It's now official; Miracle Strip Amusement Park is being sold. This is will be the 41st and last season for the popular tourist attraction.
The Owner of Miracle Strip Amusement Park, Billy Lark, says he decided to sell because he could not continue to operate the park profitably. Now, a new developer has scooped up the 20-acre site off of Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach, which sits right next to the county pier, which cannot be developed.
Miracle Strip's General Manager, Buddy Wilkes, says that basically gives the developer waterfront property. Lark has until a year from now to remove all of the rides and attractions. There have been a couple offers to buy the equipment and open an amusement park somewhere else locally.
The developer's attorney says anything could be built on the site where Miracle Strip now stands. They haven't made a final decision, but are looking at the feasibility of a shopping center or even condominiums. Those working at Miracle Strip say news of the park being sold is very upsetting.
"It's a very sad day for everyone. We have some who have been working here for 25 to 35 years, and to have to tell them we have to sell is very sad," says Wilkes.
There were 42 full-time employees at Miracle Strip. During the peek season the employee more than 100 people. Half of the full-time workers will be able to work at Shipwreck Island Water Park, which Billy Lark will continue to operate. The others will receive severance pay.