Waldameer Interview

Coaster101 interviewed Steve Gorman, the general manager of Waldameer which is adding Ravine Flyer II to its lineup this year. Here’s what he had to say:

Waldameer Ravine Flyer IIWhy did the park decide to go with Gravity Group when designing Ravine Flyer II over other companies?
We felt comfortable with designer Larry Bill and wanted to stay with him.

The Ravine Flyer II has been talked about for years, how did it feel to see the coaster finally coming to be a reality?
Awesome! After talking about it for so long and dealing with all the delays, it is so exciting to see it taking shape. I am so anxious to ride it!

What kind of challenges had to be overcome to allow Ravine Flyer II to travel over the highway?
We needed to satisfy the requirements of PennDOT, which really weren’t too difficult. But it took several years of many discussions with their engineers and legal department to get final approval. PennDOT required the screening over the bridge to prevent any objects from falling onto the road, and chose the color blue for the bridge.

Some enthusiasts are afraid of this being a “$6,000,000 coaster with a $4,000,000 bridge.” How much was the bridge in comparison to the total product?
I hope that these concerns will vanish after you ride the ride! I’ll estimate that the bridge cost about 15-20% of the total project cost.

Was an under-the-highway tunnel ever considered for the coaster? Or was the focus always on the highway crossover?
No, there never was a consideration to tunnel under the highway.

How do you expect Ravine Flyer II to affect your attendance?
We expect that this ride will give us a nice bump in attendance (we do need to pay for it!) It should bring more people to our park that felt we were too far to travel for what we had to offer, or had never heard of our park.

Why did you go with the two-bench PTCs instead of the single-benches?
No disrespect to PTC, but we felt that we had to go with a proven car design. This ride means too much to our park to have any delays in opening. I sincerely hope and expect that PTC will develop a single-bench design.

Will there be any homage to the original Ravine Flyer incorporated into Ravine Flyer II?
In our marketing and in information that we provide to publications, we pay homage to the original ride. Possibly in the future we will have a sign or plaque to document the history.

Is Ravine Flyer II the start of a multi-phase expansion plan for the park?
We have always had and will continue to have future expansion plans for our park. There are amusement rides and water attractions that we have desires to add, staying with our family-friendly mindset.

With the new coaster opening, dose Waldameer have any plans to host and enthusiast event in the near future?
We have 2 events scheduled so far for 2008: Western NY Coaster Club May 24 and Great Ohio Coaster Club August 16.

I believe that ACE is trying to pick a date. We do not have a generic coaster enthusiast event planned – maybe in a future year.


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