En route to another secret location me, the beautiful Marsha and my fearless daughter Kayla decided to take a slight detour and visit a Northern Cincinnati landmark. Part of a new (at the time) amusement park/resort/tourist attraction/all amenities within walking or shuttle distance enterprise. This part, the Kings Island Resort, was designed with a Swiss Chalet motif, an international theme, just as its companion the Kings Island Amusement Park was promoting itself as global in an attempt to rival Disney’s EPCOT Center’s “stay home and see the world” attraction.
Quick left [Hint: always look before you leap], into a busy Sundays Outback parking lot and thar she blows!!! Opening in the back to a lakeside view. Free range chickens would love it, no FENCES.
Geared up we hoofed it over, an easy walk with no man-made barriers at all. I remember this resort being built but from day one I thought they were out of place and unappealing but in the early 70’s they fit in well with some Americans sense of new and exciting global oneness and harmony. Apparently the television networks agreed [HINT: at the time there were on three TV networks who with newspapers dominated public opinion] and soon the Partridge Family’s “I Left My Heart in Cincinnati” episode was the first television show to spotlight the brand new attraction and its ambiance. Johnny Bench, the of the “BIG RED MACHINE” made a cameo appearance. [HINT: Maybe they weren’t R&R exactly but somehow they rocked a little for us at the time]
Next up, The Brady Bunch filmed their episode “The Cincinnati Kids” to counter their hipper adversaries the Partridges.
Kings Island Amusement Park went through up and downs over the ensuing years and the Resort followed suit, changing hands, experiencing its own cycles of booms and busts. Without being updated design-wise to reflect the changing times, it became a dated site (sight).
So the inevitable prevails. With less and less guests and less and less money to update and upkeep the resort, it like all things that are not taken care of began a rapid descent into irrelevance and bad jokes and eventually into a malaise non-interest.
Marsha and Kay trekked the whole length inside and out. It was mostly gutted but there are still some interesting items hanging out and awaiting their doom. [HINT: nothing is inevitable and you don’t always have to meet your doom]. No bad vibes around here really and no bodies except of course the ones of your intrepid explorers and a windswept field, standing alone my senses reel [HINT: Pink Floyd Reference cited]
The courtyard is surrounded by these Swiss Chalet facade rooms, whose vacant eyes watch ghost vacationers swim and play as ghost parents watch and drink copious amounts of adult libations. I found resort more forlorn and sad than spooky or foreboding. It seemed to miss its heyday and was waiting hopelessly for the crowds of vacationers to return.
And then…”jeepers boyz it da cops”….
[HINT: Always develop a System of Non-Vocal Communication; whistles and hand signals. Special Forces know how to rock this but remember this isn’t a movie]
So we collect our insider, Kay, and skirt around the end of the resort and around the far side of the pond. The good constable’s car idles close to ours in the Outback parking lot.
We see our friend slowly move away as Marsha finds a hidden bridge leading up to the lot.
[Hint: Use the topography of the land, the color of your cloths, the foliage and other buildings to screen yourself, the best method being simply not moving. Stealthy Is Healthy]
I’m glad we went by again and were equipped for the crawl this time. It was a little trip back in time, a retro tour of past glories and sensibilities. Let’s hope we get one more shot so we can get up on that 2nd floor (Kay says the ceilings all pulled down that tunnel rat).
On a final note, turning for one last look standing behind the car “de-gearing”, we gazed across the pond and sure enough our good friend and guardian angel was pulling into the front parking lot through the chain link gates riddled with NO Trespassing signs..lmao….we are out but not too far!