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Park News

Log on! Knott’s updates a classic

The Timber Mountain Log Ride, America's oldest log flume, will be the beneficiary of a multi-million dollar refurbishment and restoration project that begun this January. The classic attraction opened at Knott’s Berry Farm in July 1969, with John Wayne taking the inaugural ride. It remains the California’s park’s most popular attraction.

The $3.5 million attraction, which uses 24,000 gallons of water, was funded entirely by its designer Bud Hurlbut. Like the Calico Mine Ride he had designed previously at Knott’s, the theme park pioneer wanted to create a completely immersive experience. The Calico Log Ride, as it was originally named, takes passengers through an 85ft-high by 330ft-long (100m) mountain range themed as a 19th Century lumber camp. Featured along the way are a variety of mechanical figures and taxidermied animals. The bulk of the ride is housed inside an eight-story building, culminating in a 42ft freefall into the open air.

An archive shot of the heavily-themed ride, much of which is indoors

Carl O Hughes 1921–2012

The man who made it his goal to make Kennywood, “the finest traditional amusement park anywhere" passed away at home on December 29. Born on July 18, 1921, Carl O Hughes was the retired CEO of the Pennsylvania park.

Carl Hughes

He died of heart failure aged 91, after a series of heart troubles in recent years. The husband of Anny (Coleman) Hughes, father of Mary Lou Rosemeyer and Lynn (Jim) Cauley, brother of Joanne Hunter, he is

survived by eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Hughes was made manager of Kennywood in 1956 after his boss Carl Henniger died of a heart attack. At that time the property was considered as jist an average amusement park with average facilities. Hughes aspired to turn it into something more. A natural historian, he campaigned successfully for its inclusion into the National Register of Historic Places, making it the first amusement park to receive that distinction, in 1987. "He was the man who truly created Kennywood," highlights Harry Henninger, who retired as Kennywood's CEO when the park was sold in to Palace Entertainment/Parques Reunidos in 2008. "He made it his mission to make it a much greater place, and he achieved it." "He really took Kennywood from just a little, kind of dirty, park into one that was envied by park owners around the world," confirms Rosemeyer. Hughes also played a pivotal part in transforming the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (formerly the National Association of Amusement Parks) into the professional international organisation and trade show organiser we kniw it as today. As the first living inductee to the IAAPA Hall of Fame, his nomination noted, "more than any other living individual, [he] is responsible for our organization changing from a club to a sophisticated international organisation for the purpose of universal communication and the exchange of ideas.”

14 Greg Mastriona

The flume ride offers a totally immersive experience

“The ride not only embodies the spirit of Knott’s Berry Farm, but it also set the bar for all themed attractions that came after,” notes Raffi Kaprelyan, Knott’s general manager, who worked for Hurlbut from 1979-1983. “Bud made numerous contributions to Knott’s, but I think that the Timber Mountain Log Ride remains his crowning achievement.” California’s own Garner Holt Productions is assisting in the revitalisation project, which is expected to take five months. The local firm will work with the Knott’s team to upgrade all the ride figures and sets as well as add new scenes and characters to enhance the ride experience whilst still maintaining the original theming and storyline

Mastriona retires from Hyland Hills

The man who envisioned a waterpark that would eventually become the revenue base for an entire recreation district is to retire. Greg Mastriona, executive director of Hyland Hills park and recreation district in Federal Heights, Colorado, leaves after 43 years. In a memo to loyal and long-serving employees, Mastriona stated that the time he has spent with the district have afforded him experiences, associations and friendships that will last a lifetime, adding that he will,

“always remain a member of the Hyland Hills team.” As well as insitgating the Water World waterpark, it was Mastriona’s leadership and vision that yielded many outstanding local facilities including the Ice Centre at the Promenade, Adventure Golf & Raceway and the Greg Mastriona Golf Courses at Hyland Hills (renamed in his honour last year). In 2012 the World Waterpark Association recognised Mastriona with a Lifetime Achievement Award. It described him as "an extraordinary visionary from the very beginning,” noting that Hyland Hills Water World is, “consistently ranked among the most successful and widely respected waterparks in the world." Succeeding Mastriona is deputy director Yvonne Fischbach, who Greg says shares the same passion and vision for the district.

One of the newer attractions added to Hyland Hills Water World


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