Cedar Point Unleashes Valravn

The world’s tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster debuts at Sandusky’s Cedar Point Amusement Park in 2016. Valravn, named after a regal, swooping bird, becomes the premier attraction’s 18th roller coaster. Visitors to this Lake Erie Shores & Islands gem will be able to experience a 214-ft, completely vertical free-fall, speeds up to 75 mph, and three inversions – the most of any dive coaster in the world. The steel behemoth shatters 10 world records with its debut. http://valravn.cedarpoint.com/

Cedar Point Ferry Service Returning to Sandusky

Nearly two decades have passed since ferry service from downtown Sandusky direct to Cedar Point Amusement Park has been available. The Jet Express, which currently offers ferry service to the Lake Erie islands, has struck a deal with Cedar Point to offer daily trips to the park from the Jackson Street Pier. The 10-minute trip will be a stop on a couple of regularly-scheduled trips this year and will expand to additional trips in 2017. For now, two trips a day are offered and will cost anyone older than 13 years $5, while children between 6-12 are $2.50 and those 5 and younger ride free. https://jet-express.com/

Put-in-Bay Highlights

With the opening of the tourism season on South Bass Island comes a barrage of updates and new offerings. http://visitputinbay.com/pib/

  • The Put-in-Bay Brewery and Distillery is sporting a massive renovation to celebrate their 20th anniversary. The exterior has been updated and the brewing tanks have been moved upstairs to allow more seating downstairs.
  • The Put-in-Bay Resort and Conference Center has added a 30-room addition to its popular lodging options.
  • Banyon Cove, a new condo development at the corner of Langram Rd. and Concord Ave. will open soon for private ownership.
  • Put-in-Bay Condos will open 26 new upscale, three-bedroom condos at the old Skyway property near the airport.
  • The Crew’s Nest boating club has put in an adult’s-only pool between the club house and the existing pool.
  • Erie Island Carts, located at the airport, is expanding their operation with a second location at the former Cargo Net building a bit closer to the Miller Ferry Lime Kiln dock.
  • A new eatery is opening at the South Bass Island State Park. Axel’s Waterfront Café features breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as ice cream.
  • A new visitor information kiosk has been added to the Miller Ferry Lime Kiln dock, along with a new taxi and bus drop-off/pick-up area.
  • “Bay Talk – an insider’s look at Put-in-Bay” will debut on WPIB and WPCR at 10 am every Friday, hosted by native islander Caitlin Market.
  • See the Lake Erie islands and relax as a licensed charter captain takes you around to sites you can only see from the water with Put-in-Bay Boat Tours. Running out of South Bass Island State Park, Put-in-Bay Boat Tours are perfect for groups of four-six for short or long trips.

New Hotel Now Open at the Cedar Point Causeway

The Sortino family, owners of several hotel properties in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands, brings a brand-new Holiday Inn Express & Suites into the Rain water park complex that also houses the Quality Inn & Suites as well as Cedar Lanes, Cedar Downs, and the Thirsty Pony. The new project stands five stories tall with views of the Sandusky Bay and Harbor Marina. The hotel includes 73 rooms and suites and features the new look just introduced by the popular brand. The interior showcases the work of local artists along with 2,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, indoor pool, and fitness room. http://rainwaterpark.com/

A New Watering Hole

Watering Hole Safari & Water Park is the new name of the former Monsoon Lagoon in Port Clinton. The park, under new ownership, has added a fun, new animal attraction with over 500 animals on display from May-November. The park still includes popular water slides, go-karts, mini-golf, and bumper boats. http://www.monsoonlagoonwaterpark.com/

Former Lonz Winery at Middle Bass Island Gets Facelift

Work continues on the iconic Lonz Winery building, closed since 2000 and currently owned by the State of Ohio. When work is completed in 2017 the project will include a new public plaza behind the front façade of the winery, renovated wine cellars, and a new pedestrian and biking path through the park.

Outdoor Store Coming to Milan

Fin Feather Fur Outfitters will soon be opening a location on U.S. 250 in Milan.

The former Dorr Chevrolet facility is currently under renovation and the store which caters to outdoor enthusiasts will open by August. The store will be the fifth store in the Ashland, Ohio-based chain, which was established in 1985. The new location will carry firearms, fishing and camping equipment, and a selection of name-brand outdoor clothing and boots. https://www.finfeatherfur.com/

Kelleys Island Updates

  • The Kelleys Island History Museum is promoting new displays which reflect a “more comfortable” attitude with more items, posters, and photos on display explaining the history of the island. The historical association also has a new website: http://www.kelleysislandhistorical.org/

Celebrating 100 Years

The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums at Spiegel Grove, the nation's first presidential library is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. Join the excitement with new exhibit galleries, "100 Moments: A Century of the Nation's First Presidential Library," that tell the story of 19th President Rutherford B. Hayes. http://rbhayes.org

Boutique Hotel for Downtown Sandusky

Sandusky entrepreneurs Ryan Whaley and Nikki Lloyd, the team behind The Volstead Bar, are at it again with Hotel Kilbourne. The husband-and-wife team is planning a nine-room boutique luxury hotel near downtown restaurants, island cruise and ferries, and theatre – is slated to open this summer. Hotel Kilbourne will also include a rooftop bar open to the public. https://www.facebook.com/hotelkilbourne/

New Craft Brews in Downtown Sandusky

Two new breweries will open in Sandusky in 2016. First, The Leaking Boot restaurant and Ferndock Brewing will begin operations while an on-site commercial brewery continues construction next door. Ferndock Brewing began producing Sandusky Pale Ale and serving it at local restaurants in 2015. Its commercial brewery will be completed by the end of 2016 and will open for the 2017 season. A second downtown brewery, Amusement Ales Brewing, should open on Market Street by fall 2016. Amusement Ales, with its nod to the fun tourism of the area, is brought to Sandusky by Shad and Cindy Gunderson who helped launch another local brewery. https://www.facebook.com/leakingboot/

http://ferndockbrewing.com/

Bike Share Program Debuts in Sandusky

Vogontz Bike Share has come to the Sandusky community. Bright orange bikes are available to rent for leisure cruising or to run errands. They are in several spots around town and users can download an app to track each bike’s whereabouts and grab a ride. http://www.vogontzbikeshare.com/

Hot Air Balloon Rides & Helicopter Tours

Sawmill Creek Resort has partnered with Ventures Aloft Hot Air Balloon Rides to offer rides with panoramic views of Lake Erie, waterfront marshes, natural areas, and local sites. Rides are 45 minutes to one hour in length and are available morning or evening. The resort has also partnered with a local tour company to provide quick, scenic helicopter tours of the resort area with views of Cedar Point and the islands. Contact Sawmill Creek for details and pricing. http://www.sawmillcreekresort.com/ http://www.venturesaloft.com/

Jungle Junction is Back

Jungle Junction, formerly an indoor play area at Kalahari Resort, is finding new life at the Bellevue Recreation Department. The largest indoor play structure in Ohio is now part of a family-friendly play and party center providing a safe, clean, and fun environment. The completely enclosed, climate-controlled building houses the indoor play structure which offers six levels of indoor fun. The structure includes air-compressed ball canons that shoot soft foam balls through the air and is geared towards children 12 yrs. and under. http://www.junglejunctionplay.squarespace.com/

On a Roll

After 40 years in the industry, you could say Barry Bagels is on a roll. With a menu that features over a baker's dozen of bagel varieties, a selection of signature flavored cream cheeses, sandwiches, savory soups, homemade fresh deli salads, and more; there is something for nearly everyone. Open in Sandusky, across from the Sandusky Mall, Barry Bagels also features Biggby coffee. Everything is better on a bagel. https://barrybagels.com

Erie MetroParks Renames Popular Trails

Paying tribute to the communities where the paths are located, two walking trails have been given new names. Milan Towpath MetroPark (formerly Huron River Greenway South) features 0.9-mile trail highlighting the history of the Milan Canal, where you can see various wildlife and hear the Huron River flowing beneath a historic bridge.  Huron River Path MetroPark (formerly Huron River Greenway North) features 0.8-mile trail leading to the Kara Deering Overlook where you can enjoy views of the beautiful Huron River, marshlands, and forested area.

Another Cedar Point Ferry May Return to Service

The former Cedar Point II, which used to ferry passengers from downtown Sandusky to the park decades ago, has been purchased and is currently being restored to return to the waters of Lake Erie. The boat has been owned and used in recent years by Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron for guest charters. New owner Shaun Bickley is planning to offer walk-on and private fishing charters as well as sunset cruises around Sandusky Bay.

Lake Erie Love Light Beer

Drink to your love of Lake Erie while helping to protect it as well. Lake Erie Love Light is a new craft beer from the masterminds at the Catawba Island Brewing Co. The family-owned craft microbrewery is helping to preserve this Great Lake by donating a portion of the proceeds from every keg of the beer to the Lake Erie improvement efforts. Lake Erie Love Light is on tap now at the brewery tasting room and at several local establishments. Souvenir pint glasses with the Lake Erie Love logo are now available for purchase as well. http://catawbaislandbrewing.com/home.php

Erie Social Shuffleboard Club & Bar

Ohio’s first indoor shuffleboard club is located on the Marblehead peninsula. It features six regulation-size shuffleboard courts with raised viewing platforms available for year-round playing, as well as a deli and bar. The game of shuffleboard has been around in a number of forms for more than 500 years and continues to serve as a source of fun entertainment for all ages and skill levels. http://theeriesocial.com/

Lake Erie Shores & Islands Media Contacts:

Jill L. Bauer, Public Relations Coordinator

jill@shoresandislands.com, @JillBauerLESI

Bryan Edwards, Director of Marketing & Communications

bryan@shoresandislands.com, @BryanLESI

Larry Fletcher, Executive Director

larry@shoresandislands.com, @2stix

www.SHORESandISLANDS.com/Media

About Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands:

Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands offers so much to love in a getaway destination. One of the Midwest’s hottest vacation spots, the region between Toledo and Cleveland provides an eclectic mix of historically-significant sites, family-fun amusements, gorgeous scenery, and outdoor recreation. Whether you prefer a getaway that includes lazy days at the beach, fishing with friends, dining on tasty treats, or one filled with exciting thrills like waterslides, roller coasters, and entertaining nightlife, Lake Erie Shores & Islands is the ideal coastal retreat.

ABOUT SHORES & ISLANDS OHIO

Shores & Islands Ohio is the Midwest’s favorite getaway. This coastal destination boasts 152 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, the best fishing on the Great Lakes, welcoming communities, rich history, a wine trail, and an abundance of family-friendly attractions. World-famous Cedar Point Amusement Park calls it home, along with Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, other indoor and outdoor water parks, animal parks, sports venues, and more. Visitors enjoy ferries and cruises to Put-in-Bay, Middle Bass, and Kelleys Island. One of the country’s best areas for spring and fall bird migration, the area is overflowing with natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor recreation. More at SHORESandISLANDS.com

Media Contact:

Jill Bauer, Public Relations Manager
Shores & Islands Ohio
Phone: 419.625.9495
Email: jill@shoresandislands.com