May 3, 2001
Bristol, CT -- Lake Compounce's new wooden roller coaster, Boulder Dash, was voted the number one wooden coaster in the world by the National Amusement Park Historical Association (NAPHA). While not unprecedented, it is unusual for a coaster to jump to number one in its premiere year.
Lake Compounce's sister park, Kennywood, was also named as the top traditional park. Both amusement parks are operated by Kennywood Entertainment of Pittsburgh. These are among the findings from NAPHA's fifteenth annual member's survey, the oldest of its type. No other amusement park enthusiasts' group has surveyed its members for as many years on an annual basis. On average, NAPHA members have been to 75 parks around the world and have ridden a total of 189 different roller coasters.
In its first year, Lake Compounce's new coaster beat out some traditional favorites, including last year's winner, Thunderbolt, at Kennywood.
1. Boulder Dash, Lake Compounce (Bristol, CT)
2. Shivering Timbers, Michigan's Adventure (Muskegon, MI)
3. Thunderbolt, Kennywood (West, Mifflin, PA)
4. Phoenix, Knoebel's Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)
5. Beast, Paramount's Kings Island (Kings Island, OH)
Tom Wages, General Manager of Lake Compounce, said he is very excited about the announcement. "This is truly an honor to be recognized as the best in the world, especially since this was Boulder Dash's first year in operation" Wages added, "we beat out some of the traditional favorites in the world and are very confident that Boulder Dash will continue to exceed people's expectations in the future."
Boulder Dash is the fastest, longest wooden roller coaster on the East Coast, spanning 4,500 feet. It is also the only roller coaster that has ever been built into the side of a mountain. The coaster reaches speeds of more than 60 miles an hour with a ride time of two and a half minutes. The initial drop of the roller coaster is 115 feet with an overall drop of 140 feet. Boulder Dash was built by Custom Coasters International at a cost of $6 million.
Lake Compounce, which straddles the Bristol/Southington town lines in central Connecticut, has been transformed in the last four years. More than $40 million has been invested in more than 30 new rides and attractions to become New England's Family Theme Park. Kennywood Entertainment of Pittsburgh, which operates three parks in western Pennsylvania, became the new managing partner of Lake Compounce in 1996.
For the fifteenth consecutive year, Kennywood has been voted members' number one traditional amusement park. The top four traditional parks have remained unchanged from last year and, while the order may have shifted throughout the years, each of these four parks have occupied one of the top four spots since 1992.
1. Kennywood (West Mifflin, PA)
2. Knoebel's Amusement Resort (Elysburg, PA)
3. Cedar Point (Sandusky, OH)
4. Blackpool Pleasure Beach (Blackpool, UK)
Check out the ride review of Boulder Dash in the Roller Coasters section.
New Mountain Coaster at Lake Compounce Gets a Name October 18, 1999
Lake Compounce Unveils New Mountain Coaster March 25, 1999