With the last coats of fresh paint being added and other final spruce ups taking place before Conneaut Lake Park amusement park opens Saturday, management is casting its eyes toward the future.
The short-term goal is to make sure the park is ready for Saturday’s noon opening with all rides running, according to Jim Becker, executive director of Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park, the nonprofit corporation that oversees the amusement park’s operations.
A longer-term goal — hopefully achievable within the next two or three years — is adding a vintage ride or two.
Last year was a good year for the park, it got favorable bankruptcy protection rulings, sold some prized land parcels to pay down taxes and actually made a profit as the weather worked in its favor to remain open and have fewer weather related closings.
The Park undertook major efforts to revitalize the parks appearence, add spaces for campers and remove some eyesore items.
What seemed unlikely is now coming together after years of bad management.
This Year The Blue Streak Roller Coaster turns 80, And This year, about 90 feet of rail on the Blue Streak’s second hill was replaced along with the wooden supports for the track the park said.
Also this year, a new pump drive was installed for the water park’s two tower slides, Becker said. The pump pushes water to the top of the two slides to provide water to reduce friction between a person and the fiberglass surface of the slide. Last year the long closed water park portion of the park re-opened and was a major draw in hot days.
The Park also got some help in grant form from the Meadville roterians who donated $2500 to help build a new pavilion in the children’s section of the park for parties and shade.
Other plans include celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Blue Streak on Aug. 16, which is National Roller Coaster Day; Park After Dark, a popular after-hours opening for late night amusement rides and the water park; and this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Devil’s Den ride.
To get additional local people in the park, Conneaut Lake Park plans to work with nonprofit groups to hold fundraising events on the park’s large deck area overlooking the giant lawn and lake and marketing company days at the park to local firms, according to The Park.