Joyland property sold at auction

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

As the bids for the Joyland Amusement Park property’s future were made, Margaret Spear couldn’t help thinking about the past. She and her family owned the land, and even now she still treasures every moment.

“I have memories of it, I went to work here when I was 15,” she said. “I met my first husband here, I have many, many happy thoughts about it.”

The park opened in 1949 and at the time was said to be the largest amusement park in the region. But in 2006 it closed and never re-opened. The site of sky-high roller coasters and rides are now mostly torn down piles of rubble – existing structures suffered graffiti vandalism.

So a group of potential buyers spent the day bidding with their own plans for Joyland.

An anonymous buyer ultimately put the most money on the table, offering to buy the 57-acre site for a total of $198,000.

“The next chapter is certainly something that the family today is excited to see,” said Braden McCurdy, CEO and Auctioneer of McCurdy Auction. “To see the property get back into the hands of someone with new vision and new opportunity for the property here.”

The bidder asked to stay anonymous, at least for now. Public records of the purchase will be made available when the deed for the property closes in the next 30 days. By then, we may also know more about plans for the area. Right now it’s zoned mostly for single homes with a small corner zoned for commercial use.

“The property does have a mixed-use zoning, and there is some commercial,” McCurdy said. “There is some commercial, there’s quite a bit of single-family zoning.”

While the new owners are looking to the future, the previous owners couldn’t help thinking about the past one final time.

“It’s not good to see it sit here like this,” Spear said. “Somebody needs to do something with it.”

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