Lakemont Park

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 10:08 AM
If that's the price range you are thinking about, then you can probably add 4 or 5 major attractions that are on your wish list. One good idea might be to put in something that is not found at Kennywood, Idlewild, or DelGrossos. Although interactive darkrides are expensive, they can be a big draw. I believe that only one PA park (Hershey) has one. If the ride would throw your admission price structure out of whack, then consider making it an upcharge ride.

As far as "competing" with DelGrossos is concerned, I would rather see the parks compliment each other. DG has that crazy mouse with a steel looping coaster on the way. Lakemont has those wooden coasters including the unique Leap the Dips. The two parks together could draw more visitors to the area from Pittsburgh and central PA. Add the Horseshoe Curve, the Railroad museum, the Altoona Curve baseball team and the mountain scenery and there is a good bit to do here.

Arthur Bahl

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 8:24 PM
sws's avatar $15-20 million seems like a reasonable amount for all of the additions you hope to make. (Will you take a check? ;) ) That's less than some other parks spend on a single coaster. What is Lakemont's typical capital expenditure in its annual budget? Did the park's ownership give any indication that he might agree with your recommendations? I suppose you're not allowed to divulge that information. Anyways, it seems like some exciting times ahead for Lakemont. I've always thought that additions to the waterpark side of things is a good investment. Something the whole family can enjoy and alot less expensive than the thrill rides.

The car show does sound cool (yeah, I still use the term also - probably showing our ages). We probably won't make it to Lakemont until 8/25.

Thursday, July 5, 2007 9:57 AM

Agent Johnson said:
Lets just throw this out there....if Lakemont were to get something a little bit larger than a Mouse, would any of you come to ride it?

I know I would. That goes without saying.

Thursday, July 5, 2007 10:22 AM
My Lakemont story. When I saw the sign of all the people and companies that came together to save LTDs, it brought a tear to my eye, which is kind of embarrassing as I never cry over anything.

It's a wonderful coaster and piece of history I was honored to ride, and makes Lakemont worth the trip no matter what else is there. It was also my first Toboggan. That thing is CRAZY!

Monday, July 16, 2007 10:11 PM
Knock Knock! Oh, Mister Kumpf! You busy?

Swell! Lets sit and chat a second. (Heh heh).

Sadly, as the Conneaut situation comes to what seems to be almost uncurable now, (see the last few entries of the Conneaut thread), well, being in the business, I'm sure you're more than well aware...

Anyhoo.. ( *coughs) .. as sad as this is for we park enthusiasts to see, seems some flat rides... although I don't know which ones.. are going to be offered for sale.

Among the goodies I know they have are an absoultely AWSOME Roll O Plane (which performed all of its intended functions, unlike many who don't offer the lifting part of the ride), the great Tumble Bug, and the Flying Scooters, and Paratrooper. Some great additions to plug into some of those empty spots at a fraction of the cost of buying new or building major stuff.... AND a great way to make a "retro" area to compliment the Leap the Dips.... reopen a couple of those game booths down there (or turn one or two into retail spot) with some nice heavy 50s style neon!

(This ex-West View Park addict has a lump in his throat and a tear in his eye now)

I'll leave your office now, with that grin you presumably are wearing after hearing this marvy idea. :) ( Gee Whillikers, Mr Kumpf, you look swell today! Been working out? ) Gotta run to Mrs Cleaver's for some cookies.

Monday, July 16, 2007 10:55 PM
sws's avatar ^ Ummm....sir, security has been called. We'll give you a two-minute head start to the exit. Y'all don't come back now, ya hear? ;)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 9:52 AM
I see nothing wrong with that post. Mr. Kumpf has clearly made himself available to the coaster enthusiast community, so I'm sure he's willing to hear someone's suggestion... which is all that post was... a suggestion.

And a suggestion that I happen to like. If Conneaut Lake is going to remain closed and eventually auctioned piece-by-piece, it might make sense for a small park like Lakemont to "pick the bones" so they can add rides at a very reasonable cost. As rides like Knoebels Looper have proven, old rides sometimes make great additions to parks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 12:59 PM
There was nothing wrong with the post, or the suggestion. And Eddie Haskell, er, Chooch can ask anyone he likes whether they've been working out. :)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 3:39 PM
The trip to Mrs Cleaver's was no fun. She was tired and cranky.

"Ward, don't you think you're being a little too hard on the Beaver?!?"


Tuesday, July 17, 2007 3:48 PM
sws's avatar I apologize if my poor attempt at humor was misunderstood. Obviously Chooch's post was written in a humorous vein and such was my attempt. No matter how many ;) and :) you include, it can be difficult to interpret when something is being stated tongue-in-cheek. I was happy to see this thread revived as it has been enjoyable to read Mr. Kumpf's comments. It's encouraging to see someone in park management take such a sincere interest in customer satisfaction as he has done. This has convinced me to squeeze Lakemont into our vacation plans as we are traveling through Pennsylvania next month.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:00 PM
^^ Oh he did NOT just say that!

Chooch, maybe you and June could have had a nice little chat in Jive. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:01 PM

sws said:
Obviously Chooch's post was written in a humorous vein...

Wrong. Gonch is never funny.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:23 PM
To Rob, everybody whose name ends in "-ch" looks the same. :)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:41 PM
rollergator's avatar I saw Mr. Kumpf in PBS' "Great Old Amusement Parks" just the other day. It was cool, I was thinking "hey, I *kinda* know him"... ;)
Tuesday, July 17, 2007 5:44 PM
Very cool, gator. So does it look like he's been working out? :)
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 7:18 PM
I don't like the rumor mill, but I was told today that Conneaut "has received enough money to get open". I sure hope that they do. If they don't get open this year or next year, we will certainly take your suggestions regarding their ride inventory under advisement.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 9:31 PM
Barry, I told you I gave them $100, and not a dime more. However, its quite an interesting scenario that if Lakemont were to operate Conneaut Lake, they would be able to maintain a sizeable market stretching to Central PA to NW PA. Not a huge area, but often overlooked by the larger themers.

But, as history dictates, Lakemont has attracted the attention of other operators, and CLP is under the watch by others.

However, the only true traditional park operators are the ones that are operated by individuals who care, know their regional market, and well, that explains why so many acquisitions have failed, and the most successfull parks are the 'independents'. Kennywood, Knoebels, Dollywood, Opryland, HersheyPark, Moreys Piers, Silver Dollar City, Lagoon Park, or Holiday World.

Only a handfull of signature attractions, a good marketing gimmick, 3-5 steady years of solid group bookings, a few custom rides, and the next Lakemont, Conneaut Lake, Lakeside, Camden Park, or Joyland becomes the next Knoebels or Kennywood. Imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery an owner once told me, and don't for even one moment think these independent park owners don't talk frequently or share business plans.

Look at that list: No leaning on B&M's for the flagship ride. No reliance on million dollar Huss rides for capacity. No overbuilt hypers, or unmaintained dark rides. Plenty of kiddie and family rides, nearby hotels and camping, massive group picnic areas, and on and on.

Read this post 20 years from now. That list won't change. *** Edited 7/19/2007 5:27:50 AM UTC by Agent Johnson***

Thursday, July 19, 2007 1:53 AM
Or just get a Zipper. I'll move to Altoona ! :)
Thursday, July 19, 2007 10:40 PM
Interesting comments.

HP used to be a small traditional park. Now it's a close to being a megapark but still independent. They just weren't able to make a go of LC but Kennywood stepped in and turned the Connecticut park around.

Meanwhile a little kids park in Indiana transformed itself into a must visit park for those who love wooden coasters.

There is also the story of that small out of the way park in north central PA shrugs off a big flood in the late 1960s and grows immensely in the years that follow with the help of a darkride and two wooden coasters.

Also there is the revival of BB in Kentucky (which was helped to some extent by the demise of Opryland). Lagoon in Utah grows into a KW sized park. IB adds signature rides that make it a bigger draw while other similar parks disappear or struggle.

Let's preserve our smaller parks. Hopefully more of them can thrive again including Conneaut, Joyland, and the new Bells.

Arthur Bahl


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