You wouldn’t think of Fort Smith as a downtown that Oklahoma City should pay attention to – but think again. Fort Smith has done a lot to make its downtown lively for both locals and visitors. Let’s start with the trolley museum. It’s the very sort of attraction we currently have in the Adventure District, but where as we aspire to have an old excursion train run through downtown, Fort Smith made it happen.
And then there is the amusement park in the heart of downtown Fort Smith. It’s not very big – just a Ferris Wheel, Merry-Go-Round and an old fashioned diner. But it really gives the area a special touch – a sense of place and a source of pride for the city.
Grant, are you reading this? (In interest of full disclosure, I’ve mentioned this to Grant seeing as he now owns a Ferris Wheel).
Anyway, here’s a bit more from the Fort Smith downtown organization:
The Park At West End is an old-fashioned amusement park located downtown on Second Street and Garrison Avenue adjacent to the Arkansas River Bridge.
The featured attraction is a restored 1930′s Ferris wheel from the Eli Bridge Company and a hand-painted carousel from Italy, with 40 ponies. Those riding the Ferris wheel are treated to a spectacular view of downtown Fort Smith, including the grounds of the neighboring Fort Smith National Historic Site.
The Park also features “The Nickle & Dime Diner,” a full service restaurant housed in a restored 1957 Pullman dining car converted into a diner. Developers also included a 1963 British Leyland two-story bus which features traditional amusement park concession items.
The Park At West End was dedicated on Memorial Day weekend and has had a brisk clientele all summer. Hours of operation are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. weekdays, or “…. whatever the market demands,” according to General Manger Justin Huss.