While we don’t have the details, the Clementon Park website has announced they will be opening THIS Memorial Day Weekend!
They small website commentary also adds that a new website is coming, and tickets will be available soon.
Literally that’s all we know!
If you weren’t aware, Clementon Park closed at the end of the 2019 season without any mention from the owners if they were coming back.
It’s fate remained unknown through all of 2020.
In February of this year, 42freeway was the first to learn that Clementon Park was headed to auction.
There was real fear that that park would be sold in parts.. the land redeveloped.
But the best possible outcome came out of the auction… someone purchased the entire property, and had plans of reopening it!
And that owner was Gene Staples, who just a year ago purchased another smaller local amusement park, Indian Beach (located between Chicago and Indianapolis).
In an April 9th article in the New York Times, it was reported that the new owner (Gene Staples) was preparing to open the park by Memorial Day weekend:
On a bright, warm Saturday, four days after the auction, Mr. Staples was at Clementon Park’s front gate, accompanied by two of his four children, Eiam, 14, and Isabella, 17. He was there to make a list — a long, long list, it turns out — of things that need to be done in order to have the park up and running by Memorial Day.
Mr Staples loves the classic neighborhood theme parks, and just last year jumped both feet into the industry waters by purchasing Indiana Beach park… which despite impacts from Covid restrictions has already proven to be successful and profitable.
Commenting about his first visit to Clementon Park ahead of the recent auction, Mr Staples said:
“The minute I saw it in person, I knew we needed to do it. I’ve never been there before, but it reminded me of where I grew up.”
If you haven’t read the New York Times article.. it truly is a wonderful piece of writing, covering the history, love and heartbreak of Clementon Park.
And it really hits home because it was written by Kate Morgan, who grew up in Clementon and basically spent her childhood living inside the gates of the park.
In the article, Kate was able to capture Mr Staples’ thoughts on these old parks…
- He took in the old bathhouse, its peeling paint and broken windows, and noted they’d have to find some worthy use for a building so special.
- The log ride, built over the lake in the 1980s and in need of serious work, he called “amazing.” It’s a priority, he said, to have it running this summer.
- In the dry stretch of grass where the Jack Rabbit stood, he asked about its hills and turns, wondering aloud whether it might be rebuilt.
“It’s a living, breathing thing,” he said. “That’s what will survive generation to generation. For now, we’re just the caretakers.”
It seems Clementon, the Park, and South Jersey have won the lottery with Mr Staples.
If we were writing this as a movie script, we couldn’t have done it better.