Kennywood Receives Complaints After 12 Rides Close

Kennywood Park - Kurt Miller

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PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Kennywood goers became angry last weekend after the closure of 12 rides.

People are complaining on Facebook saying the popular amusement park is declining.

Nick Paradise, Director of Public Relations and Social Media at Kennywood, joined KDKA Radio on Friday to talk about the issues.

How bad are the mechanical issues at Kennywood and what is being done about it?

“It’s really not so much mechanical things. There’s a couple mechanical issues, but we’ve really seen a perfect storm. . .” said Paradise.

“We’ve done hundreds of test runs since the issues led to the rides closure, and we are waiting for the State Department of Agriculture to sign off on all of the third party inspections. Everything that we’ve had done indicate that it’s ready to go once the state gives us approval.”

Any idea when The Department of Agriculture will sign off on the rides?

“I couldn’t say. We are communicating with them as much as we can. Going back a long way, we have a good relationship with those folks at the state,” Paradise tells KDKA Radio.

“They know that our first priority is safety, as is their first priority. So we will continue working with them and hopefully have that approval soon.”

Do you reduce prices to make up for this?

“We have the last weekend and going forward, we’re waving the surcharges on all of our tickets,” Paradise added.

“We have a ton of discounts that are out there at all times. Whenever I talk to people, I try to encourage them, to buy a tickets in advance whether it’s through our website, one of the deals we have through AAA, or Giant Eagle.”

We get in to this time of year, and I know a lot of your employees are college students who have probably gone back to school. Are you having problems getting enough people to keep all the rides open?

“Staffing has become a larger challenge this year than in many years. We commonly see it when the economy is good, it’s harder to find the seasonal help that we need, “Paradise said.   

“School has continued to expand in one way or another with classes starting earlier, more people focused on internships than paid summer jobs, sports camps and band camps. There is a lot more demand on the time of 16-22 year olds that for generations have been integral to us at Kennywood.”

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