I just found out some information that, in my opinion, is very exciting! I've been doing some research on that approved permit that Valleyfair had to build a new berm to expand the park in several different ways. This e-mail response is from the St. Paul Army Corp of Engineers.
I found our permit that was issued on March 06, 2018, addressed to Thomas Suel for 4.72 acres of wetland fill adjacent to the Minnesota River for the purpose of expanding Valleyfair Amusement Park. ACOE permit number is MVP-2014-04059-RMM. The permit expires on December 31, 2020. Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Respectfully, Kaecey Parker
So, Valleyfair has to act on this before the end of next year if they intend to use the permit. Now the permit we saw that was approved was for the Minnesota Wetland Conversion Act. The AC of E did not know when that permit expires so I'll attempt to contact them and find out.
I'd like to clarify also that the May 2, 2017 approval that you mentioned in your original email is from the attached Notice of Decision (Minneosta Wetland Conservation Act), you may want to contact them to see when their approval expires as well.
Thank you, Kaecey
So, hold on people, its not over yet. We may still get that work going and a new grand master plan for Valleyfair after all!
Further development: Construction using the AC of E permit has to be completed by Dec. 31st 2020! But they can ask for an extension. Next, I now have contact information about he MWCA permit, so I'll attempt to get an answer on when that permit expires. Stay tuned.......
I still think the project is alive just because of the fact that we have received little to no investment in 2019 and 2020. Flooding and the timing with that can also play a major influence in completing this project as a very wet spring or a random heavy summer rain could delay the project.
The back section of the park does need a new look. It's hideous!! Excalibur is unique, but to quote Rob Decker, "People vote with their feet." And Excalibur hasn't been popular in decades!!
With River Rapids type rides seeming to be going away or getting major overhauls, I wonder if Thunder Canyon's days are numbered or due for an overhaul.
Getting an already approved permit extended is usually no big deal- other than the paperwork and maybe a renewal fee- provided that no new issues are involved.
It's been a wet year, but the dike they wanted is half built already being a previous roadbed. Plus it's a dike- they can get wet. Like when a park starts laying footings for an unannounced roller coaster, Valleyfair would have no problems starting dike work before an announcement. Especially since the dike would hardly be visible from the park as is, and it would dry up a portion of the areas they already use that they have difficulty with. I would think that would be worth something in itself.
Since there is no work at all with approved permits though, that suggests that there is a least still a question of what exactly they will do.
I hope that they are saving up for something "big". Though I temper my enthusiasm with the fact that Excalibur has never even gotten any landscaping in 30 years. How much would the visuals of that ride be improved if they simply had a few trees to roll by in the loops vs. the open field? Planting trees are cheap too! That was a missed opportunity only three decades in the making, in my opinion. But if they decide to keep the coaster, it is something they could still do.
I did hear yesterday from a former GM that, as far as he knows, Valleyfair has not gotten funding approval for the new berm work yet! But, as stated, they can extend the permit date. I have not yet been able to find an expiration date to the MWCA permit yet. I'll continue to work on that!
budtbum wrote:I hope that they are saving up for something "big". Though I temper my enthusiasm with the fact that Excalibur has never even gotten any landscaping in 30 years. How much would the visuals of that ride be improved if they simply had a few trees to roll by in the loops vs. the open field? Planting trees are cheap too! That was a missed opportunity only three decades in the making, in my opinion. But if they decide to keep the coaster, it is something they could still do.
An RMC Excalibur would be incredible. It would be short, just like the original, but I can see it now. Make the drop 20-30 feet larger and 90 degrees. Bring back the small bunny hill after the drop. Outward bank the first turn around. Keep the figure 8 layout, as those turns are already pretty insane. The bunny hill in the middle of the figure 8 could be a zero g roll. The last bunny hill after the figure 8 could be a zero g stall. Would be insane!! Might only have 1-2 inversions, but would easily be the best ride in the park..
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