Geauga Lake wood coasters listed for sale

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 2:05 PM

Rob Ascough said:
The website is not a hoax.
No more gold star then.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 2:12 PM
If you pick up a coaster and move it, you can, depending on the jurisdiction, build it to the original standards. If you move Big Dipper, you can build it to comply with 1920's construction and dynamic standards.

If you decide to just copy the old ride, you might find that hard to do because you have to make your new design comply with ASTM F 2291-06a or the current version accepted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

Now, granted, some AHJs are going to require that you update, to the extent that it is possible, the moved ride to comply with modern standards. But there is that little line about, "to the extent that it is possible". By moving a ride, you can take advantage of the fact that the ride has a known history, and a service-proven design. If you build a new ride, you have to conduct all kinds of engineering review to satisfy design requirements.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 2:15 PM
Thats's true. I think most jurisdictions will allow a coaster to be "grandfathered" in because of it's age, requiring only minor alterations like higher handrails and that sort of thing.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 2:18 PM

Rob Ascough said:
There really isn't. That's why I suggested that the "intent" might have a lot to do with it. We all know that Little Ammerricka relocated the Little Dipper and turned it into Meteor, but what if it was announced that the park was building a new wood coaster and the Little Dipper was purchased merely for parts? If it wasn't put forth as a preservation effort, would it be a preservation effort?

If anything, it makes for an interesting discussion.


Example of exactly this:

Stricker's Grove built a new coaster based on the design of the (demolished) Mighty Lightnin'. Initially, he even had a set of original cars for it, but they were deemed to be in such bad shape that they were junked and the Tornado got a new train.

Is the Tornado a "preservation" of the Mighty Lightnin', even though it was designed separately by Al Collins and built by Stricker's Grove? Is the Stricker's Grove Teddy Bear a "preservation" of the Coney Island Teddy Bear, again even though it is really a new-design reconstruction?

Then again, how similar are the Tornado and Teddy Bear to the coasters they are modeled after? For a contrary argument, how similar is the Knoebel's Phoenix to the Playland Rocket, given that it is the exact same coaster...but not the same ride?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 2:29 PM
If less than 50% of the original material is needed to maintain identity, can you have two copies of the same coaster?

i.e. If I took the 98% of the Wildcat that was replaced and put it back together in my back yard, added the 2% out of new wood, do I or does LC have THE wildcat?

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 2:34 PM
I'm going to have to say LC still has the original Wildcat because I believe the original location plays a huge role in the originality of a coaster.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 2:40 PM
Good heavens. This seems even more subjective than people's coaster counts.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 3:06 PM

ApolloAndy said:
If less than 50% of the original material is needed to maintain identity, can you have two copies of the same coaster?

I almost asked the same thing in my last post.

What if 5 different parks each take 20% original material from the Big Dipper and then rebuild it at their respective locations.

Now which park can claim to be the new home to the classic Big Dipper coaster? Which is preserved? Are there now 5 copies of the original? What if in another 80 years the same thing happens to all 5 of those rebuilt coasters? In 2100 would be be able to ride 25 different 'original' Big Dippers?

As someone who isn't exactly a preservationist, so to speak, all of the ambiguity just makes it all seem that much more futile.

My brain hurts. :)

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 3:15 PM
I think this very thing happened with some of the doo-wop bands I mentioned. There were like three "Drifters" bands floating around, maybe one with one of the original members, one with two or three of the replacement members, and another with one of the kids of the original members. (Don't remember the exact details, can't be bothered to look them up.)

All I know, if 5 different parks rebuild the Big Dipper, that's 5 new credits. Woo hoo!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 3:28 PM
GL Overhauled Big Dipper in the early 1980s. I remember seeing a Picture in the ACE Newsletter that showed an entire hill of it GONE with new trackage behind it. I do not know how much of the ride they replaced, however.

Answer my Prayers, Overbook my next flight!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 3:41 PM

Rob Ascough said:
I'm going to have to say LC still has the original Wildcat because I believe the original location plays a huge role in the originality of a coaster.

What if they bulldoze it? Do I magically have the original now?

(Note that if you say no, relocating a coaster is impossible.)

Andy enjoying playing devil's advocate

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 3:55 PM
I imagine the pedigree of a replicated wood coaster would depend on whether or not the original was still around when it was built. But keep in mind I'm not making up any rules or stating anything official because as far as I know, there is no book or set of guidelines when it comes to this sort of thing. I'm merely going by what has happened in the past.

The Playland Rocket was moved to Knoebels and rebuilt with much of the original wood, track and mechanical bits (even the train chassis were retained). That coaster was relocated. Same for the Roseland Park Skyliner, Fairyland Wildcat, Paragon PArk Giant Coaster and Crystal Beach Comet.

The Lake Compounce Wildcat, Geauga Lake Big Dipper and Mission Beach Giant Dipper were all rebuilt pretty much from the ground up within the past twenty years, yet they are considered restored/rebuilt rides and not new rides. This seems to be pretty much the same as rebuilding an old wood coaster over time (Dorney Park Thunderhawk, Coney Island Cyclone, Kennywood Jack Rabbit).

Knoebels Twister was modeled after the original ride in Denver but is clearly different because of design and materials used. A bolt from the old ride was installed on the new ride as a symbolic gesture but that doesn't automatically make the new Knoebels ride a 1964 John Allen coaster. If Ralph Stricker were to have used the Mighty Lightning trains for his Tornado (as Dave pointed out earlier), I don't think that would have made the Tornado a relocated ride.

Take all that into consideration and think what you want, I suppose.

*** Edited 11/7/2007 8:56:55 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 4:21 PM
Has anyone found out how much each of these rides are selling for or what? This is the real question.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 4:26 PM
^I think the phrase "make offer" might be applicable... ;)

Shoot, how about "Buy one, get two free"....

P.S. Two for Rob - One...Mission Beach? You mean Belmont I assume...?

Second....KG's Twister also has a brake lever arm from the original EG coaster. Definitely a relocated ride...LOL! ;)

Given the givens, I don't think ANY wooden coaster is really relocated in the sense of using 50% or more of the original ride. Wood ages, then gets torn up in the tear-down process - my experience in the lumber yeards seems to point toward replacement over re-use in MOST cases. Nobody wants to try and nail or bolt a piece of lumber whose integrity is potentially questionable... ;)

*** Edited 11/7/2007 9:35:53 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 5:46 PM
Is moving a wood ride structure and replacing a percentage of the wood structure that may have already replaced the original wood structure, any different from a museum or individual doing the same thing with a building?

I know that when I was involved with a railroad switch tower project, that 90% of the exterior was replaced with new material as well as major portions of the interior. A new roof structure and replica windows were also constructed. It is still considered a restored 1896 building, but over the years only a few of the original beams remain.

A matter of fact we are about to begin a similar structure move, but this time only the walls and chimneys of the depot can actually be salvaged. A new foundation, floor and roof structure will be constructed. The chimneys will be completely taken down brick by brick and cleaned moved to the new sight and installed with new mortar of course. The building exterior will also be completely gone over as with the switching tower and have a majority of the siding replaced, but when finished it will be a restoration of a 1912 depot. Not much of the original will remain, but it is still a restoration. I am not sure we couldn't have built a new one cheaper...

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 6:08 PM
This is definitely a case where it comes down to the individual.

Personally -- any wooden ride that is moved is for all intensive purposes a "clone" of the original and not the original because location has a huge part to do with the ride itself, and I'm sure that during the installation process there will be at least something minor that changes with the ride.

Rides like boomerangs and SLCs are all the *exact same rides* but in different locations. To me, when I rode the Boomerang at Knotts, I wasn't riding a "replica" of the one at Knotts, but a clone of it.

Considering that even if the Big Dipper is saved, since wooden coasters get retracked all the time, the only thing original about the ride would be the trains, I would consider it a "replica / clone" of the original.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 6:20 PM
^ .. add to the equation that the trains on the Big Dipper are not even the original trains. They are replica's created by one of the old GL mechanics some years ago.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 7:03 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
That brings up another good point.

How much has to be used from the original before a coaster is 'rebuilt' and not 'saved'?

Is a rebuilt or recreated coaster worth as much as a relocated or saved coaster? Why or why not?

Just trying to understand. :)


This would be a great question for John Fetterman. I think things like the trains, maybe the station, parts, etc, would be good if the ride was 'saved' or 'moved'.

Perhaps some of the bents would be saved, but alot of it may be scrapped.

The main thing about building a 'new' GL Big Dipper would be that the integrity of the ride, the actual lines, curves and banking would be altered. Those things and the rolling stock are what make a classic ride such.

Yes, everything has to be re-built sooner or later (pray for 'newly manufactured parts' for Whizzer and Revolution, Mindbender and Shockwave for the matter - and Sooperdooperlooper).

The whole PTC train set up just isn't a "FUN" experience when compared to an old wood coaster train.

Save for a few, including the Viper at Great America that has special devices that keep the lap bars from coming down - you actually have to pull on them to get em down. But it would be so much nicer without those ugly headrests. And imagine it with buzzbars and no seat dividers ;)

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007 8:28 PM
I always thought that the reason parks like Knoebels moved wooden coasters to their parks was because it was much cheaper than building a new one.

At the time that Knoebels built the Phoenix, I don't think it was a 'preservation' project as much as it was just a good opportunity to bring in a major thrill ride that was a much cheaper deal than building/designing a new ride.

If I had to guess, I would say the historical aspect was mostly just an added bonus, which they used to help them market a 'used' ride as something special.

We all want to believe that parks move these rides to 'preserve' them (and in many cases, such as Knoebels, they truly do support preservation), but I really don't think anyone would move a ride unless there was some type of savings involved, compared to building new.

Hopefully someone here knows more about this...

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Thursday, November 8, 2007 12:16 AM
But with The Rocket/Phoenix, there was no precedent, so I tend to think there was not much deliberation involved. I don't know whether the park was actively looking to add a new coaster at the time, or whether they had any numbers in hand about the costs of designing and building a new coaster.

By chance, this ride became available, and obviously would only be available for a brief time. Did anyone really have an idea how much it was going to cost to totally relocate and reconstruct a wooden coaster to even compare to a new installation?

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