I'm a reporter for a newspaper nearby the Boardwalk, and I jumped on the opportunity to cover the Giant Dipper's 60 millionth rider celebration.
First off, the park was absolutely packed, being a Friday afternoon and with the free concert happening later.
I was told by the Boardwalk that the 60 millionth riders would be celebrated sometime between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. I got there at 2, and met up with Boardwalk representatives and other reporters underneath Fireball (which I got some great pictures and was dying to ride it).
Around 2:30, we were told to walk up the Giant Dipper's exit ramp. The riders were getting excited when seeing all the press, but were disappointed when they found out they weren't the 60 millionth riders.
After about three dispatches (I was amazed by how fast the ride operators work), riders in the red train took off. When they came back, they were announced the 60 millionth riders.
Prizes included a Giant Dipper sweatshirt and a bag full of Boardwalk goodies.
Also, Hurricane news: I was told that Hurricane's last day is Sept. 3, and ACE is tentatively setting up a farewell event on Aug. 26.
You can read part of my article here: http://www.register-pajaronian.com/v2_news_articles.php?heading=0&page=72&story_id=12861
Giant Dipper hits 60 million riders
BY: ERIK CHALHOUB
SANTA CRUZ — Raul Vire, from Texas, had never ridden the Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk before Friday afternoon.
What would have been a milestone just for him ended up being a milestone in the history of roller coasters.
Vire joined 23 other riders as the 60 millionth riders on the 88-year-old wooden roller coaster Friday. The riders received Giant Dipper sweatshirts and an entire bag full of Boardwalk memorabilia.
“It feels really good,” Vire said, adding that while he knew the history of the ride, he didn’t expect to be a part of such a feat.
Kris Reyes, spokesperson for the Boardwalk, said the park still has higher expectations for the roller coaster.
For the complete article see the 07-27-2012 issue.