Indiana Beach

Indiana Beach could still reopen this year under new ownership.

An email Indiana Beach sent around March 13 is now raising a sense of optimism for the amusement park’s potential sale.

In it, the current owner of Indiana Beach — Apex Parks Group of Aliso Viejo, California — states that it is still seeking potential buyers and hopes the park will open this year.

“While the company has been in discussions with amusement park leaders, brokers and investors for more than a year, announcement of the park’s closing has sparked new interest,” according to a version of the letter posted on a Monticello-oriented Facebook page.

The Facebook user said she received the letter — dated March 13 — by email but didn’t respond to a request for comment on why she received the letter when others had not.

Further attempts to contact Apex have still gone unanswered.

Four days after the letter went out, White County officials approved a $3 million incentive that could go to anyone who buys that park. The letter has gotten more attention in media and around Indiana since the White County commissioners and council met jointly on March 17 to pass that resolution.

That coverage seems to have started with an article in a northwest Indiana newspaper that had a copy of the letter.

The part of the letter that sparked interest and renewed hope for a summer opening states, “Working together with City and County leaders, the company is hopeful that a suitable buyer will be identified and the park will be operational in 2020.”

The letter also promises that more information will be coming soon and asks for patience from campsite holders, season pass holders and the community.

Some have renewed rent on campsites and have continued to have campers and mobile homes parked on them, although the camp area is not open to visitors.

Shortly after the council and commissioners passed the $3 million resolution, rumors been circulating about a potential buyer with a sale set for the beginning of next month.

But government officials are not talking about anything concerning an Indiana Beach sale since the March 17 meeting. White County officials have not responded to attempts to contact them, including an email sent to White County Commissioner John Heimlich, White County Economic Development President Randy Mitchell and Monticello Mayor Cathy Gross.

County Councilwoman Jan Faker said, when reached by phone, that she couldn’t talk about the status of Indiana Beach because of a non-disclosure agreement and that others are also bound by the agreement.

Apex had announced on Feb. 18 that after a year’s attempt to find a buyer, Indiana Beach will not open this year.

The beach has been open since 1926, when the Spackman family started it as Ideal Beach. The Spackman family built into an amusement park over the years and sold it in February 2008 to Morgan RV LLC, which sold it to Apex on Sept. 1, 2015.

The money for the $3 million incentive for a possible buyer would come from the White County Windfarm Economic Development Fund, set up with contributions from windmill farms that moved into White County, and not taxpayers.

Reach James D. Wolf Jr. at james.wolf@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5117. Twitter: @JamesDWolfJr

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