Lakemont Park: GET HAMMERED! Wed. July 20th.

Associated parks:
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Thursday, July 21, 2005 11:00 PM
My 7 year old nephue, Sky, has been going through some really tough emotional problems, and I really was looking forward to spending some time with him to see for myself how he was doing. It was "One Dollar Wednesday" at Lakemont Park, so me being the "coaster enthusiast uncle" I am knew exactily where we were going to go for an escape from our everyday problems.

By now you can probabily figure out that this isn't a normal TR. I will tell you the end of the trip now...We had a great time. We did whatever Sky wanted to do, and that was just the temporary "Dark Ride" (which may have been a mistake due to Sky's fragile state), the waterpark, and a lot of games.

Okay...The games. I will now reveal the mystery of the title of this thread, and the whole reason for writing it.

7 year old boy plays a childrens game where "everyones a winner". $1 get you the blow up hammer of your choice. Boy pick "the blue one". Uncle blows up toy for nephue. Nephue plays with toy for about 1.5 minutes until uncle asks for toy back.

On the side of this "childrens toy" was the phrase, "Get Hammered!"

Maybe I was overreacting, but I we took the toy back to the game attendant, and politly asked for a toy with a different phrase. The nice young man told us he "wasn't allowed" unless he got permission from his supervisor who worked in the office.

Okay, we can walk up to the office. We walked and I clamly told her that I though it was an inappropriate toy to be giving to kids. I told her that the only use for that phrase that I know of is to drink alcohol in access.

She then mocked me saying, "It's a HAMMER. Get it? Get Hammared. It means to hammer stuff!"

"Yeah, I get THAT." I calmly said with a fake smile, "That's so it is funny to people who know what it means."

I then told her I wanted the toy to be replaced with a more appropriate toy for a 7 year old.

"Well go down there and get a replacment then". She moaned.

"The young man at the game told me he needed your permission to do that", I pleasently, but demandedly told her.

She rolled her eyes, and while walking back to her office she cried, "Gosh, I'll get you my business card...Jeezus."

As she wrote a paragraph and a half on the back of her card to instruct her game boy on the proper way to trade a prize, she said out loud, "It's a HAMMER! It means to hammer stuff! It doesn't have anything to do with alcohol!"

I later handed the business card to the game attendant, and he traded the prize for a "Mallet" that said U.S.A.

Flash forward to the end of the visit, I went back into the office to speak with the park manager. I have talked with him through the years a few times about the park, and he reconized me. I told him how my complaint was handled and otherwise what a great time we had at the park.

I do believe we will start going to DelGrosso's more often from now on. Their office staff is as good as they come.

And to quickly add, LTD is still not running, which is sad. The worlds oldest operating coaster is not operating.

A very lame temporary dark ride and temporary walk through-umm...funhouse??? is an extra dollar and not part of the admission plan, dollar days or not?

Even though the line was short, only 5 or 6 paddleboats on the lake makes waiting for this attraction about an hour? What the...

And the same goes for the car ride, "Tin Lizzy's". The track could easily hold more than 6 cars, and than the 30 minute line could be reduced.

I counted ONE water fountain in the entire park. Compare that with the 4 or so rest rooms...and the food stands charge for water.

The park was busy but fun. We even bumped into my little friend JD and his Nanny at the pool. Sky was happy to visit with a friend he rarely sees.

As we exited the parking lot, I asked Sky if he had fun, and he said that he did a lot. I told him to remember this day for the rest of his life, like I do everytime we spend a day together...

U.S.A Mallet? What is that supposed to mean anyway?

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Thursday, July 21, 2005 11:51 PM
Ummm, be glad they didn't have inflatable screwdrivers?

Sounds like the staff there were the ones who "blew" everything out of proportion. Shouldn't be that difficult to exchange a prize.

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Friday, July 22, 2005 1:57 AM
IMO I think Dexter blew everything outta porpotion, and If i was 7 year old Sky I would of been pissed off. That you were wasting our supposed to be funtime on nonsense that most 7 year olds wouldn't even know about nor care about. Unless you or Skys parents are letting him sit around why talking about getting hammered, or letting him watch movies/shows where people are getting hammered how would a 7 year old know even know what getting hammered ment. I'm sure Sky just like most other childern would of thought getting hammered was exactly what the Sup told you it ment.

I'm sure most children would only know the proper meanings of hammer, only an adult would make into something negitive. This is just like the adults who see homosexuality in stupid cartoons. Kids don't think oh he has a triangle on his head, he's purple, he carries a purse oh he must be gay. They think oh it's a silly purple teletubbie with a magic bag. Kids think Bert and Ernie and Sponge Bob and Patrick are just friends, they only find out from adults that those cartoons are suppose to be more then just friends. So you see what I saying it's adults that blow things way outta context.

I also don't see what was wrong with the guy for covering his butt and making sure everything was clear with the sup. I also don't think the sup was throwing you attitude, I think anyone with common sense would of told you the same thing, "It's a HAMMER. Get it? Get Hammared. It means to hammer stuff!". Now if it was a long plastic tube with a funnel on the end of it that said "GET HAMMERED" then yeah that's not something that should be givin out as a prize at an amusement park.

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Friday, July 22, 2005 8:16 AM
Someone in Altoona has a nanny?
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Friday, July 22, 2005 9:58 AM
political correctness again raises it's ugly head. i'm glad to be in my late 40's.
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Friday, July 22, 2005 11:17 AM
Dexter, you got in the park and on rides for a $1. If you would have caught be in a bad mood and compained about the free hammer, I probably would have whacked you with it.

Seriously, he got a free prize for showing up. That was my idea when they went in-house with the games in 2002. The USA Mallets are just 'Patriotic' from Rhode Island Novelty. Most of them say that. So how many rides did you get on for $1. Sounds like a bargain.

Name me another park with $1 admission, and a major wooden coaster? Nephew.

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Friday, July 22, 2005 1:16 PM
Could of been worse, it could of been a kite that said "Get high!" ;-)

Dex, I do think you made a bit much out of it, but that still doesn't excuse the girl's attitude.

Glad you and Sky had fun anyway. :-)

-Tina

*** Edited 7/22/2005 5:54:22 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Friday, July 22, 2005 1:28 PM
So what's been the deal with Leap the Dips? Has been running at all this season? I was going to go this weekend but just might wait if it isn't running.
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Friday, July 22, 2005 2:30 PM
1. Sounds like some people need a grammar lesson in the active and passive voice. To hammer something is not the same as getting hammered. Just like to slap someone upside the head is not the same as getting slapped upside the head. It's one of those wink-wink, nudge-nudge type things. I don't think saying "excuse me, may I exchange this" is such a ridiculous request.

2. Sounds like the fact that the park had a number of rides not operating and a few lame temporary ones in place made things a bit edgier than they should have been.

3. Sounds like someone at the park needs to take a Dale Carnegie course. No matter how stupid the supervisor may have thought the complaint was, her job is to simply say "how may we fix that for you?" What could have been done in 15 seconds, she made a major production, and probably made herself look like an ass in the process. She certainly didn't win the park any goodwill. Maybe she's practicing for a job with Six Flags.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005 1:00 AM
RedLaFrance, "Nanny" was the only way I could describe her. She is maybe more of a "one-on-one summertime field trip teacher". You're right, not too many kids have a "Nanny" in Altoona. I almost became an Altoona nanny once, so I know they exist.

--

lol. I didn't blow anything out of proportion. I quietly stood up for what I believe in, and that is that a childrens game shouldn't be giving out prizes that advertise that geting drunk is way cool. I tried to speak quietly to the lady at the office, so my nephue would not hear exactily what I had to say. She didn't understand that, and she was loud with her remarks and nearly causing a scene, defeating the reason for my near whispering.

The point wasn't whether or not she agreed with me. It was that I had a complaint, and simply wanted to trade the prize for another. Anyone who works in any guest service job knows that whether you agree or not with the complaint, you try to understand the guest point of view, and try to fix the problem. I already had a solution, which was to trade the toy. I was calm and rational when explaining the problem I had. She was the loud and crazy one, pretty much laughing at me in front of Sky.

I care a little whether anyone thinks I am right or wrong about the toy, but way more about how the park handled a guest complaint. I didn't have a problem just to have a problem. I usually stand up for what I believe in.

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Agent Johnson, it was $1 to enter the park, $1 for a ride all day pass, and the game was $1. It was WAY cheap, but not as cheap as you are saying. Yes it was a great value, and we had a really good time. I was not in a bad mood the whole time I was there, I simply thought that the prize from a "win every time" kids game was not suitable for a kid. Would you let a teenager carry around a toy that said that?

The other notes (water fountains, not enough ride vehicles, silly low quality rides that are not included with admission, and sad state of LTD) in the list were just observations on things I noticed wrong at the park; just things that they should work on if they want to up the quality of the experience. I'm not really complaining about them. The park is nice even with those problems.

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coasterqueenTRN, I sounded "high" when I laughed out loud at your post for about 5 minutes straight.

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weastcoasterman, Not trying to sound mean or anything, but if you knew Sky's problems and how his miserable life has been because of my stupid, alcoholic, drug adicted, Sister, you might have a reason to say those things, but you would be wrong anyway. Sky wasn't mad at me or anyone for our little interruption. He pretty much understood what "Get Hammered!" means, because he has had to live with someone who did it every single day, until he was 5. I am not protecting him from knowing what it means, I am trying to keep him from becoming his stupid biological mother.

You didn't hear the way she spoke to me.

When we left the office, he asked me if I ever got drunk. I told him the truth, which was, "A few times." He knows, and already knew before this, what "Get Hammered!" means.

I am pretty relaxed except when it comes to people demoralizing kids. I like spongbob too, and find it to be a great cartoon for kids.

--

The reason I told the story was to tell Coasterbuzzers of how poorly LP handled complaint that I find to be valad.

EDIT- Redirected my reply from fanofwood to westcoaster. Westcoaster mentioned Spongebob, not fanofwood. *** Edited 8/3/2005 4:09:33 PM UTC by dexter***

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Saturday, July 23, 2005 1:29 AM
It doesn't matter if anyone reading this thread thinks the hammer compaint was a valid one. Dexter felt it was and he addressed it in a polite and respectful manner. Any reasonable person would have responded to the complaint in the same polite and respectful manner.

I don't think the point of the story was to make a statement about whether or not a 7 year old should know what "get hammered" means. The point was how poorly the park staff responded to a very reasonable (and very easily fixed) request.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005 5:26 AM
I think this "get hammered" hammer is more of an adult toy (no not a sex toy). Cut the end off the handel, fill the head with beer, tip and guzzle through the hole in the handel, and wham! A "Lets get hammered" BEER BONG!!!
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Saturday, July 23, 2005 6:47 AM
Sounds like you know this from experience, Joe. ;-)

Dexter, glad I put a smile on your face! :-)

I agree ANY complaint (whatever it is) should be handled in a professional manner. You were calm, respectful, and nowhere near irate like I have seen a lot of adults in similiar situations.

To me the employee's attitudes (customer relations, managers, ride ops, etc.) and how they deal with customer service means A LOT, no matter how awesome the coasters are.

-Tina

*** Edited 7/23/2005 11:00:21 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Saturday, July 23, 2005 9:17 AM
Hello:

My name is Barry Kumpf and I am the general manager of Lakemont Park in Altoona, PA.

I do not normally respond to things that I read on the internet, however, in this case I felt that I must clarify some things.

1.) Lakemont Park DOES NOT have a promotion entitled "One Dollar Wednesday". This type of misinformation only gets us in trouble later.

Every Wednesday is Dollar Day at Lakemont Park. Normally a free admission park, Lakemont Park charges EVERY guest who wishes to enter the park on Wednesdays $1.00. Guests wishing to purchase an all day ride and waterpark pass pay one (1) additional dollar. You would be surprised how many people get upset when they find out it is $2.00, not $1.00!

2.) Please understand that the game attendant in question is instructed not to replace prizes once the guest has left the game area. AS I am sure that you will understand, the prize at this game is an inflate. Therefore, someone may have put their lips on the valve to blow it up and we can not exchange that prize and give it to someone else for health code reasons. Having said that, we should have just replaced the prize and thrown away the prize that the guest did not want. We do apoligize for any inconvenience caused to the guest.

3.) With respect to the Leap The Dips. Please be aware that the owners of the Leap The Dips rollercoaster, have NO MONEY!! The responsibility for taking care of this coaster and for operating it and for insuring it and for everything else with respect to this coaster has fallen onto Lakemont Park. As we knew that this coaster was going to require significant repairs to operate for the 2005 season, we had to wait until after we were open for a period of time to get some cash flow going before we started repairing the coaster. We have now had a crew of six (6) men working on this coaster since June 22nd and I have been informed that it will open late next week or early the week after. I have no reason to believe that this is not true.

4.) The "very lame" dark ride and funhouse do not belong to Lakemont Park. They belong to a gentleman by the name of Mike Dembrosky from Douglasville, PA and are here on a revenue share program so that we would have something different to offer our guests. It is important to note that several members of a dark ride enthusiast group told me that this ride was "really cool".

5.) We have a total of six (6) four seater paddleboats, four (4) two seater paddleboats and two (2) specialty paddleboats that seat two (2) guests. On Wednesday, July 20th ALL of our paddleboats were in operating condition. While I do not know why it appeared that only 5 or 6 were operating, I will certainly find out. Please be aware that even when our entire fleet of twelve (12) boats are all running, a wait of one (1) to two (2) hours on a busy day is not uncommon.

6.) Our antique car ride, "Tin Lizzy" has five (5) cars, not six (6) as indicated. While I believe that the track could accomodate a couple more cars, the $10,000.00 cost per car precludes us from purchasing them for a few busy days a year. AS they say, "You can't build a church for Easter Sunday".

7.) Lakemont Park has two (2) water fountains. The concession stands charge $1.50 for bottled water but will be happy to provide a cup of ice with tap water for $.25. As we allow guests to bring in their own food and beverage, we believe this to be "fair and reasonable".

8.) Lastly, in the response submitted by RatherGoodBear, he state...."Sounds like the fact that the park had a number of rides not operating.....etc.". please be aware that this is incorrect information. On Wednesday, July 20th, the only ride / attraction in the park that was not operating was the Leap The Dips roller coaster.

In closing, I hope that Dexter and Sky enjoyed their visit and I extend to them my most sincere note of apology with respect to the unprofessionalism of our management staff. I look forward to the opportunity to have Dexter and Sky as visitors again and perhaps have a chanceto earn their trust and respect.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express our thoughts.

Sincerely,
Barry Kumpf
General Manager
Lakemont Park
Altoona PA

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Saturday, July 23, 2005 2:47 PM
Way to go Barry! I guess you got the fax. And a lot of us in the industry still love Lakemont. I am taking you to lunch this fall.
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Saturday, July 23, 2005 3:19 PM
Mr. Kumph,

It is always very nice to see someone in your position reply here on Coasterbuzz. I guess I'll have to add that you did already apologize to Sky and I on our second visit to the office. You did a great job and acted in a way that guest service staff should.

Thank you also for helping us to understand the reasons for some of the non-perfect aspects of the park. It may have sounded like I was complaining in my first post about these things, but really I just wanted to add some of my obsevations because this is a trip report, and some readers expect it. The problems I saw weren't as huge as the same kind of problems a poorly run Six Flags park would have, and I would very much want to visit Lakemont Park over Six Flags Darien Lake, for example, anyday.

I realize that LP is less of a profit making park and more of a community service. I think YOU told me that a few years ago. So we have to understand that it takes a lot of money to buy water fountains, extra paddleboats, extra cars for Tin Lizzy, and to upkeep the worlds oldest coaster.

I say Leap The Dips should be top priority when deciding your budget, imho.

The only REAL problem I had was the way the lady spoke to me. She turned my small problem into a large one. Maybe she was having a bad day or something.

I took my 11 year old friend, JD to LP last month, and had no problems at all, except for some big teenager roughing JD up a little. I handled that one myself. We had a great time, just like my recent visit.

You came in and rescued your park from negative publicity, and for that you have earned another serving of respect heapingly added on top of what you already had from me.

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Sunday, July 24, 2005 1:16 PM
True story here about a very good friend of mine who was at the park serveral years ago when his car broke down. It was the water pump, and park maintenance sent a guy into town to pick up a new one and they fixed his car while he enjoyed the park.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2005 11:29 PM
Instead of starting a new thread (which I hardly ever do), I am posting here to kindly ask if anyone has new info regarding the status of Leap The Dips. Has it opened? I am going to Da 'Burgh this weekend to see my college friends and will make a quick stop in Altoona beforehand. Any reliable info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, fellow CBuzzers!

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