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Potential Buyer Comes Forward For Bankrupt Conneaut Lake Park

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Potential buyer comes forward for bankrupt Conneaut Lake Park

 

Potential buyer comes forward for bankrupt Conneaut Lake Park
 
Conneaut Lake Park
By: WPXI.com News Staff
Updated: January 22, 2021 - 6:48 PM

CONNEAUT LAKE, Pa. — A “qualified cash buyer” has come forward and offered to buy all of the assets at Conneaut Lake Park, according to an announcement Friday.

The park’s trustees said they received an offer from the buyer who wants to “invest in the property” and “expand on the... momentum the park has gained.”

 

We all are aware that 2020 was a tough year for many businesses, including Conneaut Lake Park. However, in a very...

Posted by New Conneaut Lake Park on Friday, January 22, 2021

The park is currently in a bankruptcy reorganization plan and the cash offer must go through the court process before anything concrete can happen.

About a two hour drive from Pittsburgh, Conneaut Lake Park is an amusement park sitting on the shores of Conneaut Lake in northwestern Pennsylvania near Meadville. The lake is the largest natural glacier lake in the state and is popular with boater. The park features the Blue Streak wooden roller coaster.                                                                                                                                                                                                          SEE FACEBOOK POST     ;    https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/potential-buyer-comes-forward-bankrupt-conneaut-lake-park/JQ5T2VCNCBBNDCTK2TO45HE2AQ/

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Bankruptcy judge approves sale of century-old amusement park

 

Bankruptcy judge approves sale of century-old amusement park
 
Conneaut Lake Park

 

By: Associated Press
Updated: March 2, 2021 - 5:32 PM

CONNEAUT LAKE, Pa. — A federal bankruptcy court judge has approved the sale of a century-old amusement park in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh-based U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Jeffrey Deller on Tuesday morning approved the sale of Conneaut Lake Park to Keldon Holdings LLC for a cash price of $1.2 million.

An auction had been slated, but although more than 10 parties expressed interest, only Keldon submitted a bit for all park assets, said attorney Jeanne Lofgren, representing the park’s board of trustees. The park didn’t open for the 2020 season and because of that lost income wasn’t expected to open for the 2021 season, she said.

The sale includes the amusement park and its rides, including the historic Blue Streak roller coaster, as well as the water park, the beach area, Hotel Conneaut, a campground and active leases on assets.

Conneaut Lake Park, despite some closures during years of financial difficulty, has operated as an amusement park since 1892, when it opened as Exposition Park.

Jim Becker, director of the county Economic Progress Alliance, which manages the park, said the new owner intends to continue to invest and improve the park. He said the scheduling of the sale was intended to allow a new owner time to open for the upcoming summer season.

“Everything that we have been led to believe is that the park is going to operate as-is. He plans to operate it as an ongoing concern,” Becker told the Erie Times-News.

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New owner sees long-term vision for Conneaut Lake Park

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Conneaut Lake Park
Meadville Tribune file photo
 
 
 
 
 

Conneaut Lake Park's new owner says his vision to revitalize the historic amusement park is going to take time.

"The way we're imagining this is as a family events center," Todd Joseph of Keldon Holdings LLC said in an interview with the Tribune. "We're going to do whatever it takes to make this the premier event space in the area."

Last week, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania approved Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park’s sale of the amusement park and its assets to Keldon Holdings LLC for $1.2 million in cash. The ownership formally transferred Tuesday with the deed being recorded at the Crawford County Courthouse.

 

To make it a premier site means amusement rides, music and events plus time, according to Joseph.

For now, though, things are gearing up on two fronts — to clear up blighted areas of the park's grounds and get some parts of the park open sometime in May.

"We're going to be opening in a limited capacity with potentially Kiddieland and the water park open," Joseph said.

"I don't want everybody to get their expectations (up) that we're going to have the amusement park ready. Kiddieland and the water park will be open on limited capacity, but the amusement park we're not sure yet. I don't want to raise false hopes."

Hotel Conneaut is operating, though.

Frank Flanegin, who runs the hotel under a lease, told the Tribune that he's hoping to negotiate a new lease with the new ownership. Flanegin's current lease expires at the end of 2021.

Joseph's first goals are to remove blighted buildings and dead wood, fix asphalt, and perform other general cleanup. He is ready to start the permitting process for demolition of dilapidated buildings along the midway and other areas.

Randy Fyock, Summit Township's zoning officer, confirmed he's had informal discussions with Joseph about demolition permits, but none have been issued as yet.

"The list is endless," Joseph said of what needs to be done.

"We have to do what we got to do to get it, at least, cleaned up and make it presentable," he said of the park. "I'm not saying it's going to get done overnight, but I am going to say the blight will be gone. When that's all gone, then we can work on the master plan."

Long-term, the cleared lower portion of the midway area, east of Comstock Street, will become an outdoor amphitheater for major events, he said. 

 

Joseph plans to have Conneaut Lake Park be the site of special events like Ghost Lake haunted amusement park and Pumpkin Fest, but wants to add more events like car shows and holiday gatherings.

"I know how much of a special place this is to the community and the history of it," Joseph said, adding that he knows about the park because his in-laws live in the Conneaut Lake area.

Conneaut Lake Park came into the picture for Joseph while he was working last year on a different proposed Conneaut Lake development project — a housing community for those over age 55. 

While that project didn't work out due to sewer issues, Joseph became aware of the park's potential availability during negotiations.

"The park already had everything in place that I needed to do an events center," he said. "As a developer, I looked at it as an opportunity to do something different than what I had been doing. That why I bought it."

According to Joseph, Conneaut Lake Park has a lot going for it — including location, view, history and community involvement.

"We understand the history," he emphasized. "We understand how special a place it is to the community and people who use to come here for family vacations."

Wednesday morning Joseph posted an update on the park's Facebook page, New Conneaut Lake Park.

The online update states general cleanup and demolition are planned for unsound buildings with plans underway to rebuild The Beach Club, make beach improvements and expand Camperland camping ground. Also planned are water park and Kiddieland improvements plus planning for new rides and entertainment.

"Many of the improvements that we plan on bringing to the park will happen slowly over the course of the next few years, as things get back to normal and the dark days of COVID continue to fade into the background," the statement said.

Joseph knows how anxious people are about Conneaut Lake Park's future.

"Hopefully, this quells a lot of the anxiety," he said. "I know how important and special the park is to the community."

Joseph said the park will provide updates via social media on its Facebook page and Instagram at newconneautlakepark.

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I loved this place as a kid.  We would line up for the Blue Streak, ride it, then get right back in line.  We would do this several times in a row.  I would love to return there sometime!


Every day is a gift from God; that's why we call it the "present!"

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Iconic Conneaut Lake Park rides will sit idle for another summer

 

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Conneaut Lake Park Conneaut Lake Park

By WPXI.com News Staff

CONNEAUT LAKE, Pa. — Two iconic rides at Conneaut Lake Park will reportedly sit idle this summer even though the destination is set to reopen over Memorial Day weekend.

According to the Meadville Tribune, the Blue Streak and Tumble Bug still need too many repairs.

Park officials posted on social media that the Tumble Bug repairs will “take some time” and that the plan is to have it up and running for next summer. Additionally, park officials said they plan to keep the Devil’s Den and the Carousel.

“Our goal is not to demolish the history of the park, but rather to find the ideal balance of old and new,” the Facebook post said.


 

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This would be such a fun project!  I always liked the park as a kid. 

We stopped in just to see if it was still there about 7 years ago and it was actually open.  We paid $20 for a ride all day band which was funny because there were only a few rides.  It was still fun to relive a piece of my childhood with my kids. 

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