Pittsburgh At Its Dumbest

It seems that Kennywood Park — Pittsburgh icon and the scene of such Pat Stack childhood highlights as the Jackrabbit Double-Dip and the time that I puked after getting riding the Pirate Ship — has been sold to the Spanish amusement-park company Parques Reunidos. This is after more than 100 years of being owned by the same two local families.

I was reading some reactions to the sale on this forum, and being familiar with the yinzer “That Used To Be Where You Take Your Driver’s License Test” sense of nostalgia, I probably could have predicted how things were going to go down. That didn’t stop me from appreciating these gems:

Well… add Amusement Parks to the growing list of American companies and infrastructure being sold to foreign interests. Didn’t the Spanish either attempt to buy or did indeed buy the Pennsylvania Turnpike? I expect to see Mt. Rushmore be put on the Auction block next or maybe Yellowstone Park. It has been said by a few the White House & the Capital Building are already owned by foreign interests. In a figurative sense of course.

I HAVE SPENT MY LAST DOLLAR AT KENNYWOOD, SAND CASTLE, OR IDLEWILD. IS THIS AMERICA? I’M NOT SURE ANYMORE.

I think it a shame the everything in the United States is be bought up by foreigner isn’t any thing sacred any more.

I’m tired of seeing our country being sold to foreigners.

USA is being sold down the river, everything is going to be owned by outsiders and the USA citizen will no longer have a job with an American-owned company.

So much for keeping America, America. Let’s look at the bright side… At least it was not sold to the Chinese.

Kennywood — when you hear that name you think of Fun and Hometown America! Now it will be foreign-run and as everything else; workers and owners will not speak English. Sad, actually!

Really? Kennywood workers who don’t speak English? Because that would be an odd choice from a business perspective, but since fur’ners hate America so much, those Spaniards just might flush their $200 million down the toilet to spite The Burgh.

You know my first thought on hearing this? “I really hope they didn’t sell to Six Flags.” Yep, American-owned Six Flags Theme Parks Inc., where you can get an order of chicken strips for no less than $8.50 and the rich pay extra to cut you in line all day with that SpeedPass thing. (They really hit you over the head there with metaphors for the buying-and-selling of meritocratic democracy.) We’d have been attending Six Flags Three Rivers before we knew it, and so much for the Potato Patch or the Monongahela Monster — no way I’m riding The Texan Octopus.

Lots of posters on that forum have legitimate gripes with the fact that Kennywood is no longer a family enterprise. I second that: It’s sad to see such a longtime icon absorbed into yet another conglomerate, even if I’m glad it’s not the Six Flags conglomerate. Recognizing that the Kennywood families ultimately had the power and there’s nothing I can do about it, I’m holding out hope that a deep-pocketed company will be willing to invest more in new rides, while realizing the value of keeping the existing local-oriented management. (That’s what they’re promising so far.) The Kennywood families have resisted attempts to sell before, so they must have had their reasons to pick this company. Considering the business value of Kennywood’s history, it probably won’t change too much, and the next generation will still be going each year to buy a new Kennywood outfit from Kaufmann’s. (My bad, they’re owned by Macy’s now. Damn!)

So let’s chill with the xenophobia for a minute and accept that it’s no longer 1957: you can’t go dahn ‘a corner and get two pahnds ‘a jumbo for a nickel. This is the world that our society has long since chosen to make for itself. And for the record, even though Spanish people don’t eat them, tacos are delicious.

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2 Responses to “Pittsburgh At Its Dumbest”

  1. Don’t forget Six Flags is now owned by Dan Snyder. Yet another reason to be happy the sale went as it did.

  2. Not trying to be xenophobic (and I’m not in this instance, because I think this will only improve the quality of Kennywood’s churro offerings, which I love the shit out of), but…there is no more Kaufmann’s. Macy’s didn’t just buy them. They closed them.

    I still argue that if you could get the rights to the name, opening even a small clothing store called “Joseph Horne Co.” would make you 8 billion Pittsburgh dollars. They are like regular dollars, but you say the ‘o’ differently.

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