Arnolds Park adds log ride A New Jersey amu***t park donated the
The Des Moines Register
Arnolds Park, Ia. -It took 22 flatbed trucks to deliver the latest
piece of Arnolds Park amu***t park 's national reputation.
The trucks carried a dismantled 800-foot log ride from the New Jersey
shore to northwest Iowa. The attraction, expected to open in June,
will be called Boji Falls. Riders will splash down after a 36- foot
drop on a 90-foot-long slide.
The ride 's trek from Morey's Pier in Wildwood, N.J., to***inson
County is a testament to Arnolds Park's prominence in amu***t - park
circles. The park is one of the few old-time Coney Island-style
waterfront parks left. It claims to be the oldest amu***t park west
of the Mississippi River.
Cary Parker, who runs the Arnolds Park Amu***t Complex, had gone
looking for used rides. He got a bite in New Jersey. Morey's had
bought the log ride from a bankrupt operation a few years ago.
The ride was in good shape. The bad: Parker figured his nonprofit
employer, the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum, couldn't afford to
buy, ship and install the ride .
No problem. Morey's offered to donate the ride . The executives there
had read about Arnolds Park's $7.5 million donation campaign that
derailed a proposal to turn it into ***iniums. The effort earned
Arnolds Park the Phoenix Award from the International Association of
Amu***t Parks and Attractions.
Morey's also knew about the Legend, Arnolds Park's wooden roller
coaster that dates to 1930 and draws coaster enthusiasts from all
Parker figures the log ride was worth $250,000 used. A consultant said
a new one would cost $2 million.
Morey's staff told Parker they would give him the ride if he would pay
to truck it.
"They are ending up not getting any advantage out of it but being nice
people," Parker said.
The tab for trucking and installing the ride will be $300,000 to
$400,000. Parker is shopping for a sponsor willing to pay to have its
Parker hopes the Okoboji faithful pour in to try the ride . Attendance
jumped to 114,000 last year from 77,000 in 1999. Parker projects
134,000 this season. The amu***t park and museum made money last
year, but the complex overall had a slight loss, Parker said.
The log ride is a fitting addition to a park that traces its
beginnings to a giant water slide that dumped fun-seekers into West
Okoboji Lake beginning in 1886.
The amu***t complex, which includes the Iowa Great Lakes Maritime
Museum and an adjacent park area, has several major initiatives this
The museum wants to add a $1.5 million Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame. The expanded museum also would have room for artifacts from the
original Roof Garden and other amu***t - park pieces.
The historic State Pier is getting a face lift. Workers are installing
1,500 bricks inscribed with donors' names.
The complex will hold concerts, many of them free, featuring big band
to jazz to country to alternative rock. Professional wrestlers will
make an appearance, too.
The entertainment will be hot, Parker promises. The log ride will give
folks a chance to cool off.