WICHITA, Kansas – A group formed with the hope of reopening Joyland Amusement Park at its current location has decided to disband.
Restore Hope Inc., also known as the Joyland Restoration Project, is a non-profit organization formed in 2011.
Their goal was to raise the necessary funds to where they could bring back the famed amusement park.
Joyland opened in 1949 and for 57 years was a staple in the Wichita community.
The park closed its gates in 2006 and the grounds have slowly deteriorated.
Park owner Margaret Nelson Spear said odds are the park will stayed closed.
“It’s a lot of money to keep it up, without any income, taxes are high, mowing is high,” said Spear.
Restore Hope Inc. spent three years taking in donations.
Altogether, they raised close to $10,500.
It was estimated that it would take millions of dollars to buy and renovate the park.
Now that the group has decided to dissolve, talks of where the donations would go has become the topic of discussion.
KSN reached out to Restore Inc. Vice President Glen Lang.
He says most of the donations will be put towards the restoration efforts of other groups.
Both Botanica and the Historic Preservation Alliance of Wichita and Sedgwick County currently have some artifacts that they purchased from the park.
Greg Kite, President of the Historic Preservation Alliance, says he commends the efforts of Restore Hope Inc. and is thankful they would think of his organization when looking to spread out the donations.
“Their efforts are our efforts and when sometimes those efforts or things don’t work out as we plan, than the best thing is a fall back maneuver,” said Kite.
Kite says hasn’t heard word yet if the donations will be split 50-50 between the Historic Preservation Alliance and Botanica.
He says whatever his organization receives from Restore Hope Inc. will be put towards the relocation and restoration of the items they’ve purchased from the park thus far.
Restore Hope Inc. is still trying to determine how they would handle donors who don’t want their money to go to either organization.