Arnolds Park Hopes Ride Makes a Splash Arnolds Park
(Copyright 2001 Omaha World-Herald Company)
On the back edge of this amu***t park that bills itself as the
oldest west of the Mississippi River, General Manager Cary Parker
walks under green steel supports rising from piles of dirt and
With a tap of his foot on the slightly soft ground, Parker explains
why the water roller coaster the supports will hold is not yet
installed for the start of another busy tourist season.
"The ground just never thawed enough to get started on it," he said.
"Then we got pounded with rain in April."
Now, Parker hopes Arnolds Park workers can have the ride , known in
the industry as a log flume, running by the Fourth of July. He also
hopes to make it the first corporate-sponsored ride in the park's 112-
The log flume is one of several changes crews are still working on at
the Okoboji-area park for this season. They are also enclosing an
entertainment pavilion and building a new band stage. Parker also
wants to improve its main entrance, which sits opposite the park's
lakeside strip of nostalgic shops, restaurants and piers for visiting
boats to tie up at.
"Not much attention had been paid to the main entrance," he said. "And
probably 90 percent of our visitors come by car, not boat."
The log flume will plunge riders in a fiberglass log down 94 feet to a
pool of water. Officials have tentatively named it "Boji Falls." That
could change if a corporate sponsor wants a different name, Parker
said. Arnolds Park is talking with tractor maker John Deere about a
deal. A multiyear sponsorship could bring the park between $250,000
and $500,000, Parker said.
Parker said crews planned to have the ride ready last month but were
delayed by the frigid winter and wet spring.
Arnolds Park is building the ride two years after almost being
converted to an upscale housing development. Okoboji-area residents
and tourists saved the park by raising more than $7.6 million.
The log flume comes from another old amu***t park that wasn't so
lucky. Moreys Piers of Wildwood, N.J., heard last year about Arnolds
Park's salvation and offered to give the park the log flume.
When complete, Arnolds Park will have paid about $350,000 to transport
and rebuild the ride , pieces of which now sit roped off in the
parking lot. Buying a new log flume would have cost about $2 million,