Podcast: Kennywood Amusement Park on the No BS Marketing Show

3 min readAug 25, 2021

Our guests today come to us straight from Kennywood Park! Welcome to Chris Salerno, Director of Sales & Marketing and Nick Paradise, Director of Public Relations & Social Media.

Backgrounds — Chris Solerno
Came into the amusement park business back in the 70’s, starting at Six Flags Great Adventure, then Dorney Park, Caesar’s in the Poconos, and helping to introduce Great Wolf Resorts before bringing his talents to Pittsburgh.

Chris feels like a steward of great historical entity regarding his position at Kennywood.

Backgrounds — Nick Paradise
Nick is a Penn State grad with a background in journalism. He worked in the news/broadcast industry for many years before making his way back to Pittsburgh.

Together, Chris and Nick are working to keep Kennywood relevant and fresh.

Fun Fact: Kennywood is one of only two amusement parks listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

It’s Part 2 of our conversation with Chris Solerno and Nick Paradise of Kennywood Park.

Kennywood History
• Founded in 1898–2 buildings still remain
• Jack Rabbit — 1920
• Thunderbolt — 1968

Favorite Unique & Untold Kennywood Story
Chris Salerno:
• The school program — the park still has part-timers on staff that go into schools to sell hard tickets to school.
• Company Picnics — there are so many companies and organizations that have had their picnic at Kennywood for over a hundred years. The park was built on picnics and it’s still a major part of our draw.
• 90% of business comes from Pittsburgh, but the internet has allowed the park to expand it’s reach all over the world.
• Channel management — television, radio, but social media and digital has come on strong! We create custom urls for companies to help promote their picnics. Has changed the whole dynamic.
• Giant Eagle — a great promotional partner

Nick “Two Tickets to Paradise” Paradise:
• Large existing following that I’ve been able to expand.
• From a PR perspective, we don’t have to wait for the media. We can engage continually
• Throw Back Thursday campaign — old images shared by followers

• Video trend allows the park to make share the experience from another
• Kennywood was BORN for social media — a great way to tell the many stories.
• Fall in Love with Kennywood campaign
Bringing Back the Whale — Noah’s Arc

Let’s Get Digital
• Good, engaging content
• Instagram — so perfect for Kennywood. Share your photos and stories.
• SEE — Significant Emotional Experiences
• We get to take people behind the curtain and show them what makes Kennywood tick.

Kennywood Secrets
Chris — 4-D Theater — great experiences year round
Nick — Star Refreshment Stand — secret short time to Potato Patch Fries!

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