Kennywood (KW) Discussion Thread

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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby OISU8P » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:58 am

Plus, I believe much of that expansion was tied to a new freeway project that did not happen. They where going to expand if the freeway went in. Not sure what their plans are for the land now.

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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby JonnyRCT3 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 11:26 am

Seeing how outlaw run was $10Million, I could see why they would go with them. Most new companies sell for cheap, at first.......

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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby jedimaster1227 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:32 pm

Carl Hughes wrote the slogan for Kennywood's Kiddieland -- the one that reads "The most beautiful music in the world is the sound of children laughing."

In the five-plus decades that he worked at Kennywood -- rising from part-time publicity assistant to president and chairman of the board -- Mr. Hughes worked tirelessly to make his words come true.

"He was the man who truly created Kennywood," said Harry Henninger, who retired as Kennywood's chief executive officer when the park was sold in 2008. "He made it his mission to make it a much greater place, and he achieved it."

Mr. Hughes died Saturday of heart failure in his Mount Washington home. He was 91.

He was born in Johnstown and graduated from Geneva College. He started working as a sportswriter for The Pittsburgh Press in 1943, covering the makeshift wartime "Card-Pitts" football team that was the amalgamation of the Chicago Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers.

The team -- which badly lost all 10 games it played -- was nicknamed the Carpets by Mr. Hughes and other sportswriters, recalled Mr. Hughes' close friend and fellow sportswriter Roy McHugh.

Mr. Hughes broke the story of the University of Pittsburgh football coach Clark Shaughnessy moonlighting as a coach of the Washington Redskins -- a story that got him both kicked out of the Pitt fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo room and a $5 raise from his editor, recalled Mr. McHugh in a written remembrance.

He also covered boxing for the Press, befriending Art Rooney Sr., who owned a Downtown boxing club as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Mr. Rooney nicknamed him "The Mighty Atom" -- a nod to his short stature, according to a 1999 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette profile.

In addition to sportswriting, Mr. Hughes sometimes would help a friend who was in charge of publicity for Kennywood with writing news releases.

Mr. Hughes' work with both the Press and Kennywood was put on hold when he was drafted into the Army at the end of World War II and sent to the Philippines.

He returned in 1947, staying employed at the Press and taking on the publicity work for Kennywood as a part-time job. In 1956, concerned about supporting his wife and two daughters on a newspaper salary, Mr. Hughes joined Kennywood full time.

His initial job of coordinating park sales and publicity changed dramatically three years later, when Mr. Hughes' boss, Carl Henninger, died of a heart attack, and Mr. Hughes was made manager of the park.

Around that time, said Harry Henninger, who starting working at the park in 1963, Kennywood was considered just an average amusement park with average facilities. Mr. Hughes aspired to turn it into something more.

A natural historian, he campaigned -- successfully -- for its inclusion into the National Register of Historic Places, making it in 1987 the first amusement park to receive that distinction.

He also had a "constant drive for perfection" and a vision for "keeping the park beautiful," Mr. Henninger said. "It wasn't just a roller coaster, it was a feeling that you wanted to have throughout the park for family entertainment."

Mr. Hughes often worked six or seven days a week.

He never left the park for the day without complimenting at least one employee on a job well done, said his daughter, Mary Lou Rosemeyer, even if that meant wandering the park at night looking for a ride attendant treating a guest particularly well.

He considered himself just one of Kennywood's many team members and on busy days when employees had to use satellite parking offsite, he would, too. "He did that even when he was 80," said Ms. Rosemeyer, who worked at Kennywood for 23 years. "He would park his Corvette and walk down. If the folks that worked the front lines had to do it, he had to do it, too."

He used creative tactics in public relations and marketing, employing one lesson he learned from Art Rooney Sr.'s father, Dan Rooney, who owned the General Braddock Brewery in Braddock. As recalled in the 1999 Post-Gazette profile, Mr. Hughes had read a beer labeled "premium" and asked Dan Rooney, "How do you become a premium beer?"

"Young man, the first thing you do is tell your printer," Rooney replied.

And so, Mr. Hughes quickly dubbed Kennywood "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World."

Kennywood expanded greatly under Mr. Hughes' tenure, adding rides such as the Log Jammer and The Laser Loop and buying and opening other parks such as Idlewild in 1983 and Sandcastle in 1989.

Putting a Neighborhood of Make-Believe attraction into Idlewild, he befriended Fred Rogers of the "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" television show. The two would exchange humorous gifts -- Rogers custom-ordered him a 4-foot replica of a blue Flair pen that both men used reliably.

Whenever a Friday the 13th came about, Mr. Hughes would send Rogers a birthday card for King Friday. Rogers returned the favor, sending Mr. Hughes a birthday card every year from Lady Elaine Fairchilde in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Mr. Hughes struggled with heart trouble in his later life, having two heart attacks and undergoing four triple bypass surgeries, his daughter said. Taking the inaugural ride of the Steel Phantom roller coaster in 1991 -- ignoring posted warnings that those with heart conditions shouldn't ride -- he joked to onlookers, "Get your cameras so when we come back dead, people can see what happens when you disobey signs," according to the 1999 Post-Gazette profile.

Mr. Hughes never really retired from Kennywood, Mr. Henninger said.

"He really took Kennywood from just a little -- kind of dirty -- park into one that was envied by park owners around the world," Ms. Rosemeyer said. "That was his goal, to make it the finest traditional amusement park anywhere."

In addition to Ms. Rosemeyer, Mr. Hughes is survived by his wife, Anny Hughes; another daughter, Lynn Cauley of Pittsburgh; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

The family will hold a memorial service at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Smithfield United Church of Christ, 620 Smithfield St., Downtown. The family asks donations be sent to Geneva College or Smithfield United Church of Christ.
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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby PhantomNick » Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:53 pm

This isn't necessarily directly related to Kennywood, but I thought this was intriguing to think about with regards to the possible future of Kennywood's season passes. I noticed on Idlewild's website that they now have 3 different levels to their season passes - Basic, Premium, and VIP. I attached a screen shot of the chart from their site below. Considering that Kennywood is owned by the same parent company, it's interesting to think about a similar system coming to Kennywood in the near future.

Coming soon to Kennywood?? Time will tell!
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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby Rocksman22 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:58 pm

Hey did anyone notice during Phantom Fright Nights that the Wave Swinger was MISSING?!? Really hope they didn't remove it I loved that ride and that feeling of flying. :cry:

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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby Myself » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:32 pm

The Wave Swinger is dismantled every winter.

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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby Rocksman22 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:22 pm

^^^ OH GOOD thank you.

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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby Dailey Enterprizes » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:05 pm

^^^^ That's an inspiring story about Carl Hughes life. I actually didn't know that about him before he worked at Kennywood that he was a sportswriter. His legacy will be around for a long time I'm sure and I'm not just talking about Kennywood. His family and friends will sing his praises forever I'm sure. :)

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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby DenDen » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:38 pm

According to Screamscape, Kennywood has FINALLY purchased the brown land behind the racer, and under the bridge.
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Re: Kennywood Discussion Thread

Postby Rollercoaster Rider » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:34 am

I mentioned to them at NCC that they should use the warehouse for Phantom Fright Nights. They said they wouldn't have to change much.
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