Kennywood Entertainment of Pittsburgh announced December 11, 2007 that it has entered into an agreement to sell its amusement park holdings to Parques Reunidos, based in Madrid, Spain, an international operator that manages 61 amusement, animal and water parks in the U.S. and Europe. Included in the sale were Kennywood, Idlewild, Sandcastle Waterpark, Lake Compounce Theme Park and Story Land (Glen, New Hampshire).
Kennywood Entertainment has been a closely held family business since F.W. Henninger and Andrew McSwigan purchased Kennywood Park from the Monongahela Railway Company in 1906. The Henninger and McSwigan families, now in fourth and fifth generation, have remained owners for over 100 years.
“The Kennywood experience—as visitors have come to love and expect—will continue. Nothing will seem different, even to the folks working at the parks. Existing management and staff will remain in place,” said Harry Henninger, Chairman of Kennywood Entertainment. “In recent years, we've had talks with other operators wishing to acquire us, but Parques Reunidos is the first one to share our vision and philosophy.”
"We have tremendous respect for the work of the Kennywood management team and are delighted to acquire such a quality organization,” said Richard Golding, Chief Executive Officer of Parques Reunidos. “They've built Kennywood Entertainment into an industry leader in family entertainment. We are anxious to continue the gold standard of entertainment they have established." “Richard Golding recognizes and appreciates the deep affection that all of the Kennywood properties enjoy with their communities,” said Peter J. McAneny, Kennywood Entertainment President. “They intend to preserve these connections and build upon the history and tradition existing at each of the parks." Henninger added, "This has been a very difficult decision for members of the founding families, now numbering over one hundred and residing all over the country. All of us are tremendously proud of what we created with Kennywood Entertainment. It has truly been a magical ride, managing Kennywood, starting Sandcastle, expanding and improving both Idlewild and Lake Compounce.”
The companies expect to close on the deal in March.