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Seneca Grand Prix park re-opens

WATKINS GLEN—The Seneca Grand Prix Family Fun Park in Watkins Glen is open once again.
The go-kart, mini-golf, and arcade is now owned by Phil Goodwin of Horseheads.  He said operating parks is in his blood as his brother owns Harris Hill Amusement Park in Elmira.  He explained he is an optician full-time, but will now also be running the Seneca Grand Prix Family Fun Center.
The park is located on Route 414, and located less than three miles from Watkins Glen International.  Goodwin said he bought the park one and a half years ago, and it just opened June 23, for Watkins' Project Graduation.  The park's regular hours will be 2 to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
Goodwin explained before he purchased the property, he had to get approval from the previous seven owners.  He said it used to be a family venture, and by the time it closed the owners lived all over.
Once the property was his, he started fixing it up for a re-opening.  He said that he just put down new carpet on the mini-golf course.  Goodwin explained its unique because the course is tiered, on uneven ground, and each hole has a Finger Lakes theme.  He said those include being named after the racetrack or the gorge.
Goodwin also pointed out that one of the go-kart tracks is loosely based off of the original Watkins racing track.  He added that go-karts are not available yet, but should be by the end of the summer.  The arcade is up and running along with mini-golf, and features several statues.
"(The previous owners) really used their heads when they designed this place," said Goodwin.
That is the reason why Goodwin wanted this park and went to all the trouble of buying it.  He explained there is hardly anything in the area like the Seneca Grand Prix park.
"I wanted unique stuff," he added, talking about what he has added to the park.
To add to the park's uniqueness, Goodwin said he brought in an (engineless) helicopter, more statues, and a giant wine barrel in the golf course, to match the one already part of the lay-out.
Plans for the future include kid rides.  He said he would like to add two to four rides for children, maybe starting next year.
This isn't Goodwin's first project.  He said he has been part of many projects, including the refurbishing of the Heights Theatre.

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