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|Pacific Park goes on the block
Santa Monica Daily Press
Original Article »
March 07, 2008
The owners of Pacific Park on Thursday announced plans to sell
the two-acre amusement park and its iconic Ferris Wheel for an
“(Selling) has always been the long-term plan
for the investors who funded the original construction of the park and
Santa Monica Police Department substation,” said Mary Ann Powell, chief
executive officer and general manager of Pacific Park, which opened in
“The Park has experienced steady revenue growth over the
last five years and has maintained a stellar safety record since
opening,” Powell added. “This is an optimal time to seek out potential
According to Pacific Park’s Web site, www.pacpark.com,
it is the only amusement park on the West Coast to be located on a
pier. It’s solar-powered Ferris Wheel, the first in the nation, has
become a familiar sight, being featured in commercials, movies and
television shows. The park also boasts a steel roller coaster that
rises 55 feet above the ocean.
Pacific Park’s investment group
has been together for more than 11 years and has actively weighed
options and opportunities to enhance Pacific Park’s profile in the
market and maximize entertainment value with a commitment to family,
fun and community, Powell said.
Pacific Park is currently
investing over $1.5 million in an all-new Ferris Wheel and has
re-invested over $10 million in capital improvements since opening day.
investors are committed to supporting Pacific Park’s management with
the intention to sell to someone who will continue running the park in
the same manner as it is today. They have also been supportive of
management and its active involvement in the community and support of
charities and non-profits, Powell said.
The current investors
are not park operators and entered into the investment with the
expectation of selling the business when appropriate. The investors
have always made their intentions clear to management, Powell said.
Park’s management and its investors remain dedicated to the venture and
the community and recognize the Santa Monica Pier as a city treasure
and share in the community pride and affection for the historic
landmark, Powell said.
Misti Kerns, president and CEO of the
Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau, hopes that whomever buys
the park will continue to operate it in the same manner as it is today
and possibly expand it to include more attractions for visitors.
definitely like it,” Kerns said. “It offers a very different amusement
park type of experience. You aren’t waiting in line for 45 minutes to
ride anything. They certainly round out the pier experience.”
Mack, director of economic development for City Hall, said she will be
monitoring the sale to ensure that the owners do business with someone
that will “maintain the high level of quality in the operation.”
Park is huge,” Mack said. “Their role and what they’ve done for the
pier is huge. They’ve created an icon, a wonderful attraction for
people to visit. It is highly visible with a beautiful Ferris Wheel
that just blazes in the night sky. It’s wonderful.”
Franz-Knight, executive director of the Pier Restoration Corp., which
oversees operations at the pier, said the announcement, “speaks to the
strength of the pier as a venue and the tremendous success of Pacific
“Obviously Pacific Park does an outstanding job and we
would expect the operation would continue at the same or at heightened
levels,” Franz-Knight said.