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Kennywood buys monorail from Busch Gardens

Wednesday, June 28, 2000

By Jan Ackerman, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

The owners of Kennywood have bought an old monorail that was dismantled last year at Busch Gardens in Tampa, Fla., but it's unclear whether visitors will get to see it in action at the West Mifflin park.

"I can't say what we are going to do with it," Mary Lou Rosemeyer, spokeswoman for Kennywood Entertainment Co., said yesterday.

Amusement Park News, an Internet Web site, reported on June 22 that the monorail will debut at Kennywood in 2001, and will take guests from the parking lot across the highway into the main park entrance.

But Rosemeyer said no decision has been made to introduce the monorail next year or to use it at Kennywood. "It could be broken up or used at any one of our four parks," she said.

In addition to Kennywood, the amusement company owns Sandcastle water park in West Homestead, Idlewild Park in Ligonier and Lake Compounce amusement park in Bristol, Conn.

Rosemeyer said the company is studying the best use for the monorail, which was purchased from Busch Gardens. She would not reveal the selling price.

Busch Gardens closed the monorail last year to make way for an expansion.

For 33 years, the air-conditioned monorail, which cost $1.3 million to construct, shuttled millions of visitors through the 70-acre Serengeti Plain at Busch Gardens, a 300-acre African theme park and zoo in Tampa owned by Anheuser-Busch Cos. The monorail gave tourists a close-up view of the animals.

Kennywood has been refurbishing its latest park acquisition, Lake Compounce, since it bought the park in 1996, when the Connecticut amusement park, the oldest in the United States, had fallen into financial trouble.

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