It’s not a guarantee that the Cyclone Racer, “The World’s Greatest Ride,” will thrill riders at The Pike again.
But 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 wooden roller coaster using plans by Downey resident Larry Osterhoudt.
City Manager Pat West will report back to council members on the matter within 30 days.
The dual-track Cyclone Racer opened in 1930 and was ridden by more than 30 million people during a 38-year run at The Pike amusement park’s Silver Spray Pier. It was closed in 1968 to accommodate Shoreline Drive and is commemorated by the coaster-shaped pedestrian bridge over the street.
Osterhoudt, 56, became interested in the roller coaster in the late 1990s as a fit for the Paradise Pier section of Disney’s California Adventure theme park.
He reverse-engineered blueprints, spending $17,000 of his own money on equipment to draw up plans and build a 1/15th scale model of the front of the Cyclone Racer.
Osterhoudt told the council it would take roughly $30 million to re-create the ride, which originally cost $140,000, and he suggested a location in Shoreline Park or adjacent to the park, in the water.
After the decision, he said the coaster could be a destination place for tourists at The Pike at Rainbow Harbor, which has struggled to attract visitors and has been converting into outlet malls.
“The businesses need an anchor or a blockbuster attraction, if you want to call it that,” said Osterhoudt.
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.
He suggested the coaster could charge $5 per ride, less than the $9 admission for Coney Island’s Cyclone and the $6 for The Giant Dipper at Belmont Park in San Diego.
Osterhoudt says he has an investor on the New York Stock Exchange interested in financing the ride but declined to name the company.
“If it’s approved it should be easier to get the financial backing on it,” he said.
Councilman James Johnson voted no. Councilman Patrick O’Donnell was absent during the vote.
Before the regular meeting, the council voted 9-0 Tuesday to approve a plan to develop or sell former redevelopment sites left in limbo following the state’s dissolution of redevelopment agencies in 2012.
The agency’s oversight board will take up the plan on Oct. 7. If approved, it will be submitted for state approval on Oct. 23.
Officials have split redevelopment in Long Beach into five regions — Central, North, Downtown, West and the Polytechnic High School area. A strategic plan has been developed for each region and includes government use, sale, future development and enforceable obligation sites.
Some residents argued Tuesday that they have not been given sufficient opportunity to participate in the process, but the city has said aside from the enforceable obligation sites, no commitment has been made on the use of any of the properties.
I almost spit out my water when I heard this. I always hoped that one day this would happen, but I thought the chances were basically zero. Hopefully, it gets built.
1: Lightning Run, 2: El Toro, 3: Maverick, 4: Xcelerator, 5: Voyage, 6: TTD, 7: Gold Striker, 8: El Loco (Vegas), 9: Millennium Force, 10: Kingda Ka Coaster Credits: 110 (89 steel, 21 wood); Last Coaster Credit: Raptor (CP) [8/22/14]; Last Park Credit: Waldameer [8/21/14] What a season pass??
Yeah the last time I was strolling through the streets of the lbc, there was a guy passed out drunk wbo decided tk get up and walk with us. He was more then happy to tell he was a crip member. A "gunner." He was pleasent enough to wish us a good evening though. Let it be known:some gang bangers do have manners.
This would be rad though. The pike is so dead for the most part except when they get business during lunch hours from tbe nearby businesses.
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