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Americana Amusement Park Closed
Friday, January 7, 2000 12:00:00 AM - Monroe Ohio
By: Bill Schiering Monroe‘s Family Amusement Park closes its gates after 79 years of serving the public. Edgar Streifthau bought the land, built a lake and opened a swimming club called LeSourdsville Lake in 1921. Howard Berni bought the park and renamed it Americana Amusement Park in 1978. It has changed hands several times since then and finally ended up as property owned by Park River Corporation, Owners of Coney Island in Cincinnati. Attendance levels, while on the rise, did not meet projected goals and were cited as the official reason for closing the park. John Ellison, Park River employee and General Manager of the amusement park said, "Attendance did not grow to the numbers we needed, and we need those numbers to generate revenue. Rather than compromise on quality for our patrons, we decided to close." Park River Corporation has been pursuing buyers for the park since 1998. Several parties may be interested, but that is speculation at this point. Tickets for the 2000 season have already been sold and full refunds will be made available. The company is offering placement services for the 23 full time employees, most of which are local residents. They are being offered a "generous" severance package. Area residents were surprised by the announcement. The closing of the park will leave a gap in the entertainment industry in our area. It was a smaller, lower cost alternative to the bigger more expensive parks in the area. 1999 billboard campaign advertised it as an amusement park with no lines for the rides. I guess that rings true this summer. Americana will be issuing refunds to any patron who bought a 2000 season pass, a park spokesman said. The refund checks are generated automatically, and the park has a list of everyone who is supposed to receive refunds. The checks will be mailed out Monday, January 24th. If you do not receive a check by the first week in February you should contact Americana.
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