More than 50 years ago, Mr. John E. Connelly set his sights on cleaning up Pittsburgh's polluted three rivers and returning them to their former glory as the Steel City's heart and soul. As then-treasurer of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, John was in a prime position to complete his ambition. With the belief that he could get the public engaged and committed to a cleanup, he decided to give the local people access to the rivers via boat tours, knowing the city's characteristic architecture as viewed from the rivers would engender a genuine appreciation for the region's waterways and environment.
After getting his nephew, Captain Jack Goessling, on board, John purchased a 100-passenger fishing boat they would christen the Gateway Clipper, which would later launch from Monongahela Wharf for the first of its many pleasure cruises. Today, with Gateway Clipper Fleet, his dream of engaging locals and visitors in the city's history and waterways thrives with a fleet that has grown to five boats capable of accommodating 2,500 guests. Through the years, the fleet has ferried more than 25 million passengers, treating them to dinner cruises, sightseeing tours, and entertainment jaunts along the clean, blue waters of Pittsburgh's three rivers.
Adrenaline flows freely inside Laser Storm Pittsburgh's laser-tag battleground as teams of players wage infrared war over objectives and bases. In addition to hosting laser battles, Laser Storm offers an arcade filled with skee-ball, three big-screen arcade games, and other ticket-spewing machines. Any tickets won in the arcade can be used to purchase prizes from a well-stocked booth or attached to a fishing line to lure laser-tag enemies out of their hiding spots.
At Fun Fest Entertainment Center, friends and families come together for everything from bowling and birthday parties to games of pool or karaoke crooning over a few drinks. Five days a week, a cosmic bowling experience enhanced by neon lights, thumping music, and fog machines transports guests into a parallel universe where people must knock down pins before they sprout legs and start to dance. Adjacent to the bowling lanes, the Center’s arcade lures thrill seekers with novel amusements including air hockey, a giant Connect Four game, and a karaoke machine that can record performances on DVD. Incandescent murals of planetary systems and supernovas surround guests as they take aim at intergalactic enemies in the darkened corridors of the Cyber Quest Laser Tag arena. In between gaming, players can refuel on draft and bottled beer and food such as pizza, burgers, and chicken wings.
Inflated structures and games fill the climate-controlled environs of the numerous BounceU locations that speckle the nation. At each site, staff members closely monitor all activities as little ones traverse obstacle courses and slides. The crew also invites parents to join in on the fun, letting them bounce alongside their kids or make sweeping edicts from atop a bouncy-castle throne. In addition to open sessions, the indoor-play haven sets the stage for the Preschool Playdate program, where instructors lead games and activities. Special events include family-bounce night, which lets parents join in the bouncing or relax in the party room and do grownup things, such as eat marshmallows with a knife and fork.