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Indiana Beach (IB) Discussion Thread

Page 45 - New Coaster for 2021!!!

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I swear if this becomes rich people waterfront housing and Apex makes bank on their way out the door, I am going to flip my sh*t. Al Weber had true passion for running parks, since his passing I think that all changed.

 

 

Fantasy Island isn't even near water so that's not it.

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I spotted Quimera/ Triple Loop on the move from Mexico to Indiana today headed north on I-55 in southern MO.

Pretty sure it's Chimera from Chapultepec Park in Mexico City!  Who would have ever guessed that a park that was super closed and bankrupt would reopen, and save a coaster we all assumed was doomed!!!

I'm not used to saying "The problem with this ride in it's prior location was poor maintenance but Indiana Beach will take much better care of it" Also, this Quimera thing is so crazy that nobody

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Also, the Beach water park in Cincinatti, OH will not be opening next season. That makes a total of 4 parks/ water parks that will not be returning next year.

 

Source?

 

 

https://www.wlwt.com/article/beach-waterpark-for-sale-in-mason/29789220

 

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are not selling passes by late February, its just not gonna happen people. With 0 passes already sold the numbers would be so abysmal it would be hard to operate this summer even if they wanted to.

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I'll never forget that standing up buzz bar airtime.

 

That's what many wood coasters used to be like. And then the 90s came and went. More reason to get out and enjoy what you can while we still have it. Not much real airtime left around (the kind where your butt leaves the seat more than an inch).

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That's too bad. I also visited when the park was running poorly (three or so years ago) and didn't get to ride Cornball (missing bits of the track) or Lost Coaster (just broken). I ended up leaving after just a couple of hours and heading to Cedar Point. Even though the place was pretty run down when I was there, I could still imagine how good it would have been in its heyday. Glad I got to go through Frankenstein's Castle and ride the Lost Thieves ride, though.

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I last visited in 2009, and thought it was one of the best parks I'd ever been to. I was in no hurry to go back with how much I'd hear about it going downhill. Definitely a shame if this is indeed the end.

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This sucks. I had IB on my bucket list for so long, especially Lost Coaster, but it's just so far out there and hard to get to... Fantasy Island closing as well means the small park sector of the industry is taking a major blow. It's basically grow into a major destination or go out of business anymore.

 

Waldameer is still going strong

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Sad day. Really glad I got to this park last year after riding Maxx Force. Cornball was one of my favorite wooden roller coasters after riding it multiple times, especially in the back row. It is so underrated. Lost Coaster was really good for what it was. I'm sure Tig'rr and Steel Hawg will get relocated, but the way Hoosier Hurricane and Cornball use the small support structure I don't think they can be relocated. I also have my doubts about lost coaster being moved with the structure it has been built into. Really sad we lose 3 wood coasters in one shot.

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“In this economy” destination parks are thriving now. However many smaller regional parks don’t seem to be doing so well. The numbers are starting to stack up: Clementon Park, Elitch Gardens, Scandia Amusment Park, Possibly Fantasy Island, Timber Falls, as well as Miracle Strip & Boomers in 2015.

 

In Japan they’ve been closing regional parks left and right for some time now. I watched a video recently about the Hikikomori (Japanese Shut-Ins), and wondered if this had an effect on less visitors to regional Japanese parks. These people literally do not go outside, ever. They surf the internet, watch peak TV, and play video games all day long.

 

Maybe this is also happening in the US to an extent as well? I have heard about shut-ins here too. There’s so much TV to watch, so many games to play, so many social media posts it’s nearly impossible to watch it all. But darn if some people aren’t trying.

 

Just a theory perhaps but what are your thoughts on declining attendance at these parks? Poor maintenance? Lack of new attractions? Poor management? Maybe a combo of everything?

 

Etlich Gardens sits on prime real estate in Denver and scandia sat on prime real estate for industrial warehouses being near Ontario airport and the 10 freeway. They were worth more as development land than theme parks (which are profitable, but not anywhere close to what a developer can offer).

 

If I had to guess, These parks seem to have fallen victim to the hedge funds apex group is owned by expecting more profits than could feasibly be delivered even if they were successful parks.

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Definitely sad news, as I loved this park when I went there back in 2007, and was excited about taking my kids for their first time this year. I guess procrastination is going to cost me (and even moreso them) on this one... Such a shame for the park workers, and the local faithful. Cornball was a top 5 wooden coaster for me, and will be sorely missed, if it never operates again. Hopefully it finds a buyer, but at this point, it doesn't sound promising. Rest in Peace, Indiana Beach... You WILL be missed!

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If I had to guess, These parks seem to have fallen victim to the hedge funds apex group is owned by expecting more profits than could feasibly be delivered even if they were successful parks.
Fantasy Island closing as well means the small park sector of the industry is taking a major blow. It's basically grow into a major destination or go out of business anymore.

It's unfortunate that this has become the mentality of the people and groups that gobble these small parks up only to attempt to resell them later... If it's not a good short-term return on investment, then dump it! Who cares about slow, steady long-term growth, am I right?

 

It's times like these that make me thankful Knoebels has always been run by the family.

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I didn't love Indiana Beach as much as everyone else on my visit back in 2008 or so but I still had a really good time so this really is a sad story for anyone that loved the park. Hopefully someone does something with it cause I cant imagine that land is worth much else in that location, but we'll see how it all unfolds.

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I wish to extend my full condolences to the Indiana Beach fans. Its a shame that the park closed so suddenly and it didn't get a proper send off. I never got to visit but it sounds like it was a unique and fun park. I hope this isn't the start of a trend for small regional parks like this.

 

As for what will happen next, I hope the whole park gets sold to someone who really cares, hopefully a local businessman or someone like that. If it get sold to anther chain I think Palace Entertainment might be a good option. Both Indiana Beach and Fantasy Island would fit well it seems with their parks (Kennywood, Idlewild, Lake Compounce, Dutch Wonderland etc.)

 

Personally though I think that if they find buyers for the individual rides than its over. No one will want to buy a park where half/most of the major rides have been sold and removed.

 

Guess we'll have to wait and see, maybe now that its out that its closing someone will step up to the plate and buy it.

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They finally updated their Facebook page today to say that they have permanently closed and to visit their website for more information and an FAQ. However, their website appears to have crashed. It was working about 3 hours ago when I checked but hadn't been updated at all but now it just times out.

 

EDIT: I did finally get the page to load but it had nothing more than a graphic saying it is permanently closed and a link if you have questions. That link just takes you to their contact form.

Edited by Ischyros
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The website has a lot of trouble, but it eventually works, it just says that they are closed (same as the facebook page). When you click on the areas for questions it goes to a "Contact Us" form. I guess they are expecting people to write them or something, but they don't seem very forth coming about the whole thing.

 

As a side note Fantasy Island's website and facebook page has been updated the same way, confirming that it is closed as well.

 

RIP

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Not happy to hear Indiana Beach is closing! I enjoyed my visit with TPR back in 2010. Cornball Express was amazing - with surprising moments of airtime. Lost Coaster backwards was weird, random fun, as was Frankenstein's Castle. Loved the flats over the water. Rare Schwarzkopf Jet Star. Fascination parlor. And the setting was magic. I knew the park was going downhill even then but this is sad news nonetheless.

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This is the most comprehensive article I've read so far.

 

Appears to be a decision from Apex that caught park officials and local county officials off guard. The park was still marginally profitable, but investment firms like Apex are not in it to be marginally profitable

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/america/theme-parks/2020/02/18/indiana-beach-amusement-park-close-after-nearly-100-years/4801090002/

 

After nearly 100 years, Indiana amusement park to close, with rides moving to other parks

Emily DeLetter and Dave Bangert Journal & Courier

 

MONTICELLO, Ind. – Local officials expressed shock Tuesday when the California-based owner of the nearly century-old Indiana Beach amusement park said it would close.

 

“We didn’t see this coming at all,” Randy Mitchell, White County economic development director, said Tuesday afternoon.

 

That morning, Mitchell met with White County commissioners and council members, to relay word that things were going well for the amusement park tucked along Lake Shafer, about 30 miles north of Lafayette. That was based on reports Mitchell said he received from Gary Fawks, the local manager of Indiana Beach.

 

On Tuesday afternoon, Mitchell said he met with Gregg Borman, senior vice president of operations for Apex, who told him that the company was closing Indiana Beach and three other amusement parks it owns across the country for of financial reasons.

 

Officials with Apex did not immediately respond to messages. Phones listed for Indiana Beach were not being answered Tuesday afternoon.

 

Mitchell said Borman indicated that Indiana Beach – long known for its slogan and jingle, “There’s more than corn in Indiana” – was marginally profitable. But Mitchell said he was told that Apex wasn’t in a position to continue to make capital improvements to the rides.

 

“This really is tough news around here,” Mitchell said.

 

As of Tuesday afternoon, Indiana Beach’s Facebook page was still promoting a job fair, scheduled for Feb. 29, to fill positions for the summer. Customers had been buying season passes as recently as Christmas.

 

California-based Apex Parks Group bought Indiana Beach in 2015 from Morgan Recreation Vacations of New York.

 

Apex’s purchase of Indiana Beach marked just the second change in the park's ownership after the founding Spackman family sold it to Morgan. The sale included the amusement park, campgrounds and hotel about 30 miles north of Lafayette.

 

Earl Spackman opened the amusement park in 1926. He initially called it Ideal Beach.

 

The park grew over the years as a place to lounge on the beach, go on the rides and attend big name concerts. In the 1940s, Spackman handed off the resort to his son, Thomas, who eventually changed the name to Indiana Beach.

 

Mitchell said he was told Apex would disassemble the rides this spring and take them to nine company parks in California and two in Florida.

 

Mitchell said that under Apex, Indiana Beach seemed to be doing well enough, after some rough years under Morgan.

 

“That was every indication we had,” Mitchell said.

 

The Indiana Beach/Monticello KOA campground, which is a companion to the amusement park, will remain open during its normal season from May 17 to October 27, according to someone who answered at the KOA newsroom.

 

Word about Indiana Beach spread quickly in Monticello and beyond.

 

“What a bad thing to hear,” said Jo Wade, president and CEO of Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette. “It’s got to be hard for Monticello.”

 

At the Riverside in Monticello, manager Autumn Lutchka said many of the restaurant’s customers were visitors from Indiana Beach and Lake Shafer.

 

“It’s unfortunate, but I feel like you could tell over the past few years,” Lutchka said. “There weren’t as many people there as when I was growing up, when I remember it always being packed. Now, when you would go there, there weren’t ever lines for any of the rides.”

 

Lori Tolson, a North Judson resident, lives on Lake Shafer during the summer, a five-minute boat ride from Indiana Beach. She said she and others had spent Tuesday trying to reach Indiana Beach or Apex to find out what to do with season passes that she bought during a Christmas promotion.

 

Tolson said she had six of everything: season passes at $42.99, food packages at $69.99 and drink packages at $19.99. Her tally of season passes: Just shy of $800.

 

“And all worthless now,” Tolson said. “Our grandbabies loved going, so that’s going to be fun telling them. … The biggest question, though, is how do we get a refund? A lot of us are wanting to know, and we can’t get anyone to answer the phone.”

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Kings Island, Six Flags Great America, Worlds of Fun, Silver Dollar City, Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World, and Indiana Beach are all within 4-6 hours of me. Guess which one I never visited? It was on my to-do list, but I waited too long. After watching the youtube video about the history of Indiana Beach, I really wish I would have been more determined to go. Bummer.

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I'm bummed I never got the chance to experience this park firsthand... That video was really insightful for several reasons. I didn't realize Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain was so long. I also didn't realize just how much infrastructure the park has had built out over the years. I can't imagine the land having any other use based on just how much has been done to accommodate the rides like footers over the water.

 

I think it is pretty telling that there were no other interested buyers. This park (more so than Fantasy Island) feels like a perfect fit for the Parques Reunidos portfolio alongside Kennywood, Lake Compounce, Dutch Wonderland, Story Land, Idlewild and Castle Park... The bottom line must've looked really bad for no one to recognize the inherent value in what the park already has established.

 

I can't imagine any of the wooden coasters being relocated, which leaves Tig'rr Coaster, Steel Hawg and the park's flat rides to be moved to the other parks under Apex control.

 

I never had the chance to experience Indiana Beach, but I feel bad knowing that 94 years of history is going down the drain... Just a shame.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I've wanted to visit Indiana Beach, but never got to . I lobbied to make it part of our itinerary during our 2018 journey around Lake Michigan. I was most intrigued by the airtime of "Cornball Express" and the POV of Hoosier Hurricane looked great. I wanted to ride those 2 coasters if nothing else.

 

I fear Denver's Lakeside Amusement Park and Adventurland Iowa could also suffer the same fate some day.

 

I'm not even sure if Adventureland would draw as many people as Indiana beach, does it? The Indianapolis Metro is bigger than the Des Moines, Cedar Rapids & QC metros combined. Plus Indiana Beach would have some of Ft. Wayne & Chicago to draw from as well.

 

I was glad to see that Adventureland was still looking good, and they are making some nice new additions. But they were totally dead when we were there. While the Monster is hard to bead, it sounds like Indiana Beach's wooden coasters were leagues above Adventureland's woodies. I wished I would have had the pleasure of visiting. Hopefully someone would come forward now that there will be a public outcry, but I'm not optimistic.

 

Our bowling alley, which had been for sale since May, was forced to close unexpectedly in August. The owner lost his life savings and his retirement bled into it. And the debt grew so big leading to the state pulling his license. Since August, there has been an outcry, but no new buyers.

 

When were were forced to raise prices, the league bowlers would complain and some even quit. Open bowlers would complain and quit coming. As the place started falling into disrepair with declining attendance & revenue with rising overhead cost, they would blame & crucify the owner.

 

Over the coming week after the closing, in addition to him loosing a nephew to cancer, he couldn't get on social media without seeing everybody, who have no idea of how to run a business, taking pot shots at him.

 

I don't think the individuals of Apex are in this dire of a condition, but the fact that this happened so abruptly makes me wonder if they were unexpectedly forced to cease operations?

 

Both of our areas are shrinking, but you'd think that both of these places could still have enough people to support them. However, so many people just don't care anymore. That being said, and given my personal experience, it is hard for me not to blame the people. The owners don't always make the soundest of decisions, but people can't be expecting them to give everything away for free and keep the place running. It doesn't work like that.

 

It is hard for me to see people who refuse to go to a place, refuse to spend a dime, and later refuse to go because the place is "not good enough" for them. And to ultimately blast the owner when the place finally fails due to lack of attendance that was partially their own fault.

 

But in the end, everybody looses. I can't help but feel some satisfaction in knowing that our bowlers are not liking having to drive several miles on rural roads in the middle of winter. Many wanted our place to close, and now they got their wish and they don't like it. The open bowlers who forgot about the place are now sorry it is closed. Only now do they realize how important is was to our community.

 

So my message here is to get people to wake up and support their local venues and stop taking things for granted.

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I think it is pretty telling that there were no other interested buyers. This park (more so than Fantasy Island) feels like a perfect fit for the Parques Reunidos portfolio alongside Kennywood, Lake Compounce, Dutch Wonderland, Story Land, Idlewild and Castle Park... The bottom line must've looked really bad for no one to recognize the inherent value in what the park already has established.

 

Or Apex Parks Group asking price was too much...Marginally profitable only works if you get a good price on the park and have enough capital to support re-investing in the business while you slowly get your investment back. Park clearly wasn't strong enough financially for anyone just looking for a quick profit.

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Which of these coasters will you miss the most?

 

Too soon, Robb!

 

Maybe I missed it, but did they take out the beach? If so, when did that happen?

 

The owner in the documentary seemed like a great guy. He was so matter-of-fact about each topic. His responses were very direct, as if he were strictly responding to specific questions, instead of getting off of the subject. When he decided to add rides it just seemed to be a decision made out of his own common sense. He was entertaining to watch.

 

I most certainly regret not driving a short four hours to the park.

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