Cedar Point's GateKeeper is largely made in Ohio

Posted Thursday, January 31, 2013 3:07 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

As Cedar Point's newest world-record-breaking roller coaster, GateKeeper, emerges along the Lake Erie shoreline, it is generating excitement across the globe and anticipation for its May 11th debut. But the strongest impact is felt throughout Ohio, where it has brought business to local companies during the winter months when construction work usually comes to a halt.

"We are proud to find the highly-skilled engineers and workers needed to build a world-class roller coaster like GateKeeper in our backyard," said John Hildebrandt, Vice President and General Manager of Cedar Point. "It's wonderful to see Ohioans become an integral part of the GateKeeper team, especially when this is a record-breaking attraction that will draw fans from around the world."

Every great ride begins with a strong foundation, and that's where Oregon, Ohio-based A.A. Boos & Sons lends a hand. The company has nearly two dozen workers at Cedar Point, involved in everything from leveling the site to digging the footers and filling them with cement. The crew has poured nearly 200 concrete footers of varying sizes to hold steel supports for GateKeeper, including the ride's 164-foot vertical drop.

The ride was engineered halfway around the world by Bolliger & Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland, but the ride comes to life at Clermont Steel Fabricators in southern Ohio. Skilled workers at the 152,000-square-foot facility constructed the steel supports and pieces of track, each weighing more than 7,500 pounds.

One of GateKeeper's most exciting elements will be the two keyhole structures that riders will narrowly pass through, racing over arriving guests with rolling flyover maneuvers as they soar over the park's main entrance. Tony Ravagnani Architects, based in Cincinnati, is responsible for designing, engineering and installing the keyhole structures, that will forever change Cedar Point's front gate.

Responsible for the nerve center of the ride is Firelands Electric, located in Sandusky, Cedar Point's hometown. Firelands Electric provides the control wiring for the operation of the coaster and its lighting, including lights that illuminate the ride, station and walkway. The company has worked on numerous Cedar Point rides in the past, including Maverick, maXair and SkyHawk.

The GateKeeper project is a $30 million investment. It demonstrates Cedar Point's commitment to maintaining its reputation as the roller coaster capital of the world and is also a new investment in Ohio's tourism industry. Cedar Fair, Cedar Point's parent company, has invested more than $130 million in capital projects at all of its Ohio properties since 2007.

"The investment Cedar Point is making to expand its park will provide a needed boost to construction firms and the broader economy in Sandusky, statewide and across the country," said Brian Turmail, executive director of public affairs for the Arlington, Va.-based Associated General Contractors of America. "As the park expands, thousands of construction workers and people employed in related professions will earn good wages and invest them back in a host of businesses throughout Ohio and the nation."

Towering at 170 feet, spinning through two signature keyholes at speeds of 67 mph – GateKeeper gives guests a simulated flight experience that will help Cedar Point break seven world records including tallest drop, longest track and most inversions of any winged coaster on the planet. The new coaster will take its place alongside other record-setting coaster legends like Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point, a park voted "Worlds Best Amusement Park" by Amusement Today for the past 15 years.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

Related parks

Thursday, January 31, 2013 10:27 PM

I find it intriguing that the keyhole structures are designed and engineered by a company other than B&M. I can see the turnstiles and everything else at ground level having design work done by the architect firm, but not the structures themselves. Interesting.

+0
Friday, February 1, 2013 3:36 AM

Yeah, I found that kind of curious as well.

I really want to get back out to Cedar Point now. There are none of these coasters near here, and the layout looks pretty sick. I don't really care about the gimmicks (floorless versus floor coasters? Meh), but I like the way the gimmick works with the actual structure. The first drop is also reminiscent of DrachenFire at BGE or Hulk at IOA, and I always liked both of those first drops. I would at least like to try it once.

+0
Friday, February 1, 2013 7:30 AM

It's odd that they contract out something as simple as the ride and area lighting. Seems that stuff like that would be done in-house.

+1Loading
Friday, February 1, 2013 8:26 AM

There was a time when they could have very easily, however the resources available in house have been dramatically reduced over the past couple of decades.

+0
Saturday, February 2, 2013 10:42 PM

James Whitmore said:

I find it intriguing that the keyhole structures are designed and engineered by a company other than B&M. I can see the turnstiles and everything else at ground level having design work done by the architect firm, but not the structures themselves. Interesting.

On the contrary, us architects can work within most constraints given to us. I wouldn't expect the engineers at B&M to be able to design such a structure.

+0
Saturday, February 2, 2013 11:58 PM

Because a rectangular box is so much more complex than the series of supports that handle heavy dynamic loads all over the ride? I doubt it. I think they took liberties with this, and doubt they had any more part than designing the shape.

+0
Sunday, February 3, 2013 9:20 PM

Jeff said:

Because a rectangular box is so much more complex than the series of supports that handle heavy dynamic loads all over the ride?

Yes. If you want it to look good.

Last edited by bjames, Wednesday, February 6, 2013 7:16 PM
+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...