MONTICELLO — With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, amusement and water parks won’t be able to legally open to full capacity until July 4.
Indiana Beach, however, is planning a opening of sorts June 26 — a VIP grand opening — the day before the entire park comes back to life for the public.
But the only way to get in the door for the June 26 VIP event is to invest some cash beforehand by purchasing a brick or a special VIP package plan.
Ok...so some of y'all know the new website launched today. AMAZING support is crashing the site some. HOWEVER, you may have heard of a VIP Party tentatively 6/26...and the only way to get tickets is through the Paver Initiative. Secret backdoor link!https://t.co/elQNrax35v— Indiana Beach (@IndianaBeach) May 12, 2020
It’s all part of Indiana Beach’s reopening plans for 2020. The bricks are part of a plan by Indiana Beach Holdings LLC – the new owners of the park – to build excitement for IB’s upcoming 100th anniversary in 2026.
The project titled “Road to 100 Years” is a fundraising effort by new owner and CEO Gene Staples that will aid in infrastructure and campground improvements. Purchasing a 4-inch by 8-inch brick for the Brick Paver Campaign, as it is called, will become the literal foundation of Indiana Beach.
“This is a community effort and we look forward to paving our way to 100 years with you and your families,” Indiana Beach’s newly redesigned website states.
Two packages are available: One 4-by-8 brick for $75 or one brick and VIP package for $169. The VIP package includes two tickets to the June 26 event, ability to see the park before anyone else, live music and entertainment, rides, walk the boardwalk, and other activities.
The websites states that people who cannot attend the VIP event can still support the brick paving initiative as all purchased bricks will “forever” be a part of Indiana Beach’s legacy.
People can also purchase a commemorative brick for $30 as a keepsake. The brick comes with a felt backing.
It is unclear if people will be able to inscribe text on the bricks, although that has usually been the case in other fundraisers involving bricks, including those at Constitution Plaza next to the White County Building in Monticello.
The website states that space for the VIP event “will be EXTREMELY’ limited.” Visit https://t.co/elQNrax35v and fill out the online form to get started.
Indiana Beach will be legally allowed to reopen to the public in accordance with Gov. Eric Holcomb’s “Back on Track Indiana” plan to reopen the state’s economy. The state will then be in Stage 4 of the plan, which starts June 14 and allows for amusement and water parks to reopen at 50% percent capacity using a reservation system to limit the number of guests inside the park at any one time.
The 94-year-old amusement and water park resort’s future seemed doomed Feb. 18 when Indiana Beach’s former owner, Apex Parks Group, announced it was permanently closing the facility because of financial reasons.
Staples, during a recent White County Commission meeting, said he had expressed interest in buying the park shortly after the closure announcement and was able to put together a deal in early April to buy it and keep it open.
White County helped with the endeavor, officially giving Staples and Indiana Beach Holdings LLC a $3 million loan on May 11, which may be entirely forgiven should the park continue operations and meet other benchmarks through Sept. 1, 2025.
Staples could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.