BY JACLYN ROSE –
Mena Family Fun Park, located at 2300 Highway 71 South, is more than a go-cart track. It is more than bumper boats and batting cages and it is more than an arcade and pizza place. Though Mena Family Fun Park will offer all of this and more to the community, the owner, Rick Bagwell, has a much bigger vision in mind, “Mena Family Fun Park is a safe place where families can come and play and kids can come and play without having to deal with the drug problem going on out there. I want it to be a safe haven, a place for good family fun where kids can learn some good family morals. Maybe we can reach out and get a hold of kids who may be struggling; maybe we can help one of them.”
A self proclaimed Air Force brat, Bagwell was born at the Montgomery Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama, but lived all over the world, including Japan and Germany, as well as many places in the United States, before his family retired in Polk County when he was a young teen. After graduating high school he served the in Air Force until he was injured and medically discharged.
Bagwell has one son, Ricky who is 15. “All I ever wanted to be was a husband and a father,” he said.
Bagwell spent several years in civil service, working for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and as an EMT before managing a department at the local Wal-Mart and then managing the local Pizza Hut. Sometime around his late 20’s he decided to start working for himself and that lead to where he is today.
Along with Mena Family Fun Park, Bagwell also has a business installing tornado shelters and safe rooms called Arkansas Tornado Storm Shelters.
His dream for Mena Family Fun Park originated many years ago, when Bagwell was in his early 20’s. “One Air Force Base I lived on had a big park like this and I was fascinated with it. I loved watching the kids and the families go there to have fun, it was a happy place. But life gets in the way of your dreams and sometimes you have to just go to work,” explained Bagwell, who is thrilled to have the opportunity to build his dream park for Polk County.
The Park is going to be a process, with construction on a new area beginning when the previous one is completed. To date the go-cart track is open and running from Monday-Thursdays, 10 am until 10 pm, Friday and Saturday from 10-around midnight and Sunday from noon until 10 pm. As quickly as he can, Bagwell will open bumper boats, an arcade with pizza and laser tag, miniature golf and a splash park. He hopes Mena Family Fun Park will become a place to host birthday parties, bachelor parties, baby showers and any family event.
You can find out more by calling 870.997.0278 or by visiting www.menafamilyfunpark.com or www.facebook.com/menafamilyfunpark.
“I’m not doing this for me, I’m doing this for the families and kids in Polk County,” said Bagwell.