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Memo: Cedar Point to build coaster in 2013

Melissa Topey • May 31, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Cedar Fair stands ready to spend big money on a new roller coaster for 2013 at Cedar Point that will change the park landscape.

Code-named “CP Alt.Winged,” the coaster will have the “longest drop, run the fastest and be the longest ride” of its kind, Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet wrote in Feb. 15 memo to Cedar Fair’s board of directors.

The total projected cost of the project is $25 million, a price that includes removing the park’s Space Spiral and Disaster Transport rides and restructuring the park entrance. 

Ouimet was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

To see photos of the Space Spiral and Disaster Transport, click HERE.

Lee Alexakos, corporate vice president of marketing, declined to confirm the information in the memo.

“We have not announced any plans for 2013 but we did announce a $25 million investment,” Alexakos said. “This will be one of the largest capital expenditures ever.”

Alexakos said that with any ride or attraction Cedar Point undertakes, the company is always looking to set records.

The Swiss-based Bolliger & Mabillard Consulting Engineers is set to design the new ride, which was described in the memo as having a “Front Gate Statement— a roller coaster that flies overhead, rolls and flies back— highly visible above guests entering the park.”

The firm designed Cedar Point’s Raptor.

A winged coaster is designed to suspend riders on wings to the sides of the rails so there is no track above or below the guest.

Engineering schematics show a proposed coaster with gravity defying twists, curves and rolls.

“Rob Decker (Cedar Fair VP of planning and design) and others have done a great job of creating a compelling, economically attractive new coaster for Cedar Point,” Ouimet wrote. “We believe this particular ride design with this particular manufacturer balances the desire for marketable innovation and risk associated with early adaptations of prototypes.”

Bolliger & Mabillard designed the first winged coaster for installation in Italy at a park known as Gardaland. The Six Flags Great American park outside of Chicago also has one of the company’s winged coasters, called X-Flight. 

The new ride at Cedar Point could promise to be a work horse available to guests at almost any time they are in the park.

“Rob talked to operators of the first one in Italy and found no unanticipated negatives and very high ride reliability (less than 1 percent operational downtime).

Design plans show the new ride with a 170-foot tall lift that will fly overhead of park guests entering the park. It will have the longest track and longest ride time of any coaster of its style as it flies overhead, rolls and then fly back.

The huge roller coaster will dominate the front gate and the track will travel over a large parking area at the park.

“We have several coasters that cover parking lots,” Ouimet wrote. “Not necessarily ideal, but certainly acceptable given tight site constraints and the amount of land such attractions require.”

Disaster Transport and the Space Spiral both would have to come down if the site plan currently under consideration is chosen.

Part of the $25 million investment will also include renovations and upgrades at the park entrance from the parking lot.

Cedar Point general manger John Hildebrandt was not available for comment on Tuesday.

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