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[RCT3] Vista Point Park

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Editor's note - I needed a "small" project to build so I wouldn't lose interest. Enjoy!


This is Vista Point Park.



Now, granted, it's not the entire park. In fact, Vista Point Park is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, ironically located in the city of Vista Point. Vista Point's streets are laid out in a logical grid pattern, and a lot of the streets actually go through the park. This divides the park into many different quadrants.


The amusement park industry had a huge boom in the seventies when Ron Toomer of Arrow Dynamics and Anton Schwarzkopf of his own company each created a roller coaster with an inversion. Toomer had his Corkscrew, and Schwarzkopf had his loop. Soon after, amusement parks all over the world created rides with loops.


In an attempt to earn more money, the city of Vista Point commissioned Anton Schwarzkopf to build a looping roller coaster in one of the park's quadrants. The ride was christened "Zephyr", and it had a successful opening, generating a lot of money for the city.


Unfortunately, due to its location and lack of available parking, attendance on the Zephyr went down the toilet, and quickly. There soon came a time when the Zephyr was being operated at a loss. At that time, the city pulled the plug. The roller coaster has been sitting dormant ever since.


Roller coaster enthusiasts around the country were in an uproar when it was discovered that the Zephyr was receiving a fresh coat of paint in the year 2006. Speculation that the ride would reopen was at its highest level, but it never did reopen. The city decided to repaint the ride's track to make it less of an eyesore.



This is the coaster in question, shot at from a cherry picker.


I have been hired to revitalize the Zephyr and convert the quadrant of Vista Point Park into a legitimate amusement park.



You can see that even though the ride is dormant, all the pathways around it are still completely accessible.


Even though the roller coaster has not been properly maintained for almost thirty years, the restrooms near it are clean and working.

This might be a little bit difficult. Stay tuned.

Edited by A.J.
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Editor's note: Yes, for now this park is sticking to that quadrant. I wanted a small project, not a massive one.


After about a week of intense negotiations and planning, the city of Vista Point has officially turned over the construction of the section of Vista Point Park to me. I do not own the park nor the specific section, but the city isn't looking to lose any more money by backing out of this deal. So, that's good news for me.


The deal also gave me access to areas that are prohibited to normal park-goers, such as the Zephyr's transfer area.



You can see the original color of Zephyr's track, which looks like it was a rich chocolate brown when it opened. Unfortunately, the paint is faded now. The city chose to only paint the sections of track that normal guests could see.


Zephyr looked like it could be run with at least two trains on the circuit at once. Looking at documents pertaining to the ride, it did in fact originally run with two trains. However, when attendance started to drop the city chose to disassemble one train to use for parts so that they wouldn't have to purchase them. Unfortunately, both trains are in fact gone completely - so to get the Zephyr up and running again we will have to purchase two new ones.


Walking up Zephyr's lift hill, it's a great thing that the ride's structure feels completely stable. While the ride was neglected, the strong structure shows that the ride was indeed built to last. The top of the hill provides some great views of the site.



When the city built the Zephyr in the seventies, a good portion of the foliage of the park was removed. As such, there was no reason for pathways to exist in those areas, so they were destroyed. Unfortunately, the city never bothered to plant more trees in place of the pathways, and as a result there are large holes in the tree line.



Even though the Zephyr was neglected, the surrounding architecture was left mainly alone. In fact, the only items that were removed from the Zephyr's station other than the trains were the signs with the ride's logo.



You can see how the removed signs expose the structure for the ride's exit ramp in that photo.


Planning is almost finished for the quadrant, and trust me, it will look extremely different when this is all over. The city has given my team and I free reign on what we want to do with it, with some ground rules -

  • We must stick to that quadrant and that quadrant alone. We are not allowed to expand outward.
  • We must leave at least one row of trees around the entire property line, with the exception of where we would have entrances to the park.
  • It must be designed as a free-admission, pay-per-ride amusement park, and all main pathways through it must remain accessible 24-7, much like the rest of Vista Point Park.


We are going to begin removal of the inner foliage and pathways immediately. Stay tuned!

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Borrowing a helicopter is a wonderful thing. It lets you get better views of a site that you couldn't get before.


Like this:



Take in this photo now, because this is the last time you will see the site like this. We've started work immediately on the new project.


Our first area of focus is the boarding and transfer areas of the Zephyr.


The new site plan calls for a new north entrance to the park. Now, a north entrance did exist back before Zephyr was constructed, but it was demolished when the coaster was built. A bus stop for the city's public transit system was built in its place, and the current maintenance building prohibits construction of the new entrance next to the stop.


However, with Zephyr's old trains gone, there is no reason to use that old building. So, we demolished it.


We're in contact with Gerstlauer GmbH of Germany to place an order for two new trains for the Zephyr, as well as some new track of the same gauge to use for the new maintenance building, which will be located closer to the street corner. The ride itself will also be repainted, with the track becoming a rich dark blue.


Constructing a new building gives us the opportunity to incorporate some modern architecture. I won't show the new building yet, but I can show you the current station building.



The station building will be receiving a new main roof to go with the new architecture, as well as some new siding. The new roof will give the station platform an open, airy feel.


Finally, we're constructing a new access building for park employees to access the transfer area, which will not be accessible to guests. The architectural style of this building will be the dominant style throughout the park.



The new maintenance building should be finished soon, and I've been told by the person who ordered the new ride components that the track is on a flatbed truck on its way to the park.


Stay tuned!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We had a lot of artists and architects from around the city of Vista Point come in and give us proposals for the design of our new maintenance building when it was in its design phase.


We were finally able to move forward with construction last week, as the new track for the Zephyr arrived at the park. Gerstlauer fabricated and shipped it out rather quickly! Unfortunately, the new trains are going to take a bit longer to get to us. That's okay, because we're not planning a re-opening for Zephyr until the entire site is finished.


Now, after a solid week's worth of work, our team has finished the exterior of the maintenance building!



We are so happy with how the exterior turned out. We kept the old clapboard-styled walls of the old building, and paired them with some new office-style siding to give it a modern look. We also incorporated a hangar-style curved roof so that rain just slides right down.


Here's another photo, this time from the street.



The old building was cramped an inefficient. This new building has large curtain walls to give it an open and airy feeling. It also has vented upper windows (they're removed in the photo) so that the HVAC system doesn't have to run when the outside temperature is at a comfortable level.


The next order of business is to renovate the Zephyr's station to make it look similar to the new building, as explained in my previous construction report.


I got up on Zephyr's brake run so I could get a better shot of the new roof framework.



After we finish the station renovation, we will be installing and testing Vista Point Park's first new attraction! Excitement is in the air!


Stay tuned!

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