Joyland Park saved! — Two local business couples agree to acquire Lubbock park

By | October 21, 2022

LUBBOCK, Texas — Joyland Park’s owners, David and Kristi Dean have announced that the family-owned traditional amusement park will stay open thanks to two local business couples stepping up to make sure the fun continues.

Jim and Kai Evans and Darryl and Stephanie Holland, both Lubbock couples, have agreed in principle to acquire the park.

“We are so excited that the Evans and Holland families will continue to make Joyland a family-friendly amusement park for years to come, said Joyland’s David Dean.

To help ensure a smooth transition, the Deans will stay active in the park through the 2023 operating season.

Kai Evans said, “We are excited about continuing the Legacy of Joyland and are thankful to have the Dean’s help to guide us through the first season.”

Darry Holland added,” Our combined experience in preserving and promoting legacy businesses in Lubbock is key to this effort to save a landmark that stretches back to its original opening in 1948.

Joyland Amusement Park is located on leased land in the city-owned Mackenzie City Park and operates under a lease agreement with the City of Lubbock. No details on the park sale or on the terms of the lease were disclosed.

The park has been recently listed in amusement publications for Auction, scheduled for October 27, 2022, with Norton Auctioneers of Michigan. The auction was canceled in early October to keep the park together.

Joyland Park originally opened in 1948 as Mackenzie Park Playground and was later known as Whit’s Playground before taking the current name of Joyland Amusement Park. It saw multiple ownerships before being sold by Bill Plummer to James and Katie Dean in May 1973 who expanded the park with bigger rides and roller coasters. After the passing of both parents, David and his wife Kristi took over ownership of the park and continued to add bigger and newer rides. Today the park spans 16 acres, features 30 rides and attractions, employs eight full-time employees, and provides jobs for more than 125 seasonal high school and college workers each summer.

The park is best know for relocating/saving the Musik Express and SkyGlider skyride, both from Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park; the popular Galaxi Coaster from White Swan Park; and continues operating their Allan Herschell Company train ride from Wonderland Amusement Park.