Here’s What Could Replace Joyland in Mackenzie Park
Joyland Amusement Park is no longer where the fun is. Owners of the park shocked Lubbock on Monday when they announced that after 50 years, the amusement park would be closing.
So what's next for Joyland and the property it sits on? Here are some ideas of what we could see in Mackenzie Park in the future where Joyland currently stands.
1. Another Amusement Park
I don't know how much it costs to own and operate an amusement park, but I'm guessing, in order to do it right, it costs some money. As Wes Nessman points out, losing Joyland stinks for the local economy and for kids who like to have fun at the park. There isn't much in Lubbock that can replace it.
That being said, the park floods, people have been breaking in and vandalizing the property, and many of the rides are older and dated. That means if someone were to re-open the park, they would have to drop serious money into improving things and making the park better than ever. Is it even worth it to try? You don't see many amusement parks in mid to small-sized cities. Even the big guys have trouble. Don't forget that Six Flags had declared bankruptcy in 2009.
2. A New Skate Park
Let's say the rides are sold at auction and now there's just a bunch of empty land at the former Joyland site. What now?
In the past, members of the Lubbock City Council have talked about a desire to see another skate park in Lubbock. One has been talked about in southwest Lubbock, but what about at the old Joyland site? There's already a parking lot and places for restrooms. The city would just need to get creative about designing a skate park.
3. Dirt Bike Park
Golfers would probably hate this idea and the land may not even be large enough, but across the state of Texas motor sports parks are allowing bikers and other off-road vehicles a chance to have some fun.
4. An Expanded South Plains Fairground
Does the South Plains Fairgrounds need anymore space? Probably not and there would have to be some type of pedestrian bridge or transportation used to get people from the Joyland location to the main fairgrounds. This one seems like a stretch.
5. Informational Site and Park Land
How many people in Lubbock know the history of Mackenzie Park? Did you know there are markers throughout the park with information on the history of the area? Lubbock could create a dedicated site where citizens and visitors could go to learn the history of the area and of Lubbock.
6. Private Business
The City of Lubbock could lease the land to a private business that could come in a sell things like bait for those wanting to fish, golf clubs, frisbee golf materials, etc. Of course, they would have to do something about the crime and the flooding that plague the area.
7. Spirit Halloween Outdoor Location
Let's be honest: anytime a major business shuts down in Lubbock, Spirit Halloween is there to bring it back to life. The problem with most of these locations is that they can get cramped. Now, imagine shopping outdoors at the very first Spirit Halloween Outdoors Store. Hey, it could happen.
8. Just Goes Back to the Park
Another option, and probably the most likely possibility, is that Joyland's rides will be auctioned off and the site will be removed. In its place? Nothing. Nothing but park land.
What do you think will come of the Joyland site?