Abe knew that to make Riverview the "Coney Island" of Iowa they
must duplicate some of the most popular attractions of the actual
Coney Island. He and the board of directors made sure that
Riverview was to open with some of the same successful rides
and attractions that Coney Island had.
They must have a large wooden roller coaster, a whip ride, a
miniature train and railway, an old mill water ride, a fun house, a
Carousel and a towering circle swing.
Besides several food and
refreshment facilities, there would be picnic areas, canoeing,
a dance hall, a roller skating rink and finally, like Coney Island, the
essential bathing beach.
Finally on June fifteenth, 1915, the awaited day finally arrived after a one week delay due to
weeks of steady rain and near flood conditions in Des Moines.
Riverview opened and was an instant success.
Abe Frankle personally took the duties of managing the daily operation of the
park in addition to being President of the Riverview Amusement
Company. The elements for continued success were mostly in place.
Riverview's very first patrons were greeted these by major attractions
A new wooden roller coaster, "The Jack Rabbit", designed by the
famous coaster designer John Miller.
A unique swimming pool and beach with a stately bath house
and two hundred and fifty thousand gallons of filtered water.
And a Dance Pavilion featuring Riverview's own band as well as
famous guest bands and performers.
All this and much more located on a magnificently landscaped
setting with covered promenades, flower gardens and an
abundance of electrical decorative lighting throughout the entire
park. The lighting of the park at night was a show in itself for the
Abe Frankle and the board of directors learned early on they had
a tiger by the tail when concessionaires were standing in line to
secure and lease a spot on the amusement park grounds. The
board of directors took advantage the situation, allowing newly
formed small business companies offering to build or place
attractions at Riverview to secure leases.
The renters had to
adhere to strict standards pertaining to keeping the park’s image
of fun and wonderment as well as holding insurance and liability
policies. Some of the board of directors became investors themselves
personally in the individual concessions.