Lakeside’s Cyclone reopens

From the Denver Post:

cycloneCarrie Murphy missed the old-school Cyclone roller coaster at Lakeside Amusement Park this summer.

She missed the clattering cars, the bone-jarring curves, the breathtaking drops that once made a nephew just tall enough to ride it scream, “I’m too young to die!”

The Cyclone, shuttered in June for some pre-70th anniversary repairs, is back for three weekends only.

Murphy, 40, has ridden the coaster most summers since she was a kid.

“The terror of the possibility that it could hurl me right into the lake, and the noise of the old wooden roller coaster going “ching, ching, ching” was thrilling,” Murphy said. “I’m glad to hear it’s back.”

Designed by Ed Vettel and built in 1940, the Cyclone has a top speed of 55 mph, a height of 90 feet and a drop of 89 feet. It is 2,800 feet long and has two 20-passenger strings of cars, according to, a website created for coaster enthusiasts.

“I thought the fact that they opened the park without that was absurd,” Murphy said. “It is one (of the) best rides at Lakeside.”

When family-owned Lakeside shut the popular roller coaster down, no one thought it would be for most of the season.

“We made varying repairs, including new parts and lumber, but it took more repair than (we) thought to refurbish it,” said Lakeside spokeswoman Connie Jo Moore. “Now it’s up and running properly.”

The Cyclone received the “Landmark Coaster” distinction from the American Coaster Enthusiasts, a nonprofit that preserves and promotes roller coasters. Next year, it will celebrate its 70th birthday.

“We’re in the early planning stages,” Moore said.

Lakeside Amusement Park will open from noon until closing (between 9:30 and 11 p.m.) through Labor Day; Saturday and Sunday Sept. 12-13 and Sept. 19-20.