austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Trying to escape the cloud

So how about amusement park news?

Last time we visited Conneaut Lake Park the park had staggered out of another death event. It was still in bankruptcy but it was functioning, had the water park going, and had its best season in decades. Then the pandemic hit and the place couldn't open at all in 2020, the way no amusement parks should have. This past month, the park got sold.

The new owners are Keldon Holding LLC, which nobody knows all that much about. Shortly after the sale, apparently, people started seeing X marks spray-painted on the most dilapidated of buildings. This is exactly what you'd expect from an owner who figured to demolish the amusement park and build lakeside condos.

Except ...

NewsPlusNotes notes that of the 13 parties interested in Conneaut Lake Park, and 10 that went through with bidding, Keldon Holdings was the only one with a bid okay with the public-use restrictions on the deed. So far as a deed restriction means anything, which is just how much the owner wants to try breaking it. Todd Joseph, at the center of the new buyers, became aware of Conneaut Lake Park as part of a project to turn it into a senior-living community. And (says NewsPlusNotes) then ``fell in love with the property and its potential''. And, marking for demolition the most dilapidated and least-salvageable buildings is what you'd do if you wanted to run the park as a park. Certain people will be enchanted by an amusement park that looks post-apocalyptic but functions. Many more people will look at that and insist the Tilt-a-Whirl is a deathtrap.

The plan then is to get Kiddieland and the water park open in May, pandemic permitting, with cleanup and repair being done as they can. So ... is, possibly, Conneaut Lake Park is not yet dead somehow?


Last we heard about Clementon Park was its death-rattle before the Pandemic. At Customer Appreciation Day for the 2019 season the park didn't open. Nor did it open the remaining few weeks of the 2019 season. It cancelled all season-ticket sales for 2020. And that's about all we could hear, with owner Premier Parks LLC evaporating. The park's being put up for auction, with an inspection day the 19th and final auction the 23rd. Which looks like the final end for one of the oldest parks in the United States.

But then ... NewsPlusNotes today reveals that someone called Fresh Development LLC is trying to put together $7 million to buy and invest in the park. They see a park that could reopen this year and get something like 170,000 visitors and as much as $7.5 million in revenue. There's six other parties known to be interested in the park, but this is the only one that's revealed an interest in running the park as a park. The Philadelphia Inquirer's article says this would be the first investment for Fresh Development, a group of Black investors organized in response to the murder of George Floyd by cops. Melvin Brown, head and organize of the group, worked at Clementon as a teen and thinks he's ``capable of bringing the right resources in and bringing out the best in this park''.

Happy words, at least, in a hard time.


Back to July 2020 photos. Here, some from when I was not just walking around.

SAM_1557.jpg

In late July we went to another drive-in, a showing of E.T.. This was in Plymouth, in a temporary drive-in facility set up every summer outside the USA Hockey Arena, which sounds like the name you'd make up to be snarky but is because the USA Hockey Foundation bought the place in 2015. Still. Anyway here's the screen way ahead of showtime.


SAM_1564.jpg

The screen being raised into place; you can see how exciting it is to see a still picture of barely-moving hardware.


SAM_1566.jpg

The screen almost raised full up; my recollection is it got stuck for a while. Note the patches, just like in a 1930s cartoon showing movie-theater curtains.


SAM_1568.jpg

The greenbelt flanking the arena (which had the bathrooms, at the end of long hallways divided in half so there could be a one-way circuit of motion).


SAM_1570.jpg

Woodsy areas in-between the parking lot and the arena.


SAM_1571.jpg

It's a great lush spot and we worried there might be mosquitoes.


SAM_1573.jpg

The World Is Coming! The 2020 International Hockey Federation Under-18 Championship Schedule, frozen in an aspirational amber.


SAM_1575.jpg

Wall of hockey federation milestones, along the way into the arena and down to the only open bathrooms.


Trivia: In 1914 the Singer Sewing Machine company had a workforce of 27,000 employees in Russia, including sales representatives who travelled to outermost Siberia. Source: The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, John Micklethwait, Adrian Wooldridge.

Currently Reading: Lunar Outfitters: Making the Apollo Space Suit, Bill Ayrey. So at one point in 1968 to keep crew assignments confidential (even from the astronauts!) while letting the spacesuit-makers know who they were fitting, NASA and International Latex Corporation worked up a list of code-names for the astronauts, matching each name to a star, and would communicate in memos that used the star names instead. You forget that even at its peak, the space program was also run by seven-year-old boys.

Tags: amusement parks, clementon park, conneaut lake park 2020
Subscribe

Posts from This Journal “amusement parks” Tag

  • Why not come dancing

    One very busy Sunday in June 2018 we tried to go to the BalloonFest in Howell, Michigan, and then to the Livonia Spree, in Livonia. Both are local…

  • My sister went there on a Saturday

    We always resolve to get some amusement park trips in early in the season. This year, we did it for Cedar Point. We also managed it for Michigan's…

  • Midway hawkers calling ``Try your luck with me''

    Yes, on my mathematics blog I forgot which month we just finished. I'm embarrassed enough by this. Don't worry. Here's the last couple of posts to…

  • I'm sailing right behind

    Last Sunday we went to Cedar Point, our first amusement park trip of the year. Early in the season, yes, but we hoped it would be a low-crowd day.…

  • And all the girls knew Walter's name?

    So how was the Cedar Point experience, on my birthday? Remember that Halloweekends days are usually busy for the park; Halloween is a money factory…

  • But somehow

    OK, trying to get out of the scramble of life again. Oh, early September, that's something. For our inaugural journey in my new car, we took Labor…

  • Is gonna be a good year

    So now let me finally get to the thing we'd done Wednesday, the day that my car died. We had a couple motivations. One was wanting to do something…

  • Where's your shame

    Monday, with bunny_hugger having finished a big project, and me seeing no particular crises developing at work, we went to Michigan's…

  • Turn and face the strange

    Last year bunny_hugger decorated for Christmas in July, for the first time. Combination of needing to do something when it was…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments