Storyland has been a Fresno tradition since 1962 but after 53 years the park needs work and money before it can reopen. There are cracks in the sidewalks and the creeks that run through the park. Many exhibits, walkways and even bathrooms don’t comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. That’s why the Storyland/Playland board decided not to reopen until improvements are made.
Board member Bruce Batti says it all comes down to money. “We have $200,000 from an anonymous donor right now so we are looking for $200,000 from the community to match that so we’ll be a little under half way to the mark.” Batti says it will take $850,000 to get a long list of things like the iconic castle back in shape.
But getting to the top of the castle will require costly changes. “So that kids of all ages, physical abilities everyone can enjoy the castle, come for a party here and enjoy a beautiful view.”
The Storyland/Playland board hopes members of the business community will donate cement, irrigation equipment, landscaping and other needs totaling $400,000. But Batti says you can only ask for help so many times. “These have to be sustainable. We can’t just continue to go back to the public and say we need some more money.”
Batti says the train that stretches from both parks is a money generator. Right now it is getting an overhaul. Storyland needs money. If the community responds the park could reopen by Labor Day.