Indiana Beach closes as no buyer found for the park

Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2020 5:22 PM | Contributed by Jeff

White County Economic Development Director Randy Mitchell confirmed that Apex Parks Group decided to close Indiana Beach after a search for buyers ended unsuccessfully. Apex Parks Senior Vice President Gregg Borman told Mitchell the closure was strictly for financial reasons.

Read more from WLFI/West Lafayette.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 5:36 PM

Now there’s just corn in Indiana.


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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 5:55 PM
Jeff's avatar

And Holiday World.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 5:58 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

And presidential candidates.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 6:02 PM

Apex bought it just so they could close it.


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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 6:12 PM
Jeff's avatar

There's reasonable speculation that Martin's Fantasy Island is in a similar place, because AT says Apex tried to sell the rides. (Not a permanent link, because they actually post PDF's of a print newsletter online like it's 2004: http://amusementtoday.com/digital/)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 6:22 PM
delan's avatar

Stop it!!! Stop it now!!!

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 6:42 PM

This is really sad. I grew up going there a few times each summer. It was my first amusement park and one of the main reason I love theme parks. Had so many good memories with family and friends there.

It was sad to see the park go downhill this past decade and become a shell of it's former self with all the ownership changes, however I thought it seemed to be getting better again the past few years.

I hope somehow the park can be saved and one day return to it's former glory, but with so many ownership changes the past few years that seems almost impossible.

I am sure going to miss that place. Getting old and seeing the places you loved growing up disappear really sucks.


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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 7:33 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

What a bummer. I’m glad I got to see it. What a great place. It seems like with some investment it could work.


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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 11:26 PM

Jeff said:

There's reasonable speculation that Martin's Fantasy Island is in a similar place, because AT says Apex tried to sell the rides. (Not a permanent link, because they actually post PDF's of a print newsletter online like it's 2004: http://amusementtoday.com/digital/)

Sadly, Fantasy Island has been removed from the APEX website.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020 11:52 PM

Fantasy Island is a loss, for sure, but Niagara Falls will endure.
But Lake Schaefer? The lake itself is in the middle of nowhere, and maybe there will still be camping. But many of the seasonal businesses in the area were rather IB-dependent. In other words, the locals can’t keep the little hotels and the like afloat. No big shakes, I realize, but this will certainly have a ripple effect on the area.
I have great memories of Indiana Beach, my very first visit was back when the park was still good. It was quaint, a little funky, full of independent vendors, and the ride collection was good. It’s too bad most of the coasters there will likely never find a home.
I don’t know who would pick up a ride like Silver Comet, either. I thought it was ok, but not a ride I’d specifically travel to again.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:25 AM

Apex also closed their Speedzone FEC in Dallas.


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Wednesday, February 19, 2020 10:33 AM

RCMAC said:

Fantasy Island is a loss, for sure, but Niagara Falls will endure.

Niagara Falls will no doubt endure and continue to be the dumpster fire that it has always been, but that has nothing to do with Fantasy Island, which is on / in Grand Island. Grand Island, NY is a relatively small community that will definitely be impacted by the loss of the park and potentially the adjacent campground. Tax revenue, seasonal employment opportunities for teenagers and the loss of a convenient park that caters to families with younger children is a loss for the WNY area, in spite of the park's recent struggles with basic park operations.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020 3:47 PM

Yes, of course, and allow me to re-state.
The closure of Fantasy Island will not have a major impact on tourism in the area, which this Ohioan considers to be Niagara “metro”.
Monticello, Indiana will not be as fortunate.
Or am I really wrong here?

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020 7:15 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

Well, I can't believe that MarineLand hasn't announced its closure yet, considering the owner died in 2018 and literally no-one went to that park.

If both parks close, it will certainly have an impact on the area.

Sadly, I don't see the locals crossing the border regularly to go to ML. And I absolutely *LOVE* Dragon Mountain!

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Thursday, February 20, 2020 7:31 AM
kpjb's avatar

This sucks for all involved, I'm not that familiar with Fantasy Island, but I truly believe that IB was fixable.

I think Darien Lake would pick up the business from Fantasy Island, more than Marineland would. What's closest to IB? Six Flags Great America? Still seems like a haul to get there.


Hi

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Thursday, February 20, 2020 8:27 AM

Wish they could save Cornball Express. Back seat with a buzzbar made it one of my favorite first drops on any coaster. Glad Cedar Point got rained out on our way home from Burning Man in 2018 or I might not have ever experienced IB.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020 9:04 AM

Fantasy Island filled a niche that Marineland and Darien Lake do not. Namely, it was relatively inexpensive (1/3 the price of a day at Darien Lake), it was close for most of the Buffalo / Niagara Falls suburbs, it was small enough that you could easily get in and out for a 1/2 day visit and it catered nearly exclusively to families with young children. Darien Lake is, at the risk of offending folks who find themselves living nearby, in the middle of nowhere. It's relatively easy to get to, but for most people, it represents a full day trip (30-60 minute drive from the Buffalo / Niagara Falls region) plus paid parking. It's Waldameer vs. Kennywood if you live near Erie, PA. Well, Kennywood would be further than Darien, but it's the right idea. Different parks with a different target demographic. I doubt DL will see much of an uptick as a result of the the Fantasy Island closure. If I had to pick between DL and ML for a day with a young family, I'd go to ML every time because you can split your time between animals and rides. Plus, they added in-park transportation to get you from one area to another within it. If you've never been there, you cannot properly appreciate the amount of walking required to get around that place.

As for the health of Marineland, all signs point towards them continuing to operate as if they expect to be around for the long term. They've managed to meet new Canadian laws governing animals in captivity, which has allowed them to keep all of their animals and customer interactions with them,added a small waterpark for the 2019 season (basically a 2 acre splashpad) and had a record breaking opening weekend last year. It's a pretty good poor man's Sea World. It's also a full day trip, though, given the cost (~$50 CAD), border crossing and distance. There continues to be a very small, vocal minority that protests the existence of the place, but they haven't been all that successful in turning local opinion against the now-deceased owner nor the park itself.

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Thursday, February 20, 2020 11:58 AM

Cowcsmhm said:

it represents a full day trip (30-60 minute drive from the Buffalo / Niagara Falls region)

I don't know that I'd consider a 30-60 minute drive a proper distance to change it to a full-day affair. Maybe a 2-hour drive, but that's even a stretch for an amusement park, when you can't often drop it in the middle of a city.

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Friday, February 21, 2020 8:47 PM

Interesting responses by Fun Spot in the comments...post was put up by Fun Spot at 10:23am, yesterday, February 20th.

https://m.facebook.com/FunSpotAmerica/?tsid=0.7908404465708028&source=result

Last edited by zoug68, Friday, February 21, 2020 8:50 PM
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