I'll agree that parks like DelGrosso's are the way they are because of where they are- how else are they going to compete with larger parks that are father away for the locals? But just because parks in places like Altoona have to offer cheap prices and free parking, it doesn't mean that park model wouldn't be successful in more populated areas. As Joe said, Rye Playland, the Coney Island parks, Quassy, Bowcraft and Adventureland are all successful parks, and they aren't large, nor do their prices approach those of theme parks. Well, maybe Playland a bit...
The thing is, parks rarely compete with one another. Instead, they compete with malls, movie theaters and other forms of local entertainment. Open a small park in a populated area and it's not going to compete with the region's theme park, it's going to compete with other businesses that fight for your entertainment dollar.
Again, this park serves Altoona and the surrounding area well but there will always be those in the area who head for the bigger thrills at Kennywood and Hershey. The important thing is, DelGrossos found their niche and plays to it unlike many smaller parks that have not been so successful.
More smaller better parks for everyone! :)
What I would love to see is something in the Tannersville/Blakeslee area from the Hershend family of parks. I think a themed park ala Dollywood or Silver Dollar City taking on the theme of local history would be a smash, especially if you thrown in a moderate water park, a couple of nice family friendly hotels. Not only would you attract the NEPA residents, but NYC and Nothern NJ. But that is just my idea, unless I win powerball we will continue to drive to the great parks we have: Knoebels, Dorney or Hershey.
The problem with SFGAdv is that the big crowds keep going there so Six Flags can continue milking them for all they can. DP and HP mignt be worthwhile parks but they are a longer trip from the NYC area and they don't have as many really big coasters.
On the other side of NYC I believe that eventually LC will become the viable alternative to SFNE. It might take a decade but I believe that it will eventually happen.
Something like this, you mean?
Nice choice, but I'm partial to this one.
The big problem is that the required investment is quite high for a venture that can be quite risky. It's probably best to start as an FEC or a small waterpark or maybe a combination of both. Later add a kiddieland and a few grown-up flats and then if things go well, put in a coaster or two.
BTW, I noticed RCDB is saying that the coaster formerly known as Revolution isn't going to open at DelGrossos until 2008.
I often wondered how Knoebels managed to thrive when all the other parks in Northeastern PA went under (Rocky Glen, Nay Aug, Angela, Lakewood).
(and even then, I'd have probably driven to Cedar Point ;) )
(then again, I didn't own a car until I was 20)
I'm of no help here and I've exceeded my parenthesis quota.
Besides Knoebels, there is one other amusement park in NE PA, Bushkill. It has had difficulties in recent years but is still in operation.
But since then, the park has been cleaned up, the old zoo has reopened, and rides have started returning (though not on the original park site). I don't think there is anything terribly noteworthy except that the original Nay Aug Park train is back in operation!
I also visited Magic Valley as a young-un. Though I don't really remember much about it.
It seems that SOME towns and cities are realizing that small amusement parks aren't necessarily a bad thing, and are in fact something that might be a GOOD idea.
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