Friday, March 20, 2015

Western Playland Adding New Ride, Seeing Continued Growth

Not a park we hear about too often, El Paso, Texas' Western Playland has been steadily growing both its attendance and ride selection over the past few years.  The amusement park has a classic feel, one of a truly independently owned family operation, and has only been in its current located in West El Paso for seven years.  The park originally opened in 1960 in Sunland Park, but eventually outgrew the site - a history chronicled in this great news story.

The owner of the Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino gave the amusement park's owners 28 acres of land, and they then purchases an additional 38 - giving them plenty of room to grow.  Which is just what they've done.

© Western Playland
Two years ago the park spent $1 million to purchase, refurbish and move the Hurricane roller coaster from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.  Last year a kiddie coaster was added, a $250k investment.  This year the park plans to build a new ride name the Rock Star, a flying carpet style attraction, another $600k investment in the property.

The park would love to keep growing, but as an independent park new rides can only come when the funds are available.  Last year Western Playland saw around 165,000 visitors, and has been posting annual attendance growth of 5% - which is pretty great.  Most parks would be extremely happy to post gains like that for years in a row!

This aerial of the park in its new home shows that the simple layout of the park is keeping a very large area available for more expansion in its center.  New rides have been added outside ring of the park, leaving open the large space where the owner would one day love to build a big coaster or a group of water rides.  Not sure if that's water amusement rides or a small water park, but either would probably do great in the Texas sun.

A big wooden coaster would also fit nicely inside that area, too!  Maybe someday...