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Conneaut Lake Park Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Trustees, the nonprofit corporation that oversees operations of the amusement park, filed for federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December to reorganize its debts which total about $3.8 million.

Any bankruptcy plan will be subject to review by both the park’s creditors and the bankruptcy court, Mark Turner, Trustees’ executive director, said at Tuesday’s meeting of the organization at  Conneaut Lake Park. Both creditors and ultimately the court will have to confirm the plan for it to move forward, he said.

“The plan will show how we’re going to address those debts,” Turner said. “I think it’s likely we’ll have disputes because we’ll be prioritizing — ranking one creditor over another. This is a starting point.”

Turner said he expects U.S. Bankruptcy Court to schedule a hearing on the bankruptcy plan for some time in September — after the various creditors have had time to review the plan and file any objections to it.

“It likely will not be the plan we end up with,” Turner said of the coming filing. “It won’t affect our operations — that’s a completely different matter.”

The park’s debts include more than $900,000 in overdue real estate taxes, interest and penalties owed to Conneaut School District and the governments of Crawford County and Sadsbury and Summit townships.

The amusement park was headed for a sheriff’s sale in December in order to satisfy the outstanding tax debt when Trustees filed for federal bankruptcy protection. Under federal bankruptcy law, the sheriff’s sale then was put on hold until a debt reorganization plan is either approved by the bankruptcy court or the bankruptcy court orders a liquidation of the park’s assets.