Monday, January 7, 2019 8:32 AM
"Another new year. Time to establish new goals, take on new challenges and make predictions. My goals are set: they range from mundane to ambitious. The challenges are coming on fast. My prediction? It isn’t groundbreaking or controversial, but I am absolutely certain it is accurate — 2019 won’t be like any other year. While I won’t get into my full list of goals, my broadest and most important goal goes along with my prediction: enthusiastically embrace change," wrote Jason McClure, Cedar Point's vice president and general manager.
Well that was... strangely defensive. At first I thought it was just a general statement about how the park needs to evolve to survive, but after the 500th mention of embracing change, it almost sounds like he's responding to specific complaints people have made without indicating what they are. Or, perhaps it's a warning of things to come: "Get ready for big changes at Cedar Point -- you're gonna hate 'em!"
I think its more of an attempt to engage the Sandusky community. This wasn't a press release or even a blog entry, it is an article in the local Sandusky newspaper. I think there's been a little bit of a bumpy relationship among locals and the park and this is the park's way of trying to be transparent and open to who Cedar Point wants to be to Sanduskians moving forward.
I don’t get that. The park is a huge tax revenue for Sandusky. The park is the reason there is ANYTHING in Sandusky. What’s the bumpy relationship?
Spend some time there in the off season, there’s definitely a range of love/hate, hate/hate attitude with many residents.
Some think that CF doesn’t pay its fair share (sound familiar) in taxes and should pay for everything from road construction, school facilities, policing, etc...
While most people that see a mutual constructive relationship between the company and the city have a more tempered view of the impact tourism has and the amount of taxing of tourists and corporate.
Heavy tourism can cause disruption to people’s everyday lives and be an annoyance, but the revenue base is key to the vitality of the city as it sits. Plus CF has become and even bigger corporate citizen with it expansions into other areas.
Shane Denmark said:
The park is the reason there is ANYTHING in Sandusky.
Actually, that's Callahan Auto. If they go under, the whole town goes under.
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I'm not a Sandusky resident, so I'm not claiming that this is 100% accurate, but Sandusky used to be a very formidable marine city and would base its economy almost entirely on international trade ships before the invention of air and long-distance auto travel. The city got hit with a double whammy once the Rust Belt became a common term in the 70s-80s and industry shifted to other Midwestern cities, as well as Cedar Point becoming big enough to be titled as a big tourist destination after Corkscrew was built. This makes many locals feel like their city doesn't have a self-supportive economy aside from tourism, yet Cedar Fair uses a lot of Sandusky land for their business purposes (Cedar Point Sports Center, off-peninsula hotels, upcoming Bowling Green State Uni campus, etc.) and doesn't have any obligation to return the favor with the money needed for city services (besides city taxes).
City and county property taxes, along with licenses and permits and fees, are what is supposed to pay for those services. There is no need for any property owner to pay above what is assessed.
If the assessments are unable to cover the expenditures, the city/county either raises rates or reduces costs.
Why would CP have to pay more than their share of taxes simply because they own and use a lot of space? I'm not sure that makes sense. City services are provided through the taxes they, and other residents, pay to Sandusky.
Several years ago, I think it was 2011. My family headed to CP one day, only to realize the sky looked to ominous to go in and play. So, we decided for the first time ever to explore Sandusky. We found the Merry-Go-Round Museum. We found it reasonably priced, interesting, and very charming. But, I specifically remember the lady doing the hosting at the door pointing out the spots on the ceiling where the roof had been leaking. She started talking about how the museum serves a historical purpose and is a hidden gem, but it gets no "financial help" from the city council like "Cedar Point" does. Now, I don't know if her statement was true or not, I'm not a resident. But, all I can say is that it's because of CP that I know anything about Sandusky. I love quite a few of the shops downtown. I visit the museum regularly. We've done the "escape room" and would love to take the Haunted Sandusky Bay Walk. We play at Goofy Golf several times over the summer. And, I've been to the Sandusky State Theater 8 times over the last two years. A gem I wouldn't have known about if I hadn't chose to explore the city that CP was in. If much of Sandusky thinks CP has been a negative, I wonder how much of a positive it's been for businesses.Last edited by Halfpint, Wednesday, January 9, 2019 9:45 AM
I went to college in a very small rust belt town that had seen better days. Despite the good the college did and the revenue they brought both directly and indirectly, the locals, as a whole, did not care for the college despite generally benefiting and it sounds like CP/Sandusky is likely a similar situation. I'm sure this is common all over the world in small resort/college towns.
I also remember going to Thirsty Pony after a Halloweekend Sunday last year and my bartender couldn't wait for closing weekend so the CP tourists would be gone and she'd get her "local regulars" back .
^^I'm in a similar situation right now. My college sits in a large town/small city in the middle of Michigan. It used to be very prosperous until a federal Indian reservation ruined much of their economic opportunities (not to say I don't support the reservation, but I digress) and the farming industry in the county was hit really hard. Now the college has expanded and turned the city into a college town and the locals have a similar love/hate relationship with it while city officials recognize it as their best source of revenue. It's essentially the same situation as CP/Sandusky.
There are small towns all over the Midwest that once had at the very least a respectable local manufacturing base, but most of it is gone. That's the disconnect between rural and urban areas: The work simply doesn't exist in those places anymore. What's worse is that they think it's all someone's fault and that it's reversible. The robots that took the jobs don't have feelings. It's not going to happen. And frankly, most small towns don't have a huge tourism business as a backup.
Even more ironic are places like Hawaii. The vast majority of their economy is based on tourism, yet many of the locals are irritated by the tourists and complain. It's more predominant in some areas than others, but I just find that mentality to be pretty short-sighted.
I think that is part of human nature. The locals become numb to the benefits that they receive in return from the tourist dollars. But what they see every day is the traffic and the headaches that come with the tourists. Nobody drives down a newly paved road and thanks the tourists for that. But when they are driving down that new road and they get stuck in the traffic jam you can be sure they are thanking the tourists for that issue.
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