At Last, a Look at the Future of Lakemont Park
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Posted by: Rus Ozana
Lakemont Park (Altoona, Pennsylvania) has revealed its plan for park revitalization, which will be complete when the park reopens Memorial Day weekend in 2019.
As announced in March 2017, the park's overall appeal and utility has been reassessed and won't include many mechanical rides. Most have been removed, though the train ride, Li'l Leaper kiddie coaster, a few other children's rides, Tin Lizzy antique autos and the two wooden coasters will continue to operate. They are the 1902 Leap the Dips, the world's oldest roller coaster and already the object of a preservation triumph; and the John Allen-PTC Skyliner, originally built in 1960 and moved to Lakemont in 1987.
The Island waterpark will also remain, with a renovated pool and play structures. Two updated Go-Kart tracks will operate; two new mini-golf courses of high design and atmosphere, one for children, will be built; and new paddle boats will take to the lake. Beyond these familiar features, the park will concentrate on activity and sports, music and events, gatherings and group functions and open green space. As such, expect to see new volleyball sandpits, basketball courts, a children's playground, a designated walking trail and two wide grassy lawns headed with performance stages. There will also be new group picnic pavilions, upgraded restrooms and food service facilities, with a new food stand and batting cages to be added later.
Admission to Lakemont Park will be free. Rides, activities and events will be priced individually.
The rethinking of Lakemont Park into a community recreation and meeting space was developed by the Lakemont Partnership, formed by the owners of the park and its facilities, which are situated on land owned by Blair County. The Partnership has worked with county commissioners, who have praised the Partnership's ideas and plans. This renovation is expected to lead the park to a more purposeful and sustainable future, rather than continuing to run a cash-needy amusement operation in reluctant competition with the growing DelGrosso's Park & Laguna Splash, just up the road from Altoona in Tipton.
Lakemont Park remained closed through the summers of 2017 and 2018 while this refocus for the historic park has been thought out and executed. The park opened only for its "Lights on the Lake" festival in 2017 and will open again for the upcoming holiday season beginning November 16.
Photo: Gary Slade. View full-sized image.