Posted Monday, March 24, 2008 10:28 AM | Contributed by Jeff
It’s looking as though Geauga Lake’s Big Dipper and two other wooden coasters will wind up on the auction block along with the rest of the park’s remaining rides and equipment. Orlando-based Martin & Vleminckx Rides LLC has been trying to sell the 83-year-old Big Dipper as well as the Villain and Raging Wolf Bobs coasters for Geauga Lake parent company Cedar Fair since November.
Read more from Crain's Cleveland Business.
Villain is on a fairly flat piece of land and is out and back, you could plop it down almost anywhere, do the track work from scratch and have a brand new coaster. I would imagine a steel structure is much easier than moving an old wooden one. Villain is actually a good candidate for the beach front woodie everyone wants.
*** This post was edited by eightdotthree 3/24/2008 11:35:40 AM ***
It might not be 'environmentally sound', but I can definitely say from experience that boards that have been pressure treated will torch just fine. :)
My guess is that the ONLY coaster that might have a chance at not ending up as scrap is the Big Dipper, and that is because of the historical value of it. I'll even go as far as saying that even that chance is remote.
Expect a mighty big bonfire at the waterpark some night this summer.
Raging Wolf Bobs has a number of problems, including a bad reputation and a recent accident. It's potentially a decent ride, and it would be a good addition especially for a smaller park that is lacking a good wood coaster and could put it up for a fraction of the cost of a new ride. But that ride has an awful lot of baggage to overcome, not to mention the lack of an operating train (doesn't Cedar Fair have the original PTC trailers floating around somewhere?)
Big Dipper is an okay ride, but quite frankly if I had a choice between saving it or the Screechin' Eagle down at LeSourdsville Lake, I'd rather have the Eagle.
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
Did I like the ride when I first rode it in 2000? Yes I did, but I still remember a nasty bump right before the station on one of my two rides. I hit my thighs pretty hard into the unforgiving metal lapbar.
We only had one fan of Big Dipper. For the three others of us, it was one and done. The out section was miserable, while the return section was awesome. With some retracking, I think it could be awesome for decades to come.
We visited shortly after Raging Wolf Bobs had the accident, so I can't give any feedback on that.
Now that I think about it, I'm actually really surprised someone hasn't snatched that ride up.
The RWB, my favorite, does have a bad rep, but it is a great mid-sized coaster, It ran strong well into the last 90's. From 1988-to then, it was worth every penny. When dismantling woodies, you lose the track and up to 1/4 of the wood.
I am very suprised the Villian wasn't moved. But, on the other hand, with labor and freight costs, its not a whole lot cheaper to just order a new ride.
The Double Loop, another great coaster for the masses, has welded track, and needs someone who can handle a plasma torch properly to dismantle the ride, then do the same tlc when re-assembled.
The 'call the ball' today, the Villian will be sold, and the flume, and the giant wheel. I only saw that video link last week, so I don't what is all remaining.
The RWB, DL, and Dipper will all have the same fate, unless someone comes forth with at least $250,000-$750,000 in funds to buy, dismantle, transport, and re-build. Thats a low-end figure for a major rides like the RWB or Villian.
That's also assuming you can do everything 100% inhouse. I did a proposal on the MB Hurricane, and with a good construction crew in house, the cost was at least $1.5 million. At least. And they sold the trains. Add another $50,000-$250,000.
And, as an added punch, most states are leery of allowing 'outside' certified rides to enter their state, especially with a history of engineering or litigation issues.
Then, you have the added costs of new trains, new braking, and whatever else the State may suprise you with. Its really a toos up to move a major rides nowadays. Which is a shame, since the Dipper, DL, and RWB are all good rides, and have served Geauga Lake well.
ChuckBetter yet, Add a block and tear down Racer and put it at KI!*** This post was edited by Charles Nungester 3/24/2008 7:43:39 PM ***
You'd think that if anybody was interested in preserving them they would've put out an offer by now, but it's apparent that's not the case.
Actually, if I were interested in buying any of them, I'd wait for the auction. Why pay what they were asking if you can low-ball a bid and be pretty certain that no one's going to counter offer?
*** This post was edited by kpjb 3/24/2008 10:26:13 PM ***
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