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Kennywood may double its attractions By Michael Yeomans, TRIBUNE-REVIEW Wednesday, July 6, 2005
Kennywood Entertainment Co. officials will unveil major expansion plans today that could double the attractions at historic Kennywood Park, with the acquisition of 23 brownfield acres in neighboring Duquesne.
The purchase is the third piece of its growth plan. Over the last decade, the company has stitched together a patchwork of residential parcels in West Mifflin, and last month acquired a shopping plaza anchored by a Kmart that closed two years ago adjacent to Kennywood parking lots. Taken together, the additions will nearly double the size of the century-old park.
The park property is bisected by Route 837 -- Kennywood Boulevard -- with the 40-acre park on the Monongahela River side of the road and another roughly 40 acres of parking lots on the opposite side, connected by a tunnel under the road.
Kennywood spokeswoman Mary Lou Rosemeyer said the company has long wanted to expand but was concerned about access to the park. She said that problem will be eased by the completion of a section of the $2.5 billion Mon-Fayette Expressway linking Interstate 376 in Monroeville to Route 51 in Jefferson Hills and including a junction with Route 837. The highway is about half complete but is missing critical links in the Monongahela Valley to serve struggling former mill towns such as Duquesne, Braddock and Turtle Creek.
The company hired the Downtown consulting firm of Tripp Umbach to do an economic impact study of its three Western Pennsylvania theme parks, which also include the Sandcastle water park in West Homestead and Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Westmoreland County.
Without giving details, Rosemeyer said the study will show that Kennywood Entertainment's three properties have the largest economic impact of any entertainment provider in the region.
"We can be a real destination, if we can get the people in here," she said.
Rosemeyer would not disclose the seller of the 23 acres in Duquesne, or whether the parcel is on the river, or on the east side or west side of Kennywood Boulevard.
She said the company would not wait for the highway's completion before beginning the park expansion, which she said would include additional attractions and parking. She declined to provide details.
Kennywood President Pete McAneny is to be joined by Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission representative Tom Fox today in unveiling the economic study and expansion plan.
Brooks Robinson Jr., marketing director of the Regional Industrial Development Corp. of Western Pennsylvania, said it has not sold land to Kennywood. RIDC operates the Riverplace City Center of Duquesne industrial park, which is separated from Kennywood by a wide gully.
The Union Railroad also owns a flat parcel of land along the river across the same gully.
Turnpike Commission spokesman Joe Agnello said the design and right of way acquisition for the 24-mile leg of the expressway will take another four years. Depending on whether funding is available, construction could begin by 2010. "Kennywood adds another powerful voice for the project to move forward," he said.
Looks like great news! A modern wooden coaster would be great for the park, but I'm just happy they migh tbe getting something new.
Last edited by larrygator on Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:43 pm.
-Sean C. ____________________________________
FORMER DISNEYLAND ATTRACTION OP ____________________________________ Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (2009) Indiana Jones Adventure (2008) Disneyland Railroad (2007) ____________________________________
This is strange, and yet expected. Kennywood already owns the railroad graveyard just behind the racer, (Mary Lou slipped that one on a PCNC interview in 1999 i believe) and owned many of the houses on the oposing end of the park. For me, the question is, "which way are they going?"
The shopping center aquisition would just expand the parking, obviously.
I'm anxious to hear about this. (EDIT: Apparently, she lied.) Now that Merlin is in charge, they now own it.
Last edited by DenDen on Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:53 pm.
Well, the announcement wasn't too "thrilling".... basically, the expansion wouldn't even start until 2010, and is contingent on the Mon-Valley express way being completed. All this hub-bub is based on an independent economic impact study, finding Kennywood to the the #1 Entertainment venue in Western PA, and the only one in SW-PA to never ask for corporate welfare. (and that goes for for-profit AND non-profit venues!)
The park has no idea what they'll do, so they just threw out these possibilities of what might happen in 2010...
New bigger coasters...
k-mart will become either additional parking, or maintainance...
and other standard fair, like rides, games and food.
So, all in all, i thought this news conference was disappointing. From the press conference alerts all over the place, they gave the impression that there were definite plans for expansion. (sigh)
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