Upper Clements Parks
|Location||Upper Clements, Nova Scotia|
Upper Clements Parks is a seasonal theme park located in Upper Clements, Nova Scotia, Canada owned and operated by a non profit community group, The Upper Clements Parks Society. It is composed of two parks; Upper Clements Theme Park and Upper Clements Adventure Park.
Upper Clements Parks is open daily from the beginning of June until the end of September. The park has two rollercoasters (one being a water coaster) and over 40 rides and attractions.
Upper Clements Park was built by the province and opened in 1989 at a cost of $23 million. In 1993, in response to rumours that the park might be doomed to closure, a group of local businesses made a bid to run the park. However, a group of 16 businessmen from Hong Kong, under the name Amsdale Resources Management, were awarded a three-year lease instead. The Amsdale businessmen were motivated by fears surrounding the impending 1997 handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese sovereignty, and their $500,000 investment in the park was a way to enter Canada through an immigration program centred on entrepreneurship. Amsdale made numerous cuts and annual attendance dropped from 90,000 to 70,000. The tunnel connecting the theme park and the wildlife park was also closed at this time.
Another advertisement for expressions of interest in the park was issued in 1996, and the same group of Annapolis Valley businesses, calling themselves the Hanse Society (after the Hanseatic League), made a second bid for which there was no competition. They were awarded a 10-year lease in 1997. The new operators had to cut the locks to enter the premises. By this time, the park was "ravaged by neglect" with crumbling buildings and numerous missing inventory. The park received $1.37 million in funding from the government in 1998, and a further $1 million in 2003. The tunnel connecting the theme park and the wildlife park was reopened in 2000. Attendance rose to 100,000 in 2006 and the new management turned the park's operating deficit into an annual surplus of nearly $200,000.
In 2007, the theme park was purchased by the non-profit Hanse Society (Upper Clements Parks Society) for $1 million, with the province paying $1.3 million for capital improvements and to fund the transition. In 2007, the society declared the park debt-free. The manager Gregg Gaul stated that Upper Clements generated 200 direct and 200 indirect jobs, and that it drives the local economy.
The Theme Park features over 30 rides and attractions. In 2012, a new "Adventure Park" was opened replacing the wildlife park featuring 2 ziplines and 14 bridges and stores in a beautiful natural setting.
The park's mascot is called Clementine, joined by her friends Clarence the train engineer and Captain Kid Ryerson the pirate.
- Province of Nova Scotia (1989-2007)
- Upper Clements Parks Society (2007–present) (non-profit organization)
- "Upper Clements Parks, Park & Partners". Retrieved April 18, 2012.
- Robicheau, Suzanne (12 June 2007). "On the right track". Halifax Chronicle-Herald. pp. C1, C4.
- Walsh, Vincent; Dempsey, Matt (12 June 2007). "Upper Clements Park's wild ride". Halifax Chronicle-Herald. p. C1.
- Robicheau, Suzanne (12 June 2007). "Park finally debt free". Halifax Chronicle-Herald. p. C4.
- "A Little History of The Upper Clements Park". annapolis-valley-vacation.com. Retrieved 14 April 2013.