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Indiana park operator buys Clementon Park for $2.3 million

The new owner's Indiana park, located on Lake Shafer in Monticello, is remarkably similar to Clementon’s experience.

Clementon Park in Camden County.
Clementon Park in Camden County.Read moreCapital Recovery Group

The owners of an Indiana amusement park purchased bankrupt Clementon Park and Splash World at auction Tuesday and vowed to continue operating the 114-year-old facility that shut down in 2019.

“They have indicated they plan to reopen later this year,” Bill Firestone, the president of Capital Recovery Group (CRG), which conducted the auction, said Wednesday.

Indiana Park Holdings LLC, which operates Indiana Beach Amusement and Water Park, paid $2.37 million for the 52-acre lakeside site in South Jersey, according to a CRG news release.

That price for the park in its entirety — its lake, liquor license and rides — surpassed the total bid by several other entities on Clementon’s individual assets, Firestone said.

A South Jersey-based group, Fresh Development LLC, was interested in the site and raised $3 million, but had to withdraw from the bidding.

“Unfortunately, we had a wire transfer of money that didn’t clear in time,” said Melvin Brown, Fresh Development’s founder. “It was a learning experience and we’re going to try to keep the momentum going.”

The recent history of the Indiana park, which is located on Lake Shafer in Monticello, about 90 miles from both Indianapolis to the south and Gary to the north, is remarkably similar to Clementon’s experience. It closed in 2020, and its then-operators said it would be shut permanently. But Indiana Beach Holdings purchased it and reopened the facility, with COVID-19 restrictions, in June.

With four water rides and 43 amusement rides, it is similarly sized to Clementon.

Clementon, one of the nation’s first trolley parks, debuted in 1907. It was family run until 2011 when it was sold to Premier Parks. It closed for financial reasons in September 2019.

Indiana Park Holdings did not immediately respond to a request for comment.