& Splash World
(Purchased by Gene Staples in 2021)
Park News - (4/10/21) The NY Times takes a look at the history of Clementon Park, and exactly how the auction took place. The rules were interesting, as even with a successful bid of $2.37 million to buy the entire property placed within the first five minutes, the next step was to conduct 410 individual auctions for all the parts and pieces. If the combined sum of all the individual auctions would have been larger than the $2.37 million bid for the entire property, the park would have been torn apart in favor of the larger combined sum.
Many park items were sold for good prices this way: the Ring of Fire for $110,000, Thunder Drop for $125,000, the Train for $85,000, the Carousel for $95,000… but in the end the overall bid to buy the entire property held strong as the bigger sum and Clementon Park was sold to Gene Staples who also bought the closed Indiana Beach park in early 2020. Over the past year, despite the pandemic restrictions, Staples says he was already able to turn a profit at Indiana Beach over the 2020 season. So now he is turning his attention to saving Clementon Park in much the same way, by treating Clementon Park as a family owned park and not a corporate park. By listening to the guests, “Just listen to the people. If you give the people what they want, they’ll keep coming back.”
Parts of the park will be updated for sure to ensure the park remains profitable and that it will survive for the future. They say part of the picnic grove will become a new beer garden, food vendors will replace “coolers packed with homemade lunches”, and look for some of the midway games to get a modern makeover, but for the locals who grew up with Clementon Park, it will still keep the nostalgic feel they will fondly remember.
(4/2/21) According to an interview with Gene Staples, the new owner of Clementon Park, the plan they are working on for the park is to try and open the Splash World waterpark by Memorial Day weekend, or possibly a “refreshed park as a whole” if they can pull it off in time.
(3/27/21) I posted about this yesterday on Twitter, but it was revealed that the same owner who bought and saved Indiana Beach was the successful bidder who will now be taking over Clementon Park. As expected, the plan is to get the park ready to reopen as soon as possible after it closed down in late summer 2019. It should be interesting to see what happens with Clementon Park going forward… as the purchase has also created the latest amusement park chain. A small one, with only two parks, but it’s nice to see another new player enter the field.
(3/26/21) While we still don’t know exactly who has purchased Clementon Park for $2.37 million, the auction company who sold the park reported that the expectation was that the new owner does want to reopen the park as soon as possible. “I was basically very happy of the result, especially because someone is going to buy it and going to open it. My indication is he wants to move very quickly.”
(3/24/21) According to a couple of Twitter updates, InParkMagazine reported that a bid of $2.37 million was put in at the Clementon Park auction to purchase the entire property. On a side note, they also mentioned that while they don’t know who made the successful bid, it was not made by the Fresh Development group who we reported on last week.
Hopefully we’ll here more soon about if the bid was accepted, who the bidder is and what their future intentions for the property are.
(3/13/21) According to a local news report there may be a number of groups looking to bid on Clementon Park, but it isn’t clear if they are wanting the whole park or just trying to buy pieces of it. However one group of local African American investors has come forward to say that their intention is to buy the park and maintain the vision that the creators had in 1907, which would involve not only restoring the park, but doing what the past owners did not by investing in it to keep the park alive.
The group is called Fresh Developments LLC and when they toured the park they were told there were at least 6 other potential purchasers for the property. Fresh Development is currently working on raising $7 million to secure their bid to purchase the park with the hopes that they can reopen it in time for the Summer 2021 season.
We wish them well in their goal to keep the park alive as the auction date is quickly approaching on March 27.
(2/16/21) It has been quite some time since we have heard anything about the fate of Clementon Park. After shutting down unexpectedly early for the season in late 2019, the fate of the park was left in limbo for 2020 as the threat of COVID-19 covered the globe. As we begin 2021, we finally have a new report claiming that Clementon Park is now slated to be sold at an auction to take place on March 23 at 10am, with an on-site inspection set for Mar. 19th.
According to 42Freeway.com, the entirely of the property will be up for sale to whoever wants it, with the park and assets willing to be sold together or individual property, rides and even the park’s liquor license to be up for sale individually if no one wants to buy it all.
The auction is run by CRG and you can find the details here, including some details about the “highlight” rides and attractions they expect to sell by themselves even if the park doesn’t sell.
(2/29/20) Based on the fact that no news has come out of Clementon Park regarding any kind of operational schedule for 2020 along with the fact that now the entire Clementon Park website has been wiped off the face of the internet. As rumored, it looks like the plug was pulled on the park, begging the question about who exactly now has ownership of the property at this time.
(9/29/19) While I’m not going to name-names just yet, Screamscape has heard word that a smaller size park operator may be pondering a possible purchase of Clementon Park in time for next season. That’s all I’m going to say for now, as we don’t want to spook the deal, but it is nice to know that there may still be a future for the park, so stay tuned!
(9/25/19) While we learned nothing new about the status of Clementon Park at this time, we are starting to hear rumors that Premier Parks may have been looking to sell off not just Clementon Park, but the other three parks they do own: Wet ‘n’ Wild Toronto, Ocean Breeze and Nashville Shores. While the Toronto park just reopened in 2017 after being brought back by Premier Parks, they have failed to add anything new to any of these parks for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. In fact they went so far as to announce they were working on a Proslide Mammoth slide for Ocean Breeze intended for the 2018 season, but then failed to build anything at all.
Rumor has it that both Cedar Fair and Six Flags may be considering possible offers for some of these properties, though it looks like there were no takers for Clementon Park, or at least not yet.
(9/23/19) A new article posted to 42Freeway.com was able to take the information we dug up regarding the status of Clementon Park and add in even more pieces of the puzzle. In addition to being able to verify the information we shared on Screamscape last week, they were also able to interview the person in charge of the Clementon Fall Festival event which was to be held at the park this October.
Unfortunately they confirmed that not has the Clementon Fall Festival been forced to cancel this year’s event due to the park’s early closure this year, but they were also informed that the corporation that owns the park (Premier Parks) has been looking for buyers for some time for Clementon Park, and while they’ve had a little interest, there have been no takers thus far. They also reported being told that since Premier Parks was unable to sell the park, “they had to let it go to bank ownership” which is expected to take place at the end of this month.
(9/20/19) Something is apparently not right with Clementon Park. Currently the park’s website says that they are closed for the season, where the park’s last day of operations was on Sept. 8th, 2019. However an odd new story surfaced the other day about a family who had bought tickets online weeks ago for a special priced last-day of the season “Appreciation Day” event set for Sunday, Sept. 15th. Guests who bought tickets and traveled to the park were met with a closed sign and security guards telling them that the park was closed for the season.
While I’m unable to pull up any kind of previous operational calendar that may have been posted earlier this year, I’ve heard elsewhere that the park normally used to run their season into late September or even October in years past, so this early closing is already a bit strange.
Today I received a report from an anonymous source that telling us that on Monday park owner Kieran Burke arrived on site and gathered all of the park’s year-round Full-Time staff and informed everyone that they were being let go, and final checks were handed out. According to this source, at the start of the season the park’s schedule had them open as late as October 19th, but that date was suddenly pushed up just a few weeks ago.
And while the Clementon Park website is still up and running, the park’s Twitter account has suddenly been changed to a “protected” status, where only those approved can see their tweets. The park’s Instagram account has officially been closed/removed, and even the park’s Facebook page appears to have been deleted.
For all intents and purposes, Clementon Park appears to be NO MORE. But is it closed for good? Or perhaps we have to ask if the park in the middle of being sold to a new owner… or even a land developer? The fact that the website isn’t even trying to sell 2020 Season Passes really is telling. If anyone knows more about what is going on, please let us know.
2021 - Reopening Plans - (4/10/21) There is a lot that will need to happen in order to reopen all or some of Clementon Park for the 2021 season, especially after it sad closed for all of 2020, but the plan right now is to reopen what they can in time for Memorial Day Weekend. Stay tuned!