Does anyone remember West View Park?

Thursday, May 10, 2007 9:39 AM
Land problems were a large part of the reason for the park's demise. Had the park had room to expand, there was a potential buyer that owned the Alpine Sky Ride and the Fascination and Rainbow concessions at the park. (By the way, the independent ownership was the reason why the Alpine Sky Ride was an upcharge ride).

Harton was indeed interested in improving the park as evidenced by the major investments made in the last 3 years defore he died. These investments (including those made by that other concessionaire whom he might have eventually taken in as a partner) included:

Antique cars (Arrow gas powered cars)

Haunted House (Two level Tracey darkride with Allen Herschell cars)

Two kiddie rides from Allen Herschell (Rodeo and Jolly Caterpillar) -- this made West View's Kiddieland one of the largest in the country.

Flying Cages self operated ride

Davy Jones Locker (Tracey darkride retheming)

Boot Hill (Tracey walkthrough)

Auto Skooters expansion and Renovation (including additional Lusse cars)

Relocation of shooting gallery to allow Auto Skooters expansion

Alpine Sky Ride (cable ski lift type ride)

Trabant (Chance flat ride)

Fascination Expansion and renovation

Rainbow game

Rumors had it that a Chance Skydiver was on order when he died. It was to go where the old 16 seat Big Eli Ferris wheel was but it was canceled. Instead, the old Magic Carpet slide (removed to allow the Tilt-A-Whirl to be relocated to make room for part of the Alpine Sky Ride) was returned at this location, overhauled, and renamed the Bat Chute.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007 6:55 PM
I think the name of the person who owned Fascination and the Sky ride was "Gibbs"
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Thursday, May 10, 2007 7:05 PM
He also operated the Rainbow game amd for a while the Boot Hill walkthrough.

I also believe that he ran the former Fascination game at Kennywood.

Fascination was a ball rolling game played like bingo. Many amusement parks had the game years ago and there were standalone Fascination parlors in various beachfront resort towns. There was even a Fascination parlor in Times Square in New York City.

Today there are relatively few of the games left. Knoebels is one of the parks that still has one.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007 7:57 PM
I think he owned the rights to all of the Fascination places.

Rainbow was a cool game too.For people who have never played..It had a table like Fascination but with a rotating wheel with 10 holes and 5 different colors.The object was to light up the 5 colors with 5 balls.

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Friday, May 11, 2007 7:58 AM
Interesting stuff. I did not realize those old games were on the endangered list as well.
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Friday, May 11, 2007 8:18 PM
I liked Fascination when it was a single ball game.When they added the extra ball it wasnt as enjoyable,too fast paced.

One interesting thing that happened on the Whippet when I worked there..

It was ironic this happened during the carpenters picnic.A side friction wheel froze up on the left hand train and got stuck going up the second hill(stopped dead,strange sight).The bad part was we couldnt get people out of the train and walk them down because there was no catwalk after the lift hill.So we had to keep everyone calm till the ladder truck came from the fire department.

The only good thing was I got to work the Flying Scooters for the next couple of days until repairs were done. :)

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Monday, May 14, 2007 7:48 AM
Interesting story. I think WV and KW both kept maintenance up very well. Over the years I can remember very few rides ever being closed or out of service. I do remember the Tempest and the Flying Cages being hosed out quite often. I also remember that the main restaurant served alcohol which was not the case at KW.

Getting stuck on the Whippet like that would have been quite memorable. I know the Dips had a couple fatalities over the years people standing foolishness, but I forget if the Whippet ever did. I am remembering it as actually a pretty safe ride.

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Monday, May 14, 2007 6:19 PM
I remember rides being hosed down after someone barfed. The Rock-O-Plane was the worst for this but spinning rides such as the Round-Up, the Scrambler, The Tilt-A-Whirl, and the Trabant also caused this at times.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2007 8:20 PM

Camp said:
I also remember that the main restaurant served alcohol which was not the case at KW.

The bar at the restaurant was the preferred park hangout for several of my friends' fathers. I remember my dad - not a drinker - being drafted on numerous occasions to go in and retrieve dads for kids ready to call it a night. One or two of those got kind of wild, as I recall. Not so good times.

Sandi

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Thursday, May 17, 2007 9:29 AM
With our groups it was always the kids who refused to give up at the end of the day.

On one hand I have to wonder how much of a money maker the alcohol was and if WV would have been better off without it. On the other hand it was one of the ways the two parks differentiated each other. I do recall that one of the fatal accidents on the dips was alcohol related. That was when the lake was there.

The study here could very well be that alcohol and Amusement parks are not a favorable mix. I enjoy an occaisional beer, but I have never had one at the amusement park. Never even considered it to be honest.

The two do not mix well for me.

What are your good memories Sandi? I am trying to jog my memory banks with this thread. One of the fun things about going to WV was talking about the previous years rides and which ones you liked and didn't like even before actually getting to the park.

I always enjoyed a trip around the Alpine Skyride. Slow as it was it was as close as a kid could get to aeronautics and to scan the park for crowd size and other kids that might be there.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007 3:54 PM
West View had a free gate and there were other bars within a couple of blocks from the park. Therefore it was easy for someone to wet their whistle even if this would have meant leaving the park. By having a bar in the park, West View was basically picking up extra revenue that would otherwise go someone else.

The main reason why West View allowed alcohol in the picnic areas was to attract company and union picnics. One beer related incident took place in 1970 involving, of all organizations, the Fraternal Order of Police. They had a picnic at the park and an number of "pigs" (what else would you call them when they act like this) got into a brawl. It was racial in nature and started, I believe, because a black man was with a white woman. The following year the FOP returned to the park but did not have beer at the picnic shelters.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007 7:36 PM

Camp said:


What are your good memories Sandi? I am trying to jog my memory banks with this thread. One of the fun things about going to WV was talking about the previous years rides and which ones you liked and didn't like even before actually getting to the park.

I always enjoyed a trip around the Alpine Skyride. Slow as it was it was as close as a kid could get to aeronautics and to scan the park for crowd size and other kids that might be there.


I really liked that ride too - looking down and yelling at people you knew, seeing how much change and trash people had dropped on top of the refreshment stand.

My favorite memories are:

Driving the Antique Cars. One of the few pictures I have of us at the park is of my nephew, my dad and I on one of the cars. When we went to Knoebels last summer I got a great picture of my husband and my two sons driving on one of the ones there to go with it.

Riding the Racing Whippet for the first time with my dad, who I persuaded to take me on against the express wishes of my mother (who was otherwise occupied in Kiddieland with my sister and her kids). She was convinced of the truth of the rumor she had heard, growing up in Millvale, that it had been condemned in the 30s and was completely unsafe. Boy was she mad.

The Merry-Go-Round - my favorite horse was one with a US flag motif. I have an interesting story about this ride. When they dismantled it after shutting down the park, they found my sister's father-in-law's wallet under it. It had been lost many years before - like late 50s or 60s. Someone from the park actually found him - they still lived at the same place - and got it back to him. As I understand it, it was still in pretty good condition, money and everything.

The Penny Arcade with all those machines that gave out the black and white picture cards of 50s and 60s movie stars.

Riding the train under the Dips.

That Jolly Caterpillar ride in Kiddieland - the one that is now at Conneaut Lake.

Talking my mother onto the Tempest with me.

All of the haunted houses - especially Davey Jones' Locker, but also a two story one (must have been the one that ended up being Fright Zone at Erieview).

Eating at that cafeteria with my family when I would've rather been riding.

That's all that's coming to mind right now. I wish I'd filed more away. I'm really enjoying this thread and all the information that everyone has to share from their experiences.

Sandi

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Thursday, May 17, 2007 8:28 PM
They had a great arcade.

Plus you could get a nice little "buzz" from the fumes from the spin art booth that was in there. :) For those who dont know what spin art is..they would put a blank white card on a holder that would spin it.You would take "ketchup" bottles with different colored paint and squeeze on the card,would make some cool designs.

Thank you Arthur for starting this topic,its bringing back some great memories of the park that I really miss.

*** Edited 5/18/2007 12:33:31 AM UTC by Ex_Westview and KW_worker***

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Friday, May 18, 2007 8:22 AM
Yes I recall the way the train track would follow the Dips and then it would pass the parking area so that when you parked you would drive over the train tracks and through the Dips structure, then park, and then walk back and perhaps hear the train whistle and hear the roar of the coaster on the way in. Then it was past the antique cars and to the Auto Scooters. Those sounds are the best.

I was very happy to take my kids to Conneaut to ride a couple of the old WV rides like the Jolly Caterpillar. I am hoping they can open this year they are so close to completeing the land sale and making just enough to stick around. Conneaut was rumored to close when I remember still going to WV.

We are going to go to Waldameer this year for the dark rides and small coaster. Probably as close as we can get to Davy Jones Locker is Pirates Cove. My daughter did not like the dark ride at Beech Bend Park last year. She hates spiders, but she did enjoy the family of cats that emerged from inside the dark ride, obviously a mutually beneficial home.

We have zero family pictures from WV. This is a big loss. I make sure I take my pocket sized digital now and fill the memory card with 146 photos on each of at least 3 park trips a summer now. My son hates coasters, but thank goodness my daughter loves them.

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Friday, May 18, 2007 7:25 PM
I don't remember the spin-art at WV, only at KW. Where was it at WV? Also, the Flying Cages and standard ferris wheel were gone by the time I was old enough to make it out of Kiddieland. I do, however, remember the double "Sky Wheel" that was only there a couple of seasons.

I would have preferred a ferris wheel to that lame Bat Chute. The standard slide at Bayne Park in Bellevue was more fun than that thing.

I also remember the swings that were under the bridge by the Whippet, and you could see little boats stored underneath.. looked like little steamboat replicas. I always wondered what they were all about. I can't remember now if the swings were replaced by moving the caterpillar under there or if the swings were still there during the closing season. I want to say they moved the Cat for the Tempest and moved it to where the swings were, but that may be incorrect.

Arcade item I remember most was the driving game where you drove a Corvair convertible on a TV screen and the brake lights lit up. I also remember those afforementioned 2 cent postcards dispensed via suction cups, (which often malfunctioned), but my cards of choice were the cars, not the cowboys or movie stars. I can remember making buildings out of them on the living room floor like card houses as a kid. Heh heh.

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Friday, May 18, 2007 7:41 PM
Looking back at the times at West View, I wish I could have visited was the one in New Castle (Cadcades, was it? There was an earlier post about it)....

Anyhoo... I can't believe NONE of us kids knew about it back then, being that close to Pittsburgh. That coaster looked like it would have been a blast. Most of us had been to Kennywood, Idlewild, Conneaut, and even Idora during that time frame, but none of us knew about the one in New Castle.

My mom and aunt were "polka junkies" so that meant at least one trip to Idora each year for "polka day".... and those trips sparked at least one memory of another unrelated item on another forum elsewhere, the old "pie pan" type streetlights... the ones with the ornate metal plate and a single bulb hanging underneath. The one side street we took to Idora each year had those still in operation clear up to the last trip.

Last note... anyone else think the pizza at Conneaut tastes EXACTLY like the pizza did at West View???? At that large refreshment stand, under the sky ride... with the family of bees that always surrounded the "Lemon Blennd" machine! (Maybe that's where they got the term "Coaster BUZZ....lol" :) Just how many shoes and hats were on the roof of that building when they razed it, I wonder?

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Friday, May 18, 2007 10:48 PM
I have many memories of this park.
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Friday, May 18, 2007 10:55 PM
Doesn't anyone remember that fantastic midway starting from the parking lot near the lake with the large water fountain? I can still remember the bumper boats they had in that lake in the early 60's. Wasn't it always exciting to ride the Whip and look out the back side of the ride and see the Dips coming back into the station. And remember that incredibly long curved tunnel under the midway that the Dips went thru at the beginning of the ride! How about those incredible Flying Scooters....that soared so high that it was actually possible to "jump the cable", not like those regulated rides of today. And yes, they did remove that Swing ride (with the sign stating no one over 200# allowed to ride) to make room for the relocation of the caterpillar in those final years. What things I can recall!!!
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Friday, May 18, 2007 11:44 PM
Chooch,spin art was actually inside the arcade itself.

The Cascade Comet,ranked right up there with the Williams Grove Cyclone,maybe in a state of disrepair more.The only coaster that I was a little scared to ride because of fear of my personal safety.Not only did it have a wicked last drop(VERY steep),the branches of the nearby trees came close to wacking your head.This is no lie..if you sat in the last seat you could literally see the heads of the people in the seats in front of you bobbing up and down because the track was so badly warped.

*** Edited 5/19/2007 4:00:41 AM UTC by Ex_Westview and KW_worker***

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Monday, May 21, 2007 8:54 AM
Great memory joggers. I had forgot about the whip and the sound of the dips leaving the station and running under the arcade "mall." The indoor arcade was a pretty good idea.

The Bat Chute was as lame as the flying scooters were cool.

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