Conneaut Lake Park

The Conneaut Lake Park Board of Trustees has cancelled the season for the amusement park.

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"Under normal circumstances, we would be excitedly preparing the park to welcome you all for our 2020 Season," the board said in a statement. "Sadly, these are not normal times. So it is with great sadness that the Conneaut Lake Park Board of Trustees announces the cancellation of its 2020 park season." 

Jim Becker, executive director of Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park, said in an interview with the Tribune it was a difficult, but necessary decision by the Trustees’ board to close Conneaut Lake Park for the 2020 season.

Trustees of Conneaut Lake Park is the nonprofit corporation that oversees operations of Conneaut Lake Park.

“It’s been weighing on us pretty heavily,” Becker said of the board’s decision not to open.

Larger amusement parks such as Disney are only now developing a plan to open, while others such as Six Flags Entertainment, Cedar Point, Hershey Park and others still are trying to develop plans.

An added twist for Conneaut Lake Park is operating under federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize its debts.

“With the park being in bankruptcy, it really puts a different spin on opening up that amusement park with all the new (health and safety) guidance that we know of,” Becker said.

“We’re working off of operational income,” Becker said.

Operational income is profit from a business’ operations after subtracting its regular, recurring costs and expenses — things like wages and the cost of goods sold.

If allowed to operate at only 50 percent capacity wouldn’t be enough to sustain the park financially once additional costs are factored, Becker said.

The park also doesn’t have the physical infrastructure to control crowds to 50 percent of its capacity because the amusement park is a public park.

The park would have to install hand sanitizer stations at both the entrance and exit of every ride, plus midway areas and restrooms as well as at concessions.

“There’s (social) distancing components alone in the lines to enter onto the rides — let alone on the rides,” he said. “It’s virtually impossible for us to pull it off physically.”

Conneaut Lake Park statement

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