Mar 05, 2010 (The News-Item - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- RALPHO TOWNSHIP -- Thrill ride fans will have to wait until 2011 for something new at Knoebels Amusement Resort.
That's when Black Diamond is slated to debut.
The ride -- originally called the Golden Nugget -- will be moved from Hunt's Pier in Wildwood, N.J., according to Knoebels spokesman Joe Muscato.
"It's a combination of a gentle family roller coaster and a horror ride," Muscato said, noting the theme was gold mining, appropriate for not only the coal region, but also the park.
"We've started construction for the (ride's) building adjacent to the mining museum," Muscato said. "We had to move the eagles and cottages."
From there, it's a simple transition from gold mining to coal mining.
"The ride has a great reputation," Muscato said. "It hasn't run in a number of years, but a lot of people were excited to see it saved."
In the meantime, the park will continue to offer its classic variety of fun family entertainment and quality food at low prices.
Well, that, and the continued tweaking of Flying Turns. Introduced in 2006, the company is still working on the ride, which has gone through a number of growing pains.
"It'll be done when it's done," Muscato said. "I'm not going to call attention until it's finished properly."
The issue, he said, is taking a bobsled-style ride design from the 1920s and '30s, and making it meet modern performance standards.
"We've been testing a new train design with encouraging results," Muscato said.
Last year's attendance numbers were good, considering the economy and Mother Nature. Muscato is hoping for more of the same this year.
"In terms of economy, we're a good alternative. With free parking and free entrance to the park, it makes us more attractive," Muscato said. "We didn't get a good hot streak for the pool, and we had quite a bit of rain, though. We'll see what the weather brings."
Knoebels will be teeing off on a couple of projects at Three Ponds Golf Course next door, according to Muscato. The company will be installing a computer-guided irrigation system. That system will afford finer control to keep the fairways and greens in even better condition, Muscato said. That should be online by late winter or early spring.
Also, Three Ponds will be expanding its youth clinics. Now, when junior golfers begins lessons, they'll be handed a flag, similar to those seen on hole pins. And with each achievement reached during golf lessons, the teen will be awarded a patch that can be placed on the flag.
"As a young golfer reaches different milestones, they can attach the patches to the flag," Muscato said. "They can gain a sense of accomplishment as they learn about the game."
Tomorrow will also be Knoebels' annual job fair, which is slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Elysburg Fire Company. Muscato is expecting high numbers once again. Last year, there were 1,200 to 1,300 job hunters in attendance.
"The economy is still rough. We'll see what happens. We'll have all the managers there," Muscato said, those representing rides, entertainment, food services and games. "It's a good opportunity (for job seekers). Kids can go and apply right there. They usually schedule a follow-up interview that day."
The Carousel Organ Association of America will be bringing anywhere from 40 to 50 organs into the park from June 12 and 13.
The event, which runs every two years, "is a great chance to see everything from hand-crank street organs to trailer-mounted carousel organs," Muscato said. "We do it every other year to keep it fresh. This is the year they're coming in."
It seems like it's been quiet as far progress goes so I'm guessing that it could either be a good or bad thing. With opening day tomorrow, could it be possible for the park to suprise us and open it? I wonder what the trains will look like?
Ccron10 wrote:It seems like it's been quiet as far progress goes so I'm guessing that it could either be a good or bad thing. With opening day tomorrow, could it be possible for the park to suprise us and open it? I wonder what the trains will look like?
Honestly/sadly, FT isn't even worth talking about anymore. They're obviously not having a problem with being lethargic and (seemingly) borderline lazy about this project. I know it's a prototype, but it should not take FIVE YEARS to build one ride.
Ccron10 wrote:Honestly/sadly, FT isn't even worth talking about anymore. They're obviously not having a problem with being lethargic and (seemingly) borderline lazy about this project. I know it's a prototype, but it should not take FIVE YEARS to build one ride.
Construction started on Flying Turns in 2006, but issues with the ride's wheels and other complications have pushed back the opening. Recently, the park ordered a new set of cars for the ride, and testing continues on them.
"I often say that we are still in the research and development portion of the ride," Muscato said. "We did a series of tests with the new car and are now addressing the things that we learned in that series of tests, so we can use that in the next version. It is something that is just going to take time."
Originally built in the 1930s, work has been slow-going on the free-form coaster ride, which does not use a track, but wooden chutes, much like a bobsled travels its course.
Park officials have said in the past that the process is like reinventing the wheel, since a ride like Flying Turns has not been seen in America in more than 40 years and none are currently in operation worldwide.
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