Bowling Green, Kentucky
Beech Bend park is named after the beech trees that are scattered around a bend of the nearby Barren River. The land was purchased
by Charles Garvin in the early 1940s. He soon added amusement park rides. A 3/8-mile race track was added after World War II, and a
dragstrip was added in the 1950s. Both still operate today as the
Beech Bend Raceway Park. After Garvin died in 1979, the park was unsuccessfully operated for a few years by an outside ownership group.
A couple of years later, Dallas and Alfreda Jones purchased the racetracks. Three years later, they purchased the abandoned amusement park.
The amusement park eventually reopened in 1999. In addition to a water park, there is a small collection of rides, including the Sea Dragon swinging
ship ride that was purchased from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch.
Three coasters have left Beech Bend:
- Looping Star (2001-2009) was a Pinfari Zyklon with a
single loop. In 2011, it ran as Looping Star at Sauble Beach Fun World in Ontario, Canada. It is expected to
open in 2015 at Keansburg Amusement in New Jersey.
- Starchaser was a Schwarzkopf Jet Star that was here for a few years in the
1980s. It ran indoors as Starchaser at Kentucky Kingdom from 1987 to 1995. From 1996
to 1998, it was enclosed and ran as Nightmare at Phantom Cave at Darien Lake.
It then was the indoor Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon ride from 1999 to 2006 at
New York's Great Escape. It sat dormant for a few years, and was ultimately scrapped
- Wild Mouse was a Schiff Wild Mouse that operated in the late 1950s and 1960s.
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