Thursday, July 17, 2014

Conneaut Lake Park One Year after Travel Channel

Last summer, Ben and I volunteered for the Travel Channel's Mission Amusement makeover of Conneaut Lake Park (here). The show, which aired in early July, accurately depicted the park (here). This week, we walked through the park to see how the changes held up. 

Mission Amusement: Scare Tactics made it appear like their new attraction, the Haunted Hostel, was behind a stone facade at the end of the midway. The attraction is actually in the next section of the midway - you can see the Haunted Hostel sign above and below. The facade that they showed in Mission Amusement, on the left side of the midway building above, was recently torn down. The Haunted Hostel, by the way, was not open when we visited.

We walked through the park on a Monday afternoon, expecting it to be closed, but were surprised to find it open. Although it was operating, you almost wouldn't know it. We saw at most a handful of guests. The Travel Channel show made many improvements and had many recommendations. I did my best to see how the improvements held up and if the recommendations were taken to heart. One of the first things the host noticed was the broken lights. Unfortunately, there are still broken lights all around the park.

The host also stressed the importance of accurate signage. The new signs (from the show) still stand, but so do the park's old make-shift signs.

The park entrance looks wonderful. The signs are up and the paint is fresh. I don't think there was a park employee in sight, but it looks nice.

The first ride in the park - not operating. Same with the next ride.

If you've seen Mission Amusement, you might remember the 'No Trespassing' sign below. If you didn't see the show, the host noted that park is open until 9 pm, but the sign says no trespassing after 7pm. It's shocking to me that the park has had a year, but still hasn't removed or replaced this sign.

Also not operating - the Blue Streak. The unused cars sit half covered near the loading area.

The seats of the Blue Streak cars that are used were reupholstered for the show and still look great. 

Next to the Blue Streak - a pile of trash. Keep in mind, all of these pictures were taken on a regular walk through the park, not behind the scenes. I didn't trespass, I didn't walk anywhere I shouldn't. This is what guests see every day. Piles of trash, broken parts, and torn down buildings litter the entire park.

I think this (below) was the entrance to the old Jungle Ride.

The midway looks past it's prime, with weeds growing through the uneven, cracked asphalt.

Ben and I spent a lot of time last summer painting the planters on the midway. Unfortunately, it didn't hold up very well.

As were leaving the park, an employee asked me if I would sign a petition to stop the Sheriff's Sale. I have to admit - I'm torn. While I'd love to see the park stay, it's in such disrepair, I don't know if it salvageable at this time. It actually looks worse now than it did a year ago. The best word to describe our visit - depressing.

1 comment:

Sarah Huizenga said...

Such a sad loss, and yes depressing. Especially after work went into try to improve it just a year ago.