Published: September 23, 2007 at 12:10 AM
This one was a suspicion of mine as well. The removal of XFlight is one thing, but when rumblings of three other coasters leaving Geauga come afloat combined with dead attendance figures and absolute silence from the management when asked about the future of the park, one had to wonder how much longer they would stay on the same path. This move makes financial sense, but it is a shame that a park with such history has had it's heart ripped out due to the previous owner Six Flags' financial suicide, and some rather large miscalculations by Cedar Fair.
To be honest, it seems the Cedar Fair incarnation of Geauga Lake never really had a chance. After the decision was made to remove the marine life, the park just became too much like it's brother in nearby Sandusky. Had the animals stayed, there would have been some distinction from the rest of the chain, and surely more attendance as well. From an operations standpoint, Cedar Fair massively improved the park, but they removed the biggest draw in the process, and people simply stopped coming.
The question of where the rides are going is still in the air. Dominator is likely at Kings Dominion next year, giving that park a huge boost in competing with Busch Gardens. Thunderhawk looks to go to Michigans Adventure, with Steel Venom slated to go to Dorney. The Giant Ferris Wheel is looking to move, and also Head Spin. Some of the water rides are probably moving over to the water park, and two of the wooden coasters, Villian and Raging Wolf Bobs, could be firewood. I personally think that the Wolf Bobs is worth sending to another park. Many of the flats will probably find new homes as well. The one ride that I wonder about is the 83 year old Big Dipper coaster. In my honest opinion, it would make a perfect beachside coaster to replace the annual worst ride ever votegetter Disaster Transport at Cedar Point. Wherever it goes is fine with me, as long as it stands and operates somewhere. I'll be absolutely sick to my stomach if it doesn't survive.
After reading several pages of discussion on several other sites, and also some news articles, it appears that Cedar Fair has really alienated a fairly large portion of their fanbase...that base being the coaster loving fanatic. The consensus on the boards is that Cedar Fair torpedoed Geauga Lake in order to boost Cedar Point business. Also, numerous fans and the locals in general aren't happy because the company closed the park out of the blue without advertising and giving them the chance to visit one last time. Some are even calling for the job of chairman Dick Kinzel, who incidently also made a little news of his own in the money section this past week by purchasing 10,000 shares of the company. Obviously many fans are sad to see their hometown park of 120 years go. Whatever the case may be, the company has called down the thunder and they've sure gotten it. Prepare for backlash.
While I agree that they could have handled the closing a whole lot better, and I don't totally agree with the total closure of the amusement side, my next question is this. If the amusement side is closed completely, what are they doing with the land? I suspect condos may be on the arise....(puke)