July 24, 2007
Maggie Valley, NC -- Ghost Town in the Sky reopened for business this summer, but visitors who planned to ride the theme park's flagship roller coaster will have to wait until next year.
In a recent statement park officials said the Cliff Hanger roller coaster will not be ready to operate this summer, but will open next season.
Since the roller coaster was originally built over 20 years ago, originally known as the Red Devil, there have been improvements in coaster safety standards, parts and materials, said Ghost Town.
Officials from North Carolina Department of Labor have been involved in the process of inspections during each stage of assembly.
According to Ghost Town, the entire track has been gauged to ensure the exact dimensions of the track.
"Over 14,000 parts and components, not including nuts and bolts, will be used in constructing the cars for the train, and each part had to be redesigned, fabricated and tested even before being assembled."
The park said they're also installing magnetic brakes to assist the existing air brakes and to improve rider comfort.
When Cliff Hanger debuts next season this unique roller coaster will have a brand new custom-built train. This completely new, one-of-a-kind train will have open-air cars and custom seats.
Ghost Town could've purchase a standard train for Cliff Hanger, but instead decided to go with something new and different.
"Coaster enthusiasts will be pleased to know that the new train will not use standard over-the-shoulder harnesses," added Ghost Town. "There is not a train on a roller coaster like it in the world."
The new seats will feature padded lap bars and retractable seatbelts to ensure rider safety.
"Ride enthusiasts will certainly appreciate the extra efforts made to make the Cliffhanger better than ever," said Bob Cordier, park general manager.
"Aside from the train, the Cliff Hanger is so unique because the station (where guests enter and exit the ride) is built higher than the loop," added Cordier.
"Riders experience the loop within 7 seconds of beginning the ride!"
Cliff Hanger is built on the side of Buck Mountain. This 2,063-foot long ride has a single vertical loop and a top speed of 56 mph.
According to Ghost Town, seems as though you are going to fall of the face of the mountain as you lave the terminal.
Ghost Town in the Sky is open daily through September 3, then open weekends through November.
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