Archived Story

Deer, train up for auction

Published 9:25am Friday, September 25, 2009

COLOMA – Deer Forest Fun Park, a 20-acre family fun amusement park and petting zoo and a Michigan tradition since 1949, will be sold along with its contents at auction beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26, at the park location, 6800 Indian Lane, in Coloma.

Coloma is located close by Paw Paw Lake and just off I-94 in Berrien County.

Besides the park’s real estate, animals, rides, attractions, vehicles, tools and equipment, 17 separate parcels of land will also be sold as part of this auction, which will be conducted by Direct Auctioneers of Chicago.

The owners are hoping that a buyer will step forward to buy the entire park and continue to operate it as an amenity and family fun destination for all of Michigan and the entire region.

The sale includes Deer Forest Amusement Park as a whole, minus outlots and personal property, and is subject to a minimum bid of $800,000.

In the event the minimum is not reached, all the assets of Deer Forest will be sold piece by piece, excluding the 20 acres of land on which Deer Forest rests.

“It’s a great opportunity to own an amusement park and continue a longstanding tradition,” says John R. Modica, owner with his cousin John S. Modica, who both also operate Direct Auctioneers and Direct Auction Galleries.

“We decided to focus on our core business in Chicago of liquidating estates and conducting auctions of antiques, jewelry, coins and collectibles,” says John S.
The auction sale will be conducted in four phases.

Phase 1 entails the sale of the park as a whole, including land, rides, livestock, vehicles, tools, attractions and equipment.

Phase 2 is for sale of 15 land parcels 50′ x 150′ and two parcels 305′ x 150′, each subject to $5,000 minimum bid. All parcels are Zoned C.

In the event a minimum bid is not reached for the sale of the park as a whole, Phases 3 and 4 will be implemented for the piece by piece selling, but excluding the 20 plus acres of land on which Deer Forest rests.

Items and information are subject to change up to sale time.

Items include such rides as an Eli Ferris Wheel, Clown Around, Herschell Helicopter, Boats In A Moat and Horse and Chariot Merry Go Round; Tilt-a-Whirl, Roller Coaster, Train Ride, Miniature Golf and more.

Livestock include 100 Fallow and Sikha deer, horses and ponies with tack, cows, an alpaca, llamas, potbelly pigs, mountain lion, bobcats, sheep, goats, peacocks and pheasants, cockatoos and parrots.

Also included are coin-op kiddie rides, inflatable moonwalk, skee ball, Fun House, Storybook Lane, Haunted House, buildings, tools, golf carts, restaurant and ice cream parlor equipment, horse trailer and a Gator utility vehicle.

For more details contact Direct Auctioneers at (773) 465-3300 or Gale Realty at (269) 423-7240.

See some of the items at the park Web site: For other auction details visit

After Labor Day, the park has been open Saturday and Sunday only.

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