Pirate’s Park, Flint, MI — May 9, 2019
Anyone who grew up in Genessee County during the 1980s and ’90s probably has a memory of Pirates Park. The amusement arcade off Miller Road on the Southwestern side of Flint was the place to hang out for kids of all ages. The park offered a giant waterslide, go karts, putter golf, water bumper boats, batting cages, laser tag, and arcade games of chance.
Today’s middle age parents wax nostalgic about the time spent there with their parents or teenage friends. How the name on the arcade building covered in mirror pieces sparkled, beckoning you to enter the water park on a hot day and cool off.
All the trips down the 4-story waterslide, known as the Typhoon, that you could make for a daily admittance fee.
Practicing for Little League baseball games taking swings in the batting cages. Dropping winning putts on the felt covered greens of the mini-golf course, just like Jack Nicklaus did on TV.
Years of Decay
After closing in the late 1990s some aspects of the park remained through the years. Batting cages operated for a while. But, now the park sits abandoned.
A ghost of the past, replaced by video games, computer generated entertainment, and a waning desire to seek entertainment off the family couch.
A Chance for New Life
Local television station ABC 12 is reporting the possibility of the park coming back to life. It all hinges on the fate of a $1.5 million grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. If approved in the State legislature the grant would provide funds for Flint Township to purchase the Pirate’s Park property.
The final outcome would likely produce a facility vastly different than the original park’s landscape. Still, the intent would be to provide an outdoor sports recreation facility for families to enjoy. And hopefully, pay tribute to the original theme that ties it to generations of memories.
What a great addition to our community that would be and another step towards the renewal of the Flint area.