MONTICELLO, Ind. — Just over a year ago, there was word that the Indiana Beach Amusement Resort would be closing for good. That’s when Chicagoan Gene Staples stepped up, bought the park and kept it open.
Now Indiana Beach is back open for a 95th year. The fan favorite amusement park has been a staple on Lake Shafer in Monticello, Indiana since it first opened in 1926. This will be the second year for Staples and his team, who were thrown right into the business in 2020 without a true off season to assess everything at the park.
We traveled to Indiana Beach earlier this week and talked with their Chief Marketing Officer Tom Crisci. He has been a colleague of Gene Staples for many years and agreed to come on board at Indiana Beach and help get the park running to its former glory. All off season they have been attempting to do just that — new paint is going up all over the boardwalk, there is a new train with a glowing paint job and more.
The park has also made a few new attraction acquisitions. Fans of the old Kiddieland amusement park in Melrose Park, Illinois may remember the Sea Warrior. The family ride was called Polyps back then. Indiana Beach purchased the attraction, repainted it and replaced all of the motors to get it back up and running. The park has also purchased a triple looping roller coaster from a park in Mexico, but it will not be ready until later this summer.
Since acquiring Indiana Beach, Gene Staples has purchased two more classic amusement parks out on the east coast. Will they continue to acquire new parks? We don’t know. Tom says they are focused on giving fans of Indiana Beach the best experience possible with more events — and yes — they have some ideas for new attractions that could be coming in the future.
You can find more information about Indiana Beach including the operating schedule and tickets at IndianaBeach.com.