Thursday, September 4, 2008

In Their Own Words

Amusement Today put it well:

"Paul Nelson made Waldameer a career and success story.

Paul Nelson had the best of both worlds. At the young age of 11, he began work at Waldameer Park in Erie, Pa. Little did he know that a friendship his mother had with the parks owners would result in him having two sets of parents and a career at the park. At that young age of 11 he made a promise to the then owner of Waldameer, Alex Moeller, that he would take care of his wife, Ruth, should he die before her. The Moeller’s had no children and he wanted to make sure the park would be secured for the future. To do that, the Moeller’s adopted Paul, with the blessings of Paul’s mom. He honored that promise taking care of Ruth and his mom until their deaths, all the while inherting and running a park.

During his 51 year tenture, he knew the park needed its famous and signature Ravine Flyer wooden roller coaster brought back to life. What he didn’t know is that would take 15 years to get the coaster approved to be built. But like every other challenge he has met in life, Paul met the coaster challenges with open arms. He resolved issues with neighbors, the state, wetlands and more. He endured three different coaster companies, but kept the same designer, Larry Bill. Finally his building permit was granted. Eighteen months later the Ravine Flyer II made its debut. With a daughter and son-in-law working in the park, Waldameer’s future has never been brighter. Amusement Today is honored to name Paul Nelson as our 2008 Person of the Year."

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