Rally Capital Advisors, a middle market financial and transaction advisory firm based in Chicago, IL, has successfully sold Clementon Amusement Park and Splashworld to Chicago-based real estate broker Gene Staples. Clementon is a 113-year-old 52-acre amusement park and water park located on a spring-fed lake between Philadelphia, PA, and Atlantic City, NJ.
Founded by Theodore Gibbs and his two sons in 1907 as one of the nation’s “trolley parks,” Clementon was built at the end of a trolley line to encourage ridership during the weekends and to provide amusements for residents of nearby Philadelphia and surrounding communities. Clementon was family-run until 2011 when it was purchased by investment group Premier Parks, who then renamed it Clementon Park and Splash World in recognition of the addition of the water park.
Although the continuing COVID-19 pandemic created numerous difficulties for a sale of this type of asset, 300 prospective bidders registered to participate in the sale. Staples successfully bid on the entire park as a single lot which included the amusement and water park rides and attractions, the real estate and full liquor license.
“It is an honor to be linked to a historic piece of American history,” said Howard Samuels who has served as court appointed Receiver for more than 30 years on a wide variety of businesses and real estate matters throughout the country. Samuels added, “Not many of these vintage amusement park properties exist anymore and I am pleased that this park has a chance to re-open and treat generations for years to come.”
The sale to Staples was approved by the Court on March 24, 2021, and closed on April 30, 2021, and the Receiver was subsequently discharged. Staples plans on a summer 2021 opening for Clementon.