County praises Lakemont Park plan

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Ad­mission to Lakemont Park will remain free when it opens next month as a community park.

While admission to the park will remain free, the cost of using park facilities and rides will vary.

After being closed for two summers to pursue renovations, park representatives advised Blair County commissioners on Tuesday that Lakemont Park will open its doors on May 25 for outdoor activities and events.

“We are stepping away from what people would consider an amusement park,” said Andrea Devorris Cohen, whose family co-owns Lakemont Park.

Renovations include creation of new mini-golf courses, four basketball courts, four batting cages, two volleyball courts and a playground. It also calls for improvements to the park’s pool, the addition of six LakeMonster paddle boats and a motorway with 16 go-karts.

While the park removed some rides in preparation for the transition, it has kept the Leaps-the-Dips roller coaster, Skyliner roller coaster, Tin Lizzy antique automobiles, the C.P. Huntingdon train, the 4-by-4 monster trucks, the Lil’ Leaper kiddie coaster, three open-air waterslides and the splash park.

Commissioners told Cohen that she and her fellow co-owners have done a great job with the project.

“We appreciate that you and your family and the Albarano family stepped up to this effort,” commissioners Chairman Bruce Erb said.

“I think people are getting excited about coming back to Lakemont Park and seeing what’s new,” Erb added.

Commissioner Ted Beam Jr. said he also was impressed by the work that’s been done to repurpose and rebrand Lakemont Park.

“I think their vision has taken them down the right road,” Beam said. “The reopening is going to be one the best events of the year.”

The county, which owns the ground where Lakemont Park was built, leases the land to the Lakemont Partnership, which was formed by Ralph Albarano and Donald Devorris. Devorris died in September 2017 while plans for the park renovations were developing. Those plans continued into 2018, keeping the park closed a second summer. Cohen said time was spent on efforts to partner with other agencies for regularly scheduled events and activities including concerts and movie nights.

Commissioner Terry Tomassetti added his praise in response to Cohen’s presentation.

“The right homework was done,” Tomassetti said.

Cohen said her group is in the process of hiring 125 people to work at the park during the summer. Teenagers, college students and anyone needing a second job are invited to apply, she said.

More information about the park and its opening

is available at www.lakemontparkfun.com or by calling 949-7275.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.