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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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 3:17 AM

Carrie J. said:

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.)

My only problem with this is that they're already NOT monitoring it very well at their sister park, Sandcastle, just down the river.

As I mentioned previously, alcohol routinely leaves the designated area. So, the notion that this will be restricted to a "20 x 20" area, as was suggested, doesn't mean a whole lot.

And, it does no good to check IDs if somebody can walk out with a cup full of beer (or whatever) and hand it off in a collector cup to somebody under age.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 6:10 AM

kpjb said:

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.

*WHEW*!!! I may go out there next month and there's a good chance I'll be by myself. When I read that other post, I was worried single rider policies on other rides had been implemented since my last visit in '09.


The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist

http://support.gktw.org/site/TR/CoastingForKids/General?px=1248054&...fr_id=1372

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 6:13 AM

Somehow I just don't see anybody putting in that kind of effort to smuggle beer out of the designated area. Even if they did, I'm honestly not all that concerned about the occasional underage kid walking around enjoying one whole beer.


And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 6:54 AM
Carrie J.'s avatar

TJinPgh said:

My only problem with this is that they're already NOT monitoring it very well at their sister park, Sandcastle, just down the river.

As I mentioned previously, alcohol routinely leaves the designated area. So, the notion that this will be restricted to a "20 x 20" area, as was suggested, doesn't mean a whole lot.

And, it does no good to check IDs if somebody can walk out with a cup full of beer (or whatever) and hand it off in a collector cup to somebody under age.

I've never been to Sandcastle so I can't speak to what goes on there. But operations are handled by different people at different parks, even if they're sister parks owned by the same company. So even if there is an issue at Sandcastle, I don't see how that should automatically translate to a problem at Kennywood. Kennywood has a plan. I don't see a reason to doubt it until it can be seen in action.

As far as smuggling beer out to give to those who are underage, again where does that concern come from? Anything's possible I suppose, but I don't see the value in assuming the worst before it happens.

Last edited by Carrie J., Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:15 AM

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

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 1:16 PM

As far as smuggling beer out to give to those who are underage, again where does that concern come from? 

If I were a group with a bunch of under-aged kids, plus an over-21 or two, the way I'd get hammered at an amusement park would not be by buying $8 glasses of weak beer two at a time...


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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 1:20 PM
Jeff's avatar

To say nothing of the fact that the financial and legal risk for allowing that sort of thing to happen is huge. It's not in the best interest of the park to allow it to happen.


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

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 2:46 PM

Wait... people actually consider "fear of underage drinking" to be a legitimate concern?

That sounds like fearmongering coming from people who never snuck around drinking underage. If kids (or anyone) want to drink, they're going to drink period. They do now, and you can rest assured that a monitored beer garden is about the last possible place that any underager is going to be trying to get beer from. It's too supervised; the risk is way too high to get one or two 4% alcohol beers.

Full disclosure - I drank underage. My friends drank underage. If there is one thing that is a priority (besides drinking of course) for an underage drinker, it is not getting caught - especially if you're starting off in a place where most other people will not be drunk.

With that in mind: if you wanted to drink underage at Kennywood, you'd buy coke bottles, dump half of them out, and fill them back up with liquor you "borrowed" from your parents. Throw them in a cooler with some ice and a sandwich or two and you'd be through security without a second glance, free to roam the park getting plastered all you wanted. That took me all of 5 seconds worth of brainstorming to come up with - and if it's that obvious to me just freewheeling at my desk, you can bet that this is one of many ways that kids do this now.

I don't know how someone could possibly be opposed to beer sales at Kennywood and not have the same problem with beer being sold (in a much less controlled manner) at Pirates/Steelers/Penguins games, especially under the pretense that it will somehow facilitate underage drinking. That just strikes me as immensely naive, and it's a needlessly paranoid reason to prevent well-behaved, sensible adults from enjoying an adult beverage or two while they're enjoying their day at the park.

/rant off

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Wednesday, May 2, 2012 2:56 PM

Bill
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 3:32 PM

Obviously, some people don't get out to too many parks. Several major parks serve beer, and I know for a fact that Cedar Point lets you walk around with it. It doesn't seem to be a problem, and at amusement park prices, I don't see a major problem in the foreseeable future.

As for underagers, Kennywood has limited options. Easiest way is to prohibit outside food or beverage (with exception of sealed bottled water) like most other major parks. I know there would be backlash given the park is a family/pinic park, but thats the only way to keep underagers/facilitators from bringing outside beer/liquor. As for beer serving, the only close to full-proof way to control underage drinking is to closely monitor that no beer is taken outside of the designated area and prohibit anyone under 21 to go into the area where beer is sold.

As Jeff said, it is not financially beneficial to turn the head to underage drinking. I know from working a small family business (bowling center) that the fines are rediculous, and not even worth the risk. People hate it, but we check bags when necessary, and it is clearly posted that all bags are subject to inspection. The main issue is underage college girls (sorry but it's a fact in our case) bringing in beverages in their humongous purses.

No solution is without a loophole, but a business must make their best effort to comply with the law, or there won't be a business in the future.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 3:37 PM

In case it wasn't clear - the point of my post is that Kennywood doesn't need to do anything about underage drinking short of what they already plan to do. Restrict drinking to a certain area (already above-and-beyond what is necessary in my opinion), ID everyone, and limit intake.

Making the "picnic" policies more strict to combat underage drinking would be just as pointless as not selling beer to combat underage drinking.

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Wednesday, May 2, 2012 3:38 PM

Bill
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 5:03 PM

Besides which, what magical change happens when a person turns 21 anyway?

I've come to believe that young people would probably develop much healthier attitudes towards alcohol if it weren't forbidden, and if they weren't off at college when they first become eligible to drink.

Personally, I think the legal drinking age should be 14, though I'd restrict sales to those 18+. I think that would actually *reduce* the amount of alcohol *abuse* among young people, especially the 16-21 crowd.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 5:58 PM

If the park wasn't concerned with who is and isn't drinking, there would be no benefit to restricting the area where it can be consumed. So, clearly they are.

When you go into a club that has both over and under 21 areas. Why do they do it?

To insure that nobody under age is drinking and they make darn sure that nobody leaves the restricted area with ANYTHING, let alone alcohol.

The point about Steelers/Pirates/Penguins/Etc. games serving beer has already been brought up and responded to.

While parents certainly do bring their kids to those venues, those that are under 21 are NOT the prime demographic of any of those events. And parents take their kids knowing that.

Amusement parks are the exact opposite. While adults certainly do go to those venues, they are NOT the prime demographic. Kids and teens are.

The dynamic is completely opposite.

For those who are actually familiar with these parks (as in, those who go there regularly), ask yourself a question. If they honestly believed that this wouldn't affect their image as a "family friendly" park, why are they limiting this decision to Kennywood? Why not Idlewild as well? If ever there were a park that could benefit from an adult type draw, that's it.

We'll see how it goes, though. Like I said, it's not going to affect my decision to go one way or the other. And they do already do it at Sandcastle.

I doubt it's going to help business any. It PROBABLY won't hurt it any. But, I haven't come across anybody offline, even among those who drink a lot of beer otherwise, who believe that this is necessarily a good idea.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 6:49 PM

Kids under 21 are not a prime demographic at MLB baseball games???

Is that why every Sunday is "Kids Day", most Saturdays have fireworks, and Fridays are t-shirt or jersey giveaways at Pirates games? Most ballparks now have kids play areas, playgrounds, and even amusement rides at some. Cotton candy, ice cream, stuffed animals, mini bats, etc, etc, etc. Is all that to draw adults? Sure, over 21 is a key demographic, but kids are even more desirable - because it means the whole family is buying tickets and spending money on food, programs, and souvenirs.

Last edited by JOz99, Wednesday, May 2, 2012 6:52 PM
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:39 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

In all fairness though, I think one of the biggest concerns with taking kids to sporting events is the drunken idiots you can encounter.

In fact, that reality is why I think people sometimes transpose those expectations to the amusement park environment.


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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 7:40 PM
Vater's avatar

TJinPgh said:

If they honestly believed that this wouldn't affect their image as a "family friendly" park, why are they limiting this decision to Kennywood? Why not Idlewild as well?

You said yourself that Sandcastle already sells beer. What limited their decision to only that park back then? Strangely, waterparks.com describes Sandcastle as a "family oriented waterpark offering something for everyone". I'm sure selling beer has really destroyed their family friendly image.

This is such a non-issue.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 11:30 PM
Jeff's avatar

TJinPgh said:

Amusement parks are the exact opposite. While adults certainly do go to those venues, they are NOT the prime demographic. Kids and teens are.

Wow, really? Kids and teens are certainly not who they're after, because they don't have any money. They're the last people you want to attract. Families are where it's at, because they spend more.


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

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Thursday, May 3, 2012 6:57 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

TJinPgh said:
When you go into a club that has both over and under 21 areas. Why do they do it?

In PA it's the law. In the case of Stage AE where the crowd is mixed they have to hire more security guards to make up for it. In Ohio, or I am guessing most other states, a show can be all ages and sell beer.

Last edited by eightdotthree, Thursday, May 3, 2012 6:58 AM
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Friday, June 8, 2012 12:20 AM
obxKevin's avatar

Quick blurb in the news.

Not so fast, Kennywood...


The poster formerly known as 'Zcorpius.' Joined 2004
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Friday, June 8, 2012 9:13 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

“I suggest that the next time you ride on the Black Widow you think about the person next to you who may be full of french fry grease and alcohol – not exactly a happy mixture 90 feet in the air and spinning,” Ferlo quipped.

http://www.senatorferlo.com/ferlo-petitions-lcb-to-hold-hearing-on-...ohol-sales


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Friday, June 8, 2012 9:29 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

I posted this comment to add some rationality to the debate.

Sandcastle, Cedar Point, Busch Gardens, Epcot, Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, Sea World, etc. Some of the most family friendly amusement parks in the world serve beer. Why does everyone think that we will be walking around wasted, throwing up, acting belligerent and sneaking beer to teenagers? While I think separation is unnecessary it works in PA's all ages music clubs. Why wouldn't it work at Kennywood? Sheesh.


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Friday, June 8, 2012 9:44 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

Kennywood is a little dinky amusement park, and you will pay a lot for a beer and people will drink and ride and puke on you and the rides, and get drunk and start fights.

Those are not the words of a child, those are the words of a retired man.

Mark my words! Yeah, Potato Patch Fries, with a corn dog, & a side of a six pack then riding a fast ride = PUKE! Really? GOD, I miss Kennywood & how it was back in the 80's & 90's!

Ah yes, the good old days when they had to install metal detectors and ban gang colors.

WHAT? I was looking forward to getting a buzz then pointing my car down the road and drive 30 miles home.

Good thing you can do that somewhere else.

We have Attended this park at least once every year, but now due to this, an old tradition may have to come to an end!

Selling beer is only going to cause more fights in the park as well as more people getting sick on rides. Bad idea!

Because one can not drink a beer and not puke all over everyone.

Totally disagree. How can you keep it inside the area? People will be drunk What an atmosphere this will be for families. I for one will not go. If people want to drink, let them go to bars and leave the amusement parks for families.

Music clubs have been doing it for years actually...

And who is going to want to ride anything that has been puked on and smells of alcohol? Yes I understand puking happens anyway, but add the alcohol, and it makes is so much more gross. I think allowing this will only hurt the park business.

Can you imagine all of the puke on the rides! The whole park is going to smell like puke and alcohol! Have I mentioned all of the PUKE?


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