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***
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.
Agent Johnson said:
That's spelled Monongahela.
Tough to spell, harder to type!
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