IRM tapped by Joyland Park to find homes for rides and equipment

By | May 18, 2023

LUBBOCK, Texas — Joyland Park, Lubbock Texas closed for the season in September 2022 with intentions to reopen with a new owner. During the holiday season, the deal was not fulfilled, and Joyland owners, with retirement underway, were faced with a turnkey park filled with supplies and equipment.

International Rides Management was selected to liquidate the park and find good homes for the rides so Joyland would ‘live on’ and provide fun to families elsewhere.  Samuel Shurgott, President of IRM went on to comment “The first decision we made as a company came from one of the IRM team members, and that was to call this a ‘retirement’ vs. a liquidation. Liquidation indicates an end of the line fire sale, which was not the goal. Springtime is harder to sale rides, but not impossible. We only had a handful of portable rides, so we were not competing with the upcoming Gibtown Show. We had to find parks and convince them they needed more equipment.”.

Find parks they did. Sam tasked the team, who met regularly in early January to form a plan, and the team went ‘off the IAAPA grid’ so to speak. They found parks and facilities/attraction using several methods, and it paid off. Also, IRM identified the often overlooked value of midway games and other items including park benches, picnic tables, and food equipment. “Once we had a buyer onsite, we showed them other items that they could use’. Buyers took advantage of many if these items.

“Working with David and Kristi Dean has been both a ‘Joy’ and very smooth. I have been to Joyland many times, and had well over 300+ photos. My team was able to re-load our website with file photos and we were ready for email blasts.” Early January IRM sent out their first emails late at night and by early next morning Playland in Ocean City NJ and Indiana Beach Holdings had claimed equipment and events moved forward each day.

IRM was onsite in February hosting many premier clients including Indiana Beach Holdings, Fun Spot Theme Parks, some of those ‘off the grid’ parks, several other family owned park owners, and IRM’s European Partner Martin Meijer. “If you like Tex-Mex cuisine, or a real steak dinner, we did business!” With a park being in business for 50 years, you have lots of ‘back of the house items” accumulated.

Fast forward to May, and Joyland will live on as many rides already have been removed and loads of equipment have arrived at new homes. Sam added “I first met David’s father, James Dean at the September 1990 White Swan Park Auction in Pittsburgh when he purchased the Galaxi Coaster, which is available. I met David when he visited Wildwood in 1999, and Kristi when I first visited Joyland in 2014. “Family owned parks like Joyland are what makes the best in summertime fun and while I am sad this park is closing, we are honored to sell and place rides in many smaller parks and help them grow for future generations of visitors.  The Dean’s gave attention to this park that is lacking in many of the larger theme parks today. Guests were treated like family”.

The complete list of rides available will be available in the June 2023 issue of Amusement Today. AT will publish an exclusive list later this summer of what parks and facilities received Joyland rides and equipment.