Squealer’s Fun Park in Rigby under new ownership, expansions will begin soon
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RIGBY — Since closing in the fall of 2018, many people have wondered what’s happening with Squealer’s Fun Park in Rigby.
Matt Blackham, the owner, tells EastIdahoNews.com he recently sold the property to Kent Hansen from Idaho Falls.
“It was under contract (with a new owner) all through last winter. Then it fell out of contract with a previous buyer right as spring rolled around,” Blackham says.
Hansen bought it about a week later, but last-minute changes prevented the park from opening. A deal wasn’t finalized with Hansen until Oct. 1
“Like any deal, it took longer than we anticipated and (the closure) ended up going through the end of the fall,” says Blackham. “We decided there was no reason for us to try and run it this year when someone else was going to own it by the end of the summer.”
Hansen says he’s now planning to reopen the park in April with expanded amenities. Construction on a new RV Park will begin soon on the west side.
“We hope to be ready (to open) by the first of April,” Hansen says. “It seems like there’s a demand for it and we hope it’s going to work out.”
Hansen owns Snake River RV Park at 1440 Lindsay Boulevard in Idaho Falls. He began looking for a second location to open an RV park when Idaho Transporation Department released the results of the Interstate 15 and U.S. Highway 20 connector study last fall. The purpose of the study was to look at ways to improve the flow of traffic and reduce congestion. One of the three options being considered would impact the Lindsay Boulevard exit, where Hansen’s RV Park is located.
“It looked like there was a chance (traffic could be re-aligned at this location), so we decided to look for another place to put an RV park and this (Squealer’s location) was available,” Hansen says.
A final decision has not been determined. ITD is giving the public a chance to weigh-in until their next public meeting in April.
Meanwhile, Hansen is moving forward with expansion plans for Squealer’s Fun Park.
“We hope to get new Go-karts. I think the old ones have about had it,” says Hansen. “We’re going to get the batting cage up and running again and the miniature golf. I’d like to add more to it, but I’m very new at this game. I don’t know what would work and what wouldn’t.”
But he’s looking forward to trying something new.
Squealer’s Fun Park began as the Riot Zone in 2001. Keith Johnson was the original owner and built the attraction. It included Go-kart rides, miniature golf, and a climbing wall. It offered a haunted corn maze in the fall and ice skating in the winter.
Blackham worked for Johnson and owned the ice skating rink before he bought the business from Johnson in 2013. He later added batting cages and other amenities.
“It’s a great business,” Blackham says. “It’s a good thing to have in the community and it just needs the right person to build it up. I think Kent will do a great job with it.”
Squealer’s Fun Park is at 439 North 4000 East, less than a mile south of Jefferson County Lake.