Geauga Lake and Funtime Inc

Part One of the Series, What Happened to SeaWorld of Ohio?

Geauga Lake Entrance
Geauga Lake Entrance-Credit: By Chris Hagerman (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

It might seem odd to start a series of posts about the what happened to SeaWorld of Ohio with one about Geauga Lake. Why not just start with SeaWorld? Simply, because the history of the two parks is so intertwined that one couldn’t exist without the other.

Geauga Lake transformed from a local entertainment area in Aurora and Bainbridge Ohio into a full fledged theme park when four partners acquired the property in 1968. These men had worked for Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio for years and decided to go out on their own and form a competitor.

SeaWorld was looking for a midwest location for a new park in 1970. They were considering Ohio when Funtime Inc, the company formed by Geauga Lake’s owners convinced SeaWorld to set up across the lake in Aurora. Geauga Lake and SeaWorld of Ohio were known to co-advertise the two parks together for years, which helped to bring in Ohio and out of state guests.

Geauga Lake was sold to Premier Parks in 1995 for $60 million dollars (according to Amusement Today, 2015). After that, some of the original partners left the amusement park industry and retired.