Waldameer Discussion Thread

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Postby verticalzero » Wed May 21, 2008 1:29 pm

After 15 years of dreaming about re-creating Waldameer’s famous “Ravine Flyer” wooden roller coaster, park owner Paul Nelson stepped forward in the mid-1990s and said, “Let’s do it.” However, the park’s neighbors near Lake Erie in Erie, Pennsylvania, said, “No, you don’t,” and took Nelson to court. In addition to the lawsuits and opposition groups in the area, there were environmental impact studies completed and governmental hearings. It was a long process. The issues were handled one at a time by Nelson, and for a while, it seemed he couldn’t get to first base without neighbors suing him or other groups pointing out all the reasons the coaster couldn’t or shouldn’t be built. Eventually, he would get the permissions and variances needed, but those would also be appealed and second-guessed.

“Every time we went to court, we would win,” Nelson told FUNWORLD. “We would get another step closer to getting permission, and we’d end up in court and win again.” Finally, all the appeals appear to have been exhausted when the state
Supreme Court refused to hear the case, and the state’s appeals court upheld all the variances that had been issued to the
park over the past decade.

“Of course I am delighted, but I am now 10 years older than I was then, and our $4 million coaster project has nearly
doubled in price,” Nelson said, noting that he’s not sure what it will eventually cost. “No, I’m not refiguring it; I’ll just have
to be happy with whatever it ends up costing. It’s like remodeling your house. You know you want it done, and you probably
end up spending more than you should, but you love the finished product.”

Custom Coasters of Cincinnati, Ohio, originally engineered and designed the “Ravine Flyer II.” Following the bankruptcy
of that firm in 2002, four of its employees formed their own company, Gravity Group LLC, and will be building the
ride for Nelson. The woodie is to be loosely patterned after the original “Ravine Flyer,” built in 1922 by John Miller, and
demolished in 1938. The coaster went outside the park, across a bridge over a small road, and back in. That small road is
now a four-lane highway, and the park is located near the entrance to the very popular Presque Isle State Park.

“When the state built the four-lane road into the state park, they got a 120-foot right-of-way of our land. Part of the
deal then was that we would retain the right to build a footbridge and/or a bridge for the ‘Ravine Flyer II’ to cross over,”
Nelson said. “So we had no problem getting permission for that; it was all the other stuff.”

Construction on an access road for the coaster, the pillars that will hold the 165-foot-long arched bridge across the highway,
and other infrastructure work began in April. The earliest the coaster could be put into service right now is 2008,
according to Nelson.

The ride will feature a 110-foot drop and will be approximately 3,000 feet long, Nelson said. The original blueprints for
the ride were lost in a fire that destroyed the park’s office in 1952, so most of the design work was done from memory.
2403901444_03dff09869.jpg
Underneath the bridge
1621535223_02c1e7a1e1.jpg
Original layout of RF 11

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Postby PKI Jizzman » Wed May 21, 2008 2:09 pm

Only 4 million for this coaster? That's awesome!

Awesome shots, guys! It really opened up the rest of the ride and gave a great perspective of how big the ride is.

Robb, you get to do so many cool things! I'm so jealous!
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Postby robbalvey » Wed May 21, 2008 2:56 pm

^ READ the post. That image is from the ORIGINAL article for RF2 when it started planning in the mid 90s. I think the ride that was finally built ended up costing between 6 and 7 million.

--Robb

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Postby Dailey Enterprizes » Wed May 21, 2008 3:21 pm

^ Btw Robb, thanks for the opportunity to ride the RF2 and to be a part of the film shoot. The experience was awesome. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to honor the dedication needed to ride it over and over. I left after lunch because it didn't make much sense for me to be there if I couldn't ride anymore. I guess I won't ever marathon anything again. It was a pleasure meeting everyone...

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Postby Carnage » Wed May 21, 2008 3:21 pm

And wasn't CCI known for greatly under reporting the cost of their rides?

I think I remember hearing something about how their rides cost a lot more then reported.
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Postby SFNERules » Wed May 21, 2008 3:26 pm

They underbid, leaving lumber yards and other suppliers calling parks wondering where their money was. I've heard that that's the reason they stopped using PTC trains for the most part in their last few years, and the only way to get a PTC train on a CCI ride was to buy it yourself. It's not really surprising that they went out of business.

I've also read (I think on here, a long time ago) that Denise Larrick pulled the same stuff when she went to S&S, and they fired her which is why they haven't done a wood coaster since Avalanche/J2.

Thanks for the RF2 pics Robb and everyone else, I've been following this coaster pretty closely since it's ground breaking. Looks like a great ride, hopefully I can get out there soon to try it.

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Postby PKI Jizzman » Wed May 21, 2008 3:29 pm

robbalvey wrote:^ READ the post. That image is from the ORIGINAL article for RF2 when it started planning in the mid 90s. I think the ride that was finally built ended up costing between 6 and 7 million.

--Robb


Ah, I saw in the article it said Ravine Flier II, so I thought it was the one that had been posted previously; and it looked similar to the layout I saw above, so I assumed it was the current.

Mm...any coaster with a sign out in front that says "10 airtime spots" looks awesome to me!
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Postby FeelTheFORCE » Wed May 21, 2008 3:30 pm

Nice to know you guys had fun! I can't wait to ride it this summer sometime!

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Postby Rollertoaster » Wed May 21, 2008 5:27 pm

Like I said, there's a lot of coasters I haven't been on, but this one is an airtime machine!

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Postby Ohiocoasterman » Wed May 21, 2008 8:11 pm

Hey this is Carsten I am not really new here just never really posted. I just want to thank Robb and Waldameer for letting me do this! I would love to do this again! That coaster is great and that was the first time I have ever been to that park and I plan on going back soon!

I am not good with names but is there anyone here that I chatted with or rode with? If so please PM me or reply to this And here is my picture. I am the one in the blue :)
ravine10_184.jpg

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