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NEWS: Long Beach considers Cyclone Racer rebuild proposal


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http://www.presstelegram.com/general-news/20131001/long-beach-council-moves-forward-with-cyclone-racer-roller-coaster-proposal

 

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.

 

REDEVELOPMENT PLAN

 

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.

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Edited by jedimaster1227
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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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Agreed, more seaside parks are a good thing. I'm not sure how Belmont Park is but I have heard that Santa Monica Pier leaves much to be desired. I also hope to see this happen!

 

Edit: High-Five? Yes please!

 

Yeah, Santa Monica Pier doesn't have much, but I think Pacific Park is gear more towards families.

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^Yeah, that's what I was thinking, maybe building the pier or something for this thing to sit on again is a significant cost?

 

Sounds like a cool project though, I've never been to Long Beach or anything but the more seaside coasters in America the better! Personally I think that every respectable beach town in America should have a wooden roller coaster, make it happen beach towns!

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I would love it if this thing got built. It is something that Santa Monica lacks. They should get Gravity Group to build it and try to fit a High Five element somewhere on the ride. But I'm not holding my breath though, if this thing actually gets build I'll be pleasantly surprised.

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If on a wing and a prayer this proposal gets passed, I feel that it could possibly open the door to other classic rides being resurrected or at least considered for replication, such as the Rye Aeroplane, Riverside Bobs, and perhaps even the Crystal Beach Cyclone, but only if the ride ends up being successful.

 

But that seems to be a long way off. $30 million is a steep asking price for a city to consider, especially if the location sounds less than desirable. (From the Midwest yaheydere, I have no clue what the area is like)

 

It's great to hear it's even being considered though!

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The thing that makes no sense to me in this proposal is the projected revenue of $40 million annually based on theoretical hourly capacity of 2400 rph. Do they actually think this thing would have a line of riders filling trains all day every day?

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The cost is what kept his original plans for getting off the ground---there were people interested in buying his plans, but he wanted WAY too much money for them.

 

But that seems to be a long way off. $30 million is a steep asking price for a city to consider, especially if the location sounds less than desirable. (From the Midwest yaheydere, I have no clue what the area is like)

 

The location is in the heart of Long Beach, right next to a freshly re-developed shopping area with a bunch of national chain restaurants.

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I have often thought how cool it would be to have a coaster on the waterfront again (instead of just that roller coaster sculpture). Still, I agree that $30 million is insanely expensive for what this coaster is (Millenium Force and Dragster were each $25 M). And the estimation of $40M in annual revenue seems exceedingly optimistic.

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I recall visiting the Pike when I was a teenager in the 1970s. Thought it was a dump back then, but it was a location in that classic film "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies."

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WAIT! I wish you good luck on this project but I know it will be a financial ruin. Bringing a coaster back to the Long Beach boardwalk is an awesome idea and it CAN be a huge success. Although this current design will not be a big success. The Long Beach boardwalk does not have enough attendance to support two wimpy nearly identical coasters. It can however support one great coaster.

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