GREEN BAY - With the arrival of the Zippin Pippin three years ago, and the Sea Dragon late last summer, the west end of Bay Beach has been a popular place to be. That area remains the focus of city parks officials.
“That's our area that we need to expand to,” said Dawne Cramer, the director of Green Bay’s parks department.
The city is closing in on a $500,000 grant to build a 400 stall parking lot in the area. A new concession stand is also planned, along with new lighting, and cosmetic upgrades to the roller coaster and Sea Dragon.
The improvements have a price tag of more than $800,000. Park revenue will be used to pay for them.
If that all goes according to plan this summer, more fun projects will start, like moving the route of the train. The goal is to start a new track in fall to head west, opposite of its current route, including a path underneath the Pippin.
“I think people are really going to love it. It gives you a better view of the Bay, it gives you the excitement of going under the Zippin Pippin when it’s moving, so it'll add a new dimension to that ride,” said Cramer.
While all of that is happening, the city continues to shop for the park's 20th ride.
“We haven't zeroed in on a specific ride yet and when we do that then we'll kind of look around to the various areas a lot more and be able to kind of focus our attention on one ride,” said Jason Arnold, assistant facilities manager for the city.
Adding a ride fits the park's master plan, which was updated last year. It calls for at least one ride to be added every two years for the next seven years.
“As you know we look for historic, classical rides, so it's not always something that's on the market at the time,” said Cramer.
“It could come anytime or it could come a year from now, it just depends on when we find the right ride for Bay Beach,” said Arnold.
As for the existing rides, there's still eleven weeks to go before they're open for the season.