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Controversy and Confusion Surround Geauga Lake Auction

Two days before the Geauga Lake auction, Norton Auctioneers made a statement to the press that the Big Dipper roller coaster was offered to ACE. ACE President Mark Cole and a few members of the executive committee contacted the press to explain that no one on the executive committee was aware of any such offer. Curiously on the day of the sale, Norton Auctioneers, apparently oblivious to the public retorts made by ACE, once again stated the coaster was offered to ACE, and that our organization did not accept the coaster. Former ACE president Carole Sanderson, in attendance at the auction, shouted back to the auctioneers letting them know once again that their statements were not true. A snide comment by the auctioneer about not being able to save a coaster with bake sales and car washes further exemplified Norton's ignorance of the entire situation and our organization's attempts to find a home for Big Dipper. The auction proceeded and the historic coaster was sold to Apex Western Machinery Movers of Akron, a moving company who claims they are moving the coaster for an undisclosed client. Little else is known at this point, except it appears the client wants to move the coaster to be a nostalgia piece and it may not operate once moved.

Cedar Fair does not have to accept the bid, and contacted President Mark Cole shortly after the auction. ACE and Cedar Fair are still looking at other possibilities.

Cedar Fair accepted sealed bids for the Geauga Lake property in May, and ACE can report that at least one developer submitted a bid, but their proposal was contingent on Big Dipper remaining on the property.

At the time of the auction, The Beaver Land Mine Ride (Zierer Tivoli) appeared to be in the process of being removed, and was not offered for sale—nor was the Vekoma Boomerang Head Spin. The 1977 Arrow Double Loop coaster, the world’s first coaster with back-to-back loops, and Villain, a steel-structured wood CCI coaster were both sold for scrap. Raging Wolf Bobs was also sold to Apex Movers for the same undisclosed client.

Contacts
* Lee Ann Draud
Publications Director
* Rus Ozana
ACE News Now Editor

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