Big Dipper's last stand at former Geauga Lake Park?

4:46 PM, Sep 3, 2013   |    comments
  • Photos: Geauga Lake fan Facebook page
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Will Geauga Lake's 'abandoned' Big Dipper roller coaster crumble into the ground before someone rescues it? An aerial video posted August 20 on the Geauga Lake fans Facebook page from YouTube shows it's still standing -- for now.

Geauga Lake's Big Dipper still stands silently among the ruins of the former Geauga Lake Amusement Park, looking forlorn and still pondering if its rails will ever see any action again.

Watch the aerial YouTube video below

Let's see if the Big Dipper survives and is moved or if it eventually falls to the wrecking ball. It was five years ago June 17 that Geauga Lake's Big Dipper was sold.

On June 17, 2008, Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment had the first day of a two-day auction of the rides, concession stands and memorabilia by Norton Auctioneers at the then-recently closed Geauga Lake Park in Bainbridge.

It was that day that an agent for an undisclosed buyer bought the historic Big Dipper roller coaster, as well as the Raging Wolf Bobs double coaster. The agent was the sole bidder and snagged The Big Dipper for $5,000.

He said that day that he represented a man who wanted to move the Big Dipper to another location and get it operational again. Today The Big Dipper still stands untouched and unmoved but still mourned, easily visible from outside the park along Aurora Road.

Contacted by WKYC last December, the original agent for the buyer at the auction said "The Big Dipper is still owned by the man who bought it four years ago...I think. I have not spoken with him in a year. For your information, Cedar Fair did sell (The Big Dipper) and they did NOT buy it, no matter what you have heard or been told."

Pieces and parts of the Raging Wolf Bobs, located at the other end of the park, have been removed but most of it still remains, falling apart as the years pass.

(According to a Geauga Lake fan Facebook page, the remains of the Skycoaster ride were removed sometime between July 14 and August 31 this year. One fan says remains were pulled down Aug 22. I've posted a photo of a before/after Skycoaster.)

Since the auction, the Big Dipper has been for re-sale for prices ranging from $65,000 to $150,000.

Cedar Fair, Geauga Lake's parent company, closed the amusement park on Sept. 21, 2007. It has been marketing the 550-acre park for sale for six years but no sale has come through for all or part of the property.

Sandusky-based Cedar Fair owns the former Geauga Lake, the adjacent Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom that is still in operation, Cedar Point in Sandusky, Kings Island in Cincinnati, and other amusement parks and water parks in North America.

The Big Dipper was built and opened in 1925 at Geauga Lake. The John Miller-designed coaster celebrates its 88th anniversary this year. It is the seventh oldest coaster still in existence in the United States.

Right now about 500 acres at the amusement park in Aurora and Bainbridge are back up for sale.

In March, Marcus & Millichap associate Cliff West started marketing the property. Now it is being marketed as smaller parcels, including those as small as 3.5 acres, instead of as one large parcel. 







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