Sunday, April 18, 2021

New Jersey’s Clementon Park up for auction March 23

Are you ready to buy an amusement park? Capital Recovery Group is handling the sale.

The once-popular Clementon Park hits the auction block on March 23, 2021. The amusement park, founded in 1907, was a traditional park located in Clementon, New Jersey (not far from Camden, NJ). Since the 1970s the park has cycled through several owners, most recently Premier Parks. Clementon Park closed unexpectedly in 2019 and subsequently went into receivership. Capital Recovery Group (CRG) is handling the auction, which is being held virtually. It is set up to allow for a single buyer to purchase the entire property or have rides, attractions and equipment sold individually. InPark spoke with CRG president Bill Firestone about the opportunity the auction presents.

Bill Firestone

What experience does CRG have selling properties like Clementon Park?

We have had lots of experience in the entertainment field, including rental centers with inflatables, rides from carnivals, real estate similar to the size and scope of Clementon, movie theaters, and even a Houdini memorabilia auction. However, entire parks like this don’t come up for auction often and this is a unique opportunity to buy/sell a park like this.

How will the auction be conducted differently this year?

This auction will be handled completely online. If COVID-19 were not a threat we would have had the auction live on site and in person. Bidders can register online in advance and we will conduct bidding exclusively in online forums.

What advice do you have for bidders?

The best advice is to make sure your due diligence is done so you can feel comfortable preparing your highest and best bid during the sale. We have been organizing in-person inspections and visits, so with those opportunities we believe that the proper diligence can be done and people can put their best bid forward.

The Hellcat roller coaster at Clementon Park

What interest have you received on the property so far?

We have received a lot of inquiries and have spoken with quite a few interested parties. Several groups are interested in re-opening the park. Some real estate developers are interested in purchasing the land. Other operators have shown interest in purchasing individual rides and equipment.

What’s your best guess as to what will happen with the park?

If I had a crystal ball I would be in a different business, so I can’t really make that projection. However, I will say that there has been considerable interest from groups who want to continue amusement park operations.

Shipwreck Bay play structure at Clementon Park

Any parting thoughts?

Interested bidders should come and view the property. As I mentioned, a park like this isn’t available often, so now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity.

If you are not in a position to bid and someone does buy it in its entirety then please come and enjoy the park when it opens up again. The park and its new owners will appreciate your support.

More information on the park auction is available online.

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, CNN.com and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

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