The Boomers! family entertainment center in Fountain Valley has permanently closed, and two sister locations in Southern California have a new owner as part of a bankruptcy sale.
The closing came as Irvine-based APX Operating Co. acquired eight family fun parks formerly owned by the bankrupt Apex Parks Group including Boomers! in Irvine and SpeedZone Los Angeles in City of Industry.
The Fountain Valley location — temporarily closed during coronavirus “stay at home” orders — will not reopen. At its high-profile location just off the 405 freeway, the park offered entertainment such as rides, mini-golf, go-kart rides, and arcade games. Its web page says season passes, gift cards, and “Boomer Bucks” will be honored at other APX locations. Boomers in Kearny Mesa and El Cajon were also closed.
APX also got Boomers! in Livermore, Santa Maria and Modesto in Northern California; Sahara Sam’s Oasis in New Jersey; and in Florida, Big Kahuna’s Water & Adventure Park in Destin and Boomers! in Boca Raton.
APX is readying for the summer as economies reopen. The company said Big Kahuna’s opened June 4 and other parks are in the process of planning reopenings for unspecified dates.
The corporate reshuffling comes after Orange County-based Apex Parks filed for bankruptcy protection in April. That was part of a financial restructuring that gave key lenders control of the company, founded in 2014 to purchase 15 entertainment centers with the financial backing of The Carlyle Group and Edgewater Funds.
The Apex bankruptcy was tied to “increased industry competition and consolidation, extensive operational expenditures, and the seasonal nature of the business,” said John Fitzgerald, CEO of Apex when it entered bankruptcy. “Continuing market headwinds and operational challenges have prevented us from meaningfully improving financial performance.”
APX, backed by Cerberus Capital Management LP, announced the new park-owning company will be headed by CEO Tim Murphy, a veteran of entertainment and hospitality businesses. His resume includes a stint as CEO of Rebounderz Family Entertainment Centers, a chain of indoor trampoline facilities. Bankruptcy documents showed Cerberus was owed $97 million by Apex.
“We are well-positioned to invest in and grow our business for years to come,” Murphy said in a statement.