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(Lehigh Valley Live)   That's it. Roadside America is shutting down   (lehighvalleylive.com) divider line
    More: Sad, United States, U.S. state, difficult decision, Roadside America, result of multiple factors, heavy hearts, permanent closure of Roadside America, annual visit  
•       •       •

3998 clicks; posted to Business » on 29 Nov 2020 at 1:35 AM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-11-28 8:29:17 PM  
FTAF: The owners announced the closure Saturday on the attraction's Facebook page, stating they did try to find a potential buyer for the past few years, but nothing came to fruition that was suitable for the Shartlesville, Berks County site.

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Oh it's not for you, it's more of a Shelbyville idea.

 
2020-11-28 9:21:44 PM  
I would like to inquire about the miniaturization process.
 
2020-11-28 9:29:59 PM  
You mean people don't want to pay money and waste time looking at models in the middle of nowhere? Weird.
 
2020-11-28 9:52:46 PM  

tjsands1118: You mean people don't want to pay money and waste time looking at models in the middle of nowhere? Weird.


During better times these local attractions is PA generate A LOT of business.

Strasbourg Railroad is 4.5 miles long and draws massive crowds to see their pristine steam engines and rolling stock in action. Their Day Out With Thomas event is a farking circus of people.

Down the street is the Toy Train Museum, and at the other end of town a massive indoor train layout.  Always packed.

Dutch Wonderland is out there also. A fantasy theme park for kids that sees massive crowds (during better times).

There is all sorts of neat road side attractions in PA that drew great crowds during summer months. Roadside America was one.
 
2020-11-28 9:53:15 PM  
Strasburg.  Stupid auto-correct
 
2020-11-28 10:01:02 PM  
Dead Kennedys - Winnebago Warrior
Youtube rMIvywLO2tw
 
2020-11-28 10:07:19 PM  
For a moment I thought it was roadsideamerica.com that was going down. Whew
 
2020-11-28 10:30:56 PM  
I'm really bummed about this. My parents took me there on the way back from Hersey Park and I took my kids there when we made the same trip. I know nothing lasts forever, but I wish there were some way it could have gone on. I get that that these sorts of attractions are losing the ground, but I love the little odds and ends that make America fun.

They would do this thing where the lights would go out and they would simulate a sunset and then you'd see the whole place at night and then there would be a sunrise and they'd play "God Bless America" or something. Very corny and sincere; I loved it.

We went three years ago:
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They have two viewing levels and these buttons you can press to make things happen, duplicated on each level. My youngest got a kick out of standing on the top level and holding on the the button someone else was pressing for just a bit too long after they let go to make them wonder what was up. Simple stuff, like a light blinking or a windmill spinning, but she thought it was hilarious.
 
2020-11-28 10:34:41 PM  

JerseyTim: I'm really bummed about this. My parents took me there on the way back from Hersey Park and I took my kids there when we made the same trip. I know nothing lasts forever, but I wish there were some way it could have gone on. I get that that these sorts of attractions are losing the ground, but I love the little odds and ends that make America fun.

They would do this thing where the lights would go out and they would simulate a sunset and then you'd see the whole place at night and then there would be a sunrise and they'd play "God Bless America" or something. Very corny and sincere; I loved it.

We went three years ago:
[Fark user image image 850x253]
[Fark user image image 850x637]
[Fark user image image 850x637]
[Fark user image image 850x637]
[Fark user image image 490x654]

They have two viewing levels and these buttons you can press to make things happen, duplicated on each level. My youngest got a kick out of standing on the top level and holding on the the button someone else was pressing for just a bit too long after they let go to make them wonder what was up. Simple stuff, like a light blinking or a windmill spinning, but she thought it was hilarious.


Nice photos and story.  That model looks kinda neat.  It wouldn't be the centerpiece of a vacation of mine, but it'd make for a nice 45 minute stop.

Too bad it's closing down.
 
2020-11-28 10:37:37 PM  

MattytheMouse: I would like to inquire about the miniaturization process.


They put it all in a pool.
 
2020-11-28 11:02:31 PM  

styckx: tjsands1118: You mean people don't want to pay money and waste time looking at models in the middle of nowhere? Weird.

During better times these local attractions is PA generate A LOT of business.

Strasbourg Railroad is 4.5 miles long and draws massive crowds to see their pristine steam engines and rolling stock in action. Their Day Out With Thomas event is a farking circus of people.

Down the street is the Toy Train Museum, and at the other end of town a massive indoor train layout.  Always packed.

Dutch Wonderland is out there also. A fantasy theme park for kids that sees massive crowds (during better times).

There is all sorts of neat road side attractions in PA that drew great crowds during summer months. Roadside America was one.


I went to strasburg railroad on a field trip in grade school. I remember it being at least a 40 mile trip at that age.

Man, that was fun.
 
2020-11-29 12:05:33 AM  
Isn't this what a National Endowment of the Arts is supposed to be for? Saving stuff like this?

They should save stuff like this.
 
2020-11-29 12:45:00 AM  
I don't live that far from it. I always wanted to check it out.

Damn you 2020.
 
2020-11-29 1:39:18 AM  
"Nearly 3 years ago, we decided to place the display for sale, hoping to find a buyer who would continue business operations. Despite meeting with multiple interested parties over the last 2 years, each with their own unique vision, none committed to moving forward with the village."

translation: we said we wanted to sell it.  but actually we kept requiring crazy restrictions or asking crazy amounts of money that killed every deal.  boy did that bite us in the ass.
 
2020-11-29 2:25:02 AM  

Destructor: Isn't this what a National Endowment of the Arts is supposed to be for? Saving stuff like this?

They should save stuff like this.


The Smithson would be a better bet.
 
2020-11-29 2:38:13 AM  

styckx: tjsands1118: You mean people don't want to pay money and waste time looking at models in the middle of nowhere? Weird.

During better times these local attractions is PA generate A LOT of business.

Strasbourg Railroad is 4.5 miles long and draws massive crowds to see their pristine steam engines and rolling stock in action. Their Day Out With Thomas event is a farking circus of people.

Down the street is the Toy Train Museum, and at the other end of town a massive indoor train layout.  Always packed.

Dutch Wonderland is out there also. A fantasy theme park for kids that sees massive crowds (during better times).

There is all sorts of neat road side attractions in PA that drew great crowds during summer months. Roadside America was one.


every single one of these treats you mention was a must-see each year when my brother and i went on vacation with our maternal grandparents.  All of them a hoot and a half to see.  As a kid, there was a genuine sense of wonder that each of these locations loved to foster.

Sometimes small-town places just know how to enthuse.
 
2020-11-29 3:21:47 AM  

mr intrepid: Destructor: Isn't this what a National Endowment of the Arts is supposed to be for? Saving stuff like this?

They should save stuff like this.

The Smithson would be a better bet.


It's not an 'art' and they already got electric trains at the Smithsonian.
 
2020-11-29 4:12:26 AM  
 
2020-11-29 5:38:58 AM  
The settlers journeyed slowly through rural Pennsylvania in search of a new home. Suddenly there came from the depths of one of them a tremendous noise like a deep rumbling, a brutal tearing of the air and at the end a gurgling, splattering sound.

The one whose body had brought forth that cacophony of horrors stopped and groaned in misery. The group stopped. A thick, oily smell filled the air.

'We might as well stop here,' their leader said. 'And while we're here, we might as well build our new town on this spot.'

One of the others asked 'But what shall we call our new town?'
 
2020-11-29 5:39:21 AM  
There's always the German equivalentThis is the place I'd really like to see.
 
2020-11-29 5:43:00 AM  

Destructor: Isn't this what a National Endowment of the Arts is supposed to be for? Saving stuff like this?

They should save stuff like this.


Well, yes, but remind yourself who is in charge of the government right now, and ask yourself whether they give a shiat.
 
2020-11-29 5:55:21 AM  

Destructor: Isn't this what a National Endowment of the Arts is supposed to be for? Saving stuff like this?

They should save stuff like this.


Why. Its literally just someone who had too much time on their hands and let their hobby spiral out of control, and then make up a reason to the spouse for why it shouldnt be burned to ash on the spot
 
2020-11-29 6:17:24 AM  

tjsands1118: You mean people don't want to pay money and waste time looking at models in the middle of nowhere? Weird.


don't underestimate the veracity of small town roadside attractions. twas the covid killed the business. if these folks had thrown a few midgets in the mix they would have been millionaires years ago.
 
2020-11-29 6:18:00 AM  
https://www.miniatur-wunderland.com/

they didn't keep up with tech and updating i assume so their audience got smaller over the years.
 
2020-11-29 6:20:18 AM  
sorry Skail i didn't see your post.
 
2020-11-29 6:30:32 AM  

sinko swimo: tjsands1118: You mean people don't want to pay money and waste time looking at models in the middle of nowhere? Weird.

don't underestimate the veracity of small town roadside attractions. twas the covid killed the business. if these folks had thrown a few midgets in the mix they would have been millionaires years ago.


There is a whole lotta nothin' between getting off 287 and getting to Hersheypark. You get off at RA or places like it to get the restlessness out of the kids so you don't end up losing it before you get to the main event.

\have passed this place numerous times on the way to Pittsburgh or to gigs in western PA
\\never had time to stop though
 
2020-11-29 7:05:49 AM  
On second thought, maybe having a place with the word "Shart" in it's name isn't the best idea.
 
2020-11-29 7:26:39 AM  
I remember going there as a kid, I need to ask the folks for the pictures that day. I was hoping to see it again before it closed, I was planning a road trip and going to stop and see things like this and was probably going to end up at the Spam museum in MN, but covid farked all that up. Maybe they should donate it to the Smithsonian.
 
2020-11-29 8:14:41 AM  

JerseyTim: I'm really bummed about this. My parents took me there on the way back from Hersey Park and I took my kids there when we made the same trip. I know nothing lasts forever, but I wish there were some way it could have gone on. I get that that these sorts of attractions are losing the ground, but I love the little odds and ends that make America fun.

They would do this thing where the lights would go out and they would simulate a sunset and then you'd see the whole place at night and then there would be a sunrise and they'd play "God Bless America" or something. Very corny and sincere; I loved it.

We went three years ago:
[Fark user image 850x253]
[Fark user image 850x637]
[Fark user image 850x637]
[Fark user image 850x637]
[Fark user image 490x654]

They have two viewing levels and these buttons you can press to make things happen, duplicated on each level. My youngest got a kick out of standing on the top level and holding on the the button someone else was pressing for just a bit too long after they let go to make them wonder what was up. Simple stuff, like a light blinking or a windmill spinning, but she thought it was hilarious.


My kids would have loved this. I never heard of it. Sad. All the work that went into that display.
What a shame.

I wonder...how do you get a close up view of the details in the middle of the display?

Would be nice if they could figure out how to build a digital model of it before they tear it apart, but I suspect just the setting up of the gantry to scan the display would cost tens of thousands.
 
2020-11-29 8:20:02 AM  
frank zappa city of tiny lights
Youtube QH-rR42jeI0
 
2020-11-29 8:22:04 AM  

tjsands1118: You mean people don't want to pay money and waste time looking at models in the middle of nowhere? Weird.


This is only a shop hop from Krumsville PA
(the interstate bypassing them surely stopped a lot of visitors)
 
2020-11-29 8:41:46 AM  

Skail: There's always the German equivalent.  This is the place I'd really like to see.


I went to this one in the Netherlands when I was a kid:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madurod​a​m

Fark user imageView Full Size


I have (non-digital) pics of me wandering around the town with my broken arm. I absolutely loved the place and we went back every year on vacation.
 
2020-11-29 9:01:05 AM  

chitownmike: I'll just leave this here


The Museum of Science and Industry is the only place I know where kids looking at trains are regularly scared to tears by a giant Tesla coil. Good times.
 
2020-11-29 9:34:35 AM  

Skail: There's always the German equivalent.  This is the place I'd really like to see.


Yes...this place is truly the world's greatest miniature museum.
 
2020-11-29 10:05:17 AM  
Sad.  We took the kids there a few years ago.  There's nothing in the world that toddler boys get more excited about than trains.
 
2020-11-29 10:32:11 AM  

Concrete Donkey: Destructor: Isn't this what a National Endowment of the Arts is supposed to be for? Saving stuff like this?

They should save stuff like this.

Why. Its literally just someone who had too much time on their hands and let their hobby spiral out of control, and then make up a reason to the spouse for why it shouldnt be burned to ash on the spot


... you just described the birth of just about every form of art.
 
2020-11-29 10:43:20 AM  
Every time I make the bad decision of eating Taco Bell, I spend the night in Shartlesville.
 
2020-11-29 11:21:30 AM  
I've never been there, even though I grew up in PA, but I fondly remember the giant model train layout at what was then the Buhl Planetarium in Pittsburgh (It's moved & changed names since then).  We would spend an hour or so every holiday season walking around the thing, marveling at the tiny, moving, mechanical figures.
 
2020-11-29 11:54:26 AM  
If I was Elon Musk, I'd buy this place and two Godzilla suits. One for me, one for Grimes, and we'd fark that tiny town into shreds.
 
2020-11-29 12:10:43 PM  
This is the one I want to see.
misterrogers.orgView Full Size
 
2020-11-29 12:15:25 PM  
I went there multiple times as a kid. It was fun to play with all the buttons and see what would and wouldn't happen.
 
2020-11-29 12:25:32 PM  

vudukungfu: MattytheMouse: I would like to inquire about the miniaturization process.

They put it all in a pool.


Then the dryer on HIGH.
 
2020-11-29 1:04:57 PM  

HempHead: mr intrepid: Destructor: Isn't this what a National Endowment of the Arts is supposed to be for? Saving stuff like this?

They should save stuff like this.

The Smithson would be a better bet.

It's not an 'art' and they already got electric trains at the Smithsonian.


they should start a Go Fund Me type thing, appeal to the people. just might save them. if you're local and know how to contact them, someone, please take the 5 minutes.
 
2020-11-29 1:34:50 PM  
Sso3meone should buy up as many of these places as possible and move them to Vegas or other touristy city.
 
2020-11-29 2:10:37 PM  

snoopy2zero: Sso3meone should buy up as many of these places as possible and move them to Vegas or other touristy city.


I was thinking Hollywood should buy it and shoot stopmotion animated shows there. It's a fully formed setting ready to go. Or a Lego movie where all the legos become real like Pinnochio but that was what 'real' meant. An absurd surreal fiction would be cool.
 
2020-11-29 2:33:24 PM  

The Flexecutioner: snoopy2zero: Sso3meone should buy up as many of these places as possible and move them to Vegas or other touristy city.

I was thinking Hollywood should buy it and shoot stopmotion animated shows there. It's a fully formed setting ready to go. Or a Lego movie where all the legos become real like Pinnochio but that was what 'real' meant. An absurd surreal fiction would be cool.


Stop motion becomes rather difficult in HO scale.
 
2020-11-29 2:46:43 PM  
I'm 99% sure I went as a kid to the one in TFA. Maybe even twice. I went to that area on vacation a lot while the parents were still together, so max age 7. Memories be foggy, yo. Probably what kicked off eventual Sim City 2000 obsession.
 
2020-11-29 3:13:26 PM  
Huh....I live in PA and never heard of this place. There is Northlandz in NJ though which is a similar concept.
 
2020-11-29 3:54:21 PM  
" Shartlesville, Berks County site."

Seriously... SHARTLESVILLE? If you cant make a buck off of T-Shirts and shiatty roadside food in a place named Shartlesville... Then you aren't getting the word out.

Hell, I literally stopped and bought T-Shirts and Coozies from "Master Bait and Tackle" in Bonita FL for my friends.
 
2020-11-29 4:03:40 PM  

styckx: tjsands1118: You mean people don't want to pay money and waste time looking at models in the middle of nowhere? Weird.

During better times these local attractions is PA generate A LOT of business.

Strasbourg Railroad is 4.5 miles long and draws massive crowds to see their pristine steam engines and rolling stock in action. Their Day Out With Thomas event is a farking circus of people.

Down the street is the Toy Train Museum, and at the other end of town a massive indoor train layout.  Always packed.

Dutch Wonderland is out there also. A fantasy theme park for kids that sees massive crowds (during better times).

There is all sorts of neat road side attractions in PA that drew great crowds during summer months. Roadside America was one.


I miss going to historical wargaming conventions in Lancaster and staying at the caboose motel.
 
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