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Teen who wants to restore Joyland no longer on board

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Nov. 26, 2012, at 9:22 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, June 16, 2014, at 2:38 p.m.


Joyland timeline

1947 – Brothers Harold and Herb Ottaway and their father, Lester Ottaway, buy a 40-acre tract of land in south Wichita and open Joyland Amusement Park. Attractions include a miniature train and wooden roller coaster.

1970s – Stan and Margaret Nelson – now Margaret Spear – buy the park.2004 – Joyland closes.

2006 – New operators reopen the park for a season, but lawsuits and noise complaints prevent the park from opening the next year.

July 13, 2010 – Stan Nelson dies.

March 2011 – Alex East starts the Joyland Restoration Project, a grassroots effort to purchase and renovate the park.

June 2012 – Restore Hope receives its nonprofit status.

More information about Restore Hope and the Joyland Restoration Project is available at www.joylandrestorationproject.org. Details on the project and donating are also on Facebook.

Wichita City Council member James Clendenin confirmed Monday night the Wichita teen who organized Restore Hope in an effort to restore Joyland Park is no longer with the organization.

Alex East, who organized the project in 2011 as a 17-year-old teenager from Northwest High School, has been voted off the board.

East did not return phone calls Monday night by The Eagle; nor did the group’s new president, Kira Johnson.

Clendenin said he had talked with a representative from Restore Hope “who wanted me to know the situation. Alex has no involvement with that group anymore. Clendenin said he did not know why East was no longer with the group but that he was disappointed.

“I stand by the board’s commitment in finding a way to restore Joyland. My feeling is that they are going to try and continue with this project,” he said.

East formed the nonprofit Restore Hope and attempted to raise at least $2 million to buy the property.

The amusement park, at 2801 S. Hillside, was a mainstay for generations of Wichitans but has suffered in recent years from break-ins, fires and vandals. It was closed in 2006.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com

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