Upper Clements set for repairs, new pricing system for upcoming season

Published on March 20, 2017

Riders are soaked as they ride the flume at Upper Clements Park. TC MEDIA FILE

DIGBY, NS - Upper Clements Parks will get some cosmetic repairs this year with funding from the province, along with a new height-based pricing system.

The amusement park, located in Annapolis Royal, was built in 1988 and opened in 1989. Its age is the main reason repairs are so needed, according to Upper Clements Park Society chair David Brown.

Brown said the money will go purely toward upkeep and maintenance of the rides and other park buildings, and that no new projects are set for this year. A few unused buildings will be torn down, and the wildlife enclosures, unused since 2009, will be removed.

“It’s a lot of money, but there’s a lot of work that needed to be done at the park,” he said.

“We’re very grateful to have received it.”

Several rides that were repeatedly out of commission last year will also be repaired, including the park’s train, for which a new engine will cost over $20,000, according to Brown. Brown said the park averages $450,000 to $500,000 per year on ride maintenance alone.

“We had quite a few mechanical issues last year, but this funding will help us get the rides back on track,” said Brown.

The most significant change to the park this year will be its new height-based prices. According to Park Manager and Chief Financial Officer Tina Longmire, anyone under 36 inches will get in for free, and admission for individuals between 36 and 41 inches will be $19.50. Admission for anyone over 42 inches will be $29.50.

“It really wasn’t fair that full prices were applied to people who couldn’t meet the height restrictions for all rides,” she said.

Brown said park employees will also benefit from the new system, which will feature different-coloured bracelets for the different height categories, which will speed up the ride boarding process. Employees previously measured each visitor to ensure they were tall enough for rides.

According to Longmire, the park employs 175 staff and hosted 68,000 visitors last year.

Brown said people have expressed their support for the new pricing system, and that “there’s been zero backlash.”

The province announced Mar. 20 it has invested $300,000 in funding into the park. According to the release, Premier Stephen McNeil said this kind of investing “helps build and maintain strong communities.”