There was no new roller coaster to stir up excitement. In fact, there were no new rides at Waldameer Park & Water World -- just a new pass-card system for paying the bill. But it didn't seem to matter.
Thanks to sunny skies and newly introduced season passes, Waldameer made a big comeback in 2010 and has park management moving ahead with plans for new rides. "It looks like it's going to be the best year we ever had, even better than the year we opened the new coaster," park owner Paul Nelson said.
The 2008 launch of the Ravine Flyer II helped drive record attendance and revenues that year. In 2009, an economic slowdown and a lot of lousy weather took a 12-percent bite out of the park's annual receipts.
Nelson said he believes a handful of management moves, including a limited offering of season passes, helped Waldameer have a strong summer. Enthusiasm for those season passes also demonstrated the penchant of local folks for getting the most for their money. It turns out that Waldameer visitors used their season passes about three times as often as season-pass holders to other amusement parks, Nelson said.
Most of the credit for a good season belongs to the weather, he said. The park's final weekend of the year showed the importance of sunny skies. Gray skies and cool temperatures Friday and Saturday produced paltry crowds, while better weather Sunday and Labor Day left people waiting in line to ride, Nelson said.
While the number of organized picnics at Waldameer set a record, the number attending those picnics did not. "For example, we might have had a plant with 400 (picnic attendees). This year they came back, but they had 350 people," Nelson said. "They just haven't come back at the same level."
The bottom line, however, is that 2010 was a good year for Waldameer -- good enough that Nelson is moving ahead with a planned expansion and the addition of three new rides for 2011. The rides, two of which will be targeted toward children and their parents, will be located east of the Ravine Flyer II. The area will be extensively landscaped with gardens, statues and a fountain.
The decision to invest during the offseason is a testament to the park's success in 2010. "That shows we did well," Nelson said.
Officials at Conneaut Lake Park in Crawford County could not immediately be reached Tuesday to comment on attendance at the publicly owned facility.
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
They had confirmed a while ago that a Zamperla Flying Carousel would be added in the train turnaround area...from what I see, the article looks like it says two of the rides will be located there...I know Waldameer can cram attractions into small spaces, but I really don't think more than one ride will fit there.
There was also an earlier statement about the 'thrill' ride, being located on the lawn in front of the Merry-Go-Round picnic pavilion, which itself is supposed to become a food court. Having seen the area in person last month, there isn't much space there either. Seeing how they've managed to fit everything else in, I'm sure they'll find a way to make it work. I'm already looking forward to visiting next year!
Waldameer has given the details on their expansion next year. It has been general knowledge to most that follow park in the region that was going to happen (at least the two kid’s rides and a Wave Swinger in the north turnaround of the train). However, here are a few more details.
Even though this park is small, I do enjoy it. My family loves staying in the cottages next door for a week every year. We just go back and forth from the cottage, lake and park with no schedule. Very relaxing…
Last edited by larrygator on Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:10 am.
^It will be interesting to see how they get all three rides into that area. As seen in the blog pictures, the train turn-around area isn't all that big. I would think the swings alone would take the entire area in the middle of the tracks.
Kudo's to Waldameer though for continuing on their expansion! It should be a neat area to have the swings near RFII, as long as you can see the lake and Presque Isle, it's going to provide some amazing views.
This sounds really nice, and a good way to round out the park. Waldameer is one of my favorites. It's just a cute park with some good rides (OMFG drop tower) and one of my favorite coasters. I'll have to make a trip back next year.
It took me some time to find this picture again that I wanted to post. I did not create at it and can not remember were I found it. However, if I remember correctly the discussion was that this person was pretty close on the property Waldameer owns. If someone who owns it on here, please note that I am not taking credit for it. \
If this drawing is true, then they have much space. I have a few ideas and may mark this up just for fun.... Also with a few 3D views.
^ I will be interested to see how that immediate amusement park expansion area plays out. Right now, that area is part of a cliff that goes down to the lake (or ravine as some call it) and to Sara's Campground (on the right).
I was thinking that Sara's was not overly thrilled when Waldameer built RFII - I wonder what they would think if they tried to grate down the ravine to expand the amusement park down to the waterfront. Looks like there are also some residential homes on the left which could also interfere with the parks expansion plans.
Not trying to be a Negative Nelly here as I hope that they can and would expand, but I'm not going to get my hopes up for development of this area.
My suggestion would be to tear down the Rainbow Gardens hall, or at least rebuild it for the company picnics. That place is disgusting and is in dire need of a refurb or a complete teardown. With all of the other picnic groves, I can't see why they couldn't tear it down...you would definitely have a new place to add a couple more rides if it wasn't there.
I don't see them getting rid of the Rainbow Gardens anytime soon. Every time I go to the park the hall is always packed with some kind of event going on inside, and even during the off-season they always manage to fill that place up with various events.
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