Winter storm clobbers Enchanted Forest ahead of reopening


The family-owned business near Salem had planned to reopen in March

A fallen tree at the entrance of Enchanted Forest near Salem, Oregon, February 2021. (Enchanted Forest/Susan Vaslev)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon’s beloved fairytale theme park has been handed one bad apple after the next.

First, business was brought to a screeching halt by the coronavirus pandemic. And just as things were looking up, winter storms tore through the region and caused some major damage to the little kingdom near Salem.

But family-owned Enchanted Forest is determined to keep fighting.

Enchanted Forest was set to reopen on March 19 after a GoFundMe campaign raised more than $420,000 to help the park pay down debt accrued during the pandemic closures.

But the park suffered another setback last week when freezing rain coated the surrounding forest in thick ice. Many trees toppled, knocking out power, destroying the iconic children’s train and damaging roofs and attractions including the Ice Mountain and Log rides.

On Thursday, the business posted on its Facebook page that cleanup efforts were underway and progress had been made.

“We so appreciate everyone’s offers of help, but this continues to be a very dangerous site and we have professional crews doing reconstruction work,” the family said. “Thank you so much for all your offers of help and your kind thoughts. We are still fighting because of you.”

Enchanted Forest GoFundMe Campaign

The post went on to reveal that the iconic Witch’s Head and Humpty Dumpty structures created by park founder Roger Tofte had made it through the storm unscathed.

In an online update, owner Susan Vaslev thanked Enchanted Forest supporters and said fundraising efforts are ongoing.

“Thanks to the support we have been shown during our financial challenges during Covid through GoFundMe, our Buy-A-Brick program, our auction and other fundraising efforts, our insurance was paid in full,” Vaslev posted. “Unfortunately, there is a huge deductible and insurance will not cover everything such as all of the massive cleanup. All of our fundraising is still active such as the GoFundMe and Buy-A-Brick program.”

The Enchanted Forest family was forced to endure an unthinkable tragedy in September when Roger Tofte’s 13-year-old great-grandson Wyatt Tofte was killed along with his grandmother in the Beachie Creek Fire.

It’s unclear at this time whether Enchanted Forest will reopen on March 19 as planned. The family said they’re determined to see the park reach its 50th anniversary later this summer.

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