Plans to rebuild the old FunTime USA Amusement Park are now in the making. The longtime Gulfport amusement park could possibly call the land off Highway 90 behind IHOP in Biloxi home.
News 25’s Caroline Eaker was on hand this morning as plans were presented to the Biloxi Development Review Committee about the proposed project.
Rafe O’Neal has had a vision to rebuild his family’s popular amusement park, FunTime USA, for the last eight years. “I grew up on the Coast. I remember when we had all sorts of family attractions before the casinos. You know, Katrina ended a lot of that and it’s coming back and I want to be a part of that. I love the Coast. I love the community and it’s just been put in my heart that it needs to happen and so who is to fight that?”
In 2015, the land in Gulfport was bought to rebuild FunTime USA, but after pushback from neighbors, the operation was shutdown. Now, nearly three years later, park owners have purchased land in Biloxi with the hopes of bringing FunTime back to the Coast. “The zoning is set up for us here. Unlike the property in Gulfport, it is out of velocity zone and flood zone so that allows us to build things a little differently than we had originally planned. It is also a lot larger property so that there is some room for us to grow.”
The new property is located off Highway 90 behind the Beau View Condominiums. For Beau View residents like Arlene Wall, the idea of an amusement park so close to their building is already raising a lot of red flags. “Our 112 people in our building our extremely concerned with this project and disappointed that zoning allows it. We are concerned with the noise and the devaluing our building.”
In a letter written by a legal representative for Beau View Condominiums to Biloxi Mayor Andrew ‘FoFo’ Gilich, he asks the city to reconsider the decision to allow the park to be built and requests a hearing with city officials and Beau View residents.