Kennywood sale makes fans nervous

Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007 9:53 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Resentment of foreign ownership is a key complaint among the Pittsburgh faithful in response to yesterday's announcement that Kennywood's parent company was sold to a Spanish company.

Read more from The Post-Gazette.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007 9:57 AM

But the sensitivity of the foreign issue was on many minds yesterday, including that of Kennywood spokeswoman Mary Lou Rosemeyer. During an interview at noon with WTAE-TV, Ms. Rosemeyer said, "We don't think it's going to become a giant taco stand." Her comments prompted complaints, leading Ms. Rosemeyer to apologize on a subsequent newscast later in the afternoon.
Wow... I'm speechless. That's incredibly ignorant and offensive. It's ignorant because Spain is not Mexico. Spanish cuisine is very Mediterranean in nature, with seafood. Did she not see the Olympics a couple of years ago in Barcelona? You'll find no sombreros there.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:00 AM
First off, the Olympics in Barcelona were in 1992. 15 years ago. Good lord I'm getting old.

That said, it's still very ignorant and as Jeff said, very offensive. We all talk about marketing for these parks - maybe the problem is that they have spokespeople like this.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:33 AM
Mary Lou is probably one of the nicest people Ive ever met. Im pretty shocked by that comment, but I dont think it should be blown out of proportion. She already apologized. I guess she just wasn't thinking. She has a pretty important position at the park, and im sure the off season is when the stress is at the highest level. Its not like she dangled a baby off of a 5th floor balcony.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:39 AM
LOL! That's too much.

No worse than the comments made by the public:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:50 AM
Wow! Those are some crazy comments!

Does anyone have a clue what is on the new owners' minds?

Hey, at least it wasn't sold to Six Flags or Cedar Fair. Sick, ain't it! I mean, that would be a definite 'uh-oh'.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:58 AM
It's not the foreign company thing, it's the fact that a larger corporate entity with no ties to the families will run the park. I worry that what I like about the place will fade away. I'd feel the same about Cedar Fair or Six Flags.

I don't anything about the Spanish company good or bad. Is Franco still still dead?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 11:06 AM
I agree phantomguitarist, some people take things and make them more than they are. I'm guessing she was tired of hearing all the pessimistic attitudes and lashed out at those people, mocking their racism.

Unfortunately there will always be some that think they're better than the rest and will look down their nose at anyone they can without getting the full story.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 11:11 AM
Here we go, another off-the-cuff comment about to be blown way out of proportion, just like Falcons owner Arthur Blank saying something about Michael Vick needing to keep in shape by avoiding fried chicken in prison. Badly-worded? Absolutely. But in both cases we're talking about two people that are highly-regarded in their respective industries... two people that are under a lot of stress for various reasons. I mean, the woman just found out her longtime employer sold out and now she'll be answering to new people. Not only that, but her new bosses are taking a lot of heat and I'm sure she feels as if she has to calm things down.

Hopefully rational thinking prevails and society will resist the urge to turn Ms. Rosemeyer into some kind of racist biggot in a lame attempt to defend against its own insecurities.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 11:19 AM
I'm not the least bit surprised. I lived in Pittsburgh for seven years. I really enjoyed my time there, and would be happy to live there again, but it is parochial to a fault---for many native 'burghers, Cleveland and Philadelphia are foreign lands, let alone Spain. Heck, if you were born north of the Allegheney, you have no reason to go south of the Monongahela (except for Kennywood), and vice versa (except for Steelers/Pirates games).

A student of mine was in my office just yesterday trying to decide between job offers in Chicago and Pittsburgh. I believe my quote was: "It's a very friendly and quirky place, but not what I would call a sophisticated city."

*** This post was edited by Brian Noble 12/12/2007 11:20:45 AM ***

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 11:30 AM
I was not offended or even dismayed by the taco comment. I totally understood the context and the meaning behind the comment. Yes it might have offended some....can that even be avoided these days?
Cant we just accept somethings said that sound racist arent meant that way.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007 11:34 AM
I agree, some things aren't meant to sound as they sound. Besides, if you're not of Spanish or Mexican origin, you really have no right to be offended by the comment. Why some people bitch and moan about comments that don't even pertain to them is beyond me.

*** This post was edited by Rob Ascough 12/12/2007 11:34:53 AM ***

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 11:48 AM
I'm offended, or perhaps ashamed, that Americans don't know the difference between Spain and Mexico. Tell me, Rob, are you not offended when some white person makes racist jokes because you're white, or do you have to be black, as you suggest?

And get over it. This isn't about anyone's insecurities. That's a completely asinine conclusion. Not everyone wants to be an apologist for ignorance.

I don't think she's a racist, but that was an incredibly stupid thing to say as a person who serves as the public face for the company.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 11:56 AM
The point was that you don't have the full story yet you still decided to make your own conclusion.

Again, she was not making a racist comment toward the company or the people of Spain, or Mexico for that matter. She was insulting the people who were stupid enough to make comments like that to begin with.

I agree with Rob, I'm completely secure in my "race" and if someone thinks it's necessary to make a racist comment then I chalk it up there with their own ignorance.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:01 PM
Who said that Americans don't know the difference between Spain and Mexico? And to answer your question, I'm not offended "as a white person" when some other white person makes an offensive comment towards someone that's not white. I'll be disgusted because that person is an obvious mental midget but just because we share the same skin color does not mean his/her comments are any reflection of me and the way I think. If I worried about that kind of thing, that would make me insecure and that's what I was getting it. It has nothing to do with me condoning people making offensive comments towards one another so don't even suggest that's the kind of person I am. I don't hate any group of people in particular, and if I'm going to be filled with hatred it's going to be hatred towards everybody.

This is all about some stupid comment being blown way out of proportion, and if it isn't an insecurity thing, it's just peoples' natural habit of wanting to make themselves the victim of some crime that didn't involve them. Get over what? You're the one getting upset over a comment that has absolutely, positvely no effect on you and the way people view you. It's not like the hispanic community is going to look down upon Jeff Putz because of something Kennywood's Ms. Rosemeyer said in a newspaper.

*** This post was edited by Rob Ascough 12/12/2007 12:03:13 PM ***

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:03 PM

The way I see it, this is not about racism. It's about ignorance, plain and simple.
Her comments reinforces the opinion that many Americans simply have no clue of what the world is like outside the US.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:14 PM
I for one would LOVE to see a taco stand that big!!!!! (see link below)

Reminds me of Summer Wheatley's campaign speach in Napoleon Dynamite: "Anyway, I think I'd be a great class president, so, uh...
who wants to eat "chimini-changas" next year?
Not me. See, with me, it will be summer all year long.
Vote for Summer."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:15 PM
(Edit) 12/11/2007 12:03:00 AM Hmm...

The way I see it, this is not about racism. It's about ignorance, plain and simple.
Her comments reinforces the opinion that many Americans simply have no clue of what the world is like outside the US.

True to a point, but it also works both ways and is largely media driven on what people know about other countries and cultures. People need to take the time to research and understand of course this has since the dawn of time almost, Some Race, Culture, Creed is always deemed INFERIOR. In Germany it's the Turks, In the USA it was African(S) then Chinese, Then Russians, Now North Koreans and Hispanics.

My Ex was Bulgarian, Talk about a learning exprience :)

As for Kennywood, Im with most optimist. They need to keep the core of the park KENNYWOODISH with a good mix of classics and new, Great landscaping and charm. The new sections if they build em need to be taken serious looks at before just ripping things up and painting things bright purple and orange.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:26 PM

I'm completely secure in my "race" and if someone thinks it's necessary to make a racist comment then I chalk it up there with their own ignorance.

I'm going to go out on a limb and agree with that.

I don't find the potential racism offensive, but rather I find the stupidity annoying.

The worst part of this whole thing is equating Spain and Tacos. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:27 PM
When you say Something Really Stupid in front of a microphone, but it's your specific job to be the person that covers for all the folk who might otherwise say Something Really Stupid in front of a microphone...

Then you have a bit of a problem.



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