Jan. 31, 2013
newest world-record-breaking roller coaster,
, emerges along the
shoreline, it is generating excitement across the globe and anticipation for its
debut. But the strongest impact is felt throughout
, where it has brought business to local companies during the winter months when construction work usually comes to a halt.
"We are proud to find the highly-skilled engineers and workers needed to build a world-class roller coaster like GateKeeper in our backyard," said
, Vice President and General Manager of
. "It's wonderful to see Ohioans become an integral part of the GateKeeper team, especially when this is a record-breaking attraction that will draw fans from around the world."
Every great ride begins with a strong foundation, and that's where
& Sons lends a hand. The company has nearly two dozen workers at
, involved in everything from leveling the site to digging the footers and filling them with cement. The crew has poured nearly 200 concrete footers of varying sizes to hold steel supports for GateKeeper, including the ride's 164-foot vertical drop.
The ride was engineered halfway around the world by Bolliger & Mabillard of Monthey,
, but the ride comes to life at Clermont Steel Fabricators in southern
. Skilled workers at the 152,000-square-foot facility constructed the steel supports and pieces of track, each weighing more than 7,500 pounds.
One of GateKeeper's most exciting elements will be the two keyhole structures that riders will narrowly pass through, racing over arriving guests with rolling flyover maneuvers as they soar over the park's main entrance. Tony Ravagnani Architects, based in
, is responsible for designing, engineering and installing the keyhole structures, that will forever change
's front gate.
Responsible for the nerve center of the ride is Firelands Electric, located in
's hometown. Firelands Electric provides the control wiring for the operation of the coaster and its lighting, including lights that illuminate the ride, station and walkway. The company has worked on numerous
rides in the past, including Maverick, maXair and SkyHawk.
The GateKeeper project is a
investment. It demonstrates
's commitment to maintaining its reputation as the roller coaster capital of the world and is also a new investment in
's tourism industry. Cedar Fair,
's parent company, has invested more than
in capital projects at all of its
properties since 2007.
is making to expand its park will provide a needed boost to construction firms and the broader economy in
, statewide and across the country," said
, executive director of public affairs for the
-based Associated General Contractors of America. "As the park expands, thousands of construction workers and people employed in related professions will earn good wages and invest them back in a host of businesses throughout
and the nation."
Towering at 170 feet, spinning through two signature keyholes at speeds of 67 mph – GateKeeper gives guests a simulated flight experience that will help
break seven world records including tallest drop, longest track and most inversions of any winged coaster on the planet. The new coaster will take its place alongside other record-setting coaster legends like Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster at
, a park voted "Worlds Best Amusement Park" by
for the past 15 years.
will open for its 144
May 11, 2013
, with its new winged roller coaster, GateKeeper. For more information, log onto
About Cedar Fair
Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in
, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, four outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Its parks are located in
, Ontario. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in
under a management contract. Cedar Fair's flagship park,
, has been consistently voted the
"Best Amusement Park in the World"
in a prestigious annual poll conducted by
SOURCE Cedar Fair Entertainment Company