Kennywood applies for beer permit

Posted Friday, April 13, 2012 9:20 AM | Contributed by Jeff

If Kennywood begins to sell beer, the West Mifflin amusement park will maintain the family-friendly reputation that it established more than a century ago, a spokesman said. Founded in 1898, Kennywood has never sold beer regularly, except during two weekends in September during Oktoberfest-themed events. That could change by the end of June if the park gets approval from the state Liquor Control Board to begin selling beer throughout the summer season.

Read more from The Tribune-Review.

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Friday, April 27, 2012 1:55 PM

kpjb said:

Steady crowds, yes. Hour plus waits for most rides, no.

Respectfully, if you go back and read what I said, I ddin't say most rides. I said the popular rides. Rides like Exterminator, Ghostwood, etc.

And I would respectfully beg to differ with anybody who thinks people don't get cranky standing in line for the Exterminator (particularly once it gets inside) on an 80+ degree day.

Incidentally, the last time I was on Ghostwood Estates it was an hour and fifteen minute late.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, about 15 minutes of that was because they had to temporarily close the ride for "repairs" which were later determined to be cleaning a car after somebody threw up in it.

It happens. May or may not be the norm. I wouldn't venture to guess. Worth pointing out, though, that it would have still been around an hour wait and, it seems to me that those types of "repairs" are likely to be more common once alcohol is sold.

Sundays in May and June are usually slower, as are Mondays and Wednesdays in July and August. Weekends in July are some big corporate picnics and are pretty busy. Weekends in September are moderate to slow.

I will be sure to pass along the suggestion about Mondays and Wednesdays. Last I had heard they were suggesting Tuesdays and Thursdays which turned out to not be the case. This may well have added to the perception that every day is that busy.

May and September are certainly slower. No doubt about that.

Unfortunately, it's also colder those months and rides like the Log Jam and Raging Rapids are out of the picture.

So, there is a bit of a trade-off there.

For the record, my comment about lines is not really a major complaint on my part. Yes, it does limit the desire to go there (I have often joked that, being about 10 miles north of Pittsburgh, I can drive to Waldameer and ride the RFII in less time than it takes to drive to Kennywood and ride Exterminator) but there isn't a whole lot that parks can really do about the lines.

Kennywood has utilized it's space probably about as effectively as it can so, save expanding down into that other area that they supposedly own there's limited room to put in more rides to aleviate them.

The lines are what they are.

My comment was simply that there are those who complain about them. And, whether the line is a reasonable 30 minutes or a longer 60+, if you're inclined to get annoyed by such things alcohol usually doesn't improve that (contrary to the assertion that it improves evreything).

Like I said, I, personally, don't care. I can see why others might, though. I have to figure that there must be reasons why the parks around here didn't do it sooner. And, I suspect that it won't be more than a season or two before the no alcohol policy goes back into effect.

Especially once the company picnic planners start complaining that they aren't allowed to bring in alcohol for their picnics despite the fact that they sell it there.

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Friday, April 27, 2012 3:54 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I like where this is going. It's been a while since we've had a defensive poster who replies to everything with a wall of text.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Friday, April 27, 2012 4:16 PM
Jeff's avatar

Which is less useful than replying to everything with a critique of post length or style?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, April 27, 2012 5:45 PM

Defensive?

Simply stating an opinion. I have nothing to be defensive about.

As for the length of my posts, it's been my experience that short posts about controversial topics tends to lead to a lot of misunderstandings.

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Friday, April 27, 2012 6:29 PM

TJinPgh said:

I WOULD RATHER drive to Waldameer and ride the RFII in less time than it takes to drive to Kennywood and ride Exterminator). :)

I corrected it with how I feel.I would drive the extra distance to ride RFII any day over Kennywood's wooden ones

If Kennywood would build a new wooden coaster,maybe the line for the Exterminator wouldnt be so bad.Its long overdue,over 40 yrs since one has been built.

Getting back to the beer topic..

West View had a "beer garden"ever since I can remember.Never saw anybody really drunk coming out of there when I worked there.

Families go to baseball and football games.I have seen MANY of drunk people at both but families still go.Nothing is said about that.Why should Kennywood be treated different?

TJ..I must live close by,Im 15 mi north of the city.


Racing whippet 76-77
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Saturday, April 28, 2012 1:05 AM

Well, whether or not one considers a discussion about lines as being connected to the beer topic depends simply on whether or not you think alcohol will contribute in any way to the way people react to such things.

Your point about Kennywood being long overdue for a new woodie is well taken. Unfortunately, to build one they almost have to tear one of the older ones out and the locals don't seem to like that.

As to the difference between sporting events and an amusement park with respect to alcohol, I can think of a couple of potential differences.

The first is that while you can certainly find kids at baseball or football games, I don't think anyone would ever kid themselves into believing that they are actually aimed at the under 21 crowd.

Further, more and more parks are designating sections specifically for families where alcohol is prohibited to limit their exposure to it. So, even there it is recognized.

The second, while not a "family" issue is one of liability. Truthfully, I think that there are just too many opportunities for somebody who's tipsy to get hurt.

Not suggesting that those opportunities don't exist at a ball park. But, you're not spending 3 hours sitting at an amusement park.

I live about 3 miles north of downtown. But, I work about 10 miles north of it and grew up about 15 miles north.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 3:26 AM

All I have to say is, if a place like Chuck E. Cheese can serve beer and wine, I see no problem with amusement parks serving it.


My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 9:49 AM
Vater's avatar

Waiting a long time for a mouse is not exclusive to Kennywood.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 11:07 AM
LostKause's avatar

Which brings up a question that I keep asking. Why would a busy park install a low-capacity ride like a mouse?

I wonder how many registers will be open at the Beer Garden? lol


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Saturday, April 28, 2012 11:23 AM
kpjb's avatar

TJinPgh said:

Respectfully, if you go back and read what I said, I ddin't say most rides. I said the popular rides. Rides like Exterminator, Ghostwood, etc.

It's all good. I understand where you're coming from... you did, however, say:

I have yet to find a day when Kennywood isn't packed to the gills with people... subsequent hour plus waits for most popular rides

Exterminator gets long lines due to the capacity, but what I took umbrage with is "MOST" popular rides. The popular rides here are Phantom's Revenge, Exterminator, Sky Rocket, Log Jammer, Aero 360, Thunderbolt, Jack Rabbit, Swing Shot, Cosmic Chaos... most of those will never have a line approaching an hour.

As for Ghostwood, was it during the inaugural year? If so, long lines are expected. If not, I suspect it broke down more than once while you were in that line.

more and more parks are designating sections specifically for families where alcohol is prohibited to limit their exposure to it

Alcohol is prohibited in the entire park, short of one 20'x20' area.

Edit: erasey button

Last edited by kpjb, Saturday, April 28, 2012 11:27 AM

Hi

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 4:40 PM

Last time I was there was about a year before Sky Rocket opened. So, if you happen to know when Ghostwood opened (I forget) I suppose you can do the math but I'm relatively sure it wasn't the first year for it.

I can't speak to how many times it broke down. We only heard about the one when it needed to be cleaned. Otherwise? The line did more or less keep moving. It was simply that long.

I already mentioned that the Phantom's line moved quickly. Short ride. 2 trains helps that ride quite a bit.

The other rides you mentioned? You may well be right. I can't say.

As I already mentioned, I was there on the night pass and the lines were so long on Ghostwood and Exterminator that the only other rides I had the opportunity to go on were Phantom, the Log Jam and Noah's Arc.

The lines for the coasters, if I had to guess, all looked to be 30-40 minutes. Didn't have time to find out for sure and, since the person I went with doesn't ride coasters I wouldn't have been able to ride them anyway since they all require 2 people. Didn't have the time to look for another loner.

Was my perspective skewed because I went at night, rather than all day? Quite possible. All I can say is that the others that I know.. those with kids that go every year and spend all day there.. all say they have similar experiences.

Dunno.

Incidentally, while I confess the pool from which I questioned was small compared to the people who go to Kennywood, I've found nobody who thinks that them serving alcohol is a good idea.

The point about Chuck E. Cheese having alcohol is well taken, though. A point that was made to me by somebody offline last night. Can't really offer a response to that other than that individual still thought this was a bad idea.

YMMV.

For the record, it's not my intent here to be confrontational. Perhaps to play Devil's Advocate a bit and express the validity of the other side of the discussion.

I go to Waldameer more often than I go to KW these days and I don't have kids so I really don't have a dog in the hunt to care either way.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 4:57 PM

LostKause said:

Which brings up a question that I keep asking. Why would a busy park install a low-capacity ride like a mouse?

I wonder how many registers will be open at the Beer Garden? lol

Space constraints, I would imagine. They are kind of to the point where to put a new ride in they almost need to take something out.

kpjb,

I'm curious. Do you have any knowledge of how far down over the hill (down toward the Steel Valley Trail) Kennywood owns?

Was wondering about the viability of putting in a woodie like Boulder Dash along that hillside.

I read someplace that they bought the land below Kennywood on the SE side of the park. Wasn't sure what they owned otherwise.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 7:12 PM

Raven-Phile said:

If i didnlt know any better, I'd think that was a thinly veiled attempt to call me an alcoholic, or at lease insinuate that I have a dependence on alcohol.

I'm hurt and offended. I need a drink.

Jeepers, you are a crabby drunk. You give all us happy drunks a bad name. :)

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Saturday, April 28, 2012 7:47 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I'm only crabby when I'm *not drunk.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Monday, April 30, 2012 9:35 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

TJinPgh said:
Didn't have time to find out for sure and, since the person I went with doesn't ride coasters I wouldn't have been able to ride them anyway since they all require 2 people. Didn't have the time to look for another loner.

To the best of my knowledge only Thunderbolt requires two riders.


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Monday, April 30, 2012 3:29 PM
kpjb's avatar

You are correct. T-Bolt is the only ride in the park that you need a partner for. If you don't have one, they will find one for you when you get to the station.


Hi

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Monday, April 30, 2012 4:07 PM
rollergator's avatar

Last time I was at KW solo (several years back, now) - I ran into an elderly couple out near the Auto Race ice-cream stand. I had been mostly around the park, but hadn't yet gotten to Lost Kennywood area. We started chatting a little, and the little old lady says "if you'd like to take my husband for some rides, that's be FINE by me - I'll watch the paddle boats and be right here when you get back." Well, needless to say, we had a few fantastic laps on T-Bolt before I took him back to his wife about an hour later...good times!

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Monday, April 30, 2012 4:14 PM

rollergator said:

Last time I was at KW solo (several years back, now) - I ran into an elderly couple out near the Auto Race ice-cream stand. I had been mostly around the park, but hadn't yet gotten to Lost Kennywood area. We started chatting a little, and the little old lady says "if you'd like to take my husband for some rides, that's be FINE by me - I'll watch the paddle boats and be right here when you get back." Well, needless to say, we had a few fantastic laps on T-Bolt before I took him back to his wife about an hour later...good times!

Did you get to try out his Hoveround? And did you count it as a credit? Cool stuff, maybe you could set up an amusement park escort service. Then next time you run into that couple, he could buy you a beer!

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Monday, April 30, 2012 7:36 PM
Carrie J.'s avatar

I never understand these debates when they start. The folks who are for beer sales can be just as impassioned as they ones who are against it. I'm glad people are speaking out about what they think about it. It won't change anything. But I'm glad to hear opinions being voiced, whatever they may be.

As for me, I'm indifferent. It sounds like the park is going to contain it pretty well and monitor what's happening going in (IDs) and going out (possible intoxication.)

I do have to say, though, that I'm not surprised there would be concern about alcohol at a park that once had fights break out so regularly they had to enforce anti-gang color rules for admittance. And isn't there still a policy recommending that anyone under the age of 18 (18!) be accompanied by an adult? Just sayin'. :-)


"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." --- Benjamin Franklin

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012 9:42 AM
Jeff's avatar

I don't think it matters. Isn't that the problem with the "debate" on the other issues? Loosely correlated circumstances don't prove correlation.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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