.

No additional details about the fire were immediately available.

The 121-year-old park is about 90 minutes north of Pittsburgh.

The financially struggling park is home to the Blue Streak, one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in America, and is the focus of a weeklong makeover that is being recorded as part of a possible program for the Travel Channel.

The Beach Club is an entertainment complex which opened in 1936 at the park.

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Patripman Patripman Profile at 8/1/13 9:52:09 AM
Since I posted the news story about the fire that destroyed one of the last remaining pieces of history for the park I want to add my 2 cents to the conversation on Conneaut.

As some may know we have owned property right down the side entrance from the park gates on Comstock. This property was held in the 1970's under a 99 year lease and then outright purchased in 1982 after many saw the parks decline and wanted out. People talk about Conneauts demise like it started just yesterday, no it started in the 1970's when people stopped going because they saw their vacations cut down to nothing and the reason to go to the lake was not an option for most.

Here is how it worked at Conneaut lake for decades. Families would rent or lease properties inside and around the park and lake every summer. While dad worked mother and kids would stay at the cottages or vacation rental. This would begin 1 week after the last day of school up to 1 week before Labor Day, back then school did not start until after Labor Day.

Every Friday the dad's would finish their shifts (mainly at the local steel mills in Pittsburgh or surrounding towns) and head up to the lake to be with their families. Beginning in 1977 when the steel industry decided it was cheaper to make their products overseas more and more men began losing their jobs, which now put pressure on vacations. I cannot count how many people we personally know who walked away from the lake between 1977 and 1983. There was a time when it took close to 4 hours to drive from Pittsburgh to CLP. Traffic would back up way past the intersection in Conneautville and from that point it was another 45 minutes to the park. We knew what the future was going to be like in 1979 when during the 4th of July holiday there was hardly anyone at the park. I dont know how many know this but at one time you literally drove right down the center of the park. Besides the family vacation time there was company, ethnic and school picnic days, which basically ended in the early 1990's.

In 1988 when for sale signs lined the streets in and around the park and property was basically given away that now posed another problem with people buying the properties and turning them into low income rentals. This alone began the overall downfall of the park and area. To say it was bad is understating what was going around the area. You went from having a vibrant vacation area with people spending money and supporting the local economy to now having people in the area that did not care one way or the other about the park.

I can go on and on about CLP but it just saddens me to look back to what was once a great place to vacation.

patripman

* This post was modified at 8/1/13 1:21:37 PM *

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Coaster316 at 8/1/13 11:32:12 AM
So sad.

This park just can't catch a break. They have an immensely uphill battle in front of them to begin with and stuff like this happens, too.

The article I'm linking below says that one of Blue Streak's trains, a miniature train and all of the park's fascination games were also destroyed in the fire. That seems odd (were these items being stored and not in use?).

Go Erie Article

* This post was modified at 8/1/13 11:33:12 AM *

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Katie Katie Profile at 8/1/13 11:32:54 AM
I think the article said they were being stored in the beach clubs basement. :-(
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Patripman Patripman Profile at 8/1/13 12:22:16 PM
The train was 1 of 2 of the NAD Century Flyers trains. It has been there since 1991. That area has been used for many years for park storage.

Patripman

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? Photo by Patripman Patripman Profile at 8/1/13 12:24:59 PM
Here is a pic

p

User Submitted Picture
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/1/13 12:57:11 PM
^ This is awful. The park was in the midst of its big "makeover" week and were gearing up for a huge event on Saturday and then, out of nowhere, this tragic fire hits. Add in the fact that the Beach Club seemed to always be where any activity of note was going on and this is definitely a huge blow.

Reading Bernard's posts above was very interesting. It's very sad to hear how a once thriving and popular destination can slide so quickly into an area that people just don't want to visit anymore.

CLP had a huge uphill climb before. Now it's more like a vertical climb up Mt. Everest. I wish them all the best, but I feel this is going to be a much bigger loss than the Dreamland Ballroom was.

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Patripman Patripman Profile at 8/1/13 1:19:16 PM
I totally agree about how much of a loss this disaster will be to the park and surrounding businesses. The boat and beach club was one of the thriving areas of the park/lake. During the weekends so many boats would of been anchored right offshore with many people enjoying the small beach and the nightclub. I really dont know how they will recover from this.


patripman

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 8/1/13 3:09:11 PM
Hopefully they had fire insurance on that structure. If not then they were foolish. Money is tight, but there is no excuse to not insure certain parts of the operation and especially the more successful parts.

This latest fire seems intentional.

It's unfortunate.

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? Photo by Patripman Patripman Profile at 8/1/13 3:51:08 PM
Another picture from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

P....

User Submitted Picture
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/1/13 9:53:56 PM
Patripman said:

Since I posted the news story about the fire that destroyed one of the last remaining pieces of history for the park I want to add my 2 cents to the conversation on Conneaut.


As some may know we have owned property right down the side entrance from the park gates on Comstock. This property was held in the 1970's under a 99 year lease and then outright purchased in 1982 after many saw the parks decline and wanted out. People talk about Conneauts demise like it started just yesterday, no it started in the 1970's when people stopped going because they saw their vacations cut down to nothing and the reason to go to the lake was not an option for most.

Here is how it worked at Conneaut lake for decades. Families would rent or lease properties inside and around the park and lake every summer. While dad worked mother and kids would stay at the cottages or vacation rental. This would begin 1 week after the last day of school up to 1 week before Labor Day, back then school did not start until after Labor Day.

Every Friday the dad's would finish their shifts (mainly at the local steel mills in Pittsburgh or surrounding towns) and head up to the lake to be with their families. Beginning in 1977 when the steel industry decided it was cheaper to make their products overseas more and more men began losing their jobs, which now put pressure on vacations. I cannot count how many people we personally know who walked away from the lake between 1977 and 1983. There was a time when it took close to 4 hours to drive from Pittsburgh to CLP. Traffic would back up way past the intersection in Conneautville and from that point it was another 45 minutes to the park. We knew what the future was going to be like in 1979 when during the 4th of July holiday there was hardly anyone at the park. I dont know how many know this but at one time you literally drove right down the center of the park. Besides the family vacation time there was company, ethnic and school picnic days, which basically ended in the early 1990's.

In 1988 when for sale signs lined the streets in and around the park and property was basically given away that now posed another problem with people buying the properties and turning them into low income rentals. This alone began the overall downfall of the park and area. To say it was bad is understating what was going around the area. You went from having a vibrant vacation area with people spending money and supporting the local economy to now having people in the area that did not care one way or the other about the park.

I can go on and on about CLP but it just saddens me to look back to what was once a great place to vacation.

patripman

Great read and history lesson. I remember as a child how popular Conneaut was. I remember the commercials and neighbors going up for the weekend. I live 30 miles south of Pittsburgh. As a child Conneaut was as popular as Geauga Lake. Now Geauga Lake is gone and Conneaut struggles to open every year. What's interesting is that Cedar Point and Kennywood continue to flourish. Hopefully Conneaut recovers from this.

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 8/2/13 8:37:43 PM
I've figured out a way to do part of a day at Conneaut. I'm gonna eliminate the Rock Hall and hit Waldameer a day earlier than planned.

I hope Blue Streak and at least SOME other rides are open.

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Katie Katie Profile at 8/3/13 4:40:37 PM
We'll be there tonight for their big reveal of their new ride with the travel channel.
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/3/13 8:44:31 PM
While I did not get out to CLP tonight, I did hear that the park's big new attraction is the Haunted Hostel. I assume it's some sort of a walk-through maze... which means that I won't be enjoying CLP's newest attraction. :)
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 8/3/13 8:50:38 PM
ray_p said:

While I did not get out to CLP tonight, I did hear that the park's big new attraction is the Haunted Hostel. I assume it's some sort of a walk-through maze... which means that I won't be enjoying CLP's newest attraction. :)

Why, Ray? Not your thing?

If it's open for me week after next, I'll take a walk through for ya...

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 8/4/13 11:53:39 AM
It has been about seven years since I was at CLP and I spent a couple hours yesterday afternoon at the park. Had a good time and there were quite a few families there. Only closed rides were the train, Devil's Den, Music Express, and Tilt-A-Whirl.

The main gate looks like new with the recent paint job. In fact there were a few people putting a few finishing touches on it when I arrived around 2:30. In fact the whole park was looking nice with all the new paint.

I only rode Blue Streak (4x) and Tumble Bub (1x) as I mainly went to the park just to get out of my apartment and do something on a beautiful day. Blue Streak was running great as the new wood has made a difference in the ride. The bottom of the first drop still seemed a bit rough but the rest of the ride was fine. I rode the back seat on one of my rides and while the first drop was crazy in that seat the ejector air going down the second drop had me holding onto the bar a bit tight. It was awesome!

Tumble Bug was running very well and am glad that the park is still able to keep this ride going. It's been quite a long time since I've ridden a Bug (I generally don't ride Kennywood's Turtle) and was a bit surprised by the decent ride cycle.

Despite how depressing the park looks in spots it felt like there was an air of hope while walking along the midway, even with the charred remains of the former Beach Club sitting on the lakefront. A part of me wonders if this park can continue to survive but after my visit I hope it can come off of life support and thrive once more.

G-Dog

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 8/4/13 6:20:07 PM
Even my brother, who lives in Sharon, PA and is not an amusement park/coaster person..tells me that Conneaut is about a city block in area, that no one goes there, and has nothing for me other than the Blue Streak. I responded that they have a few classic carny rides that I'll hit too..IF they're open.

I just wwish they were open on Wednesday..woulda made it easier.

Mike

The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by frontrow frontrow Profile at 8/4/13 8:08:15 PM
beastmaster said:

Even my brother, who lives in Sharon, PA and is not an amusement park/coaster person..tells me that Conneaut is about a city block in area, that no one goes there, and has nothing for me other than the Blue Streak. I responded that they have a few classic carny rides that I'll hit too..IF they're open.


I just wwish they were open on Wednesday..woulda made it easier.

Mike

IMO, Conneaut isn't worthy of an extra day. It's like Strickers Grove. Good for a few hours if it works out to your schedule. By the way, We will be returning from our coaster trip a day earlier than I expected. We are going to try to do Dollywood and Lake Winnie in the same day. That puts us back home on the 13th, which the 14th at Waldameer is now a possibility. I'll keep in touch through email.

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 8/4/13 8:10:36 PM
beastmaster said:

Even my brother, who lives in Sharon, PA and is not an amusement park/coaster person..tells me that Conneaut is about a city block in area, that no one goes there, and has nothing for me other than the Blue Streak. I responded that they have a few classic carny rides that I'll hit too..IF they're open.


I just wwish they were open on Wednesday..woulda made it easier.

Mike

CLP is much bigger than a city block. Its not a CP or KI or even Kennywood. But it is probably about the same size as kennywood, Just not near as much to do.

Charles Nungester 323 coasters and holding for two years now LOL Last coaster ride. HWN 2011
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Coaster316 at 8/5/13 7:29:39 AM
beastmaster said:

I responded that they have a few classic carny rides that I'll hit too..IF they're open.

I hate to say this, Mike. But if you're goal is just to hit a few rides, then don't bother. You are just setting yourself up for disappointment.

If you are interested in seeing the park for its history, then its absolutely worth it. If you care about the park's future, then by all means go and support them. If you have a curiosity to see what the park's burned out areas look like, then yes do it. There are plenty of reasons to go to Conneaut Lake, but I think the typical ride some rides is just not one of them at this point in time. Hopefully, some day they'll get back there but they just aren't there yet.

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by ray_p ray_p Profile at 8/5/13 11:24:55 AM
beastmaster said:

Why, Ray? Not your thing?

Nope! I can do dark rides no problem, but when it comes to walk-throughs, my claustrophobia kicks in and that is never much fun. I'm also not too good with people getting in my face as my first reaction is to push them away.

If it's open for me week after next, I'll take a walk through for ya...

Unfortunately Mike, the CLP Facebook page mentioned today that the walk-through will only be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 5:00 to 9:00 PM. :(

If you do go, have fun!

* This post was modified at 8/5/13 11:26:09 AM *

Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 8/5/13 11:46:10 AM
Oh, well....there's always Blue Streak!
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 8/5/13 12:28:32 PM
The walk-through attraction was easy to set-up in a limited amount of time and the cost to build much less than a ride, but the downside is these types of attractions are usually labor intensive.
Re: Conneaut Lake Park to rise again? by GoYanks34 GoYanks34 Profile at 9/20/13 1:14:07 PM
This is a great article about the park. I can't believe the state is trying to take the insurance money from the fire from the renters! They were the idiots who didn't have insurance on the beach house. What a mess this all is.

http://www.cleveland.com/travel/index.ssf/2013/09/charming_conneaut_lake_park_st.html