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June 13, 2014

Indiana Beach to continue growing

Amusement park to celebrate 88th anniversary with birthday events

MONTICELLO — About six years into new ownership that followed decades of leadership from a local family, Indiana Beach isn’t burying its head in its sand when it comes to the amusement park’s future as it prepares to celebrate its 88th anniversary this weekend, one employee says.

The Associated Press reported in December concerns regarding the park like layoffs of non-seasonal employees and the curtailing portfolio of the company that owns the park.

Morgan Recreation Vacations, out of Sarasota, N.Y., purchased the park in 2008 from the late Thomas Spackman, who took over in 1945 and changed its title to the one it bears today. Before that, the park was run by his father, Earl Spackman, who founded it as Ideal Beach in 1926.

“We aren’t burying our heads in the sand,” said Don Hurd, vice president of marketing for Indiana Beach. “We’re looking very positively and optimistic about this year and years to come. Some people don’t know the whole story — things behind the scenes to get the park up and running each year. There are a lot of moving parts to opening a park like we have at Indiana Beach.”

Contributing to the park’s continuing success is the addition of seven new rides this season, all catering to a variety of age groups and thrill-seeking temperaments, Hurd continued. Six were well received in the park’s opening weeks and he expects the same for The Viper when it is completed in the near future.

“The feedback from the park guests has been very positive,” Hurd said. “They really like all the new rides, especially the variety of rides. We have anywhere from real rides down to kiddie rides, and they really enjoy the variety we’ve added to the park.”

Indiana Beach will start its 88th anniversary this weekend at 2 p.m. Saturday by serving birthday cake and balloons to guests in Kiddie Land to celebrate the birthday of the park’s mascot, IB Crow.

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