Long Beach ponders resurrection of the defunct Cyclone Racer roller coaster

Posted Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:03 PM | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

The Long Beach City Council voted 7-1 Tuesday to approve a request by Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske to investigate the feasibility of rebuilding the famed Cyclone Racer wooden roller coaster using plans by Downey resident Larry Osterhoudt. The city manager will report back to council members on the matter within 30 days.

Read more from The Press Telegram.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:43 PM

Nice. I'll be in LA a week from Monday. Do you think it will be open by then?

Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:46 PM

30 million to build a wooden racing coaster? That sounds incredibly inflated even for California.

"A $40 million-a-year potential revenue figure Osterhoudt gave elected officials assumes the ride runs at a 2,400 passengers per hour capacity, 10 hours a day on two tracks and two trains, he said."

This made me laugh, potential vs reality would be a massive difference.

Last edited by DaveStroem, Thursday, October 3, 2013 1:47 PM
Thursday, October 3, 2013 2:45 PM

"... he suggested a location in Shoreline Park or adjacent to the park, in the water"

In the (bleeping) water?

Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Thursday, October 3, 2013 3:25 PM
Thursday, October 3, 2013 7:22 PM

All we need now is to get Rye Playland to rebuild the Airplane.

Friday, October 4, 2013 7:39 AM

The original Cyclone Racer was built over water. Over the years the ocean deposited sand under it to the point that it looked like it was built on the beach.

Friday, October 4, 2013 9:16 AM

Point taken, but the words he used were "in the water"

Friday, October 4, 2013 10:33 AM

2400/hr. is an incredible number to actually hit, even for a B&M capacity hog. That's about 40 seconds per train or 1:20 if you're dispatching two at a time.

Friday, October 4, 2013 10:34 AM

See! Coasters really do sink after all.

Friday, October 4, 2013 12:01 PM

The guy that has the plans is, for lack of a more charitable phrase. your extreme enthusiast who has made this thing an obsession. As with most people who are emotionally attached to something, he has no concept of the reality of costs and negotiations necessary to bring this to fruition.

What will really be heartbreaking for him is, IF there is ever any proposal to go forward, no entity will deal with him, because they will need actual engineering work, not just his recreated plans.

I'd love to see a seaside wooden coaster in Long Beach. It might even possibly be profitable (given Shoreline Village, etc), but those numbers are totally off in all respects.

Friday, October 4, 2013 4:03 PM

What you've basically just said is that any idea or concept that originates from an individual who lacks the expertise is merit less. That's nonsense!

It's also ridiculous to say that no entity will deal with him. Yes, if this project were to move forward the ride would need to be designed and engineered by individuals with that expertise, but his scale model could be an valuable resource to accomplish this task. I don't think anyone has implied that he is the one who will actual create the drawings to recreate the ride. I also like working with individuals who are passionate about what they're doing even if they can't ultimately execute their ideas without the help of others!

Yes, the numbers don't add up, but give the guy a break! We should instead appreciate his passion, not insult him for it. Without people like him a lot of projects, products and services we enjoy wouldn't exist today. I would love to see the Cyclone Racer rebuilt in Long Beach and I applaud him for his enthusiasm.

Last edited by egieszl, Friday, October 4, 2013 4:04 PM
Friday, October 4, 2013 4:53 PM

It worked in Green Bay with the Zippin' Pippin and that was a defunct coaster from Memphis

Last edited by Captain Hawkeye, Friday, October 4, 2013 4:54 PM
Friday, October 4, 2013 6:30 PM

It worked with the Big Dipp... oh, nevermind.

Friday, October 4, 2013 7:51 PM

DaveStroem said:

30 million to build a wooden racing coaster? That sounds incredibly inflated even for California.

The $30M figure probably just includes the price of Rocky Mountaining it 4-5 years after they build it.

Friday, October 4, 2013 8:22 PM

As far as the cost, remember this is in California. The foundation pier will have to be built to withstand extreme tides plus earthquakes, as well as the coaster itself. Ghostrider is an example of the new building codes. It has somewhere around three times as much lumber in it compared to if it been built anywhere else in the US.

Friday, October 4, 2013 9:24 PM

egieszl said:

What you've basically just said is that any idea or concept that originates from an individual who lacks the expertise is merit less. That's nonsense!

It's also ridiculous to say that no entity will deal with him.

That's not what I said Eric. He has implied over his numerous years long campaign that HE is the instrumental part in all this. Not the plans. Not the model. HIM. Not just to loan out his model, (which would undoubtedly help any project that gets going) but he thinks he is going to be instrumental in the decision process. That's why I said he would be disappointed.

This isn't Tim Cole and the San Diego ride. That's the way enthusiasm works to the benefit of a project. This is something completely different.

Sorry if I bring a real world business perspective to this discussion.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Friday, October 4, 2013 9:27 PM
Friday, October 4, 2013 11:46 PM

From a real world business perspective...a modern steel coaster probably makes more sense...cost/maintenance/popularity/etc. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:01 AM

The Cyclone Racer was torn down in the late 60's. That's 45 years ago. There's probably few (no one?) under 50 who rode it. Few people remember what good rides Ghostrider and Colossus were. Sadly, most people on the West coast remember how bad Psychlone was, and how bad Ghostrider/Colossus are or have been recently. (yes there's San Diego and Apocalypse but those really don't enter the equation).

As such there is no visceral attachment to a seaside woodie for the GP in SoCal. I wish that there were. Hopefully someday. I'd like to think that Kemah would be a model for the Long Beach project, but given space/and other constraints, I just don't see it.

Plus, let's ask the obvious. 45 years after it was built, is the CR even a layout that would appeal to today's population as the centerpiece (or only piece) of a fun pier? I don't know, I never rode it. The layout looks good, but how does it translate to a population (west coast) that just didn't grow up with good wood?

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:02 AM
Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:08 AM

Which means that there are tons of grandparents who do remember riding it. Kids do not drive themselves to Disneyland--parents & grandparents do. Notice their ads. The same applies to other parks/coasters/rides, too.

Saturday, October 5, 2013 12:17 AM

But those parents didn't grow up with ride. That's the problem. The Grandparents might have, but if the parents remember crappy wood at SFMM, then there might not be that attachment. Not saying I'm right, it's just a wrinkle to this argument that wouldn't exist if this conversation was about any part of the Eastern U.S. Coastline.

For those of you that don't live on the West Coast, and have grown up with average to good/great wooden rides, you may not have an appreciation for how bad the wood here in SoCal has been.


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