Developer says he hasn't given up on Wheeling amusement park plan

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Colorado developer Steve Minard said he still sees a future for his Wild Escapes theme park project at The Highlands in Ohio County, though he can't put a timeline to the work. Minard blames the lack of progress on the environmental permitting process. Until the permits were in hand, he said it didn't make sense to expend the time and money mapping out what he called the detail work.

Read more from The State Journal.

LostKause's avatar

I was looking forward to having a large park closer to my home, but this outcome was predicted a very long time ago.

It would be nice to have a park 10 minutes from home. Kennywood is still only about an hour drive for us.

I would suggest starting with a combination waterpark and family entertainment center (miniature golf, go karts, etc). These require less initial investment and risk, and are less suceptable to competition from other parks such as Kennywood. Maybe a few kiddie rides or inexpensive family rides such as a small carousel, a Tilt-A-Whirl or a Scrambler can be added as well with some more elaborate rides added later if the park does well. What you don't want to have happen is to become another Paradise Lake (a failed theme park from the early 1980s).

DelGrossos near Altoona, PA might be a good model to base this park on initially. It, too is in a small market and even has competition from another local park. Such a park would also fill the niche left when White Swan Park was torn down for a highway.

Arthur Bahl

LostKause's avatar

In a perfect world, there would be many more parks in the U.S. that follow the DelGrosso's trend.

I have to wonder had it made more sense to consider Martinsburg rather than Wheeling for this project? Would it made a difference?

Martinsburg is the only city in West Virginia that wasn't in a recession and is the fastest growing city in WV by far. Martinsburg is getting a Saks Fifth Ave, new Macys and a Nordstrom and plans are for international flights coming in and out of the Eastern Panhandle Regional/Martinsburg International Airport. Not too mention there is those plans for a 20,000 seat indoor arena called "The Prettyman" and being close to DC and Baltimore...sounds like a good place to me for an amusement park.

..Then again these "plans" had came from and WRNR talkradio 740, oh that makes sense now. Oh well.....maybe Wheeling is the better choice afterall.

Last edited by Chriscub,

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