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March 13, 1998     Cape Gazette
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March 13, 1998

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50 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, March 13 - March 19, 1998 BUSINESS & REAL ESTATE Jungle Jim's Adventure World coming to Rehoboth Sports Complex to be transformed into tropical, upscale theme park By Trish Vernon The Sports Complex, a Re- hoboth Beach landmark, is being transformed into a tropical oasis of family fun, with a Memorial Day Weekend reopening date tar- geted. Fran Gonzon and Pete Townsend of Roadhouse and Pas- ta Bowl Fame, are co-owners of the enterprise, taking the reins from Townsend's father, Wally, and George Smith. Gonzon, who is the managing partner, noted that the eider Townsend "is my mentor - I've learned so much from him." Not one to just rest on his laurels, this mentor can be found on the Sports Complex grounds, along with son-in-law Russ Cooper, knee-deep in the construction pro- ject. Gonzon and Townsend have contracted Kevin Hale of Florida, who has designed conceptual park themes for Disney World and high profile restaurants, to create Jun- gle Jim's Adventure World on the 16-acre parcel bordering Route 1 at County Road 273C. While the water slide, miniature golf courses, bumper boats, go- cart tracks (one which is boasted to be the beach's longest), game rooms and batting cages will remain where they are, they will be difficult to recognize once they are swathed in temple stone, tiki-type TOWNSEND thatched roofs, 100 live palm trees and tropical large-scale murals by An- drew Dera. Temple stone, for the uninitiated, is a substance that can be poured and molded into any shape and, when hardened, will last a thousand years. The stone will be molded into walls in keep- ing with this island theme. "We're not trying to reinvent The building behind the old Tank Tag game will be trans- formed into The Jimmie Shack, a place for those under 21 to listen to disk jockeys and live bands, play video games and pool and just socialize during the evening. Local artist An- drew Dera will paint a tropical beach vista mural on the side. the wheel, we're changing the concept," Gonzon explained. These changes will begin at the entrance to the complex, which is now open. There will be a main entrance that must be accessed in order to head for the miniature golf courses, water slide or any other park facility. Massive tiki lamps with lava tops will grace this entryway and Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs fran- chise will purvey dogs, hamburg- ers and fries to hungry fun-seek- ers. The present offices will be transformed into an open-air restaurant with a "Swiss Family Robinson" theme, and will be ad- jacent to a tanning beach deck and volleyball courts, where people can lounge away their time in the sun or under an umbrella, sipping nonalcoholic "smoothies" pur- chased from a tiki hut. Dawn and Jay Beach of Win- swept Stables will establish a pet- ting zoo near the miniature golf courses, complete with pony rides, and the dated golf course figures will be transformed into various tropical characters, one with an "Indiana Jones" theme. The old kangaroo will become a volcano, for instance. The bumper boats will be renamed the "Lost Lagoon," and Dodge City will become a Polynesian cave, wrapping around to a waterfall, complete with tropical foilage. The old "Rampage" tower will be thatched and turned into an ob- servation deck and the old "Tank Tag" area is being elevated so that helicopter rides, and perhaps even hot air balloon rides, will be of- fered. The building behind the old "Tank Tag" will become "The Jimmie Shack," a "nightclub" for 14-to-20-year-olds, which will feature disc jockeys and local bands until midnight, when the park closes. Next door and acces- sible from The Jimmie Shack will be an arcade, with video games and pool tables, and Dera will Fran Gonzon, right, is the property manager and co-owner of what will soon become Jungle Jim's Adventure World, on the site of the Sports Complex on the outskirts of Rehoboth Beach. He's seen here with Russ Cooper, the brother-in-law of co-owner Pete Townsend. These turrets, along with all of the other structures, will be revamped in a tropical theme. A petting zoo, helicopter rides, a tanning beach and volleyball will be added to the present group of amusements. soon be painting a mural of a Caribbean vista. Gonzon is excited about the prospect of hosting corporate par- ties - with MBNA and Beebe Medical Center already consider- ing booking the park for luau- themed parties, complete with a roasted pig and steel drum band. He estimates that Jungle Jim's Adventure World, which employs approximately 75 people, will have a capacity of 2,000 to 2,500 people an evening and MBNA, for instance, is thinking of bringing in 800 to 1,000 for its party. A second phase of expansion may occur next year on a now- empty plot behind the "Rampage" tower, which may include a Dis- ney outlet and other amenities. For more information on Jungle Jim's Adventure World call 227- 8121. Who qualifies to contribute to a Roth IRA? Since January 1998, eligible in- dividuals have been able to con- tribute to a new kind of individual retirement account (IRA) called the Roth IRA. Below are the answers to some of the questions investors have asked about individual eligibility for a Roth IRA. What is the Roth IRA? The Roth IRA is an alternative to the traditional IRA for building savings for retirement. Contribu- tions to the Roth IRA are not de- ductible, but if certain require- ments are met, then all earnings will be distributed tax-free. As with the traditional IRA, the abili- ty to contribute or convert to a FINANCIAL FOCUS Bruce Chilcoat Roth IRA is subject to adjusted gross income limits. Who is qualified to contribute to a Roth IRA? Any single individual who has earned income may make maxi- mum contributions to a Roth IRA, regardless of age, if the individual earns less than $95,000. Individu- als who earn more than $95,000 and less than $110,000 may make a partial contribution. Married in- dividuals with joint income of up to $150,000 may contribute the maximum amount. This opportu- nity is phased out until the joint fliers earn $160,000. For this pur- pose, "income" is adjusted gross income (AGI) modified to include certain foreign earnings. What is the maximum contri- bution that can be made to a Roth IRA? The maximum contribution is $2,000 per investor, or, if earnings are less than $2,000, 100 percent of income. If you are eligible to do so, you may also contribute mon- ey to both a traditional IRA and a Roth IRA in the same year, but the total amount contributed to both may not exceed $2,000 for any year. May nonwage-earning spous- es make contributions to a Roth IRA? Yes. Under Roth IRA provi- sions, a spouse who does not earn income but who files a joint Fed- eral income tax return may con- tribute $2,000 per year to a Roth IRA, based on the earned income of the joint filer, if certain income guidelines are met. These contri- butions are deductible from cur- rent taxes. What is the deadline for con- tributions to a Roth IRA? Generally, contributions for any tax year must be made by April 15 of the following year (or the due date for the Federal Income Tax return, without extensions.) Bruce Chilcoat is an account executive, investments, Certified Financial Planner, at Dean Witter Reynolds.