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August 5, 2006

It's The Farewell Season For Ohio's Erieview Park

Geneva-On-The-Lake, OH The owners of Erieview Park announced that they will close the amusement park at the end of this season. The small amusement park in northeast Ohio has been in operation for more than 60 years.

The family that owns the park plans to redevelop the property into a new business.

Don Woodward said his grandfather started Erieview Park in 1945 as an amusement park for children with two rides. In the 1980's adult rides and waterslides were added to the park.

"It has been a good business," said Woodward.

"Shutting down the amusement park is difficult," added Woodward, but his family believes it can do better.

The family owns 700-feet of lakefront property and hasn't taken advantage of the location. Several tourist related options are being discussed that will take advantage of the lakefront property and fit in with the resort's heritage.

The park's 18 rides are to be auctioned off on October 3 by Norton Auctioneers of Michigan.

Erieview Park's collection includes a Ferris wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, junior roller coaster and a carousel. The park's train and Fright Zone dark ride will also be sold.

Fright Zone is unique since it is the last dark ride manufactured by Alan Herschell in operation. In 1960, Herschell built three scary dark rides and Erieview Park has the only one still operating.

Herschell played a significant role in the manufacturing of rides for the amusement industry.

"It will be a unique part of the auction," said Woodward.

To say goodbye, the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts (DAFE) are planning a farewell event on the park's final day of operation September 9. Participants will be taken on a behind the scenes tour of the Fright Zone.

A few years ago, Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts helped in the restoration of the Fright Zone dark ride. It may be the last opportunity for fans to take a ride, since the ride's future is uncertain.

Erieview Park is located 50 miles east of Cleveland along the lake.

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