Lakemont Park

Monday, June 11, 2007 9:31 AM
Rob Ascough...Thank you for the kind words. It is much appreciated. Chooch249.....I will not rest until you have had an opportunity to ride the Toboggan at Lakemont Park! Also, thanks for the kind words about the train operator (Mr. Dibert). He is A JOY!! I will share with him your comment. Comet Rider.....looking forward to meeting you. Maybe we should look at a "CoasterBuzz" day at Lakemont sometime. I would be willing to put together a "package" (rides, meal, maybe an event t-shirt with the CoasterBuzz logo, etc.) for as little as $15.00 or so). If there is any interest, I would be happy to work on some details. Perhaps you could do it in conjunction with another park which would be more of a draw!
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Monday, June 11, 2007 10:48 AM
Arthur, the decline of seaside/oceanside amusement parks is a very disturbing trend now that people are realizing the true value of the land on which the parks sit. It's too bad that people are so willing to let an amusement park close when the amusement park is one of the reasons the land in the seaside town is worth so much! Amusements are a huge draw when there's a beach involved, especially when it comes to families.

^ 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!

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Monday, June 11, 2007 12:22 PM
The Great White will soon be joined by a brother.
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Monday, June 11, 2007 1:33 PM
Probably the best bigger draw park to couple the Lakemont event with would be Kennywood because it is the other "must visit" park for coasters (with Phantom's Revenge, Exterminator, and the three woodies) in western PA and it is about 2 to 2 1/2 hours away. You get the people into the area for KW and some of them will be interested in going to Lakemont as well to ride Leap the Dips and Skyliner,
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Monday, June 11, 2007 1:40 PM
^^ And I can't wait for that day to come... or some more details about the ride ;)

^ 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.

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Monday, June 11, 2007 1:50 PM
^ or Idlewild... ;)

Or so I read in my trip report...hehe... :)

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Monday, June 11, 2007 2:07 PM
Is there where I admit that I've been to Lakemont more often than I've been to Kennywood?

Lakemont is also a nice side trip after visiting Horseshoe Curve and the Railroaders Memorial Museum.

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Monday, June 11, 2007 3:03 PM

millrace said:
Is there where I admit that I've been to Lakemont more often than I've been to Kennywood?


Me too.

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.

- Jeff

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Monday, June 11, 2007 3:04 PM
If enough of you CoasterBuzz fans would really be interested in a CoasterBuzz event, we would be happy to do it in conjunction with Delgrosso's.
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Monday, June 11, 2007 5:03 PM
It depends on what kind of event you're talking about, Barry. Coasterbuzz events are usually (always?) limited to Coasterbuzz Club members, and a large portion of the Coasterbuzz population aren't members of the Coasterbuzz Club. Without sounding as though I'm plugging another site that might just happen to be mentioned in my signature, may I suggest that the invitation be extended to coaster enthusiasts in general? That might lead to a much larger crowd instead of the few that read Coasterbuzz and are actually willing to make the trip to Altoona?

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 ;)

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Monday, June 11, 2007 5:22 PM
I'd be up for an event at DeLakemontGrosso's!

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 :)

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Monday, June 11, 2007 6:56 PM
What negative feelings? Smoothees and Mallo cups are delicious. The Boyer principals (I can't spell their name) had a vision, and carried forth their plans.

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***

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Monday, June 11, 2007 7:42 PM
Heres a thought... make it a 2 day event, based on a Pittsburgh trip/lodging, Kennywood for a day, and a charter bus to Lakemont/Del Grosso's from Pittsburgh and back.

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 :) )

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Monday, June 11, 2007 10:52 PM
A Lakemont-DelGrossos day would be great. These parks compliment each other so well because each of them has something that the other is lacking.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007 8:36 AM
Uncle Coaster..........The road project that will effect Lakemont Park is the widening of the road that runs parallel to the park from two (2) lanes to five (5) lanes. There will also be a "green space" and a bicycle path. Most of the homes across the street from the park have been purchased and have been boarded up. The balance of the residents have until August 1st, at which time demolition of these structures will begin. The project is to take two (2) years to complete. They are to begin on the west side of Park Avenue (that's across the street from us) in 08 and to do our side of the road in 09. Rob Ascough....The kind of event that I am talking about would be to come here for lunch or dinner during which time we could have a "Meet & Greet" session in which I would be happy to answer questions from those attending and all day rides & waterpark. We could do this for as little as $10.00 per person. We could also add an "event t-shirt" at our cost. ($6.50 prox.) We could also arrange the event that there would be exclusive ride timefor those attending (either before we open or after we close or both). If there is interest, we would be THRILLED to do this for the park enthusiasts. *** Edited 6/12/2007 12:37:49 PM UTC by Barry A Kumpf***
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007 9:08 AM
AJ, that's some pretty interesting stuff you said about Boyer and their plans for Lakemont. I always assumed the Boyer people didn't care that much for the park and that's why it got ruined but now I see it wasn't so black and white.

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?

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007 5:16 PM
Guess we can't pay for park admission using "Mallo-Cup coins." :)

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? ;)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007 6:53 PM
And a darkride.
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007 8:49 PM
Plus piles of dirt!
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Tuesday, June 12, 2007 9:16 PM
Boyer wasn't the only chocolate company to have an amusement park fiasco. Hershey had their own misadventures at Lake Compounce a while back. They tried to convert the oldest amusement park in the country into a major theme park. Unfortunately, this fell flat in its face in spite of the previous successful conversion of their PA park from a small traditional park into a large theme park.

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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