Purchasing a Roller coaster

Monday, August 7, 2017 11:33 PM

How much of a difference would 100ft be as opposed to 150ft?

If this happens it will not be opened to the public. Do you think there is some kind of certification that I and or my family could receive in order to do inspections? Not the actual repairs.

I don't believe that this would be operated everyday. I do have a large family that I want to share this with. I want to maintain 100% safety at all times.

Monday, August 7, 2017 11:40 PM

Well, most wood coasters over about 120 feet tend to get super rough and unbearable after a short amount of time, so there's that.

Hey, let's ride (random Intamin coaster). What? It's broken down? I totally didn't expect that.

Monday, August 7, 2017 11:45 PM

Yea you're right. I cant stand a coaster thats more uncomfortable than comfortable.

Now I'm wondering if I'll need a certain permission for air space or something.

I can't find any information on owning a roller coaster. Sure I've seen the homemade coasters but this is different.

It's like everytime I think I'm closer I think of something else. This is very difficult but as the time a challenge is great.

Last edited by MeetGeorgeJetson, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 12:11 AM
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 12:45 AM
LostKause's avatar

Okay. Serious reply here. At first I wanted to laugh at you, but then I wondered what I would do if I had an extra 25 million dollars...

I would go back and fulfill my long lost childhood dream of building an amusement park. The only difference between your position and mine is that I would operate my coaster, and the rest of my park for profit. It would not be a Michael Jackson Neverland situation.

That much money could get one started on building a nice small park with a few small used coasters. A few nice flat rides, some kiddie rides, and other stuff like restrooms, food stalls, an arcade, ect.

Or maybe I would build a small waterpark.

And after a few years, start growing. As long as it was built in an area that could support it, and it filled a need with the public at a price they were willing to pay, it could grow. Or maybe you would operate it to the public one day a year, like some Ohio park I heard about.

Buying a multi-million-dollar coaster to run a few days a year for your family reunion sounds like a huge waste of money and kind of selfish.

Okay. I'll stop now because I am feeling kind of jealous. Still not going to laugh at you though.

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 12:45 AM
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 12:53 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

MeetGeorgeJetson said:

If this happens it will not be opened to the public.

Really. Investing many tens of millions of dollars on a ride that will be ridden occasionally? Why not take $25 million and do a major coaster trip?

Do you think there is some kind of certification that I and or my family could receive in order to do inspections?


The people who inspect rides are trained professionals.

You can't just hire roller coaster mechanics off Craigslist. You would have to have expensive insurance for the ride. Who would operate the ride? What would their training be? How would you have engineers, ride operators, mechanics and so on available only on the days you would wish to ride?

Most importantly, who would staff the gift shop at the end of the exit ramp? :-)

I don't believe that this would be operated everyday. I do have a large family that I want to share this with. I want to maintain 100% safety at all times.

The problem being that you're an individual, not a corporation with a broad support staff.

If you're being serious, you clearly haven't considered all the legal, operational and financial issues.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 1:25 AM

No you're right I haven't considered a lot of those things.

I would make it open to the public but the only concern there is a matter of insurance reasons... That's something I'm just wanting to deal with to be honest... Maybe I'm wrong ..It would be amazing to own and operate a small theme park.

Once I've figured out how to make the coaster a reality.. I would love to have a log flume.

The coaster would be ridden a lot but probably not every single day... Now if my family were to ask to ride it at anytime ..of course I would allow that.

I'm just shy of 40 years old. I have 3 amazing kids... I come from a large Catholic family...11 siblings including me...5 niece's and 6 nephews .. . Many cousins...ect ... The great thing is our entire family lives no more than 50 miles apart.. Our house is loaded with people practically on a daily basis... Im mainly doing this for my family..

Having a coaster will be amazing... If it goes well then we'd love a log flume .. Maybe in the future a haunted house that can be updated and themed by myself and or family.

Does anyone remember Miracle Strip in Panama City FL? It was an amazing small family park but it had every great aspect of a theme park... When I first road Starliner I was hooked and wanted my own .. The log flume was amazing..The haunted house was amazing... Sadly my kids will never get to experience that park ...which was by far better than my local park.. Kentucky Kingdom

This is something that will be passed along to my children.. 200 acres has plenty of potential to expand.

Opening to the public would be very difficult to earn profit.. Not sure I'm willing to take that risk.. I could always sell the roller coaster at any point if there's a buyer

Last edited by MeetGeorgeJetson, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 1:32 AM
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 1:35 AM

As far as operating the ride.

I'm sure there are people to teach such things.. There would have to be an operator .. It's not like once it's done then BAM lets hop on... I'm in no rush to do this

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 4:07 AM

The first thing that comes to mind is that I would want to separate the coaster from my personal estate. I would make it an independent business and transfer the land under it to this business. Even if I never planned to charge a dime. I would set this up as a 'picnic park' like Stricker's Grove, which is only open to the public twice a year

If the state regulations on amusement devices is read literally
It says that anyone who "operates" an amusement device must have a business license, inspections, and insurance (or prove financial responsibility.) It does not specify that not charging admission would relieve one of these requirements. If I were going to spend that much money on a personal coaster I would not attempt to circumvent the state inspection/approval process. Why try to save a few dollars for the sake of opening yourself up to a massive liability?

I think the design/building itself should be the "easy" part. You just need to find a coaster company willing to take on the job. If you want a wood coaster Gravity Group in Cincinnati would be a great choice as they aren't far from you. I can give you a contact if you'd like.

If you want steel I'd just recommend staying away from those cheap Chinese things you've linked to. If you were originally ready to spend 25mil, would you rather have a terrible 2 million dollar coaster or a fantastic 10 million dollar coaster? The Chinese things will likely be very disappointing, rough, and hard to maintain. B&M is pretty picky about who they build for so so doubt you'd get much love there. Vekoma is known for rough rides but they have also made some amazingly smooth rides like Expedition Everest. Intamin has had some very unreliable designs but their "standard" off the shelf coasters like the mega-lite are pretty good.
When approaching the coaster companies I would make no mention of the fact this is a personal coaster. You are a business looking for a manufacturer/builder for your new picnic park in Kentucky. Which is true!

Once you get it built, the ongoing problem is going to be maintenance. There is a certain amount of maintenance and inspection that must be done on both the track and the cars every single day that the ride operates (as well as general ongoing maintenance.). On a wood coaster the maintenance guys inspect the train and walk every foot of track every single morning before the ride is tested. The cars are tested empty. Only then is it cleared to ride. On a steel coaster all of the bolts and welds must be inspected frequently. Ongoing maintenance to the trains is required. Obviously all of these things must be done by people with a very specific set of skills. They must be available every single day you want to use the coaster. You can't just flip a switch and go for a ride. Are you prepared to carry a full time employee (or two) to make this dream a reality?

If you have the money you say you do, your dream is certainly possible. Best of luck, and invite us all over for a ride when you've got it finished!

"I've been born again my whole life." -SAVED
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 9:26 AM
Jeff's avatar

You know who built an amusement park in his back yard? Michael Jackson. And he was a totally well-adjusted adult, right?

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 9:33 AM

Universal Orlando has not one but two lovely, definitely not worn out B&M inverted coasters they'd probably give you for a song!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 10:12 AM

Jeff said:

You know who built an amusement park in his back yard? Michael Jackson. And he was a totally well-adjusted adult, right?

Well I could be a good idea to build a themepark for you child(dren), depending on the situation.

I recently got this item tipped. Click

That is simply amazing what he decided to do.

Last edited by Pieter Peeters, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 10:14 AM
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 11:04 AM

If in fact you are serious about this.....

I would suggest that you hire a good engineer that can help you with the site development and land planning aspects of this. Depending on where you plan to build, there are typically local or state zoning requirements, land planning, or permits that are required to build just about anything. If this is rural area the restrictions may not be that great, but you will at least need to get water management and building permits. These may not be items that a coaster designer/builder can do since they require local experience.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 11:08 AM

And please let us know what your new homeowners insurance policy looks like.

Brandon | Facebook

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 1:35 PM

We had something similar develop in Northeastern Michigan (the remote portion of the lower peninsula). A retiree had some land (in the middle of a national forest), some money, and grand kids with whom he wanted to entertain. So, he opened the Cedar Valley Wild Frontier Fun Park. He started a year or two ago by purchasing classic defunct midway rides (this year he built a little kiddie coaster) and created an "only in Northern Michigan" environment. For lovers of off-the-beaten path amusement parks this is a "can't miss" attraction. http://www.9and10news.com/clip/13518820/mtm-on-the-road-at-530-at-o...r-fun-park

Last edited by urumqi, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 1:42 PM

tall and fast but not much upside down

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 2:29 PM

Ok I'm gonna bite and just point out that depending on how far of a drive it is from your home and available land to your nearest amusement park and depending on how it is you make all this money you have you may want to look into the feasibility of a small amusement park run at a slim margin possible slight ongoing loss as a tax shelter...I'm not an accountant but it seems to me under the right conditions it could be a way of making your hobby and desires work for you. Of course this all would hinge on being far enough away from a larger park and having a use for a decent sized loss to write off on taxes. I'm just thinking that one coaster as a hobby is a definite loss of money with no tax advantage but build a small business around it and you might have something.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 3:00 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Urumqi: sounds like Little A-Merrick-A in Wisconsin. It's a delightful little park with rides bought at auction from closed amusement parks, etc.

Paisley: good idea. I did get the impression, though, that the OP just wanted a ride to ride. That's different from running even a small park. Someone suggested he develop a picnic park, like Stricker's Grove, also a good idea.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 3:56 PM

Slithernoggin, it does look similar especially as both parks focus on refurbishing old amusement rides. With that, Little A-Merrick-A seems more organized, less ad hoc, and is close to Madison and Milwaukee. Cedar Valley Wild Frontier Fun Park is really remote -- the closest city is Alpena, Michigan (over 1 hour drive and with a population of only 10,000). The elk population is larger than the human population.

tall and fast but not much upside down

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 5:38 PM
TheAcrophobicEnthusiast's avatar

I'm disappointed in you coasterbuzz you've succumb to the troll.

The best of all the jokers is clearly Mark Hamill.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 6:26 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

RCMAC said:

And where were you while the Big Dipper sat rotting away?

Heck, even *I* could have afforded that at the price it went for.

Now, demolition, transport, land, re-construction, permits, etc, that's another story.

Last edited by Tommytheduck, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 6:36 PM
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 7:15 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

Since we ended up taking liability and legalities, inspections, operations, why does this matter if it is a private entity purchasing this for private use.

At the end of the day, is it really fundamentally different than the blue flash, or blue two?


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