Monday, April 15, 2024

Future of Clementon Park becoming clear; park sold to owner of Indiana Beach

  • UPDATE: March 25, 2021: The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that Indiana Park Holdings LLC has purchased Clementon Park and plans to reopen the park later this year. Indiana Park Holdings purchased the then-closed Indiana Beach (Monticello, Indiana) and reopened it last year.
  • The park was sold at auction on March 23, 2021
  • A single bidder won the auction for the entire park with a $2.37 million bid.

During an online auction on March 23, 2021, Clementon Park was sold to a single bidder for $2.37 million. The identity of the buyer remains unknown. [March 25, 2021 UPDATE: The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the owner of Indiana Beach has purchased the park and intends to reopen it later this year.]

The process for the auction involved an initial bid for the entire property, including all real estate and assets. After some initial confusion surrounding who was eligible to bid for the entire lot, it was determined there was only one eligible bidder and they were given the option to adjust their bid.

Once their bid was set at $2.37m the auction continued through the park’s 250+ lots of property, including everything from the park’s Hell Cat roller coaster to turnstiles, picnic benches, and themed statues.

The auctioneer explained that each individual lot would be sold provisionally. The collective price of all the individual lot bids would be presented to the park owner (currently in receivership after Premier Parks defaulted on the property) and they would have the option of choosing the “highest and best offer.” The auctioneer’s implication: were the collective value of the individual lot bids higher than $2.37m the receiver would choose to honor the individual bids and effectively liquidate the park.

As IPM learned, in auctioneer parlance this refers to “breaking the bulk.” The bulk is the bid price for the entire property. Breaking the bulk means the individual lot bids exceed that bulk bid price, making a piecemeal sale more valuable to the seller.

Nearly three hours of individual lot auctions saw a wide range of interest. The park’s largest roller coaster, Hell Cat, was provisionally sold for $5,000. Ring of Fire provisionally fetched $100,000. The park’s log flume ride attracted no bidders.

At the end of the individual lot auction, the auctioneer consulted with the park receiver and attorneys before announcing that, pursuant to the rules and regulations of the auction, the entire lot would be sold to the single bidder for $2.37 million (plus additional fees and taxes).

Shortly thereafter, IPM received word from Fresh Development LLC founder Melvin Brown Jr. that his group was not behind the winning bid. According to Brown, some last-minute investor issues complicated and ultimately derailed their bid. Brown also indicated from his sources that the successful bidder intended to reopen the facility as an amusement park, though that remains unconfirmed.

As with any transaction of this size and complexity, much remains uncertain. InPark will continue to report and update as we learn more about Clementon Park’s future.

Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki owns and publishes InPark Magazine. Started in 2004, InPark Magazine provides owners and operators the perspective from "in"side the "park." Martin has also written for publications like Sound & Communications, Lighting & Sound America, Attractions Management and others. Martin has been featured in Time Magazine, and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

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