November 3, 2006
Memphis, TN -- Elvis Presley's favorite roller coaster, the Zippin' Pippin, has been sold to developers in Roanoke Rapids and is to become part of the Carolina Crossroads entertainment complex.
"This is all part of our goal to make Carolina Crossroads the East Coast's newest destination for music, fun, and entertainment," said Michael Dunlow, president of Carolina Crossroads. "We're currently exploring other similar pieces of music history located across the country."
The historic wooden roller coaster, one of the oldest in the US was built in 1923. The 3,000-foot long ride is reported to be Elvis Presley's favorite.
The connection to Elvis Presley was the selling point that saved this classic wooden coaster. The new owners plan to quickly dismantle the Zippin' Pippin and relocate it to the new site.
"We're currently receiving bids from contractors to dismantle and relocate this wonderful piece of American history to Carolina Crossroads," said Elizabeth Branham, Carolina Crossroads Events Director. "This will be a great addition to the Randy Parton Theatre, the outdoor amphitheatre, shopping, restaurants, and the other attractions."
Zippin' Pippin was once the top attraction at Libertyland amusement park in Memphis. Libertyland closed at the end of the 2005 season citing financial problems and declining attendance as the reasons.
The roller coaster was then sold at an auction in June to two Nashville collectors who own the Honky Tonk Hall of Fame & Rock-N-Roll Roadshow. The roller coaster and cars were purchased for $2,500.
The two collectors had planned to bid on only one of the roller coaster cars, but ended up with the entire ride.
Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is said to have looked at the Zippin' Pippin, but decided against it when they determined that costly modifications would've been required to accommodate it.
The sale price for the roller coaster to Carolina Crossroads was not disclosed.
For more information on Carolina Crossroads, visit carolinacrossroads.com.
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