Are We Losing Our Small Family Parks?

Saturday, May 25, 2002 9:29 AM

It seems that with new bigger coasters being all the demand and theme parks having to grow larger to accomodate them, smaller parks that are known as the traditional "amusement parks" are slowly but surely disappearing.

First Whalom Park closes down.......now Visionland may be in trouble.......and Jazzland is being taken over by SF. There's definitely a trend here. The message seems to be.......grow with the times, like MI and IB are attempting to do.......or be swallowed up.

In 10 years time, do you see there not being any more "amusement parks" and only large, conglomerate-owned theme parks in their places?

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Saturday, May 25, 2002 9:40 AM
Whalom was doomed for a few years IMO. Jazzland and Visionland were always corporate parks. Remember, with one park that closes (Whalom) another reopens (Americana). But you are right, small parks need our support.

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Woodencoaster.com

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Saturday, May 25, 2002 9:54 AM
There are a few small parks left, but yes, we are loosing them and it is very unfortunate.

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http://tycoonkingdom.rct-central.com
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RCT Downloads, Forums, and More!

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Saturday, May 25, 2002 9:59 AM

Indiana Beach is definitely here to stay. Just because a bigger park gets huge steel roller coasters doesn't mean people have to avoid the smaller parks or not even visit them. People have been going to Indiana Beach for YEARS. Lots of people from Chicago and that area flock down here in the summer and IB knows how to keep them coming. That is keeping up with the amusement industry and building or doing something new ever year.

This year, the Beach got brand new lights (which from what I understand are more power efficient), security cameras all throughout the park (they said they never needed them before, but since September 11th, it just needs to be done), and so much more. I've seen so many people on the internet say they just have to visit IB now because of The Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain - that makes me so happy! IB knows what it takes to stay strong and I'm pretty sure they have a lot of their future already planned out...

77 years and still running strong.

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-Eric
LoCoSuMo! originated by Mamoosh.

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Saturday, May 25, 2002 10:44 AM
Remember, Americana is reopening this year, so we aren't losing all of them.

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Saturday, May 25, 2002 1:15 PM

What we have now is three types of parks. The mega-chain parks, like Disney, Six Flags,Cedar Fair,etc..Then there are the independents, what I like to call the niche parks. Parks like Kennywood, Knoebels,Indiana Beach, Holidayworld,etc. Then there is the overgrown FEC's like Boomers.

The days of every fair sized town having it's own amusement park are long gone. Gone are the Chippewa Lakes,the Rainbow Gardens,Cascade Parks and the countless others that have died with the passing of the heavy industrial base that once supported them.

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Saturday, May 25, 2002 3:51 PM

Jazzland and Visionland were both big trademark parks and weren't small mama and papa parks. Whalom Park had lots of trouble surviving in the region with the most mama and papa parks. We have so many up here that it was time for one of the 12 family parks up here to go big and that was Riverside's transformation, and although I miss my good ole' Riverside Cyclone, Superman:Ride of Steel was on of the best multimillion investments ever made in New England(at least much better than the John Hanncock Building that was built with unmeasured parts. Can you believe they built a skyscraper and purchased 30,000 unfit windows. They had to block of the entire downtown area because glass windows were falling off the building. Ifanything is a worse investment thatn a second hand boomerang, sorry Marine World ;), then that was it.

Kennywood, Compounce, Idlewid, and Knobel's aren't independent but sure are classics. Most of the little mama and papa parks went out in the 50's, and the urban parks started going down in 70's in 80's for better use.

Can you believe that Oakland used to have three amusement parks?!! Now we have to drive all the way down or up to the farthest ends of the Bay Area to reach an amusement park(unless your going to Children's Fairyland NEXT) Cape Cod and Revere used to be loaded with boardwalks, now all that's left is a Roast beef sandwich shop that moved to Jordan's Furniture three hours away. Boston, well we still have Kartland, too bad Lincoln PArk was bought out by those dum casino owners with the fat wallets. the Comet would have brought more money in then those pointless dog races, leave the dogs alone and race soem coasters!!! Now I'd be betting on those tracks every weekend ;)

I really wish to see something like Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk or Indiana Beach back up here at Revere again. With all the teens that hang out here, one woodie would spur up a pretty good crowd, mabye they should rebuild the I used to live 30 minutes from SCBB, now I'm close to 3,000 miles away) Mabye they'll move the Flyer Comet down here or ask RCCA to recreate Some Kick or the Revere Cyclone........You guys keep talking while I dream for a while....oh Revere Beach Lightning, to have you back again.

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Lake Compounce-So Fresh and So Clean Clean

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Saturday, May 25, 2002 3:56 PM
They will never go away as long as I am alive.
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Saturday, May 25, 2002 4:04 PM
Agnt Johnson, tell Wildwood to expand up here in Boston or New Haven, we could really useyou guys up here.

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Lake Compounce-So Fresh and So Clean Clean

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Monday, May 27, 2002 11:57 AM
I would love to put a seaside park in New England. Everyone loves an alternative.
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Monday, May 27, 2002 1:11 PM

There are still a good amount of smaller parks left, but it seems most of them with alot of room for expansion have already been bought by the chains. There are some successful theme parks(most have been mentioned) that are separate from the major chains. My favorite would be Hersheypark which parent company Herco also owns Dutch Wonderland. Herhey bills themselves as the "Rollercoaster Capital of Pennsylvania," own the rights to using all Hershey products in their park, and maintains a traditional family feel to their park. Makes for a successful operation.

My local small park would be Williams Grove. http://www.williamsgrovepark.com/home.html Which somehow stays afloat. They have a decent woody that scares you at the site of it because all the lumber looks like it needs replaced. Also an old Schwarzkopf which was relocated from Steel Pier in NJ.

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Monday, May 27, 2002 3:42 PM
If any park, regardless of size or ownership, cannot or will not provide the experiences that people want to have then I say close 'em down. I have no idealized, romanticized outlook on so-called 'traditional' parks. A park is good or bad on its own merit, irrespective of ownership.

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"To get into this head of mine, would take a monkey-wrench, and a lot of wine" Res How I Do

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Monday, May 27, 2002 4:34 PM
It may seem like we're losing our small parks, maybe, but most small parks are run by smaller companys.
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Monday, May 27, 2002 5:42 PM
Most of the seaside parks, especially in New England fell victim to the fact that the land they sat on was worth more than the operation. Beach front property that is not owned or controlled by a government agency is hard to come by. It all boils down to the fact that somebody made the owners an offer they couldn't refuse.
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