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BLOG: Cedar Point trying to make bigger, better first impressions

Tom Sherer • Jul 19, 2012 at 4:00 PM

I’m almost always someone who believes in substance over style. Function over form. Building roller coasters over improving the aesthetics of a park.

As such, I was surprised earlier this season when I caught myself lamenting the fact some of the parcels on Cleveland Road aren’t worthy of being on a traffic artery into the best amusement park in the world.

Normally, that’s something I probably wouldn’t notice, much less care about. But Cedar Fair cared.

On June 22 the company bought 13.8 acres at 2000 Cleveland Road (the former J.D. Byrider location), across from Cedar Fair-owned Castaway Bay.

The cost was $735,000, and the park apparently plans to use the lot for storage or a similar function.

“It’s not going to be for guests, but something useful for (the company),” Cedar Point spokeswoman Annie Zelm said.

Still, somewhere on the Internet I’m sure there are misguided fans debating what ride Cedar Point could possibly be thinking about putting that far away from the main park.

The cost of the land purchase seems to be worth it in aesthetics alone and helps show the park and parent company’s ongoing commitment to Sandusky.

The saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is cliché, but it’s also true. And apparently Cedar Point and new Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet believe in first impressions.

In addition to improving entrance corridors into Cedar Point, Cedar Fair also is moving toward making a bigger splash by using highly visible rides at the front of parks — even infringing on their parking lots — as with Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland and the still-unofficial plans for Cedar Point’s 2013 wing coaster.

Impressed customers tend to be repeat customers.

Call me impressed with Ouimet’s regime, so far.

I can only assume the board of directors and most Cedar Fair unitholders are pleased as well, after the recently announced 5 percent increase in revenue for the company’s parks.

Now if someone would do something about the decrepit Cool Waves building on U.S. 6 (Cleveland Road) at the foot of Cedar Point Drive.

Cedar Fair? Anyone? Please?

Tom Sherer is an award-winning graphic designer with the Sandusky Register and a Cedar Point enthusiast who visited the park 53 times in 2011. He chronicles his adventures in coasterland here at "Belaboring the Point."

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