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Cedar Point Amusement Park: a Potted History

Cedar Point amusement park looks as amazing from the air as it does from ground level. The amusement park is built at the far end of a peninsular which juts out into
Lake Erie, next to the town of Sandusky, Ohio [which is 60 miles from Cleveland
and is where Marilyn Monroe’s character of Sugar in "Some Like it Hot" hailed from].

Long before the time of the amusement park, the area was known for its cedars and its clear waters, which attracted hunters and fishers, and was popular for picnics. During the 1860’s, there were guns stationed there to guard the nearby camp for Confederate prisoners, after which, peace descended once more. The seed which led to the establishment of the world renowned amusement park was sown in an editorial of 1867 in the local paper which wondered why nobody had bothered to make the most of the mile long golden sands of the lake shore.

In response, local businessman Louis Zistel erected 20 bathing huts, which he rented out, and with the proceeds he added a beer garden and a dance floor. Thus began the history of the 364 acre amusement park we have today, with 3 million visitors each year. In 1892 the first roller coaster made its appearance at the amusement park, 25 feet tall with a speed of 10mph. Contrast that with the current star of the amusement park’s coasters, the Top Thrill Dragster, with a height of 420 feet and a top speed of 120mph.

In 1899, the first hotel was built, followed by a second two years later. In 1905, Hotel Breakers was built, with 600 rooms. This hotel is still open to serve visitors to the amusement park, along with others that, between them, cater for a range of pockets. It gradually became easier to reach the amusement park, with the ferries first being supplemented with a public road in 1914 and then replaced with a new causeway in 1957

Along with the rest of the USA, the amusement park at Cedar Point went through hard times during the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s and by 1950, only one roller coaster was working. New owners, George Roose and Emile Legros, contemplated closing the amusement park and developing the land for residential use. Time and strong local feeling persuaded them to change their minds – and no doubt the success of the Disneyland amusement park played a part in their calculations.

In 1981 the Marketing Director, H. J. Hildebrandt, described Cedar Point as "the only old time amusement park to successfully make the transition to the new amusement park culture". Maybe it’s not the only one but nobody can doubt its success. With the amazing rides, the hotels, the shows, the water park and the fireworks, this amusement park has a great future ahead of it as well as a distinguished history.

See also:
Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park : a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Disneyland – a Potted History
Amusement parks: Walt Disney World – a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Six Flags- a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Tokyo Disney Resort – a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Hong Kong Disney Resort – a Potted History

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