MASON, Ohio — Will there be any more summer fun at The Beach Waterpark?
The owners put the park up for sale when it closed for the season, according to a listing by Anchor Associates.
The news caught hotel operators, local businesses, even the Warren County visitors bureau by surprise Wednesday.
But international theme park expert Dennis Speigel saw it coming.
“The Beach has struggled and it really began its greatest struggle when Kings Island expanded its water park,” Speigel said,
In 2012, the Beach cited competition and the economy for closing and leaving passholders without refunds.
Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, said he was helping an overseas buyer that was interested back then.
“Knowing the market, knowing the conditions, knowing the competition, we sat down after I presented the packet and decided not to move forward,” Speigel said.
What's not to like about a 34-acre waterpark with palm trees, sand and a wave pool just across I-71 from Kings Island?
Speigel said its location is actually a problem.
“You have a very unique situation,” Speigel said. “You have Great Wolf Lodge, Kings Island and The Beach within literally an eighth or a quarter of a mile from one another, and you have all three competing with one another. There's only so much market.”
Adventure Holdings LLC stepped in to buy the park and reopen it in 2013 and invested millions into the property. Neither the owners nor the park responded to voicemails Wednesday.
According to local hotels and businesses, most of the park's traffic was local and they don't expect a hit to the bottom line if the park closes.
The real estate brochure for the land doesn't list an asking price.