AURORA, Ohio — The closing of a northeastern Ohio water park this weekend marks the end of amusement parks at Geauga Lake.

Wildwater Kingdom in Aurora closes Monday.

It’s on the site of what was Sea World Ohio, and next to where the amusement park Geauga Lake was founded in 1887 on the shore of a small lake then known as Picnic Lake. The only ride left is the Big Dipper wooden roller coaster built in 1925, which is now in disrepair.

The site also was briefly a Six Flags Worlds of Adventure.

Sandusky-based Cedar Fair Entertainment bought the property in 2004. It closed the amusement park three years later, but the water park had stayed open. Its closing was announced last month.

“Yes, I’m sad,” said Bainbridge Township Trustee Jeff Markley of the sale of land on which the largest amusement park in the world once sat. “I’m sad that the park doesn’t exist anymore; I’m sad that it’s taken this long.”

But he said it’s time for community leaders to move on and figure out what’s next.

The site should be attractive to developers, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/2bUnjGm ) reported. Its future is likely to include restaurants, housing and shopping — perhaps even a movie production facility, hospital or branch university campus.

Jennifer Syx, a development consultant hired by Cedar Fair to develop a master plan for the 550-plus acres that straddle Geauga and Portage counties, said the Wildwater Kingdom acreage will now be added to those efforts. She anticipates completion in October.


Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com