Lake Conneaut Park owner Todd Joseph wants to add more campsites


CONNEAUT LAKE – Patches of gravel and grass are all that remains of the land along Route 618 where Conneaut Lake Park’s iconic Blue Streak roller coaster has stood for 84 years.

The roller coaster, which was destroyed by fire in January as the park’s new owners were in the process of demolishing it, is not expected to remount at this Crawford County amusement park.

But Todd Joseph, who paid $1.2 million to buy the 130-year-old amusement park in bankruptcy court in March 2021, has a plan for Summit Township ownership.

Camperland needs approval before it can expand

Joseph’s company, Keldon Holdings, hopes to expand the park’s existing Camperland, adding more than 400 campsites on both sides of Route 618. The west side includes the existing Camperland, while the east side includes the park’s property. ‘attractions.

The details of this plan, which includes the construction of a new swimming pool, a miniature golf course and the incorporation of the park’s carousel into a so-called outdoor amusement center, were first reported. times by the Meadville Tribune.

According to the newspaper report, Keldon Holdings is seeking a waiver that would eliminate the requirement for a 70-foot setback from property lines and public roads.

Contacted by text, Joseph wrote: “No comments from me at this time.”

He did, however, offer to speak following a zoning discrepancy meeting scheduled for Wednesday evening.

Entrance to Lake Conneaut Park is shown September 4, 2021.

Not bound by nostalgia

Joseph, who removed many of the park’s older rides and dug up much of the middle to remove old buildings, asphalt and trees, has come under fire from fans who had hoped to preserve the amusement park’s nostalgia on the edge of the lake.

In earlier interviews, Joseph, whose plans for the park centered around concerts and events, repeatedly said that Lake Conneaut Park needed to change.

“It’s been the status quo for how many years?” Joseph said in March 2021. “The status quo hasn’t worked.”

After:Conneaut Lake Park, a 129-year-old Crawford County icon, sold for $1.2 million

Wrecking crews pulled down a pavilion at Conneaut Lake Park in Crawford County on March 16, 2021, shortly after the park was purchased from bankruptcy court.  The new owner proposed an expanded campground in part of the area that was once used for the amusement park.

Demand for more campsites abounds

Although Joseph did not speak to the Erie Times-News about his plans to expand campground facilities, he did refer to an RVbusiness.com article about record campground demand prompting park operators and developers to expand existing parks and build new ones.

William B. Agnew, chairman of the township’s board of supervisors, said Joseph was following that game plan, proposing a substantial expansion that would include 475 new campsites, “a huge swimming pool and a kiddy pool.”

Agnew said the pool would be available for campers and park residents, “but also for Joe Public who pays a fee to enter and use them.”

Generally, Agnew expressed support for the project.

“Given how it’s been there and how dilapidated it is, the past is the past, and to move forward there has to be something new,” he said.

Jim Martin can be reached at [email protected].

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