Why Did Crystal Beach Park Close?
There are many reasons Crystal Beach Park closed. Lack of patronage and competition were two of them. In 1980 two modern “theme” parks opened, Canada’s Wonderland north of Toronto and Darien Lake in Corfu, NY. Canada’s Wonderland had been in the works for some time. It opened with themed sections, high production shows, a large kiddie land, Hannah Barbara characters and modern rides including a looping coaster, which was high tech for the time. Its fresh, new look attracted many people with limited spending money to its gates. Throughout the decade CW expanded, adding “dry-wet” rides, an outdoor concert theater, and new state-of-the-art coasters. Darien Lake had started out as a campground with a game room/snack stand and a fish-stocked lake. My family camped there many weekends during the summers. Paul Snyder, who owned the place at the time, made a deal with Germany- based Huss Manufacturing to add prototype rides to his campground. When Darien reopened in 1980 it was with several Hu