Board approves Riverfront Park rides study

In three years, the rides that dwell underneath the Riverfront Park Pavilion will be gone.

The man who helped put them there says that can’t happen.

“If you ask the people who are bringing their kids and grand-kids what they think about the rides you see the expressions on the kids face and excitement,” said Hal McGlathery. “Even though I bought some of these rides 32 years ago, if you ask the kids how old they are they'd probably think they're brand new because they're exciting and fun.”

McGlathery has been trying to save the rides and the IMAX theatre since the Spokane Parks and Recreations Department released their Master Plan on the redevelopment of Riverfront Park.

“If the activity is bringing in money, that helps the park with costs,” said McGlathery.

According to the plan, the aging infrastructure of the amusement park rides and the cost to upgrade recent revenue declines are too much to overcome.

But the former Riverfront Park manager says the city made a mistake when crunching the numbers.

“Either it’s a lame accountant or the biased accountant,” said McGlathery. “It doesn’t seem like there is really any other answer but I really don’t know.”

The accounting expenditures in the Master Plan show an average of $78,333 net loss in 2010, 2011, and 2012. But McGlathery says his accounting figures show average revenue of $102,977 positive net revenue.

The Parks Department says it appears McGlathery did not include overhead cost for the rides in his presentation to the board, but say they could have made a mistake and are willing to go over the numbers with McGlathery.

KHQ has submitted a public information request for the numbers, and will let you know how they add up.

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