God's Country Paradise Park
The Progress Fund was very helpful with a caring attitude for our success.
Thirty years ago, the biggest names in Country Music would play Paradise Park. In the late 1980s, though, the venue fell silent. Twenty years later, Michael & Jennifer Salerno, a husband-and-wife team with do-it-yourself experience, decided to get the place strumming again. “Mike’s vision and ability to bring life to dead projects and the temptation to resurrect the history of the park was enough to get us started,” says Jennifer. In 2005, they bought and started to renovate the newly renamed God’s Country Paradise Park, which reopened for a weekend of bluegrass and camping in 2010.
The Salernos wanted to improve both their debt structure and their campsites. The Progress Fund loaned them enough to refinance the mortgage and expand and upgrade the camping facilities.
God’s Country Paradise Park is situated on 152 acres, includes an outdoor amphitheater with seating for 3,000 people, all under roof, with additional area for lawn seating. The facility includes 3 dressing rooms, and a commercial kitchen with 2 concession windows. The Salernos are working toward their goal of holding four or five big events and several smaller ones throughout the season. Their bring-the-kids, pitch-a-tent program attracts customers who will take off their boots and stay a while, benefiting other businesses in the Kittanning area. “Our goal is to have family affordable entertainment,” says Jennifer, “that will create opportunities for jobs and business throughout the surrounding area.”View Story as PDF »