Miracle Strip Amusement Park in Panama City has been sold. As a condition of the sale, the rides will be removed within a year. The water park will remain in operation.
Read more from WJHG/Panama City.
What is hardest to swallow is the fact that this park always seemed to be pretty stable. The park was never said to be run-down and the owners seemed to make frequent improvements and upgrades. Pictures always showed a park that seemed to be "safe." Just goes to show- never assume. I guess the owner was offered an obscene amount of money for his land and couldn't refuse?
Some people have questioned why a wood coaster enthusiast organization was needed, and I believe that this is the reason why. If an organization like that can bring a little awareness to these rides and gather support to aid in preservation efforts, then it succeeded. I would imagine that, of all the soon-to-be-SBNO wood coasters out there, this one would be the easiest "sell."
<sarcasm> That's all PCB needs are more condo's. </sarcasm>
*** This post was edited by Raptor Pilot 4/15/2004 11:42:54 AM ***
Clearly in this case the water park was holding its own. The amusement park really doesn't have a lot to offer, I don't think. You have to compete with FEC's, movie theaters, malls, etc.
Like I said... sad, but I'm not entirely surprised.
That said, I think that a park in Panama City WOULD be a popular place. Its a busy vacation destination and I'm sure it sees more than enough tourists to sustain the park. I would think that support for such a place would be high because of the competition. You can go anywhere in this country and shop in a mall or see a movie, but you can't go just anywhere and visit an amusement park. Its something unique, something special... something that sets Panama City apart from the many other shore towns in the area. You would think that would be enough to keep the park out of the red.
Take a look at the Jersey shore and places like Seaside Heights, Ocean City and Wildwood. They are devoid of theater megaplexes and huge shopping malls. Theaters used to be a big thing on the Jersey shore until amusements supplanted them- now the biggest theater in Wildwood is a tiny four-screen building that takes up half a city block. The entire building is probably as big as a standard Loews theater lobby! Shore towns such as these see amusements flourish because they are something different from the norm... people go down the shore to do something that they can't do while at home. I find it curious that the same isn't true in Panama City.
You have a good point. The place is very touristy and I would have guessed the park was doing fine as they were adding new rides every couple of years.
I spent an evening at the park a few years ago and was amazed to see how crowded it was, even with an approacing tropical storm. The entire strip was buzzing with people. Miracle Strip was easily the park that surprised me the most out of all the parks I did on that trip. Now it surprises me once again, but in a bad way.
I am very upset to here this news although i am not very surprised. There are no pamphlets or "blurbs" about the park in anything that was going around for things to do during Spring Break. Some mags talked about the beach up there, but nothing on the park. maybe if there was more advertisement, because no one that I talked to knew about it. I don't know though. I'm not saying that would have helped enough, but it would have spreaded the word more anyway. It's just a guess. Like I said, I have never been, but it seems like I have limited time now to ride the Starliner before it's too late-right, that's going too? What a shame.
Wood Coaster Fan Club - coming to a park near you to try and save it from the mindless corporate masses
If you start a Wood Coaster Fan Club count me in. I have ridden many that are no longer around and it seems there are several more that I have ridden that may soon be memories.
I can think of another amusement park right down the street from Miracle Strip called Petticoat Junction. Guess what replaced it? A Walmart! Ugh!!!
*** This post was edited by Raptor Pilot 4/16/2004 12:17:47 AM ***
I'm not sure of the time frame of when Walmart appeared on the site either, but that company has built their ugly boxes in a lot of unique and historically nostalgic places while displacing many people mercilessly. To me, it's just another ugly example of what this company symbolically stands for. A very reliable source/friend of mine gave me that little tidbit tonight, about what now occupies the site, when I told him about the situation in Panama City and Miracle Strip Amusement Park.
Wood Coaster Fan Club - now accepting memberships
I have both slide views of Petticoat Junction as well as super8mm home movies of the park and its coaster. The coaster footage is both on ride and off. I also have the same for Miracle Strip.
Thrillerman - Let me know where to join.
Wood Coaster Fan Club - Knoebels opening day
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