Maui Sands

Cargo Shorts's avatar

At the end of the show they said only half the property was fumigated. Well that isn’t going to help much. Sounds a lot like this Fort Rapids water park here in CBUS that was shut down recently. Amazing to me place like this are allowed to operate.

So how does a business allow a show like this to come in and do a piece like this? Did these owners really not have a clue about what was going on?

Still shaking my head.

XS NightClub's avatar

Free money.
The shows offer financial incentives in order to produce the show. It’s pretty simple why they do it.

Now, if you’re going to be uncooperative jerks, the show isn’t obligated to provide the incentives. Hotel impossible isn’t a high budget show either, but they can provide good guidance and education.

Last edited by XS NightClub,

Missed a full season at CP for the first time since 2007, maybe Sandusky will be back on my travel list next year.... Depends what CP has up their sleeve for 2023.

Thabto's avatar

I think Thirsty Pony is what keeps Rain going. That place is always packed but it's so good. I wish there was a place like that near me.

Valravn Rides: 24| Steel Vengeance Rides: 27| Dragster Rollbacks: 1

XS NightClub's avatar

The hotel attached to thirsty pony, not the HI expansion, is definitely not much better than Maui Sands.

Missed a full season at CP for the first time since 2007, maybe Sandusky will be back on my travel list next year.... Depends what CP has up their sleeve for 2023.

codeGR's avatar

Thought you all were exaggerating about the episode so I had to watch it. Yikes! Why do these business owners agree to go on these shows? Don't see it helping business.

e x i t english's avatar

Thabto said:

Thirsty Pony..always packed but it's so good. I wish there was a place like that near me. ;)

Our opinion of Winking Lizard has gone down lately. The food, at least at the one near us, is not as good as it used to be. Much lower quality.

This is one of the reasons for their participation in Hotel Impossible, given last year by the owners.

"“We have not been doing the marketing we should have. This will give us the marketing we need,” Parmar said."

Don't think it worked out the way he planned.

e x i t english's avatar

Shades said:

Our opinion of Winking Lizard has gone down lately. The food, at least at the one near us, is not as good as it used to be. Much lower quality.

I haven't eaten there in quite some time, and when I did, I would always go to Lizardville. I noticed when they started moving from their old hole-in-the-wall locations to bigger, more "bland" ones that feel more like a warehouse than the tavern atmosphere they used to have, I stopped enjoying it as much.

Peninsula is still my favorite for location, though.

thedevariouseffect's avatar

^^Well given their lack of experience with the property, and the mismanagement occurring through their actual payroll employees, I'm not surprised...

Corkscrew, Power Tower, Magnum, & Monster/ Witches Wheel Crew 2011

Great watch. Thank you for sharing.

When one of the owners said he would pay for the guys house to be fumigated but then said "It depends on the size". I was speechless but sadly not surprised because it follows the trend of them just not giving a damn.

Forgive my ignorance but doesn't a health inspector come to not just restaurants but also hotels, waterparks ect? If so how on earth could this place still be open in the first place? Like people complaining about getting rusty steel stuck in their foot, on and on I could go.


Rain is a small waterpark aimed squarely at kids. It accomplishes what it sets out to do nicely. It's a glorified pool with a couple of slides and a constant spray of water. Maui Sands is a different story. Dating back to the old ownership, the place has been one problem after the next. The current ownership is trash as well. Over the summer I approached an Erie County official and half-seriously suggested that a solution to our jail overcrowding issue would be to rent beds from Maui Sands as an auxiliary. The official, half-seriously ( I guess) responded that it would be cruel and unusual punishment and that the health department would never let the jail run in those conditions.

I know several former Maui Sands employees and guests. No one has left there with a positive impression.

"Forgiveness is almost always easier to obtain than permission."

MichaelB's avatar

If a had a few spare million dollars at my disposal, I'd love to buy Maui Sands and turn it into the cash cow it could be. Sure it'd be more work than buying a big apartment complex and paying a company to manage it while the money rolled in, but it'd keep me busy.

It’s sad how much of a dump it is. I went in the first week or two of operation under the first owners, and it was a pretty nice place, and seemed to have potential with the construction that seemed to still be ongoing. It’s unfortunate.

CP Top 5: 1) Steel Vengeance 2) Maverick 3) Magnum 4) Raptor 5) Millennium

How many owners did the hotel have so far?

Would Maui Samds ever recover from the negative (and frankly, gross) reputation it has, especially with 2 world class indoor water park resorts on the same road? Or would someone buy it, try to save it, only to shut it down a few years later, then be eternally condemned for allegedly just buying it with the intent to close it?


e x i t english's avatar

I remember when Maui Sands had a grand plan to open up with an even bigger indoor waterpark space, and outdoors, too. They advertised a flow rider, and a whole bunch of other stuff back in 2008 or 2009 - and it never happened.

I loved it the I first went with DVO and friends, and even went back twice after and enjoyed it. Now? Ehhhh... I've been going to Castaway Bay and using my pass discount for the last few years.

Rusty's avatar

When my wife and I got married in 2005, we arranged for a block of rooms at the then Holiday Inn Express for some out of town guests to reserve at a special discounted rate. I remember that the pre-water park hotel had an indoor miniature golf course in the lobby. It was shortly after we were married that it was announced that the Holiday Inn Express would be remodeled into Sandusky's newest indoor waterpark. I had no connection to the hotel, other than spending a few memorable moments with a few friends there the night before my wedding. I remember thinking how cool it would be to invite those same friends back again down the road and talk them into staying at the same location, but a new and improved facility - and enjoying an indoor waterpark rather than indoor mini golf.

Maui Sands was a good idea, but the guy who hatched the plan was an absolute failure and crook. Failed to pay many of his contractors and employees while making many promises that he could not keep, resulting in years of expensive litigation with many people holding empty bags. Some I believe even went out of business after never getting paid for the work and materials they put into the initial construction and renovation.

I thought that the best thing that could've ever happened to that place was when new owners swooped in to take over and fix the first guy's failures. I was there when Jamal Lewis tried (actually almost ran smack dab into him as I rounded the corner in the courthouse stairwell during one of the scheduled court hearings). But that didn't pan out. Then these current yahoos tried to buy it at a bargain basement price and make a go of it. We now see how that ended up.

Nearly 15 years later, it turns out that the best thing would've been for the Holiday Inn Express to just continue operating as it was... with its indoor mini golf course. Such a waste!

Proud to have fathered a second generation coaster enthusiast destined to keep me young at heart and riding coasters with a willing partner into my golden years!

XS NightClub's avatar

The shear size of this property combined with the ill-conceived water park upgrade makes this an almost impossible recovery given the massive strength of the indoor water park competition in the area. A few million dollars wouldn’t do much other than to clean it up and give a slight refresh.
The fact that the new owners got it dirt cheap at a secondhand foreclosure auction show the lack of any real interest by any meaningful parties.
If anyone,with 20 million say to invest in the property, would come along to do what’s necessary and properly manage the facility, does anyone really think Kalahri or Great Wolf are going to just sit by and let a new player take their business? Absolutely not. They already have built in convention business, likely with contracts, and will fight to keep their bread and butter off-season profits.

Any new owner would be fighting an uphill battle to get conventions and regular guests. With a severe disadvantage to the established major players in the market. The new owners would also have to keep up with the cost of the investment that Kalahri and Great Wolf have likely recouped years ago, allowing them to compete at much better margins.

In addition, the talent pool in the area is likely thinned by the existing properties as well. What legitimate facilities managers would risk leaving their jobs to go to a newly positioned Maui Sands?
This property is likely doomed to be the third rate, bargain basement offering that it has become.

And that’s just the off-season problems for the area. Cedar Fair has upped its game for the on-season substantially. Adding inventory and taking as much of the high-margin resort stays as it can. Kalahri and Great Wolf also operate in the mid to high level rate offerings where the profits from stays allow them to continue investment and offer better overall value to guests.
Given the timely demise, thank you Mr. Ouimet, of Sandcastle and the Bon-Air Replacement wing where is there any leftover demand for high profit stays in the area that Kalahari and Great Wolf don’t already take up? In addition, there’s no knowing what CF has in its long term plans for the very mediocre Castaway Bay. The company has been throwing around millions of dollars in resort investment faster than basketballs at a three point challenge. So it’s very unlikely that any legitimate hotelier is gonna have any interest in a rundown, oversized hotel with the problems that the Maui Sands has.

The current owners probably thought they were getting a steal at the foreclosure auction and may make a quick buck on a turnaround sale, but they’ll probably be left holding the bag and sit with this until they’ve had enough legal problems to just close.

Last edited by XS NightClub,

Missed a full season at CP for the first time since 2007, maybe Sandusky will be back on my travel list next year.... Depends what CP has up their sleeve for 2023.

e x i t english's avatar

Well, it appears they're still kicking. I got an email from Groupon today, with Maui Sands as their feature. current reviews are still mixed, but people are still going. They must not have seen the show.

From traveler photos on TripAdvisor, it looks like they may have painted or scrubbed the bowl slide, but it could just be a contrast thing on the photo

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