2019 brings four new attractions to C.J. Barrymore’s in Michigan

AT: Pam Sherborne

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Rick Iceberg, owner, C.J. Barrymore’s Entertainment, realizes his attraction facility is morphing, but currently he has no name for what it is becoming. Nor does having a branding name really matter to him right now. What does matter is that the new attractions he put into his park this year have been a tremendous hit. 

Greeting guests this season are a 110-foot-tall Lamberink wheel, a brand new SBF-Visa spinning coaster and a 120-foot-tall, two-ride combo tower with a saddle sling on one side and a four-person seated drop ride on the other from Soaring Eagle

“I feel like we are a step up from a family entertainment center, but we aren’t big enough to be an amusement park,” Iceberg said. “I guess we are sort of a hybrid.”

Iceberg said there has been about $5 million spent in park investments over the last two years adding to the facility that already offered a variety of indoor and outdoor attractions. There is a 36-hole miniature golf course, three different go-kart tracks, rock climbing wall, Euro Bungy, bumper boats and a Soaring Eagle Zipline. 

There is 50,000-square-feet of indoor space with bowling, a golf dome, bumper cars, laser tag and 100 arcade games. 

Two years ago when Iceberg installed the Soaring Eagle Zipline, he realized the attraction gave the park a new feeling and dimension because of its height. 

“That was when we realized the high up thing was really good for us,” he said. “We realized the high stuff not only entertains the riders but also the people on the ground.” 

Iceberg has spent some time looking at attraction options, but didn’t want to move too quickly since he didn’t know what his market could sustain. It just seemed it all came together for the 2019 season. 

First of all, Stan Checketts decided to bring in the Soaring Eagle tower. 

“He owns it,” Iceberg said. 

Then Len Soled, Rides 4 U, called Iceberg and said he had a brand new spinning coaster that would be great for his park.

“I had been looking for one for about four years,” Iceberg said. “I really liked the spinning coaster, because of the footprint size and the fact it hits a really cool market. We have all ages of riders on that thing. I put our staff on it and they were yelling and screaming and having a really good time.”

Iceberg also had been looking to purchase a wheel for quite some time. 

“I just needed to get a good deal on one,” he said. 

As fate would have it, he received another call from Soled. 

“He told me that Bill Prescott, owner of Broadway at the Beach in Myrtle Beach, had just purchased a new 150-foot-tall Lamberink wheel and needed to move his 110-foot-tall wheel,” Iceberg said. “Len said I think you really need to look at this one. I did and I got a deal on it that I just couldn’t refuse. It was only about a year old.” 

 So, four new rides for 2019 and Iceberg said he couldn’t be happier with the way the new rides are performed great. 

“They have really transformed our facility,” he said. “We positioned the new rides in three corners of our lot. You can see the wheel from the road and it looks great with the lights. “

Iceberg said park additions and improvements for 2019 didn’t end there. He brought in two new Mini Melt locations and “they have been great hits.”

“We added new concessions and food stands,” he said. “We added a new maintenance garage. It has giving our workers plenty of heated and air conditioned spaces in which to work. I have some great people working here and I just couldn’t have done any of this without them.”

C.J. Barrymore’s started out as a driving range by Iceberg’s father, Roy Iceberg. He and his brother, Jim Iceberg, worked alongside their dad. Over the years, Iceberg’s brother decided on another endeavor. Iceberg does have two partners, Bob Breitmeyer and David Dalpizzol. 

“David started out here as a bus boy,” Iceberg said. “He has been a partner for the past 10 years.”

Iceberg said there are about 50 full time employees at the attraction. That increases to 350 during the operating season.

“I have about 10 managers and they are great,” he said. “My head mechanic, Wayne Clor, has been with me for about 10 to 12 years. He spent seven days a week here for six months to get everything up and running for the 2019 season. I couldn’t have done it without him.”


This article appears in the JULY 2019 issue of Amusement Today.
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