I'm sure most of you know the whole story of "Only In America" and the park they claim to be opening in the Pittsburgh area.
If you're not familiar, you can catch up by looking:
In a nutshell, not too many are buying into it.
-Act 2 (The plot thickens)
You may also know that I live pretty near the area that this park is supposedly going up. My wife has a pretty high-up hotel job in the area.
Well, today a two page letter, survey and flyer came across her desk from - you guessed it - Only In America!
Take a look at the materials (printed on a home inkjet, mind you) right here. (be sure to scroll down - it's a large image)
-Act 3 (The finale)
Ok, so what's the deal?
Is this thing really coming together or is this some of the most irresponsible promotion ever attempted?
Doesn't that letter state that they actually hold the 760 acres?
They're even promising to bring 2400 new jobs to the area.
The whole letter talks as if this IS happening going as far as to write:
"The number of people coming through the area WILL affect your business."
Is it just me or does it seem incredibly irresponsible to go door-to-door and start telling businesses in the area to start thinking about, preparing for and expecting a huge influx of tourism to the area? Escpecially if the info (some of it pretty damn credible) we have previously posted around here is remotely true.
So what's the deal?
Irresponsible manifestation of some guy's pipe dream or slowly becoming a reality?
*** Edited 9/20/2005 4:11:04 AM UTC by Lord Gonchar***
Sorry if this still sounds like a 'CPO with money' type thing, but it does.
Guess I'll wait and see.
"When all of your wishes come true, many of your dreams will be destroyed"-Marilyn Manson.
I thought their website was suppossed to be updated like 2 years ago?
I noticed they asked how people would feel about them relocating to Wheeling, WV. I say bring it on. Wheeling needs something to spice it up a little.
*** Edited 9/20/2005 8:26:53 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
Now this is all assuming that they'd be able to clear all this nonsense with the FAA since it's so close to the airport and judging by their description, RIGHT IN the safety areas for one of the major runways for the airport. Large buildings with reflective surfaces and large roller coasters which stick up into the safety areas are NOT going to "fly".
I'll report back after work!
--Brett, Investigative Reporter
Edit: you think they paid for any of those pictures on the back of their brochure? You think Geauga Lake would be interested to find out someone probably pirated a picture of their coaster for their own profit and benefit? ;)
*** Edited 9/20/2005 11:28:26 AM UTC by Impulse-ive***
Of course, most early stage investors are pretty smart guys---that's how they got so much money. So, even if this survey generates positive results, it may not matter in the end, because the business plan (that we've seen so far) is hogwash, as dexter so eloquently points out.
Since that proposal positively defies rational thought, I absolutely refuse to write a rational response as to why this is such complete crap. *** Edited 9/20/2005 2:26:58 PM UTC by BBSpeed26***
Considering I haven't heard a peep about this in the transportation world, I wouldn't buy my 2007 season pass yet.
The rest of the people own just a couple of acres a pop, but it'd be a ton of property acquisition. The land is very mountainous, so it'd require a lot of earthwork. Not to mention that in the area, there are at
least three satellite-visible lakes, which would make any sort of development across the entire site an absolute nightmare environmentally with all the wetlands mitigation and protection that's going to be
required. The land is not as close to the airport as he claims, for those that know the area, it's a heck of a lot closer to Star Lake than the airport. On top of this, the roadway he would need doesn't exist yet. The area is back in the boonies, with worse access than even Kennywood as it currently stands. The roadway that's running through that area isn't
going to be ready until probably late '06 if not '07 or '08, which means even construction access to the area in the amounts needed for that sort of development would be limited at best until the Findlay Connector (that road) is completed. And even if the road is connected,
it's sort of a highway to nowhere right now, both terminals of the roadway, in the current phase, end at roads that wouldn't really be able to carry major amusement park traffic.
Now let's also add in that his target market already has ski and tubing slopes which are a lot higher and better than anything he could build in a dome not an hour and a half to the east, a local amusement park which locals are very loyal too, and two major amusement parks that are considered "day trips" to the west that attract even more fierce loyalty. Toss in that there's already been proposals for an indoor NASCAR track and a horse-track for that area that have fallen through, the upcoming
slots casinos in PA, the highly successful Wheeling casino complex just to the west, and the general NIMBYness of people in PA?
It's never gonna happen. Ever. Please stop taking this guy seriously.
Honestly, I wonder how close this guy's getting to the border of pipe dream and doing things that are illegal! Claiming he already owns that land? Claiming an opening date when there aren't even contracts issued yet, or ground broken? Stealing images of coasters and such from other places? Sounds pretty fishy to me ...
That's kind of my point exactly. How f'd up is it to make these claims then parade around the area trying to drum up support (and this is where I think Brian is dead on) to entice investors when the support you got in the first place was based on lies?
The funny thing is, I never had mentioned the Only In America thing to my wife and she only showed me the stuff because she thought I'd be very interested in a new park going up in the area. Once I explained the whole backstory to her, she was kind of pissed.
How many less savvy business owners/managers are looking at this a slobbering over the ideas of increased business in the future?
There's something that's just SO irresponsible to me about doing that.
Now you toss in this load of crap to someone who's not really looking for a hoax, there's certainly going to be some really pissed off businesses out there.
I hate to be all like ... self-important and stuff, but do you think it's up to us (ie - me, SpecialEd, Gonch) that know in this area to maybe do a little whistle blowing with this guy? Andy Sheehan or something? ;)
All the way from the people that get bothered with these little 'packets of info' to the people that they get passed along to, to the potential investors (who mustn't be too interested at this point) that get bothered with questionable feedback to those hurting business folks that might see this as potential future salvation to people like us who arent really affected but are just generally annoyed by it.
I'm all for going for something you believe in, but you gotta do it right.
This isn't right.
Plus, it's fun to call out these bozos. (as we have so many times in the past) :)
I did some checking of my own on the DEP permit tracking website. I searched for Only IN America, LLC... all permits in the Ingomar ZIP code, all LLC's with permits in Allegheny County.. and found nada. This company hasn't even applied for any of the environmental permits it's going to need (water quality, water management, sewage). So they're a long way off from going anywhere.
What does scare me though are the questions in the questionnaire about involving the state. It sounds like this guy is hoping to get state funding for this project based on the promise of 2400 jobs. Which totally sucks considering every other park in the state is getting taxed to hell. But then again, that is PA, giving tax breaks and grants to new businesses so they can brag about creating jobs. You never hear about the existing tax-paying businesses that go under because they can't compete with the guys riding the gravy train.
...Only in America.
As it stands, with all of the research that so many of you completed and shared above, it shows that we are more able to get "Only in America" off the ground, than they are themselves.
At first I thought this was all somewhat funny and amusing. I do agree that the area business owners, if they knew the real facts, that they too would be upset. I think now I am just creeped out about the whole situation.
Perhaps the local Better Business Bureau could be contacted...
I have to add, that although I feel that they are up to something not quite kosher, I guess I did not feel that were trying to drum up investors. Now that I have re-read their letter, and some of your comments, I'm creeped out even more. Maybe it's not the BBB that should be contacted, but rather the PA State Attorney's Office.
. *** Edited 9/20/2005 6:12:23 PM UTC by ltlbat***
I love the "what price do you think we should charge", the "free days", and the "10 minute rollercoaster ride" ones!
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