Coconut Park to be reopened as Funland
A place where many Jamaicans had numerous joyful moments in the past, Coconut Park, is set to reopen under the name Funland come July 14 to September 3 this summer.
After the once popular park closed more than 15 years ago, Hope Gardens is set to be abuzz with activities again as attractions such as the Ferris wheel, bumper cars, gaming arcade, and splash zone are set to return.
Paula Pinnock, the managing director of FYI Consultancy Group, the company responsible for bringing the theme park back, said the reopening will give the new generation a chance to experience what their parents did as children.
"They (children today) don't know what Coconut Park is and in the context of the history of Jamaica and what Coconut Park meant for us, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to be behind this initiative," she said.
Pinnock said that Funland is expected to fill a gap in the toddlers market.
"We definitely realised that there was a need for a family fun place in Jamaica. Not just for toddlers, teens or for parents, but a place where the entire family can go and have fun," Pinnock told THE STAR.
She explained that the establishment of the park will be done in two phases, the first one being temporary.
"As part of the phase one process, we want to get persons re-acclimatised to a fun space being in Jamaica that you can go to. So we are doing Funland Summer Days, which will be the temporary set-up of a fun space, where you can go on the weekends from Fridays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and then we close off again and work on the permanent plan for Jamaica," she said.
She said this second phase will involve a more modern form of theme park entertainment.
Funland is also in the process of seeking vendors to offer their products or services for sale at the park, so they can "generate income for themselves and for their families".
She said organisers have engaged larger entities and there are plans to have a food court to cater to the thousands of patrons expected to come to the park daily.
There is also a recruitment drive to hire young persons to work in the park for the summer.
"A lot of the persons that we interviewed, quite a few of them have never had a job. A lot of them are going to school and they are looking for employment to help fund their schooling," Pinnock said.