It seems like change is a constant when it comes to Allegan's iconic riverfront boardwalk. In recent years the boardwalk that runs along the Kalamazoo River downtown has welcomed a new bandshell, splash pad, and outdoor fireplace. It truly is shaping up to be "Positively Allegan"!

However, one of the most visible attractions along the riverfront will soon be leaving downtown as the City of Allegan and Allegan Event have announced new plans for the zipline that runs across the Kalamazoo River.

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Allegan Event, who operates the zipline, is the largest indoor ropes course in Michigan and operates out of the old Rockwell factory at 439 River Street. In a joint press release with the City of Allegan the recreation center shared,

Allegan Event...is moving the Zip Line experience from Allegan’s Riverfront Park and expanding its outdoor attractions at the Allegan Event Center...[the zipline] was the start of a great partnership that helped jumpstart a lot of activity in Downtown Allegan. Seeing customers from all over Michigan and beyond come to Allegan to experience a fun attraction is what kept the ball rolling to open the Allegan Event indoor facility.

I remember when they first installed the zipline in 2017 and I'll be honest, I thought it was an eyesore at the time. Its beginnings were plagued by people getting stuck halfway across the river, but once the kinks were worked out it became a huge attraction for kids and adults alike who wanted to zip across the Kalamazoo River.

Soon after its opening a climbing wall was added to the side of the structure and the tower has even dropped the New Year's ball during Allegan's New Year's celebrations. The zipline and towers have now become a fixture of the boardwalk scene-- so what's next?

Where's The Zipline Going?

As Allegan Event plans to expand, they say the Riverfront Plaza just isn't big enough to house their new additions. Says Allegan Event owner Michelle Liggett,

Although we will miss the downtown vibe, the outdoor expansion plan at Allegan Event will allow us to have a unique indoor and outdoor family adventure experience that we can’t wait to share with everyone

More Changes Ahead

The moving of the zipline also coincides with the city's plans to modify the flow of the Kalamazoo River and downtown landscape. Instead of repairing the dam, the city will remove it and allow the river to shrink and return to its natural flow. This means less water space, yet more land use. The city hopes to add walking paths, a new park, and a boat launch after the removal of the dam.

Last Chance!

Allegan Event say Labor Day weekend will be your final chance to catch a ride over the Kalamazoo River. Opening hours are noon to 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday and Monday (Labor Day). Make sure to book your appointment here to guarantee a spot!

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