Arnold's Park still has money issues

Posted Friday, September 5, 2003 5:02 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Four years after a fund-raising drive to save Arnold's Park, the park on Iowa's West Lake Okoboji has shown it can attract visitors and has reasonable prospects for remaining solvent in the future, according to officials who oversee the enterprise. But securing that future could take an additional round of fund raising in an economy much softer than that of 1999, and in a community that has been frequently tapped for money for public projects.

Read more from The Argus Leader.

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Friday, September 5, 2003 5:40 AM
Sad to see, but this has been coming for a long time.
Friday, September 5, 2003 12:02 PM
I need to get up there, this is in my home state and I have never been there, better get there before they close down.

Skol Vikings

Friday, September 5, 2003 12:15 PM
Mamoosh's avatar Yes, I know the park is off the beaten path but if they open for 2004 I seriously suggest that who can make an effort to visit and support the park. It's now on the top of my 2004 trip list.


2004 Coaster Calendar now available. Order in advance and save. See S&D Greetings for details.

Friday, September 5, 2003 12:25 PM
That's a shock.

I was just at Arnold's on August 30th. (Trip Report to follow). The park didn't seem to be doing too badly. But read what Jeff wrote. He stated the park CAN draw a crowd, and does see a solvent future. Things aren't depserate yet, but just the same, anyone who can, should stop and give them a whirl.

We don't need to loose another classic. We surely don't need to loose a classic that meant 7 million dollars to people just 4 years ago.

David Bowers
Mayor, Coasterville

Friday, September 5, 2003 1:06 PM
I second what Mamoosh said. We visited the park in August of this year if for no other reason then to support it. This is a true classic; there are not many left.

And ride the Rock-O-Plane!

Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...

Friday, September 5, 2003 1:31 PM
The real problme here isn't attendance and support but lack of leadership, or more to the point, too much leadership. As I began to read the article and came across the mention of the 28 member board of directors, I just about spit out my coffee! Further reading indicates that they are aware of the problem so that's a very positive sign.

But decision making in the hands of a 28 memeber volunteer board is asking for trouble. Since the park is owned by the Museum, you probably have a group more familiar with the management of a non-profit organization or private institution that relies heavily on endowments, donations, charitable contributions and the like. This sounds like a situation where financial guidance from the outside would be beneficial.

$700,000 for a donated ride? Yikes!

I love small parks. I love the idea of them and what they represent. I, too, will try to make a visit to the park next year.
*** This post was edited by IBsteve 9/5/2003 5:32:28 PM ***

Friday, September 5, 2003 1:48 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar I made a visit to this park last year with my PIC KristinMarie. While this small park doesn't seem like its worth a 3 hour drive to the middle of nowhere, you HAVE to experience this park. The funhouse on top of the coaster station, the very oddly designed John Miller coaster, and other smaller attractions is just worth the experience. Please, do not let this classic get away from you, again.

~Rob Willi


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