Kennywood's Pitt Fall for sale; what's next?

Drop ride's sale was announced on Facebook

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If Kennywood officials decide the price is right for their Pitt Fall drop ride, the experience of plummeting 251 feet toward earth at 65 mph -- and living to tell about it -- could be a memory at the West Mifflin amusement park.

International Rides Management, a Wildwood, N.J.-based brokerage company, listed the Pitt Fall for sale on its Facebook page last week. The agency has sold other rides for Kennywood in the past.

Kennywood spokesman Jeff Filicko on Monday confirmed the sale.

"We are currently exploring our opportunities for selling the Pitt Fall," he said. "But that is in no way an indication as to whether or not the ride will be removed or remain in the park for next season."

The black and gold Pitt Fall, which was the tallest free-fall ride in the world when it opened in 1997, has experienced declining ridership, he said. It works on a system of pulleys and magnets, which form a strong magnetic field that smoothly slows the ride about 70 feet above the ground. Sixteen people can ride at a time.

IRM Vice President Sam Shurgott said Kennywood has expressed interest in a potential replacement ride for the Pitt Fall if it can be sold. No price was listed.

"Kennywood is a tightly packed park, and unfortunately that means some attractions have to be taken out to bring in something new," Mr. Shurgott said. "But what will replace the Pitt Fall will surely pack a punch."

Still the Pitt Fall has its fans.

"I don't want to see the Pitt Fall leave the park because it's honestly a good thrill," said Andrew Fedor, 28, of Ben Avon. "It keeps Kennywood up to date with other amusement parks and the suspense is fun. It's just a good time."

Amusement park message boards were buzzing Monday as ride enthusiasts speculated what might replace the Pitt Fall.

Many suggested that a giant swing ride similar to Cedar Point's new WindSeeker attraction is the most likely candidate.

But Mr. Shurgott disagreed.

"Kennywood looks for new rides that don't exist within neighboring markets," he said. "The ride they're looking for is much better than the WindSeeker."

Joey Nolfi .


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