MONTICELLO, Ind. (AP) — Officials are hoping to find a new buyer after the popular Indiana Beach amusement park that had operated for nearly a century recently closed with little notice.
Apex Parks Group, the California-based company that owns the amusement park, said they were closing Indiana Beach and three other amusement parks it owns across the country because of financial reasons, Journal & Courier reported.
Monticello Mayor Cathy Gross said the park’s sudden closure was a devastating and difficult blow since Indiana Beach was a generational experience for many.
“Indiana Beach has been an integral part of the fabric of our community for a very long time,” she said. “But I’m a glass-half-full person, and I believe we need to take these challenges and make opportunities out of them.”
She later said that local officials would assist the company with find a buyer.
Local business owners around the Indiana Beach area said while the loss of the amusement park would be difficult for businesses in the short term, there was still a lot in the White County and Monticello area that is attractive to visitors and tourists.
Mike Sims and Ryan Clemons, co-owners of Outrigger Resort and real estate agents, said Indiana Beach’s closure could be a great opportunity for house or condo development on high-demand land.
“This is a huge hit for tourism,” Clemons said, “but a huge positive for real estate.”
Still, area residents were saddened by the closure.
Some of the year-round residents living nearby said they enjoyed having a view of the rides and having the park as a backyard.
Cherri and Lance Anderson, who are retired, live close to the park.
“I’m going to miss the Ferris wheel because it was like a light show for us,” said Cherri Anderson.