Posted on February 11, 2015
Fresno’s Playland opened its gates 60 years ago and entertained over 250,000 visitors in its debut year of 1955. Seven years later, Storyland welcomed children into a storybook wonderland full of “Three Little Pigs”, a castle, queens, cottages, a pirate ship and more. For generations, Storyland has inspired a love of learning and make-believe. Through a partnership with the City of Fresno, the parks provided all of its profits right back into the community – helping create even more local assets and opportunities.
Unfortunately, over the years, circumstances have changed. Because Storyland/Playland had so generously given to the community, but kept little to make its own necessary repairs and improvements, the parks recently had to close its gates. And for the first time in 60 years, there was a real fear the parks would never reopen.
Now, with a brand new steering board, a renewed commitment by the City and overwhelming outpouring of community support, we’re taking big strides towards re-opening the parks for good. Most importantly, we’re taking steps to ensure the future sustainability of Storyland/Playland for generations to come. But we need your help to restore this community treasure, and bring back those smiles to the next generation of children’s faces as they fall in love with storybooks brought to life.
Historically, the value Storyland/Playland has provided to the community numbers in the millions of dollars. Now, to reopen, we are calling in all favors. After consulting with industry experts, we have set a budget of $850,000 to address much needed maintenance and repairs, and we are actively soliciting trade groups and organizations for $500,000 of in-kind donations to help with certain immediate needs. A few of these needs include: a new irrigation system, landscaping for more shade, new restrooms, ride and exhibit repairs, new rides and exhibits and wider walkways to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the list is long, we’re up for the challenge, and here’s how we’ll get there, together. . .