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)
Many of the people here have never been to Geauga Lake. Many that have weren't really frothing at the bit to go back there. I liked the park, but it was nothing I would go out of my way to hit again (the only reason I even went this season was to get a few pick-up shots. I spent two hours there and didn't ride a thing. I still enjoyed it more than the five hours I had spent earlier that day at Cedar Point). Does that mean I'm glad to see it go? Of course not. Any park closing is a bad thing for this industry. Yes, even if it's a Six Flags' park.
But I'm not from the area, so I really have no grasp of its history. I did some limited research for a DVD I'm working on, but it really doesn't delve in that deep. If you want to start deepening this discussion by adding your own memories and observations, please do. But how's about doing so with a little less self-righteous indignation?
BTW, welcome to the site.
Any of these rides are capable of being moved. The example of the dilapidated Rocket being moved from a closed San Antonio park to become the Phoenix in Knoebels. Each piece of wood was marked and the ride was reconstructed piece by piece with the same layout. Some of the wood had to be replaced due to the ride being SBNO for a while, but in the Dipper's case, very little would have to because it has been continually maintained and operated. If Cedar Fair foolishly doesn't use it, than any park would be getting a steal by buying it.
My first memory of Geauga Lake was at 8 years old... looking out across the lake from Shamu stadium at this amusement park. I enjoyed the old Ohio Sea World, but I wanted to be across the lake on the coasters. My first visit of many came a few years later. I recall riding the Raging Wolf Bobs quite a few times that day. I went once during the Six Flags era, and once was enough. My last visit to the park was a couple of years ago, during the first year of Cedar Fair's occupation. I recall seeing great promise at the time, and the massive airtime I got on Big Dipper. Unfortunately it seems they have given up on the classic park...and a bit prematurely if you ask me. They could have scaled back the amusement park even a little more before euthanizing it completely. It wasn't completely dead
I honestly wonder if the complete resurgance in popularity of XFlight/Firehawk at Kings Island didn't put this idea in their head. GL wasn't doing well financially, but they have some great attractions that would be boosters (and cheap new rides) to other parks. Could they possibly have sacrificed this park in order to stock their other parks with "new" attractions for pretty much nothing next year?? After all, they have quite a bit of debt now, and attendance has stayed flat. Guest spending has gone up, but it's getting tougher to continue the long running returns that stockholders have gotten for years. Kings Dominion's aquisition of Dominator (if it happens) will be a huge boost because A) It's a fantastic ride and it will draw, and B) They will get it for almost nothing. The same goes for Thunderhawk at Michigans Adventure. MA is a smaller park looking to grow attendance and make some money...what better way to do it than getting a dirt cheap multilooping inverted coaster. Dorney Park is getting the former Steel Venom, Great America has announced new ride for 2008...with the picture of a top spin (Texas Twister). It's foolish to think that any of the other parks (except Canada's Wonderland with their new hypercoaster and perhaps Cedar Point) wouldn't receive at least one of Geauga's old rides. I'm just speculating on this mind you, but I can't help but think that a classic park may have been cannibalized.
I'm angry at myself for giving that company this much credit.
So if you're looking at starting a "save Geauga Lake" petition...well, you maybe should have got on that last week.
I think that moving the Dipper is a totally feasible thing. I'm sure it's cheaper than rebuilding completely. Why build new when the ride is already built. They can dismantle and mark the pieces of lumber, which are already cut and measured, and reassemble it piece by piece on site...replacing any wood that is necessary. Very little cutting would need to happen, as it would pretty much be like a prefabbed ride. Some surveying and the blueprints (if they still exist) can make that happen. Besides, we all know that it wouldn't be the same if it was completely rebuilt, and the purpose of the whole thing is to save the original coaster, not replicate it.