The Lakemont Partnership Tuesday reported to the Blair County Commissioners that Lakemont Park is set to open Saturday, May 25, in time for Memorial Day 2019. Stepping away from an amusement park, it will return to its roots as a community gathering center. The new Lakemont Park will feature outdoor recreation and special events in addition to popular amusements and a waterpark.
“We are excited to provide a new type of venue in the Altoona area, and admission will be free,” stated Andrea Cohen, whose family co-owns Lakemont Park.
“Our vision is for this landmark to be the community’s centerpiece for connecting family and friends in an outdoor environment,” said Cohen. “We have conducted focus groups, and have spoken to many people and organizations for input, as we want the community to feel this is their park, and that they have played a part in the reinvention,” stated park manager, Melissa Vyborny. The Park will celebrate its 125th anniversary and promises to provide a clean, safe and well-maintained facility.
Visitors will have access to 36 holes of mini-golf at the new The Links at Lakemont. The new Keystone Falls 18-hole course was designed by Harris Mini-Golf of Wildwood, NJ. This challenging regulation-size course is ADA accessible and will have a stone waterfall and ponds. The original mini-golf course has been reinvented as The Rabbit Hole, designed by local artist Michael Allison to feature an array of Pennsylvania’s favorite woodland creatures.
“Renovations are in full swing,” commented Ralph Albarano, co-owner and developer. The installation of the four batting cages and the newly themed Treehouse Activity Pool have started. Six LakeMonster Paddle Boats, and the Motorway track with 16 new Go-Karts are scheduled to arrive in May. Construction is underway for the four new basketball courts, which will be the new home of the former Mansion Park League, through the Central Blair Recreation Commission. When the courts are not privately reserved they will be open to the public to enjoy for free. Those interested will be able to see reserved times on the new Lakemont Park website.
Lakemont Park has also kept old favorites including the Leap-The-Dips Roller Coaster, Skyliner Roller Coaster, Tin Lizzy Antique Autos, C.P. Huntington Train, 4X4 Mini Monster Trucks, Lil’ Leaper Kiddie Coaster, three open-air waterslides and the splash pool.
“We are partnering with a number of community organizations and businesses to bring some unique events to our community,” said Vyborny. These include family movie nights between June and August hosted by Blair County Drug & Alcohol Partnership, a BTW 3-on-3 basketball tournament organized by the Central Blair Rec Commission, High Country Toast and Jam sponsored by the Altoona Blair County
Development Corporation, Altoona Sports Fest created by the Joshua House, and many more events that you can explore through the soon-to-be-released Lakemont Park website.
Lakemont Park is also partnering with local organizations such as United Way of Blair County, who are working with the Blair County Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals group to install a “Born Learning Trail” for children. The Greater Altoona Career & Technology Center is building eight corn hole sets that will be free to the public, with each representing one of the local high schools. There is also a PA WalkWorks route within Lakemont Park and the surrounding Lakemont area.
Food and beverage offerings at the Park will be plentiful. A local favorite, Jack’s Grubb Shack, will have a full menu of burgers, pizza, barbecue, and more. Additional food stands include Treehouse Take Out, Motorway Cool Off and Dippy’s Sweet & Salty, featuring ice cream, popcorn, soft pretzels, funnel cakes, and waffle fries loaded with your favorite toppings. In addition, Lakemont Park will host an exciting food event each month.
Park will offer free admission and guests will be welcome to enjoy a walk through the Park, watch a basketball game, use the new children’s play area and hang out on the green space at no charge,” noted Vyborny. Ride, Splash, and Play activities will be affordable with the Park’s new “Pay as You Play or Stay All Day” pricing. Each attraction is priced individually, but there are also All Day and Evening Unlimited Ride, Splash & Play Passes that include unlimited use of all the attractions, as well as discounted rates for groups of 20 or more.
The community is encouraged to call and plan a group picnic at the six pavilions, where guests can bring their own food or hire Snappy Chef for a catered event. Local organizations are encouraged to create a unique event or fundraiser using the Park’s conveniently located facilities.
Information can be found on the Lakemont Park website, www.lakemontparkfun.com, or by calling (814) 949-7275. Lakemont Park will be open seven days a week. Gates open at 8 a.m. for walkers. See website for attractions and food service schedule.
About the park
Lakemont Park, located in Altoona Pennsylvania, has been a center of community activity since it opened as a trolley park in 1894. It is the home of the world’s oldest surviving wooden rollercoaster, the Leap-The-Dips, which was added to the list of National Historic Landmarks in 1996 by the National Park Service. The Park hosts a state-recognized holiday light show, Holiday Lights on the Lake, from mid-November to January.