September 30, 2002
Albuquerque, NM – After a summer of unfortunate setbacks New Mexico's first major roller coaster finally opened Saturday at Cliff's Amusement Park in Albuquerque. The New Mexico Rattler opened to a group of enthusiastic park guests who were anxious to ride the first and only wooden roller coaster in New Mexico.
Cliff's announced the new roller coaster in February and had hoped to have it running before the start of the summer season. A number of construction problems, including the ride designer declaring bankruptcy, delayed the opening several months.
The construction problems began in June when companies on the East Coast delayed important shipments of steel for the ride's structure. Then in July the ride's manufacturer Custom Coasters International (CCI) of Ohio suddenly filed for bankruptcy.
Custom Coasters had a good reputation in the industry having designed some of the best wooden coasters currently operating. The sudden closure of Custom Coasters left the New Mexico project in Limbo. It also made history as the New Mexico Rattler became the final coaster to be designed by Custom Coasters.
Following the Custom Coasters bankruptcy filing, Cliff's quickly hired on the construction team working on the ride to finish it. The park had planned on having the roller coaster open for the summer season to help increases attendance by 20%. Now the park was hoping to just complete it before the end of season in late-October.
The good news came in mid-September as the ride neared completion and the park took over the operation of the new roller coaster. On Saturday Cliff's debuted the New Mexico Rattler roller coaster to the public.
Cliff's Amusement Park will be open weekends through the end of October.