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Geauga Lake items to be auctioned off

Aurora Advocate

Original Article »

March 19, 2008

Bainbridge -- As the deadline to turn in sealed bids for about 500 acres at Geauga Lake Park approaches, an auction of rides and equipment has been scheduled in June.

March 28 is the deadline that real estate brokerage firm Colliers Ostendorf-Morris lists on its Web site that bids for the property are due.

And according to the Norton Auctioneers Web site -- -- that company will conduct a "huge auction of [the] complete park" on June 17 and 18.

The company's site says a complete list of what will be auctioned off will be posted "soon."

Norton Auctioneers of Michigan Inc. is based out of Coldwater. According to its Web site, the firm specializes in auctions and appraisals of amusement parks, carnivals, carousels, zoos, water parks, museums, campgrounds, golf courses, amusement rental companies and amusement rides.

According to the site, Norton Auctioneers have sold such places as Jack Hoover's Haunted Mansion in Fitchburg, Mass., Funland Arcade in Carolina Beach, N.C., Williams Grove Amusement Park in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and Rocky Point Haunted House in Salt Lake City.

An auction of the Frightdome at the famed Las Vegas hotel Circus, Circus, was scheduled for March 17.

CALLS TO both Norton Auctioneers and Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., the owner of Geauga Lake, were not returned by press time.

Cedar Fair, which bought Geauga Lake four years ago from Six Flags for $145 million, announced last September that the amusement side of the park would be closed.

The water park side -- Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom -- will remain in operation. Last fall, Cedar Fair began moving some rides from the park to its other parks.

Other rides have been moved into storage, while the fate of others such as the 82-year-old Big Dipper, the Villain and Raging Wolf Bobs roller coasters remains up in the air.

Officials for Cedar Fair have said they are looking into all options, noting some rides hopefully will be sold before the auction and those that aren't would be auctioned off.

Late last year, Canadian company Martin & Vleminckx Rides LLC had listed the Big Dipper, Raging Wolf Bobs and Villain on its Web site, and was marketing them at the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions trade show in Orlando, Fla.

Members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts have said they would like to see the Big Dipper in particular preserved since it dates back to 1925, and they would like to see part of the park preserved.

Meanwhile, Geauga Lake's Wildwater Kingdom is scheduled to open for the 2008 season on May 24.

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