It looks like some areas of Oregon are starting to creep toward normalcy. Most counties in Oregon are in phase one of re-opening. Phase one means businesses such as restaurants/bars, salons, gyms, and in-person gatherings of up to 25 people can legally operate under certain conditions (kgw.com, 2020).
Phase 2 and phase 3 have not been clearly defined yet. And while many businesses start to pick up, one group that is being left in the dust is amusement parks.
Two of the specific businesses that come to my mind are Oaks Park and Enchanted Forest. I am worried about these two because my family and I are regular customers of both during the spring and summer. We would have attended both parks many times already if this were a typical year.
On the Enchanted Forest website, there is a message that reads: “Amusement parks are on the Oregon governor’s list of businesses forbidden to open to the public.”
Although these two businesses are closed, there are still ways to support them.
The Oaks Amusement Park has been open since 1905 and is the only amusement park in Portland (oakspark.com, 2020). Their website lists options on how to help them stay afloat through the pandemic.
One of their online options to support them is the recommendation of purchasing a “Chipper Card” which is a gift card that acts as cash throughout the amusement park and the skating rink. Oaks is offering a “20% bonus” on gift cards and “25% off future ride bracelets” as an incentive.
The other online option references a company called Pacific North Press that is helping Oaks out by offering a special fundraising T-shirt. Each T-shirt sale provides $10 of the purchase toward Oaks Park (issuewire.com, 2020).
The bad news is that online ordering for this idea is still being developed. Oaks encourages people to check back because it will be available soon.
There are two ways to support Oaks Park in person. Option one is to order their “crispy chicken” through curbside pickup. There is an option to order online listed under the suggestion. Oaks also encourages their customers to consider maintaining or upgrading their skating equipment. There is an option to “book an appointment” via phone, email, or in-person with proper safety protocols.
Through all of this, there is some possibly exciting news for Oaks Park. According to the President of the Multnomah County Fair Board: Oaks Park is scheduled to host the Multnomah County Fair between July 15th to July 17th! The MCF usually takes place Memorial Day weekend and has been pushed back to July (katu.com, 2020). If this happens, it would be huge for Oaks. Cross your fingers!
Enchanted Forest is an amusement park in Turner, Oregon that is loved by many Oregonians. The EF has gained even more popularity by being featured on an episode of “Ghost Adventures” on the Travel Channel (oregonlive.com, 2019).
Although it is a popular and unique theme park, it is in trouble. I have read more than once recently that EF is struggling financially. They have taken out large loans, tried to keep employees on board, and they are currently brainstorming ways to stay open (oregonlive.com, 2020). The park is considering private tours for small groups if they can make it work safely. On the EF Facebook page, there is a recent post that encourages their fans to purchase gift cards online to support them during this time. Here is the link.
Over the last few days, there has been a “GoFundMe” circulating that claimed to be for Enchanted Forest fundraising (gofundme.com, 2020). The Facebook page insists that there is no “GoFundMe” for them, and they do not need fundraising help right now. EF encourages customers to continue to check back with them and that they will have a better idea of how they are doing at the end of this summer.
An exciting event coming up is a “Live Q and A with Roger Tofte (the creator of Enchanted Forest!). This event will take place on 5/22/20 at 2:00 on their Facebook page. My hope is that Mr. Tofte shares good, optimistic news through this event. Below is a pic of me and my kids hangin’ with Humpty Dumpty at Enchanted Forest. Such an amazing place.
These places would usually be packed with customers during this time of year. If you love them like I do, please consider supporting them through the options listed. They could certainly use the help during this unconventional time. Hopefully, we will be riding the Oaks Park roller coaster and roaring down the “big timber log ride” at Enchanted Forest soon! Until then, we can stock up on gift cards and help them to remain open.
Stephanie McCoy was born and raised in Portland, Oregon-where she still lives. She recently graduated with a Master’s in Education degree from Concordia University. In her free time: she likes to read and write, get outdoors, embrace her kiddos and husband, and watch travel documentaries.