LUBBOCK, Texas — Joyland may be a thing of the past for Lubbock, but many are wondering what comes next for the rides and the land itself.

Owner David Dean and his family leased the land from the city for years and hoped to continue after hearing investors were interested. However, at the last second, the buyers pulled out. 

“A roller coaster in a lot of ways, pretty tough because you know, first we had, so to say, the rug jerked out from underneath us and that was pretty devastating,” Dean said. “Then, we had to shift into this or decide what we’re going to do.”

As Joyland sits empty and rides are sold off, Dean said seeing the rides taken down and away brings back good times.

“You get to be around the rides enough that you remember the soul and the smiles and the memories that they’ve created through the years,” Dean said. 

Dean said they recently had resigned a lease with the city until 2047, in hopes of leaving the park to someone who could take care of it for a while.

“We negotiated the points that we’re going into that we didn’t know until then to go on how I didn’t know whether it was with us or with someone else and you know we’ve been trying for years to sell it,” Dean said. “But we tried to lay the groundwork for someone to be able to operate jointly and operate it for a long time.”

The city owns the land Joyland sits on, Dean said he’s not sure what they plan on doing with it.

“We will be here at least another year, so we’ll figure out December or January the 1st. 2024,” Dean said. “It just goes back to being part of the city, so I don’t know what’ll be left, I have no idea and that’s kind of scary to say, but there’ll be some stuff left until we step away from it.”

Many rides have already been bought and hauled off and there are still plenty waiting to be purchased. Dean says they plan to hold an auction as well for anyone who wants to purchase a piece of Joyland history.

The City said they had no plans for the property at this time.