The Twin Lakes region in Monticello Indiana was shocked Tuesday when the California-based owner of Indiana Beach told community leaders the amusement park, open for nearly 100 years, would close.
“We didn’t see this coming at all,” Randy Mitchell, White County economic development director, said Tuesday afternoon.
That morning, Mitchell had met with White County commissioners and council members, to relay word that things were going well for the amusement park tucked along Lake Shafer, about 30 miles north of Lafayette. That was based on reports Mitchell said he received from Gary Fawks, the local manager of Indiana Beach.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mitchell said he met with Gregg Borman, senior vice president of operations for Apex, who told him that the company was closing Indiana Beach and three other amusement parks it owns across the country because of financial reasons.
California-based Apex Parks Group bought Indiana Beach in 2015 from Morgan Recreation Vacations of Sarasota, New York. Morgan Recreation Vacations
Apex’s purchase of Indiana Beach marked just the second change the park's ownership after the founding Spackman family sold it to Morgan. The sale included the amusement park, its campgrounds and hotel about 30 miles north of Lafayette.
Earl Spackman opened the amusement park in 1926. He initially called it Ideal Beach.
The park grew over the years as a place to lounge on the beach, go on the rides and attend big name concerts. In the 1940s, Spackman handed off the resort to his son, Thomas, who eventually changed the name to Indiana Beach.
Mitchell said he was told Apex would disassemble the rides this spring and take them to the company’s other nine parks in California and two parks in Florida.