Indiana Beach

Indiana Beach is an amusement park located on Lake Shafer in Monticello, Indiana. The resort was developed by the Spackman family, who owned it from 1926 to 2008. The park was then sold to Morgan RV LLC, Apex Parks Group, LLC and now is owned and operated by Indiana Beach Holdings, LLC.

Indiana Beach
IndianaBeach logo.png
Location5224 East Indiana Beach Blvd, Monticello, Indiana, United States
Coordinates40°47′N 86°46′W / 40.79°N 86.77°W / 40.79; -86.77Coordinates: 40°47′N 86°46′W / 40.79°N 86.77°W / 40.79; -86.77
Slogan"Where Families Flock For Fun" (previously: "There's more than corn in Indiana!" & "The riviera of the midwest!")
OwnerIndiana Beach Holdings, LLC
Opened1926
Previous namesIdeal Beach; Indiana Beach Amusement Resort
Operating seasonMay through October
Area10 acres (4.0 ha)
Attractions
Total43
Roller coasters5
Water rides4
Websitewww.indianabeach.com
StatusOperating

HistoryEdit

Originally named Ideal Beach, the amusement park began as a small lakeside beach with a bath house and refreshment stand opened by Earl W. Spackman.[1] In 1927, the first thrill attraction opened, and from that point, it began to expand.[2] In the 1930s and 1940s, it was popular for the Ideal Beach Ballroom, featuring well-known bands.[3] In 1961, Indiana Beach added a paddle wheeler boat called the Shafer Queen. This boat operated for 11 years, before being replaced by another paddle wheeler with the same name.[4] In February 2008, it was announced that both the amusement park and Indiana Beach campgrounds had been sold to Morgan RV LLC.[5] On September 1, 2015, it was announced that the park had been sold to Apex Parks Group.[6][7]

On February 18, 2020, Indiana Beach announced that it would permanently close after 94 years of operation, with no plans to reopen. Apex Parks Group cited financial reasons for the closure and said they had “worked diligently” to find a new buyer for the park but were not successful.[8][9] In addition to dozens of seasonal workers, Indiana Beach employed 27 people in administrative and maintenance positions. Those workers were offered six weeks compensation.[9]

In March 2020, Apex Parks Group said that it was in discussions with potential buyers of the park, and that it was possible that the park would be able to reopen this year. Because Indiana Beach generates a large part of the county's tourism revenue, White County officials have agreed to offer $3 million from the White County Windfarm Economic Development Fund to the buyer after the sale is complete.[10]

In April 2020, Indiana Beach announced that the park would be reopening that year. The park has been purchased by Chicago businessman Gene Staples, subject to approval of a $3 million loan from White County.[11] The park reopened on the June 27, 2020.[12]

On November 24, 2020, Indiana Beach announced it would add two new refurbished attractions for the 2021 season. The first will be the former Quimera roller coaster from La Feria Chapultepec Magico in Mexico City, Mexico. The coaster was manufactured by Anton Schwarzkopf and was involved in a deadly derailment that left two dead and five injured and resulted in the revocation of La Feria's operating permits. The second will be a Polyp flat ride relocated from the long-defunct Kiddieland Amusement Park in Melrose Park, Illinois. The names and locations of the rides are still being worked out.[13]

RidesEdit

 
Shafer Queen
 
Hoosier Hurricane
 
Air Crow
 
Carnival Games

Roller coastersEdit

Name Year Opened Type Manufacturer/Model Comments
Cornball Express 2001 Wooden roller coaster Custom Coasters International Shares the same support as Hooiser Hurricane
Hoosier Hurricane 1994 Wooden roller coaster Custom Coasters International Supports shared with Cornball Express
Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain 2002 Elevator lift coaster Custom Coasters International
Steel Hawg 2008 El Loco S&S Newest coaster at Indiana Beach, used to be the world's steepest rollercoaster.
Tig'rr Coaster 1984 Steel, Jet Star Schwarzkopf Oldest roller coaster at Indiana Beach
American Dreirer Looping 2021 Steel, Triple Loop Coaster Schwarzkopf Formerly operated at Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia, Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire, England, and La Feria Chapultepec Magico in Mexico City, Mexico.

Water park attractions and ridesEdit

Name Year Opened Type Comments
Action river 1989 Lazy River
Big Flush Water Coaster 1998 Water Coaster
Sandy Beach swimming area 1926 Swimming area with a recirculating pool
Splash bash water spray pad 1989 Splash Pad
5 tube slides 1989 3 enclosed slides, 2 open slides Repainted for the 2016 season

Major ridesEdit

Name Year Opened Type Comments
Air Crow 2004 Flying Scooters
Antique Autos 1960s Antique car ride
Den of Lost Thieves 1998 Sally Corporation Shooting dark ride
Dodgem 1960s Bumper cars
Double Shot 1998 S&S Power Double Shot tower ride
Falling Star 1990 Chance Rides Falling Star Opened on the boardwalk, near the South Gate. In 2011, it was taken down and moved to the storage lot behind Steel Hawg. For the 2013/2014 season, it was relocated yet again next to the Hoosier Hurricane station.
Flying Bobs 2020 Chance Rides Alpine Bobs Not to be confused with another Flying Bobs attraction that had previously operated at the park. Formerly located at Coney Island from 1994 to 2019.
Giant Gondola Wheel 1989 Chance Rides Ferris wheel[2]
Music Express 2011 Music Express
Paratrooper 1970s Frank Hrubetz Paratrooper
Rockin' Tug 2014 Zamperla Tugboat Spining Ride
Rocky's Rapids 1986 Arrow Dynamics Log flume Relocated from the former Pontchartrain Beach, which closed in 1983.
Scrambler 1960s Eli Bridge Company Scrambler
Sea Dragon Pirate ship
Sea Warrior 2021 Klaus (SDC) Polyp Relocated from Lake Winnepesaukah in 2020, had previously been located at Kiddieland Park from 1967 up until its closure.
Shafer Queen 1961 Paddle Wheel Riverboat The original boat was retired for other usage in 1972 and a newer set was known to have been bought for the 1973 season.
Skyride 1960s Chairlift
Spackman Express Miniature Train Ride Runs along much of the park's length.
Tilt-A-Whirl Sellner Tilt-A-Whirl
Water Swings 1992 Chance Rides Yo-Yo

AttractionsEdit

  • Cap'n Crow's Bumper Boats
  • Dr. Frankenstein's Haunted Castle – A walk-through attraction
  • SkyCoaster

KiddielandEdit

  • Baby Barons
  • Merry-Go-Round
  • Frog Hopper
  • Kiddie Autos
  • Kiddie Boats
  • Kiddie Ferris Wheel
  • Kiddie Fire Trucks
  • Kiddie Whips
  • Mini Pirate Ship
  • Winky the Whale

Former ridesEdit

Former attractionsEdit

  • Adventure Point
  • Boat Tag

GamesEdit

Lodging and cabinsEdit

Lodging at Indiana Beach includes hotel, motel and cabin accommodations with varying prices, sleeping capacities and amenities.[16] There are also campground facilities named Indiana Beach/Monticello KOA containing approximately 1,000 camp sites.[17][18]

ControversiesEdit

In 2011, former and current employees staged a protest due to working and safety conditions at the park, claiming that "Rides are continuously closed, or many times forced to be open using rigged components because the company will not or cannot pay for the parts that will allow maintenance to fix them properly."[19][20] An inspector from the state's division of Homeland Security investigated as a result of the protest and found no major safety violations.[21]

It was reported in December 2012 that Morgan RV LLC had sold 11 of its properties to Sun Communities Operating Limited Partnership LLC of Michigan for $135 million.[22] Among the listed properties was Ideal Private Resorts LLC, whose website includes Indiana Beach Amusement Park and Indiana Beach Accommodations as destinations.[23] Calls by news media to Morgan RV LLC requesting comment, including confirmation or denial that all or part of Indiana Beach was included in the sale, went unanswered.[24]

In January 2013, local news affiliates reported Morgan RV LLC was delinquent paying property and innkeeper taxes totaling approximately $347,000 to White County, where Indiana Beach is located.[25][26][27][28][29] The CEO of then-owner Morgan RV, Robert Moser, and Indiana Beach's general manager, Bob Gallagher, stated that the park would open for the 2014 season despite misgivings stated by Monticello residents and business owners.[5]

On June 27, 2019, a twelve-year-old boy died after suffering a medical emergency on a roller coaster at the park; it was determined it was not caused by Indiana Beach or the ride.[30][31]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Potempa, Phil (September 24, 2015). "PHIL POTEMPA: Indiana Beach amusement park sold to new owners". nwitimes.com. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Grady, Danielle (July 4, 2016). "For Indiana Beach, a new beginning". IndyStar.
  3. ^ "Indiana Beach Amusement Resort: History". Indiana Beach. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  4. ^ "The Indiana Beach Shafer Queen paddle-wheeler". waymarking.com. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Livingston, Mikel (December 29, 2013). "Worries grow about Indiana Beach future". IndyStar.
  6. ^ AP (March 6, 2016). "Indiana Beach's new owner overhauling amusement park". IndyStar.
  7. ^ "Indiana Beach". www.screamscape.com. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  8. ^ AP (February 18, 2020). "Indiana Beach Closes After Nearly a Century". WLFI. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  9. ^ a b AP (February 18, 2020). "Indiana Beach to Close after 94 Years". WTHR. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  10. ^ "Owner: Indiana Beach amusement park could reopen this year". Indianapolis Business Journal. March 22, 2020. Retrieved March 23, 2020.
  11. ^ Maccabe, Tom (April 23, 2020). "Indiana Beach purchased by Chicago businessman". RTV6. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  12. ^ Nolan, Shannon (26 June 2020). "Indiana Beach reopens to the public on June 27". ABC57. WBND-LD.
  13. ^ "Owner: Indiana Beach adding 2 new rides for 2021". Herald Journal. November 24, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  14. ^ "Children Rides". Morgan RV resorts. Archived from the original on August 6, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  15. ^ "Indiana Beach Games". Indiana Beach. Morgan RV resorts. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  16. ^ "Indiana Beach Amusement Resort: Amusement Park, Hotel, Campground & Waterpark". Indiana Beach. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  17. ^ Johnson, Michael (May 17, 2019). "Indiana Beach unveils new campground name". Newsbug.
  18. ^ "Indiana Beach Amusement Resort: Amusement Park, Hotel, Campground & Waterpark". Indiana Beach. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  19. ^ "Indiana Beach". Screamscape. January 16, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  20. ^ "Former workers protest Indiana Beach". WLFI. Archived from the original on 2011-10-25. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  21. ^ Allen, Scott (August 28, 2011). "Inspector: IB rides safe". Herald Journal.
  22. ^ "Sun Communities Buys 11 Morgan RV Resorts". RV Business. December 18, 2012. Archived from the original on 2016-03-20. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  23. ^ "Destinations | IPR Main". Ideal Private Resorts. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  24. ^ "White County: Indiana Beach owes $347,000 in taxes - Post-Tribune". PostTrib SunTimes. January 21, 2013. Archived from the original on July 28, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  25. ^ Rodenberger, Gwen (January 14, 2013). "Despite payment, Beach owes $347k". Newsbug. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  26. ^ "County officials: Indiana Beach owes $347,000". WTHR. January 21, 2013. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  27. ^ "Morgan RV Resorts Park Faces $347K Tax Bill | Woodall's Campground Management". Woodallscm. January 21, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-01-24. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  28. ^ Rodenberger, Gwen (March 18, 2013). "Indiana Beach: Innkeepers taxes paid". Newsbug. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  29. ^ "Indiana Beach all clear on its taxes". WLFI. Archived from the original on 2013-04-12. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  30. ^ Wilkins, Ron (June 28, 2019). "Lafayette boy dies after medical emergency at Indiana Beach". Journal & Courier. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  31. ^ Paul, Pritha (August 9, 2019). "'Healthy' 12-year-old dies while riding roller coaster in Indiana Beach, devastated parents sue amusement park". meaww.com. Retrieved June 9, 2020.

External linksEdit