WHITE COUNTY — The almost century-old amusement park, Indiana Beach, is now closed.
White County Economic Development Director Randy Mitchell said the Monticello park is closed and they don’t have plans to reopen.
While the park might not be right here in our backyard, it’s been a place family’s all over the Midwest have visited for decades!
What once was a vibrant amusement park full of food, games and rides is now empty. Now the businesses and residents that thrived on the thousands of people that walked through the doors are struggling and worry that Monticello will soon become a ghost town.
When you drive up to the park, you see an empty parking lot, symbolizing the end of an era.
Indiana Beach amusement park was once a lively place where folks from all over the country visited.
“Michigan, Ohio, Chicago,” Kurt Keller, one resident said.
“There was just thousands and thousands of people,” Darrell Carr, a local business owner said.
And the town of Monticello thrived.
“Oh, when we were kids we lived out there. We just had a ball,” Keller said.
But once the family who owned it, sold it off to Morgan, residents tell me it went south.
“It just went downhill ever since,” Carr said.
“We lost a lot of business due to their mismanagement,” James Hayworth, a store owner said.
When Morgan sold it to Apex, many in town were hopeful.
“They did better,” Hayworth said.
“It had started to come back after apex took over,” Carr said.
But now the park is officially closed. Mitchell confirmed they don’t have plans to reopen, citing the closure was due to financial reasons after Apex Parks Group couldn’t find a buyer.
“It’s going to be real interesting to see where Monticello goes,” Keller said.
And businesses that thrive off of the influx of visitors are now asking, what’s next?
“What now? Total devastation that’s all it could be for this whole town,” Carr said.
Carr has owned Neon Bay Resort and Hotel for 14 years, but now he doesn’t know what to do.
“I’ve got people who have already reserved rooms for the summer, well they’re going to be asking for their money back,” he said.
When asked about what his future is, he sounded doubtful
“There isn’t one with them closed. Absolutely nothing” he said.
All residents and business owners in town can do is hope for the revitalization of the park that made Monticello.
“I’m hoping that somehow somebody comes in and takes over, and they change their mind or do something to not totally close it because it would too hard of a blow on this community,” Carr said.
“I hope that somebody turns around and decides just how important that Indiana beach area really is to this community and they purchase it and do with it was intended. To make money I know that but also to give back to this community,” Keller said.