Arnolds Park near Lake Okoboji in Iowa is getting ready for a big renovation project. The Board of Directors of Historic Arnolds Park made the announcement they are planning on a $12-million makeover for some areas of the park. Officials say a group of donors stepped forward and pledged a matching grant of up to $6-million. About $2-million has already been collected.
Funds will be used for additional parking and restrooms. That will be followed by the restoration and expansion of the pavilion. Plans also include expanding the Maritime Museum and recreating the original the Roof Garden Ballroom. They also plan to add a boardwalk near the lake. They will also have to update sewer and electrical systems and install fiber optic lines for the rides.
The 128 year old park almost closed in 1999 when developers wanted to demolish it. That is when the "Save the Park" committee worked to prevent that from happening. The next step was to return the park to its former glory. Many people have fond memories of riding The Legend wooden roller coaster. Millions of dollars have been spent to repair and restore the coaster that was built in 1927. It is the 13th oldest wooden roller coaster in the world.