Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster

Issue Date: 
October 9, 2006

Ten years ago, astounded by a lucrative offer from a major company, Andy Quinn decided to sell Kennywood amusement park.

But as Quinn weighed his business options and prepared to sell the park that had been in his family for four generations, he also talked with relatives who convinced him that Kennywood was more than just a financial asset; family ownership, he realized, was as important to Kennywood’s success as the park was to his family. He ended up declining the outside offer.

“You’ll learn more from your failures than you ever will from your successes,” Quinn advised the more than 50 Pitt students, faculty members, and staff who gathered in the Pittsburgh Athletic Association Sept. 28 to hear Quinn, Kennywood’s director of community relations, describe how innovation, risk, and continuous growth have kept the traditional amusement park competitive throughout its 108-year existence.

Absorbing lessons from mistakes (and near-mistakes like almost selling Kennywood) can help prevent bigger blunders in the future, Quinn pointed out.


Andy Quinn

His presentation was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Entrepreneur’s Society, a student group supported by the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business’ Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence.