Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sabrina's Brochure Spotlight: Lake Winnepesaukah 2004

Ah, Lake Winnepesaukah. Kinda just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? If only my keyboard were more like a tongue! I think I'll just stick with "Lake Winnie" from this point forward.

Opened in 1925, Lake Winnie is a charming traditional park featuring some of the most historic rides in existence. And thanks to their slogan--"Come on, get happy"--I now have the theme song from The Partridge Family stuck in my head. What have I done to deserve this??!

Lake Winnie didn't install any blockbuster new attractions in 2004, but perhaps that's why they were able to advertise "2004 fun at 2003 prices". While the park has welcomed some modern thrill machines through the years, good old-fashioned traditional rides remain its bread and butter. Some of the rides pictured here have been around since the 1950s and 1960s.

Here's a peek at those prices they advertised. Although there is a minimal gate admission charge, Lake Winnie is primarily a pay-as-you-go park. One item of note on this page is that Travel and Leisure magazine apparently ranked Lake Winnie as one of the top 10 family amusement parks in the country. I'm a bit surprised that the folks at Travel and Leisure even know this park exists, considering that it receives a lot less fanfare than its corporatized brethren in the industry. Props to T&L for doing their homework, as well as to Lake Winnie for being the beneficiary!

Lake Winnie's classic Cannon Ball, designed by John Allen of PTC, is the center of attention in this spread. But let's not overlook the significance of that top right photo inset of the Boat Chute! The Boat Chute, which was designed and built by park founder Carl O. Dixon, was Lake Winnie's very first ride. It opened in 1927, making it the oldest remaining mill chute ride in the country.

When I first read these park policies, I was sure I must have been hallucinating. "All guests under 21 must be accompanied by a guest 21 or over"? What the?! But yes, that's really what it says. Turns out there was a bit of a skirmish at the park back in 2003 which involved 50-100 "youth". In the aftermath, the park instituted this new admission policy in an attempt to prevent similar events from occurring in the future.

WOW. Can you imagine what would happen if a Six Flags or Cedar Fair park instituted such a policy? Forget about skirmishes--I think there would be a full-fledged riot! In any event, the owners of Lake Winnie are still sticking to their guns on this one, although they've since lowered the age cut-off to 18. Thank goodness. Old enough to die for your country but not to visit an amusement park? Now that's just silly.

Lake Winnie is the most famous park in Chattanooga that's not actually located in Chattanooga. In fact, if you look closely at this map, it's not even located in the state of Tennessee! Lake Winnie's physical address is in Rossville, Georgia. How in the world did this error slip past that eagle-eyed brochure writer?!

Well if we're going to get technical here, Lake Winnie's mailing address is in Chattanooga, and the park itself is really only a few miles away. So I guess it makes sense that they market by metro area. "Rossville, GA" isn't likely to ring a bell for most people, but Chattanooga sure will!

I still have that Partridge Family theme song stuck in my head. Analyzing brochures is dangerous work!