Former Indiana Beach workers protest park for safety

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

It's not exactly a silent protest, but former employees of Indiana Beach said they are taking a stand for those that still work and play at the park. Darrell Price said he resigned from his job at Indiana Beach on Friday. He said he and other workers are concerned about safety at the amusement park.

Read more from WLFI/West Lafayette, IN.

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Well, this is different. Disgruntled ex-employees or consciences of the community? I'm gonna guess a little of both.

No matter what the management had to say about it, Indiana Beach's current status as a safety-minded park seems questionable.

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Fun's avatar

The park really does seem to have taken a turn for the worse this summer.

Last year at this time all the employees I came in contact with were extremely happy and more friendly than any park I had ever been to. So this story seems strange to me. It wasn't just one employee holding up signs in the news piece it was a bunch.

However, I was locked into Cornball Express for about 10 minutes in the station while they called a mechanic to hammer a screwdriver into a lap bar a couple cars back to get it to lock down. I was the only one on the train. First time riding it for me. I considered it added amusement. Perhaps I should have been concerned. That was an awesome afternoon though.

I was there just a couple of weeks ago and I'd agree with these kids. 5 rows on Cornball were taped off, including the whole first car, Hurricane's second train was in pieces, no safety spiels were ever given, and I never saw kids ever on a break. I've worked at parks for 8 years now and I couldn't believe how poorly the park seemed to be run.

I think it's time for Herschend to take over, and quick!!

Alexx Argen's avatar

tigellinus said:
I think it's time for Herschend to take over, and quick!!

They have got their hands full with Darien lake.

Its sad when your best friend asks you the exact running time of a ride. Good thing I didnt know.

stoogemanmoe's avatar

This really isn't news to me. My wife and I went early this season and a heck of alot of rides were not running. some due to the move, some due to needing to be fixed. We were on Hoosier Hurricane and when we got off I noticed loose bolts holding the buzz bar. I kind off freaked out. When I told the op she just said "oh well". I also went to customer service and told them and they just gave me 2 passes to come back on another day. I too am strating to beleive that IB is really going to the dogs and Morgan resorts just does not give a darn. It's just not Indana Beach anymore. Safety at this park is null as far as mechanical things go. Also it really sucks if your call the number thats on the website if you have a question, you don't even get someone that's working at the park! I could go on and on but when I start thinking about how well this park used to be ran, i just get extremely depressed.

Last edited by stoogemanmoe,

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From what I have heard from a friend who quit there on his own and from other sources, things are pretty much crap. The reason why rows of the trains are taped off is because they don't want to replace the parts needed on a one by one basis and don't keep any spares.

Also, have heard that any profit from the park goes directly to Morgans other failing properties. Makes sense that it took them a month into the season to get the coasters open.

I agree with this.

I think it's time for Herschend to take over, and quick!!

I really expect the park to be for sale real soon. It seems that a bunch of long term supervisors quit on their own accord on Friday and was picketing (including the ride supervisor in this park video.

I love the old IB and want it to succeed, but it will never get any better under Morgans.

Last edited by spaceace12,
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I hope when that day comes that there are legitimate park chains interested in acquiring the property, and not just real estate developers.

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I haven't been to Indiana Beach since the Spackman's owned the park, and have looked forward to going back again. However, from what I've been reading, I'm more concerned about IB suffering the same fate as another Indiana Park down the road known as Old Indiana. Such a shame, as it was a nice park.

Why do I have the bad feeling that there are parties more interested in lake front development property than in a lake front amusement park.

"Yes... well... VICTORY IS MINE!"
rollergator's avatar

HFEC would do *awesome* at Indiana Beach.

I understand completely about the "full plate" theory with Darien and Wild Adventuers, but IB holds a LOT of potential. HFEC would help realize the potential of the Lake, which has really gone under-utilized. HFEC has their hands in a lot of various entertainment enterprises (from show-boats to Stone Mountain, GA Aquarium, etc.). IB would be a really sweet addition to the portfolio - not entirely unlike CF realizing they had a true gem in Canada after the PP acquisition.

Here is what the protesters wont tell you that I found out from the office...

Darrell Price started all this when his friend Dusti was fired from admissions. She was fired because he husband was sending emails out to community officials pretending to be different people (like the president of IAAPA) Creepy right? Well it gets better. Her husband, Kyle Zarse also was fired earlier in the year for sending out financial information from the park to people looking into building a waterpark down the road.

Darrell didnt know all this when dusti was fired so he originally organized this protest bc she got fired. When he found all this out then he changed his story to it being about ride safety..... The beach has state inspectors in there right now. Darrell is ruining a wonderful park I have been going too my whole life. He is also ruining the community!!!!!!

Carrie J.'s avatar

Yes, and I heard that Dusti and Darrell were caught making out behind the bleachers after study hall! Now Kyle has no date for prom!!!!!

"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

This was the statement IB released::

For the privacy of our employees we will not disclose the exact details of the current situation. However, employee and park information was at risk due to an individual posing as someone else. Confidential park information was ‘leaked’ with the intent to tarnish the brand and integrity of Indiana Beach Amusement Resort. There was a possibility of exposure of confidential employee and park information. This behavior was in violation of our park policies and procedures which unfortunately resulted in termination.
Indiana Beach has an image and standard to obtain. It is a priority to provide a safe and caring environment for our employees and our guests. We will not tolerate inappropriate behavior that violates our policies and procedures at Indiana Beach Amusement Resort. Over the past 48 hours the violations of our park policies and procedures have resulted in 3 terminations.

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Joined: 8/23/2011

Woah. You came here from the future to share this information with us!

Jason Hammond's avatar

She could have at least told us tomorrow's lottery numbers to prove she was from the future. ;)

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Raven-Phile's avatar

Well, she still has an hour and 20 minutes EST. :)


I have to disagree that the protests this past weekend are "ruining a wonderful park..." The damage has been deep and ongoing.

I too have been visiting the park since the mid-80s. Long before I was a park enthusiast. The last few years under Morgan management has been tough to see. Search Yelp. Search Trip Advisor. Search Linked In. Search Facebook. The complaints have been pointed, specific and consistent - bad employee conditions, false promises in customer service, ride availability and accommodations; plus maintenance concerns that could (and reportedly have) cause employee or guest injuries.

Unfortunately, there seems little hope for a positive endgame here. Morgan RV Resorts has been showing signs of financial problems as a corporation (they run almost 40 locations). As others have pointed out, there is likely no existing amusement company that would buy them. And the original sale to Morgan did not leave any of the Spackmans well off enough to repurchase the park (even at fire sale prices) since the proceeds were distributed to several dozen family "shareholders."

The whole situation truly saddens me. Enough that I haven't been to the park this year. I know that won't help them succeed, but I just cannot stomach it. Over the past few years I've become deeply interested in Amusement Park History. This situation has led to closed and abandoned parks many times before.

I just hope something will happen so that Indiana Beach does not become another Chippewa Lake, Crystal Beach, Edgewater, Euclid Beach, Glen Echo, LeSourdesville Lake, Myers Lake, Mountain Park, Palisades, Paragon Park, Ponchartrain Beach, Riverview, West View or Whalom. And I certainly don't hope the park is taken away in an instant, like the accident that closed Old Indiana forever on August 11, 1996.

Last edited by Flyer Addict Chris,

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