Creator of GJ amusement park, Guyton’s Fun Junction, dies at 88
Bob Guyton, who put “fun” and “junction” together to build Guyton’s Fun Junction, left a half-century legacy of entertainment and inspiration.
Guyton died July 26. He was 88.
He and his wife, Maebeth, moved to Grand Junction in 1954, where Guyton built “The Sands” miniature golf course on North Avenue.
“The Sands” grew to be “Tee Off Golf,” which Guyton transformed six years later with the purchase of rides from a children’s park at Lincoln Park, creating “Guyton’s Fun Park.”
Guyton added rides nearly every year. By the 1970s, the park had become “Guyton’s Fun Junction,” a name it carried for the next four decades.
“Over the years, in addition to their own children, they employed thousands of youths, many who worked there for multiple summers,” Guyton’s children wrote. “They loved working with the kids.”
For Chris Burns of Bananas Fun Park, Guyton’s Fun Junction remains a source of strong memories and a bit of inspiration.
“When I was a kid, Grand Mesa Little League opened up behind there,” Burns said of the amusement park. “What we would do is we would play games and then hit mom up for five bucks and go to Guyton’s and play Skee-Ball or mini golf.”
Guyton was always at “The Park,” as the family called the amusement park, working from sunrise to midnight, his family said.
“The thing I remember is that when I was there at 9:30 or 11 at night, he was always there, picking up trash” or doing some other work that needed to be done. Burns said.
Even as a minor-league baseball player, Guyton’s Fun Park formed part of his outlook, Burns said, remembering that he was always consulting the Yellow Pages in a new town for a game of Skee-Ball or mini-golf while playing elsewhere with the Gene Taylor’s team or in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.
Fellow Grand Junction Lions Club member and former state Sen. Tillie Bishop said Guyton greeted people easily.
“That’s probably the reason he fit real well into Guyton’s Fun Park,” Bishop said. “He was quite entrepreneurial, building it to what eventually became a pretty good park that everyone would go to.”
The park included a roller coaster and a variety of other rides and games, in addition to miniature golf. It was located on seven acres at North Avenue and 28 3/4 Road.
“Bob mastered every skill necessary,” his children wrote. “He could paint and do fiberglass. He was a bookkeeper. He designed, installed and maintained the landscaping. He was a plumber, an electrician and a carpenter. He could build, tear down and rebuild anything. Bob was a craftsman. He created the park and composed everything within it.
“To truly know Bob Guyton, a person need only experience the amusement park he built. He was the hardest working man we ever knew.”
Guyton served in Europe during World War II and became fond of Salzburg, Austria, in particular. He and his wife visited there often.
In addition to Maebeth, he is survived by two daughters, Michelle Guyton, Camille Jestrovich and a son, Kevin Guyton.