^ I'll have to make a special trip to Lakemont this year to try the Tilt-A-Whirl. I'm a sucker for a good Whirl!
^ If anything, DelGrosso's should be added into the mix. Kennywood is a great park but it's a bit far and there's more than enough at Kennywood to keep people busy for an entire day. Lakemont and DelGrosso's are off the beaten path for many people so it makes sense to combo the two. Just my opinion, though.
Or so I read in my trip report...hehe... :)
Lakemont is also a nice side trip after visiting Horseshoe Curve and the Railroaders Memorial Museum.
Is there where I admit that I've been to Lakemont more often than I've been to Kennywood?
To me, my annual trip to DelGrosso's/Lakemont/Altoona Curve is one of my favorite park-related days of the year. I love both parks and have to add to Mr. Kumpf's correct statement that the addition of the cars was so amazingly well done. You have every right to be proud of that.
I tried to look it up but couldn't find my answer: What road is being worked on? Agent Johnson said that it would help traffic for the park. Have there been traffic problems or just during Curve games? I always thought it was easy in/out.
Anyway, it's nice to hear you're willing to present such a generous and genuine offer to the enthusiast community. I think I speak for many when I say that it's truly appreciated and we'd be more than happy to descend upon Lakemont for the day. I'll never turn down Skyliner rides, although you may have to be careful because I'd love to shove the thing in my trunk and drive it back home to NJ where I could enjoy it all the time ;)
Another thing to consider about such an event is that the webmaster would have some say in whether/how the group name may be used and in conjunction with what events. All the more reason to make it a more open or inclusive event.
Despite the general feeling toward the Boyer Co. on this site, I would still make a stop at their outlet store. But this time I won't leave the Mallo Cups in the car for a whole day :)
Give them A- for effort. However, Hershey Foods Corp they are not, and also they did not carry the bankroll to change a undercapitalized park, and they quickly fell into financing a 'wish list', not a 'lets fix this park and build strong group business and the community will come' park.
Therefore, they now get a C- minus for planning. There really was not anyone in the industry giving them good advice. the park was overloaded with hardware that they did not need, and they neglected what would have worked for a faster ROI.
Building the proffesional marketplace with office space did not bring visitors, but the focus should have been on the Casino, which was like 37 feet down the road. The proffessional office area could have been dreamed up into a City-Walk-esh type area, but again, no one else thought of that over 20 years ago.
Simple blunders like the overpriced gate turned the locals away like the second coming of the bubonic plauge, and a ride inventory that included Huss rides that with no funds for parts of mechanic training equals disaster.
The focus should have been on a waterpark expansion, and larger group facilties, which is what Lakemont means today to the industry. Should the Skyliner been moved? Yes? Should Leap the Dips been given a total overhaul when Boyertown was planned? Yes. It would have saved all the bs fundraising and time and effort of a closed attraction in the middle of the park.
The Boyer failure was a simple 'lets copy' problem. Having a candy factory works in Hershey with 2 million visitors, not in Altoona with far less. Boyer is a regional name, not international. They found out real quick that no one cares how the Mallow Cup makes it to your local K-Mart.
And, count the dozens of promises of major events, the future rides, and the God-forsaken year round operation schedule. Last I checked, it snows pretty good out that way. Driving through the park to see the lights is good, building a snowman while waiting in line is bad.
But, the 2 issues that will stick in the locals minds until Lakemont adds to the waterpark and also adds 2-3 more signature attractions is of course the tree story, which, again was a Boyer-blunder, of mis-reading a master plan and removing way too many trees, and filing bankruptcy, and screwing practically every company in Blair County.
Which, as stated earlier, Barry and company are fixing every month, and quietly building a great regional park. *** Edited 6/12/2007 1:44:42 PM UTC by Agent Johnson***
I have no idea how many people usually attend these or the price you normally keep them to being relatively new on here and having never been to an organized coaster event... but with the gas prices and such it may pay off for you. (Thats the ex charter bus driver coming out I guess :) )
It's too bad that they weren't able to turn the park into what they wanted, although that was probably the main problem with their plan- Hersheypark can survive because it's three hours from northern NJ/NYC (the most populated part of the country) and a well-known brand while Altoona is far from a major population center and the Boyer brand isn't as well-known (I know that I never heard of it until I started reading about Lakemont). Shame that the only part of their plan that they managed to get off the ground was the demolition of the atmosphere of the orginal park- perhaps if that didn't happen, people wouldn't consider the plans to have been that bad. Anyway, it's nice to hear that Barry & Co. are so dedicated to turning Lakemont into a competitive regional park, especially because it has a few key elements already in place.
Barry, I love the idea of a meet & greet- that alone would be enough reason for me to make the trip. Anything extra (like ERT) would be icing on the cake. Maybe you'd want to consider a tour of the park and some behind-the-scenes stuff if the group is small enough- us enthusiasts really eat that stuff up! What time of year are you considering?
Another part of the problem was that there is a borough in PA called Boyertown that got all bent out of shape over another place with the same name. But then there were also people showing up in this town looking for the amusement park. The locals got tired of telling people there was no park there.
BTW, speaking of "key elements", isn't there a Carousel available come September? ;)
Hershey did leave some infrastructure improvements behind at the Lake. As a result, when Kennywood Entertainment eventually took over the park they were able to focus their investment in the park on new rides and waterpark attractions. The result was a successful park that is growing nicely and becoming increasingly popular. *** Edited 6/13/2007 1:18:57 AM UTC by Arthur Bahl***
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