WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Ashes remain at Wichita’s old Joyland Amusement Park. The old Log Jam Ride caught fire Saturday night.
“Sad and upset. Of course, you know, like anybody would be,” said Greg Dunnegan, the new property owner of the old Joyland. “The materialistic stuff can be replaced, but what got destroyed is history – history of Wichita.”
Keeping up with the vacant property has been an issue for years, even before Dunnegan took over.
“I had been hopeful that we’d see some changes on the land. A new owner purchased the property about three or four years ago with the intent of bringing forward a plan to kind of revitalize the area,” said Jared Cerullo, Wichita City Council member, District 3.
Dunnegan told KSN in 2018 that he planned to turn the property into a wedding venue and add activities like paintball. Even thinking of possibly bringing some rides to help keep the Joyland nostalgia alive.
However, three years later, “I just can’t give a timeline or anything like that because it just seems like every time we make a good step forward, we take 10 steps back due to everything else. It seems like every time we make a move, something negative happens,” Dunnegan said.
Dunnegan says it’s not just fires causing hurdles.
“That’s the hardest part because we show up, there’s new graffiti on some of the buildings, and then, we’re always having to repaint over something. We’re fixing more than what we’re accomplishing on the cleanup.”
Although discouraging at times, Dunnegan says he is sticking with his plan.
“We’ll stay strong on it, and that’s all we can do at this point in time,” he said.
Captain Kelly Zane with Wichita fire says they have responded to several fires at the old Joyland in the last few years. However, there are no open investigations at this time.