Clementon Lake: New wooden coaster/Jack Rabbit gon

Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:27 AM
I'm not big on spreading rumors, nor am I big on bringing RRC topics to Coasterbuzz (and vice-versa), but this is something that I thought would interest a number of people on this site. Something that, if true, is not at all "discussed" amongst enthusiasts.

Supposedly, the latest NAPHA newsletter contained a story about a new S&S wooden coaster for Clementon Lake in New Jersey- a steel-structred ride that will stand 110 feet tall. However, rumor has it that the park's existing wooden coaster, the 1919 John Miller Jack Rabbit, will be removed to make way for the new coaster.

Since I have no firm proof of this, I can't submit this as a news article, but if it was indeed published in the NAPHA newsletter, then I would be willing to bet that there is some truth to all of this. I know that it has been said that the park had previously considered removal of the Jack Rabbit for a new steel coaster, but ultimately decided against doing so. I just figured that there were a few people out there that would appreciate a "heads-up".

Then again, since the season is already over, its not like any "last rides" could be taken if this proves to be a true story.

And on that note... does anyone out there know if there is any truth to this? Would a small park like Clementon Lake really install a 110-foot wooden coaster? And would they demolish an existing wooden coaster that, up until the time Leap The Dips reopened in 1999, was the oldest operating coaster in the country? Is there any hope of this coaster being removed and relocated to another park that could use a wooden coaster? It has been said that more than one park was interested in the Hillcrest Little Dipper, so is there a chance that one of those parks that didn't get the coaster would be interested in the Clementon Lake ride?

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:42 AM
Rob, if more than one park was interested in Hillcrest's Little Dipper, why did it only sell for $9,000?

Mike

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 8:43 AM
Rob - I deleted my topic since there's no need for duplication. IIRC Jack Rabbit did not operate at all this year. Perhaps that itself is more telling.

mOOSH
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The only 2004 Wood Coaster Calendar still available, plus holiday & all-occasion cards. All at S&D Greetings.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:02 AM
Yeah, I second Moosh there.

We were going to hit this park this summer but we skipped it due to the Jack Rabbit being SBNO. We called the park back in August and they didn't know if it would reopen this year.

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"She chased me around the church and grabbed me by the organ"

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:10 AM
Sorry, Moosh... I didn't mean to step on your toes by duplicating your topic... I had started typing before lunch, left the office, continued typing when I got back and realized during that time that you had posted the same thing!

I had no idea that the JR didn't operate at all in 2003. I am saddened because Clementon was one of the parks that I had always meant to visit but never did because it was far off the beaten path for me (about 2 hours south of me on the NJ Turnpike and quite far from the highway). We actually did get down there on a Saturday afternoon, but when we saw the coaster closed, we decided to save ourselves the time and money and stop by another day. Which, of course, never happened.

Is something wrong with the JR (I mean mechanically, not quality-wise)? I know that, a few years back (after that accident), a new train was purchased... I assume that other upgrades were performed at that time to coincide with that work? I wonder why the park would spend the money to fix the ride when they were considering a new one?

I know the coaster was supposed to be tame and boring, but it hurts to see a wooden coaster removed. With Hercules also leaving us this year (not a big loss, but a loss of a coaster regardless), this would be a banner year for wooden coasters being demolished in the name of progress. I'm all for progress, but it depends on the price...

That being said, a new, MAJOR wooden coaster would probably pull be down to Clementon with an enthusiasm that the JR was never able to create.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:16 AM
And that statement right there says that, whether we like it or not as enthusiasts, removing the Jackrabbit may be the smart thing to do for the park *as a business*.

--Greg, who's never been there and is saddened by the news if true, but realizes that parks are businesses. I'll have to check the NAPHA newsletter when I get home tonight.

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--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Friendship -- more lasting than love, more legal than stalking."
*** This post was edited by GregLeg 11/11/2003 2:21:14 PM ***

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:17 AM
No worries, Rob ;-) Clementon was on my ACE ConQuest itinerary as well but didn't make it there, either. II'd hate to think I missed Jack Rabbit but sometimes there will be "fish that get away." That's life.

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The only 2004 Wood Coaster Calendar still available, plus holiday & all-occasion cards. All at S&D Greetings.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:47 AM
That's true... all things considered, I did catch quite a few that have since gone away... I'm just pissed because, for 12 years now, I've been saying "Clementon this year" and have yet to follow through.

Like they always say, you don't appreciate what you have until its gone.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:50 AM
I don't get NAPHA so I don't know weather it said Removed or torn down. From pictures taken by friends, Jack Rabbit apeared to be somewhat of a terrain coaster If so the likelyhood of it being relocated is lessened

To my understanding from those who rode it, It wasn't much bigger or thrilling than a PTC jr.

Don't get me wrong, The loss of a coaster (Expecially wood) is something I am sad about. The fact that they may be replacing a mild woodie with a woodie that could be thrilling and be a draw for the park has me EXCITED! The fact that dissmantled was mentioned gives me hope that it may be available somewhere else.

Chuck, who says whats best for the park is the right move and if Lesourdsville had built THUNDER RUN like it was supposed to, We might have a totally differnent situation in Middletown OH.

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Charles Nungester.
It's official Lesourdsville Lake is closed for 2003

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:53 AM
The Jack Rabbit did open for 1 day early in the 2003 season. It’s been closed ever since. The Jack Rabbit had the record for the oldest continuously operating coaster that has never been relocated. 1919-2003. It will be dearly missed. MANY in Southern Jersey are deeply saddened by this news. Remember, I noted continuously and never relocated. This was from an article that was in the paper last season. (I believe the Courier Post)
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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:56 AM
So what becomes the NEW oldest continually operating coaster in its original location (in the US)? Even if these rumors are bogus, and it stays, I'd say Clementon's JR gives up this title if it only operated one day this season.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:57 AM
RTneedsTLC: Good name! Since you say that many southern Jerseyans are saddened, does this mean that the Jack Rabbit is definitely going to be removed? Was an article published regarding all of this in a local paper or something?

Maybe if we pull a "Save the Whizzer"-type thing, the park will consider keeping the old coaster along with the new one? If enough people can band together and save a steel Schwarzkopf, surely there are enough people out there to push a park to save a 1919 John Miller coaster!

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 9:58 AM
ThemeDesigner: I would say Kennywood's Jack Rabbit, as that was built in 1921. Or maybe Lagoon's coaster? Either way, its gotta be a Miller.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:02 AM
Although I'd never heard of it until now, you gotta love this drop into the grass:

http://www.rcdb.com/installationgallery221.htm?Picture=3

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"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:02 AM
I agree. It really already did give up this title. My apologies as I neglected to mention that this record was only in the US according to what I read. The park was boasting this fact, not the paper.

This season I got the impression that they ran it for 1 day just to keep this record alive. Therefore, I would say that they did have every intention of making repairs.

I just drove past the park this past weekend as I do quite frequently and noticed no action on the JR. I would say if this rumor is true to not expect anything for 2004 as it's already becoming too late to tear down and rebuild.

btw- it isn't much of a terrain coaster. There are many parts that go level with the ground but most of the ride is on flat ground. There are a lot of trees though.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:04 AM
Living 5 minutes from Clementon Lake Park, this saddens me deeply. Also, the JR was my very first coaster, so it'll always hold a special place in my heart.

However, it is not a terrain coaster, regardless of what people believe, so relocation is very possible.

As far as I know the ride is mechanically sound.

Also, I find it to be a very fun ride, and actually quite full of airtime.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:05 AM
I wouldn't say that... it could take a matter of hours to bulldoze a wooden coaster and a few days to remove all traces of it, and new wooden coasters have been known to materialize in a matter of months.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:34 AM
I just read this topic on RRC and was quite alarmed to hear about the possible removal of Jack Rabbit. A nice new woodie would do wonders for the almost unknown park but they really should figure out a way to keep Jack Rabbit. It's historically significant and you can't build an older coaster for any price.

This is a park that seems to have lost quite a bit of it's older attractions and I hate to see another piece disappear. It may be small but that's what a lot of families are looking for.

Isn't this the coaster that operated for many years without upstops until a relatively recent accident forced modifications to be made?
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*** This post was edited by millrace 11/11/2003 3:35:43 PM ***

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:37 AM
I wholeheartedly agree. Its too bad what sometimes has to be lost in the name of progress. I, too, can't understand why both coasters can't co-exist, especially if the new ride is going by/over the lake, which seems to be nowhere near the Jack Rabbit.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Tuesday, November 11, 2003 10:55 AM
Of course it's better to have no Jack Rabbit than see the park replaced with a strip mall, fast food joint, and condos. But yeah, if they aren't using the Jack Rabbit's space for the new ride then why does it have to come down?

Hopefully it's a nasty rumor (except for the new woodie part).
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Vist Ripple Rock Amusement Park
Flying Scooter now open!

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