After over 100 years of operation, Geauga Lake’s run as an amusement park has finally come to end. It was announced today by Cedar Fair that the rides section of Geauga Lake will close for good. However, the park’s Wildwater Kingdom water park, which opened in 2005, will continue to operate in years to come.
“The market demand simply isn’t there to support the park in its current structure,” Cedar Fair spokeswoman Stacy Frole said. She said Wildwater Kingdom, the $25 million water park Cedar Fair built on the south side of the lake, “has really been the most popular attraction at Geauga Lake. We believe that’s where the property is going to succeed — as a water park.”
Geauga Lake has been recognized as an amusement park rich in tradition and history. The park opened as a picnic grove in 1887, and the property became as amusement park in 1889. The park has changed ownership several times.
In 1969, Funtime Inc. bought the amusement park and had an impressive run of successful seasons while running the park. Premier Parks, Inc. then purchased the park in 1995, but when Six Flags purchased Premier Parks, Inc. in 1998, the park was renamed Six Flags Ohio the next season.
As a Six Flags park, the property continued to grow when in 2001, Six Flags purchased the nearby SeaWorld Cleveland at a cost of $110 million. The park was then renamed Six Flags Worlds of Adventure as it became a marine life, thrill, and water park. Then finally in 2004, the park was purchased by Cedar Fair and was renamed Geauga Lake. The marine life section of the park closed and from then on, attendance began to fall.
With the rides section of the park closing, the question is what will happen to all of the rides. That question has been left unanswered as of now, but Cedar Fair did confirm that some of the park’s major rides will be relocated to other Cedar Fair parks.
Geauga Lake’s 2008 operating schedule, admission pricing, and other operating details will be released at a later date. The 119-year-old park has had an impressive run, and it’s a disappointment for coaster enthusiasts and the general public to see the park fade into history.