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    • 29yrswithaGApass

      RECENT SITE UPDATES   11/03/2017

                                                   
29yrswithaGApass

$100 Million Dollar Disney-like Park Planned for NJ

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At first I thought this just came out and this was going to be a new theme park. And also, if you google Switlick, It gives you a parachute company. Never knew they were the same people. Maybe the Parachute Tower is sort of a silent tribute to the Switlicks :P

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At first I thought this just came out and this was going to be a new theme park. And also, if you google Switlick, It gives you a parachute company. Never knew they were the same people. Maybe the Parachute Tower is sort of a silent tribute to the Switlicks :P

 

The Parachute is NOT a tribute to the Switliks... As a matter of fact, the Switlik's were in court with Great Adventure just prior to the parachute ride being introduced. They opposed ANY development of Switlik Lake (The Great Lake) and Great Adventure wanted to use the lake for a new water ski show with a stadium for viewing purposes (The Great Lake Grandstand).

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If the Switliks sold the property to GA, why would they take them to court over the use of the Great Lake? I was under the impression that GA owns all the land surrounding the Lake, as well as the lake itself.

That waterski show was a heck of a good show. Shame that the grandstand just sits there unused. (or at least it was sitting there unused when I was there in June)

Edited by J4Sing

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The Switliks claimed they had sold the land for use as a Safari park only, and not as a theme park. They tried to block Great Adventure opening the theme park and Great Adventure took them to court and sued for lost income for delaying the park opening, taking their money and property in the settlement.

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Does GADV own the Great Lake and all 2,200 acres of property? And how did it grow to 2200 acres of property? it was originally advertised as 1100.

Edited by 29yrswithaGApass

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Goes GADV own the Great Lake and all 2,200 acres of property? And how didi it grow to 2200 acres of property? it was originally advertised as 1100.

 

Great Adventure now owns 2,200 acres. Hardwicke Companies purchased about 750 acres from the Switliks and several hundred acres of what used to be a Boyscout (Girlscout) camp adjacent to the Switlik property. Total acreage was originally 1,100 acres. In 1977, just after Six Flags purchased the park, the original lawsuit with the Switliks was settled with Great Adventure winning several million dollars in damages (the award was to be split between Hardwicke Companies, The Pritzker Family of Chicago, and Six Flags). The Switliks, however, did not have enough money to pay the award and, as a result, the award actually swelled by thousands of dollars in interest (on a daily basis). Eventually, in order to pay the award, Great Adventure was able to seize property, money, and anything else of value from the Switliks that could be put toward paying off the award. Great Adventure was able to seize roughly another 1,100 acres of land (over the years). At one point, they owned 1,500 acres and following the last of the parcels of land that they acquired the total reached 2,200.

 

Development of the lake, however, was a completely separate issue. Supposedly, the contract between the Switlik's and Hardwicke Companies specified that Switlik Lake would NOT be developed in any way. When Six Flags decided to introduce the water ski show and build the Greatlake Grandstand, the Switlik Family got wind of it and decided to go to court again to prevent it from happening.

 

Here is the full article from the Asbury Park Press.

 

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/2257971570017614399jyRqBA

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That's some interesting stuff! So what was the final outcome of the Lake battle? Obviously, the Water Ski show endured. Did the Switliks get

an award due to the lake being "developed"?

Are the Switliks still around?

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Daved, do you know the date of that article? I would imagine late 1982?

 

I want to say it was November of 1982. Unfortunately, last year I went through my old scrap books of newspaper clippings from the park and scanned things into the computer instead. But, at the same time, I made the mistake of cleaning up the scans (sometimes eliminately the dates, headlines, etc.). As you can see this was one in which I accidently removed the headline and then went back and manually typed it into the scan myself.

 

Here is one of the original articles that appeared in the NY Times and was Great Adventure's first victory in moving forward with construction. This article is dated January 6, 1974, so the estimate I saw in your picture regarding construction of the Fort not being completed until after the park opening and Enchanted Forest construction beginning around February 1974 seems about right. Interestingly, the piece of land that held everything up relative to construction was in the safari, not the theme park. But it was the theme park to which the Switlik's were vehemently opposed.

 

2729298960017614399S600x600Q85.jpg

Edited by Daved Thomson

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That's some interesting stuff! So what was the final outcome of the Lake battle? Obviously, the Water Ski show endured. Did the Switliks get

an award due to the lake being "developed"?

Are the Switliks still around?

Well, we know the outcome was that Great Adventure did develop the lake. The Switliks did not get any type of award because the lake was developed because they no longer owned the lake. Regardless of whether or not they intended for the lake to NOT be developed, they no longer owned the property and the contract originally entered into between Hardwicke and the Switliks was no longer enforceable (Stanley Switlik had died). The lake lawsuit was based largely on environmental issues that they claimed GA would pollute the lake. I don't know if it's still true, but the quality of the water in Switlik and Prospertown Lakes was amongst the highest in the State for the purity of its content. And, yes, the Switliks are still around and still producing parachutes and other aviation/commercial boating safety equipment. Their website is http://www.switlik.com.

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The land on the opposite shore of Prospertown Lake from the PL parking lot, is that still owned by Great Adventure? According to the article on the history site here, it was at one time part of LeRoy's original plan.

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Can anybody make a map of all the area the park owns uses a satellite veiw or google earth?

 

While this may not be exact (it's a few years old), it's pretty darn close.

 

2336686270017614399VxqHJw_th.jpg

Edited by 29yrswithaGApass

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Thank for the picture. It's both sad and happy for me to look at. I love the fact our park isn't like other Six FLags that like 50 feet away is the city and when you go on a tall ride, civilization is right in your face. Infact, you have to look VERY close when on a tall ride at GADV to see a building not on park property. I'm happy about that. Honestly, I thoguht our park owned EVERYTHING in sight as a kid, so a little dissapointed on that note, but more happy to know how big our park is. Also, how did you know how to label the photo?

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That information is based on public records (tax maps). They also own a strip of property connecting directly to I-195 which was at one point going to become the park's entrance (bypassing Rt 537).

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The Original Plan was huge. what I really don't get is why the plans for the Hotel was never fallowed through on. A Hotel would have tremendous pull, as would a camp ground.

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