Kennywood plans water park, new rides, hotel on 43 acres in Duquesne
Kennywood Entertainment Co. continues to bank property around the landmark amusement park for future expansion.
The West Mifflin amusement park already has bought 15 acres and is acquiring another 28 acres, all in Duquesne. The land, purchased for $2.6 million, is part of its long-range master plan to expand when the Mon Fayette Expressway is built.
The $60 million expansion includes a hotel, an indoor water park, 81/2 acres of new rides and a "signature" attraction, such as a roller coaster, in an area that is now a rail yard in neighboring Duquesne.
Peter J. McAneny, Kennywood's president, said his company is buying land to develop when the West Mifflin exit of the expressway is complete.
While there is no official timetable for that to happen, "the reason we are buying it now is because it's available now," Mr. McAneny said.
He said that Kennywood's proposed water park would not affect the operation of nearby Sandcastle in West Homestead, which is also owned by Kennywood, because it couldn't accommodate 5,000 people a day as Sandcastle, an outdoor venue, does.
But the proposed hotel would be attached to the water park so that the water attractions could operate when the amusement park is closed during cold weather.
The plan also shows 81/2 acres for new rides on what is now the site of the Union Railroad yard. Part of this property is a brownfield that plunges into a ravine on the eastern side of the park. Kennywood, of course, is known for its steep roller coasters, which incorporate the dramatic topography of the Mon Valley.
Mr. McAneny said he is uncertain what rides would be added but that there will be a new generation of them to choose from in the next six years. Any such attraction would have to accommodate 1,500 people an hour, he added.
Last year, Kennywood received a $175,000 state grant from the First Industries Fund to plan its expansion.
Steve Pholar, coordinator for the West-to-West Coalition, a Mon Valley nonprofit that works on problems associated with redeveloping former industrial sites, submitted the grant application.
"[Kennywood] has a tradition of not dealing with the government," Mr. Pholar said. Mr. McAneny said the company applied for the grants only because Mr. Pholar offered to put the application together.
The funds will be used for pre-development planning and marketing studies, and for engineering, environmental and geotechnical studies.
West-To-West was formed in the late 1990s to coordinate cleanup and site marketing for the 22 communities that make up the lower Monongahela River Valley.
Source : Post Gazette