1970s 1980s Outside The Park

Discovering Lagoon…Outside Lagoon

I’ve stumbled upon a few items of interest relating to different Lagoon ventures outside the park. Aside from the obvious one (The Terrace), here is a short list with the few brief details I currently have.


Shortly after Trolley Square opened as a shopping mall in the 1970s, Lagoon Corporation began running an arcade there. Newspaper articles referred to it as both the Trolley Arcade & Amusement Center and Trolley Square Arcade & Amusement Center. Ads in the late ’70s call it Trolley Games. There was also a nondescript mention of a Trolley Electronics & Amusement Company around the time this arcade was completed, but I’ve found no confirmation that it was the same establishment. The arcade opened in December 1974. At least one person remembers it being “above Pizza Hut”. That would mean it was probably located on the second floor of what would later become the Hard Rock Cafe (and what is now Poundcakes and the Wiseguys Comedy Club). However, a visitor to the site remembers it this way:

“I remember that the arcade used to occupy both floors of that space, and the downstairs had a shooting gallery with all the usual sorts of neat stuff, like the hanging pans that would buck off the wall when you shot them, the piano player that would play a bit of a tune when you shot at him, etc.”

With Lagoon’s Penny Arcade simultaneously operating at the park, I have to wonder if some of the machines were used at both arcades at different times. It should be noted that other non-related arcades have been in business at Trolley Square over the years besides Lagoon’s.

Another arcade operated by Lagoon Corp. opened in Sugar House in early 1975. As of July of that year, three others were planned in Ogden and Salt Lake City, but the ad below from 1979 shows the only locations in Trolley Square and Liberty Park.


Lagoon operated a 1954 Arrow Merry-Go-Round at this Ogden park for an unknown period of time. As of 1984, Lagoon still had it in storage and had placed it up for sale. This leaves me with at least a couple questions. How many concessions could Lagoon have operated outside the park? Were any of the rides at Lagoon operated elsewhere by Lagoon Corporation before or after their time at the park?

Lagoon-A-Beach Togs
Photo: Paul Barker, Deseret News


A clothing line sold at J.C. Penney stores in the area during June and July of 1989. Designed by local artist Martin Blundell to help promote the new water park. The line featured swimsuits, sweatshirts and t-shirts that were specifically designed to endure water, sand and sun. They were later made available exclusively at Rad Brad’s Surf Rags at Lagoon with the possibility of expanding outside Utah if it became profitable enough.


When developments to the south shore of the Great Salt Lake were being considered, businesses were concerned about water and sewer lines being made available in the area before going ahead with plans. Boyd F. Jensen represented Lagoon at an October 1977 public meeting with the Great Salt Lake Development Study Team. Concerning Lagoon’s involvement, the article simply stated, “…Lagoon owners are not interested in building an amusement park on the lake, but they might operate a restaurant if adequate utilities are provided.”

more from lhp

Trolley Square still growing. Deseret News, 14 Dec 1974.

Lagoon can turn a frown upside down. Deseret News, 5 Apr 1975.

Trolley Square’s new ‘street’. Deseret News, 18 Nov 1975.

Saltair improvements debated. Deseret News, 21 Oct 1977.

Carrousels: A ride that builds memories. Deseret News, 17 Jun 1984.

Lagoon-A-Beach togs are making a splash. Deseret News, 17 Jul 1989.

Trolley Square?. Unknown forum post, 8 May 2001.

Trolley Square Store Directory. Trolley, accessed 2 Jan 2011.

RE: Lagoon Photos. Message to author from Sam W., 18 Feb 2011.

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