Paul Nelson, an Erie icon, passes away


Trent Williams, Reporter

Paul Nelson, the owner of Waldameer and Water World in Erie, PA , aged 89, passed away this morning. Nelson was an icon to the Erie-area

He started working for the park in 1945, at the age of 11. He then started working his way all the way up to owner in 1965. According to Waldameer, “He brought in a couple popular attractions from 1960- 1979 such as The Wacky Shack, L Ruth. Express, Paratrooper and the Spider. In 1978, Paul Nelson assumed full ownership of the beloved park and added the Sky Ride.”

Nelson went in debt in the 1980’s to add the new part of the park called Water World, this would later bring in tons of money.  Twenty years later, Nelson opened the roller coaster known as the Ravine Flyer 2, which also is still a hit to ride. On January 26, 2022, Mike Kelly honored Nelson with a “Community Champion Award.” This award goes to people who give back and inspire people within the 16th District of Pennsylvania.

Nelson will always live on as a legend in the Erie area.