Historic Arnolds Park asked RDG to design park improvements that would preserve the view of the city's signature lake from the park's open green space and create a new performance venue with accompanying amenities and back-of-house space.
Arnolds Park Amusement Park has been an integral part of the experiences and memories of the Iowa Great Lakes for generations. The greenspace portion of the property, owned by the not-for-profit Historic Arnolds Park Inc. (HAPI), is the largest remaining, contiguous, publicly accessible open space along the shores of West Okoboji Lake. HAPI hosts a variety of outdoor events and activities throughout the year.
This project removed and replaced the existing stage and canopy with a new, modernized outdoor performance venue, restrooms, concessions, a V.I.P. roof pavilion, a new vehicular drop-off/turnaround, trails, lighting, landscape plantings and signage.
The amphitheater canopy, its vertical stature allowing unobstructed views through the park, evokes a rippling wave rolling in from the lake. The canopy's ripple also seems to continue the undulating tracks of the adjacent coaster along the lake's boardwalk, and color-changing LEDs along the perimeter add another visual connection to the popular coaster.