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Bay Beach lays new tracks for the future

Bay Beach Amusement Park's original Ferris wheel (WBAY file)
Bay Beach Amusement Park's original Ferris wheel (WBAY file)(WBAY)
Published: Mar. 27, 2018 at 8:52 PM CDT
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The countdown is underway for Bay Beach Amusement Park to open for the season.

This year, visitors can expect to see some new additions to our favorite amusement park.

"We open May 5th, so that's coming up really quickly," park manager Jason Arnoldi said.

Bay Beach looks like a ghost town today, but in just over a month it will be transformed.

"We're constructing a westbound train that will bring riders underneath the Zippin Pippin and then back around it, and it will be kind of a really cool experience there," Arnoldi said.

The train ride under the roller-coaster was in the planning stage since 2008. In addition to that, construction is underway on a new, larger concession stand to help keep lines short.

Last season, Bay Beach saw 3.5 million visitors.

All those ticket sales and concession purchases are helping to fund the coming updates.

"These projects are being paid for by profits from Bay Beach and then also by some donations from the Friends of Bay Beach, which is a group that's raising $5 million to help build out the park. No taxpayer money goes out to the projects here, which is great, we're completely self-sustaining," Arnoldi said.

The new train track and concession stand this year follow the addition of the Falling Star last year and the Bay Beast and Rockin' Tug the year before.

They're all part of a $20 million master plan to revamp Bay Beach and keep riders coming back for more.

Future updates include a new, bigger Ferris wheel that will likely be added to the park in 2019, and later restoring Bay Beach with a sand beach and boardwalk.

"By being able to reinvest our profits in the park, we can continue this growth and really build out the master plan and keep making this park better and better."

City officials say ticket prices will remain the same -- 25 cents -- until construction on this master plan is complete, likely finishing up over the next decade.

"We hope it still keeps that same family feel to the park. That's our main goal is to keep it affordable for everyone and that everyone that wants to come visit in the community."

Bay Beach Amusement Park ride history

2019 and beyond

  • Larger Ferris wheel
  • Sand beach
  • Boardwalk

2018

  • Westbound train
  • Larger concession stand

2017

  • Falling Star

2016

  • Bay Beast
  • Rockin' Tug

2013

  • Sea Dragon

2011

  • Zippin Pippin

2009

  • Chairplane (kiddie ride)

1998

  • Granny Bugs (kiddie ride)
  • Race Cars (kiddie ride)
  • Sky Fighters (kiddie ride)

1996

  • Yo-Yo chair swings

1993

  • Bumper Cars

1985

  • Scat

1982

  • Tilt-a-Whirl

1977

  • Scrambler
  • Lady Bugs (kiddie ride)

1972

  • Boats (kiddie ride)
  • Jeeps (kiddie ride)

1971

  • Merry-go-Round
  • Giant slide

1964

  • Helicopters (kiddie ride)

1956

  • Bay Beach train

1952

  • Ferris wheel

Source: Bay Beach Amusement Park

 

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