Rocky Point land opens to public for first time since 1995

(Brian Yocono/WPRI)

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Islanders got the chance to roam the grounds of the former Rocky Point amusement park Saturday morning.

It’s been about 20 years since the iconic venue closed, and state officials opened it to the public Saturday morning for a trip down memory lane.

There are only a scant few physical reminders of the hive of activity that used to stand on the property – a faint ‘no parking’ sign, a metal arch, an old concrete staircase – which some people found disappointing.

“I can’t believe this,” 90 year-old Tony Neery lamented. “they didn’t leave one building for memories.”

Even without much left to look at, others simply savored the nostalgia.

“Everybody has great memories here,” said Joyce Nobriga. “It’s a great spot and it’s wonderful that they’ve kept it for the public.”

The property is being developed as a new state park, according to the Department of Environmental Management. Cleanup and demolition work began in July as the old Shore Dinner Hall and the Palladium were in such disrepair that restoration simply wasn’t possible.

The City of Warwick bought 41 acres at the site back in 2007 with state and federal money, and the DEM acquired another 83 acres last year. The state plans to explore “public-private partnerships to minimize the use of State resources while maximizing return to all,” according to a news release issued earlier this week.

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