MONTICELLO — Tens of thousands of people are pushing via an online petition to keep an iconic amusement park from permanently closing its doors.
As of 4:45 p.m. ET, almost 20,000 people had signed a petition on change.org to save Indiana Beach, the 94-year-old facility whose owners — Apex Parks Group of California — announced Tuesday afternoon that it was shuttering.
According to Amanda Mustafic, communications manager for change.org, Monticello resident Dustin Sprunger started the online petition shortly after Apex Parks Group announced it was planning to close Indiana Beach.
“Dustin hopes that by getting attention to the park's plight, someone may step up to buy it — and help the community it supports,” she said.
The petition states, “No more will the roar of the roller coasters be heard across Lake Shafer. It is a sad day in Monticello and White County. As the news broke that Indiana Beach will be closing its doors, our hearts are sad for our community. We all have fond memories of summers gone by dancing at the roof, screaming on the roller coasters, or floating the day away in the lazy river ... But maybe hope isn't gone just yet. Maybe, just maybe, someone out there can save our little jewel of a park. Let’s band together as a community, as we all have the same love for Indiana Beach, and sign this petition. Maybe someone will see how much Indiana Beach is loved and will save our park buy purchasing it!"
Beth Hellgeth, of DeMotte, wrote on the petition, “It’s a landmark. It’s been here for almost a century. Definitely worth saving.”
Corriey Kopka, of Wheatfield wrote, “I’ve been going to this amusement park since I was very little. … I love this park. It had many great rides and it should stay open so the next generations can enjoy and get the great rush that the rides give people so they can keep coming back for more enjoyment.”
The petition has attracted attention from across the country, from Seattle to Philadephia.
“It's a bucket list park. They have some great, unique rides in a beautiful setting,” wrote Joe Scott, of Seattle. “They also have one of the last few operating Schwarzkopf Jet Star roller coasters in the U.S. I'm dying to ride one again.”
Stephen Doutt, of Philadelphia, is a self-proclaimed roller coaster enthusiast who said he had plans to visit
“I have never been to Indiana Beach, so that is why this news is sad to me because I never got to experience this unique park,” he wrote. “If this park is ever miraculously saved, I will be there.”
Tommy Parker, of Crown Point, called it “a nostalgic staple of Indiana.”
Peter Cardilla, of Capitola, Calif., said Indiana Beach is a “wonderful” place.
“It's been important to me through my life and the centerpiece of the community for much longer,” he wrote. “A real loss will be suffered by all of us at the closing of that magical place.”
Others said they will miss a chance to continue a family tradition with the park’s closure.
“My entire extended family would spend our summers there and were planning on going this summer,” wrote Christine Ellis, of Indianapolis. “(We have) many memories that we would like to continue with the next generation.”
To read more comments or to sign the petition, visit https://bit.ly/2V9HOZa.