Libertyland may close

Posted Thursday, November 3, 2005 10:26 AM | Contributed by Jeff

It appears Libertyland, the amusement park where millions of Mid-South families have spent a hot summer day over the past 30 years, may be about to close. Tomorrow two boards which operate Libertyland and the Mid-South Fair are meeting and are expected to approve a motion not to re-open the amusement park. An executive committee is recommending that decision unanimously.

Read more from WREG/Memphis.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 10:48 AM
Wow is that a shame. Location leaves MUCH to be desired, but still, there's no good reason for that park to be anything less than *profitable*...

I saw virtually no advertising/marketing for the park during my time in town...and it didn't really seem to be run like a business. *Everyone* in Memphis should be having family gatherings at the park...and Pippin really is *that good*. Was? :(

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 11:39 AM
Wow, demolishing an American icon like the Zippin Pippin won't bode well with amusement park fans. It seems parks within city limits of major municipals, like AstroWorld, are in tough spots. They can't expand to keep up with rising property taxes and they can't compete with ambitious commercial city planning.

If Elvis were alive today, he'd save his favorite coaster, the Pinnin. He'd probably have it moved to Graceland. Maybe Knobel's would be interested in housing another coaster orphan.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 2:01 PM
The whole park owned and run by a city or county thing is nothing but bad news-- as is any business run by a municipality. I'm not familiar with this place, but any such businesses tend to be run more to appease certain factions, grant political favors, etc., and have little to do with what they're actually supposed to be doing. I'm sure most cities had good intentions taking over parks like this to help preserve them. But when budgets get tight, neglect happens. And when the people running things really aren't qualified, they have no clue how to right things, and maybe don't even care as long as they're getting their salary.

It's a shame. Hope we're not seeing a trend here.

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 3:59 PM
The Zippin Pippen stil has a good chance to remain standing, its just the park may not be open year-round anymore. Back before Libertyland opened in the mid 70s I'm pretty sure it along with the other rides only operated when the Mid-South fair was running. So, even if it is closed its not that bad, it just may be harder for your credit whores out there to ride it (like at Puyallup.. lol)
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Thursday, November 3, 2005 5:38 PM
Well, gas prices hurt EVERYONE, so everyone has had some form of drop or another. Of course, there are exceptions to this, but many haven't gone anywhere.

Also, Libertyland really hasen't put anything into the park. I know they have losses, but they can get used rides at good costs and market them as new.

I also think that some of their more recent additions have cost them a bit on repairs, I know their drop tower really isn't all that cheap to maintain!

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 6:24 PM
If Libertyland closes, it will be a major loss for us here in Tennessee. First Opryland and now this. I really hope there is a way to save it. Seems we in the South are losing parks at an accelerated pace lately.
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Thursday, November 3, 2005 6:40 PM
I was there this summer and wrote a trip report.

http://coasterbuzz.com/forum.aspx?mode=thread&TopicID=42580

Anyhow, the summary is that the Pippen was running like crap and was not well taken care of...the park was not in great shape...there was nobody there...and it was the muggiest day of my life!

I made the prediction in the thread (wise prediction I might say), that I felt Libertyland was in its last days. It is sad, but nobody should have to go to a park in the condition that place was this summer.

P.S. Maybe I am getting to old, or I have lived in the dry heat (Vegas) too long...but...I could see how MUGGY weather would not bode well for dry parks. This might explain the decrease in southern parks...no? While I enjoyed my rides, the weather made long stays almost impossible all summer in the southern parks (July)!

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Thursday, November 3, 2005 7:58 PM
They have voted to close the park.
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Friday, November 4, 2005 12:01 PM
http://www.wreg.com/Global/story.asp?S=4066303

Park is closing. At least this wooden coaster may be saved, unlike Texas Cyclone and Megazeph which appear to have bit the dust this year.

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Friday, November 4, 2005 1:21 PM
Memphis Heritage says don't make rash decisions, Take the time to plan what is next. The council says We must do something and soon.

This is the city that RAZED beele street before realizing they had something.

Chuck

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Friday, November 4, 2005 8:06 PM
Wasn't ZP the oldest continously operating coaster in the US?
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Friday, November 4, 2005 11:50 PM
rcdb dates it to 1923.

The Seabreeze Jack Rabbit dates back to 1920. I know that the Kennywood Jack Rabbit and Lagoon Coaster both date back to 1921. Not sure about Seabreeze or Lagoon, but the Kennywood Jack Rabbit has run every season since 1921.

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Saturday, November 5, 2005 7:16 PM
They also have a Jester Sheild Dentzel carousel if I recall properly.
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Sunday, November 6, 2005 1:02 AM
You can read about the history of LL's Dentzel carousel here:

http://history.amusement-parks.com/tennlib.htm

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Sunday, November 6, 2005 11:33 AM
That's a shame seeing it close, I just hope to see the Pippin saved, I remember hearing about it being a great ride that never let's up. Hopefully it'll find a good home.
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Monday, November 7, 2005 7:41 PM
If there's any justice in this world, ZP and the Dentzel will be put on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Wednesday, November 9, 2005 3:32 PM
That's really a shame.

I liked Libertyland when we visited during the Preservation Con. The Pippin is probably one of the most underrated coasters on the planet, next to the Screechin' Eagle.

I hate hearing news like this, especially when it involves a small park trying to stay in the black. Hopefully someone can take the Pippin off their hands before it ends up as firewood. :-/

-Tina

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