Rocky Point Amusement Park

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Rocky Point Park
Ferris Wheel, Rocky Point, RI.jpg
SloganWe've Got Your Summer at Rocky Point
LocationWarwick, Rhode Island, United States
Opened1847
Closed1995
Operating seasonMemorial Day Weekend thru mid-September
Rides
Totalunknown
Roller coasters1
Water rides1
 
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Coordinates: 41°41′21″N 71°22′03″W / 41.68917°N 71.3675°W / 41.68917; -71.3675

Rocky Point Park
Ferris Wheel, Rocky Point, RI.jpg
SloganWe've Got Your Summer at Rocky Point
LocationWarwick, Rhode Island, United States
Opened1847
Closed1995
Operating seasonMemorial Day Weekend thru mid-September
Rides
Totalunknown
Roller coasters1
Water rides1

Rocky Point Park was a highly popular amusement park on the Narragansett Bay side of Warwick, Rhode Island. It operated from the late 1840s until it closed in 1995. The following year, the park filed for bankruptcy.

Contents

History

Rocky Point Park was an idea first thought of by Captain William Winslow in the 1840s. By 1847, he had purchased a portion of the land and began to offer amusements and serve dinner.

From the 1950s through the mid 1990s, Rocky Point Park was one of the most popular attractions in Rhode Island. It featured rides such as the Skyliner, Corkscrew Loop Roller Coaster, Log Flume, and the Freefall (similar to the identically named ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain), which fell 13 stories at 55 mph (89 km/h). It also featured the Shore Dinner Hall, famous for its clamcakes, steamers, lobsters, and New England Clam Chowder, which seated over 4,000 patrons at a time.[1]

Final years

In the early 1990s, Rocky Point's financial situation became shaky. The privately held company that owned the park began to lose money as it attempted to keep the park up to date. Critics accused the company's shareholders of trying to wring every last penny out of the park. Rocky Point closed in 1995, then reopened briefly in 1996 as a farewell to patrons. Rides such as the Flume and Corkscrew were sold in an auction and are now in use at other amusement parks.[2]

Records filed with the Federal Bankruptcy Court in Worcester, Massachusetts state:[citation needed]

These facts were published by The Providence Journal[citation needed] and the Warwick Beacon[citation needed] during the bankruptcy periods of 1995-1997.

Post-business era, vandalism

After the Rocky Point land was purchased for $8.5 million in 2003, the park's main building, known as the "Big House", was hit by vandals who lit it on fire on September 2, 2004. Police said the fire was suspicious, because the building had no electricity at the time.

Another fire started on October 16, 2006 around 11 a.m., this time in an executive building on the waterfront. Smoke could be seen billowing up more than 2,000 feet (610 m) in the air from miles away. Police reported no injuries in either fire. It is unclear if this fire was caused by arson.

On May 7, 2007, demolition of the remaining midway officially began with a press conference at the park. Prior to this, a handful of stands and minor buildings had already been demolished.[3]

On September 7, 2007, a documentary film about the park, You Must Be This Tall: The Story of Rocky Point Park, had its world premiere at the Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The film garnered a five-star review from The Providence Journal and played to a sold out crowd of 1,100 people.[4]

In February 2008, the city of Warwick secured a federal grant to purchase about half of the 82 acres (33 ha) remaining Rocky Point Park, including much of the view of the bay.[5] The city officially took title to 41 acres (170,000 m2) shoreline of the former park in August 2008.[6]

On November 2, 2010, a ballot proposal passed to issue state funding to "acquire the title to land in and around what used to be Rocky Point Park to establish the land as a public park."[7]

On September 17, 2012, the Small Business Administration accepted the state's offer to purchase the Rocky Point property to be developed into a State Park.[8]

The Re-opening

On June 25, 2011 Rocky Point was once again opened to the public and features a new asphalt mile long walking path along the shore of Narragansett Bay [9] although much of the area of the original amusement park itself is still fenced off and closed to the public, including the Shore Dinner Hall.

References

External links

See also