Its Still Pittsburgh Pendulum to Me (KW 9-5-05)

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, September 6, 2005 12:12 PM
I headed to Kennywood for the announcing of the new ride name scheduled for 2 PM. I was one of the finalists that entered the name "Pittsburgh Pendulum" and was hoping it would win, although the buzz over at kwconnection prior to the announcement was it had little chance of winning, despite having won 64% of the popular vote.

Since I had submitted one of the finalist names, the park invited me to attend and provided me a free RAD which was great! The weather was perfect and although the park was busy, the waits were not bad at all.

Anyway, back to the contest. The contestants showed up at 2 PM in anticipation for the announcement. I knew that a bunch of people had entered the name PP but I couldn't remember when I had submitted my entry (turns out later I was the 4th person even though I submitted in April!).

They announed the rankings in beauty pagent style and when PP was announced as the runner up, I knew my 15 minutes of fame were over. However, the park did give us certificates with our names and entries which will make a nice addition to my collection.

Prior to the announcement, Mary Lou who does the Park's PR gave some interesting trivia. Other naming contests in the past included The Pit Fall and the Thunderbolt.

Some interesting names that were submitted that did not get further consideration:

1. Dancing Bananas

2. Aero 360 (Hmm, doesn't this name sound familiar?)

3. Aero 180 (actually kind of creative)

4. Monongahela Monster (name of the former Octopus Ride that used to be on top of the stage)

Unfortunately the winning submitter was not able to attend to see his name announced for Swing Shot. Mary Lou said that although a lot of people really liked PP, the reasons that worked for PP also worked against it. One of the factors that helped SS was only 2 people submitted that name whereas PP was submitted by several hundred. The park seemed to like going with something more unique.

After the crowd cleared away, I got a chance to chat one on one with Jerome Gibas who is the park's general manager. I introduced myself and told him that I was a park enthusiast and member of coasterbuzz. He said, "Yeah, I read that site!" So, even further confirmation that management does read sites like ours, so it pays to have good discussions. Anyway, Mr. Gibas was very nice. We had a good discussion about what factors a park considers when choosing a new ride. He said that there are certain rides that every park has to have. Beyond those, when choosing a ride, KW tries to pick rides that are unique and will appeal to as much of their audience as possible. Not just one or two people make the decision. They take a lot of people's input into consideration and bounce ideas off different groups, such as maintenance, people that travel to other parks, etc., so that a bias opinion is not reached.

While we were chatting, KDKA TV (who was late for the announcement), asked to interview Mr. Gibas on camera and he invited me to sit next to hit while they did the interview. I didn't get asked any questions, but I may have been in the camera shot. I have not confirmed if the piece has aired yet.

Mr. Gibas was definitely a class act and if you are reading, thanks again for listening and chatting!

The rest of the day was picture perfect. All of the normal KW stuff. I got my last rides in on the Swing Around before it vacates next year.

So, even though my entry didn't win, I thought it was great that out of 11,000 entries, I was able to be one of the finalists. In some way though, I feel like Al Gore having won the popular vote and not the electoral college.

Thanks KW for giving me a great day and end to the regular season. *** Edited 9/6/2005 5:49:31 PM UTC by SpecialEd***

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Tuesday, September 6, 2005 12:33 PM
more than two people had to submit swing shot, cause i entered my aunt into the contest with that name and they didn't invite her back as a finalist. maybe because i didn't have the word "The" before the name. I just entered the name Swing Shot.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2005 1:08 PM
That's spelled Monongahela.
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Tuesday, September 6, 2005 1:22 PM
Wow, how did you know that they were gonna remove the Swing Around. I've known for only a few days now and didn't think many people knew. Yes, it will be sad to see it go put we'll still be able to ride it in another PA park. Too bad they won't be replacing it with another ride on top of the stage.

I was over at the Thunderbolt when the announcement was going on. I heard bits 'n pieces of it but couldn't hear much due to the Turtle being so noisy. I'm kinda glad they didn't pick PP, Swing Shot is a much better name.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2005 1:50 PM

Agent Johnson said:
That's spelled Monongahela.

Tough to spell, harder to type!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 12:16 AM
Why are they getting rid of Swing Around? It's a neat family ride that you just don't see to often anymore.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 8:06 AM
Reportedly it's being removed for rehab to return sometime in the future. The stage is to be completely renovated as well. No ride will return on top of the stage, unfortunately.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 8:30 PM
If memory serves me right that stage is the lower portion of the old Rocket Ships, a Traver built ride from the WWI era. I remember seeing it shake when the Monster was up there, so I would imagine that there is some concern about it's structual integrity, and what would have to be done to make it suitable to put another ride up there versus stabilizing it for the musical productions.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 9:28 PM
It actually has to do more with noise interference with the shows and ADA regulations.
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