Information
Name: Wrights Barnyard Year Made: Unknown
Arcade: Wrights City: Lansing
State: Illinois Country: USA
Category: Arcade Token
Search Tags: Wright Discovery Zone Hollywood Park Zao Island Golf 1956 Open Chain



History
In 1956, Burton and Mildred Wright built a miniature golf course for $300 in the backyard of their home on Bernice Road in Lansing, Illinois.1, 2

Some time later the Wright family had opened two more locations. Wright's Barnyard in Valparaiso, Indiana and Wright's Hollywood Park in Crestwood, Illinois.2

In September 1993 Discovery Zone had purchased the three parks from the Wright family and renamed all of them to DZ's Hollywood Park. However in 1995 Blockbuster took over Discovery Zone and filled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on March 25, 1996, allowing the Wright Family to buy back all three parks.2, 3, 4

Things started looking bad for the original Wright's Barnyard location when the Illinois Department of Transportation announced they were condemning part of the park to expand Interstate 80/94 in 2002. In September 2004 the IDOT tore down 22,000 square feet of the park, including the original golf course and a portion of the go-cart track. The lose of the attractions cost Wright's Barnyard 30% of its annual business. The Wright Family still had hope that the park would live on. In July 2006 they announced a $1.2 million plan to revitalize the park and rebuild what was destroyed. However, at 10pm on December, 10 2006 The original Wright's Barnyard closed.1, 5, 6 As of Sep 2011 it is an empty lot with only the sign and fencing in place.

Wright's Barnyard in Valparaiso, Indiana was the site for the first Wright's Classic miniature golf tournament in 1999.12 Renamed to Zao Island in 2000. It is still open today and as of August 2018 the only park still owned by the Wright Family. Complete with go karts, batting cages, mini-golf, Laser tag, Laser maze, and a game room.7, 8

Wright's Hollywood was bought by Family Entertainment Group from the Wright family in 2017. 12 It is still open today. It has been renamed "In the Game Hollywood Park".10

Mildred Wright passed away on January 21, 2009.11


Memories
Do you have any memories you would like to share about this arcade? Contact us and we may post it here.

"I only visited once as a kid, but it was an amazing place pre-2004, the year that the state claimed half of the property." - Vince Scalabrino


Images
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Sources
  1. Rockrohr, Phil "Say goodbye to Hollywood" The Times. Aug 4 2002 . Web. Aug 14 2018.
  2. McCollumm, Camen "DISCOVERY ZONE WIDENS APPEAL BY ACQUIRING FAMILY FUN CENTERS MORE PURCHASES, STARTUPS SEEN FOR GROWING DIVISION" Crains Chicago Business. Nov 12 1994 . Web. Aug 14 2018.
  3. Donley, Michele "Wright's Barnyard back in the family" The Times. Apr 17 1996. Web. Aug 14 2018.
  4. Altaner, David. "Discovery Zone Takes Leap Into Chapter 11" Sun Sentinel. Mar 26, 1996. Web. Aug 15, 2018.
  5. Rockrohr, Phil"Wright's Barnyard to get new life LANSING Owner invests millions in updates, restoration" The Times. Jul 9 2006. Web. Aug 14 2018.
  6. "May Wright's Barnyard live on in kids' memories" The Times. Dec 20 2006. Web. Aug 14 2018.
  7. "ATTRACTIONS" Zao Island. Aug 14 2018. Web. Aug 14 2018.
  8. Deutsch, Doug"Interview With Don Wright, Owner Of Zao Island" Valpolife.com. Aug 26, 2014. Web. Aug 14, 2018.
  9. "FEG goes “Hollywood” with the addition of Hollywood Park Family Entertainment Center in Crestwood, Illinois" FEG. Mar 13, 2017. Web. Aug 14, 2018.
  10. "In the Game Hollywood Park" In The Game Hollywood Park. Aug 14 2018. Web. Aug 14 2018.
  11. "Mildred "Millie" (Caserio) Wright Obituary" The Times. Jan 22 2009. Web. Aug 15 2018.
  12. "History" Wrights Classic. Aug 15 2018. Web. Aug 15 2018.
  13. "Ad: Hollywood Park." Orland Park Star. April 3, 1997, Print.


Links


Revisions
  • October 2, 2016 - Token Posted.
  • August 16, 2018 - Arcade information found. Thanks to Vince Scalabrino. New information posted.




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