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Details show Darien Lake planning ‘beyond vertical’ coaster

Nov 3, 2017

DARIEN — Darien Lake’s newest roller coaster will send riders up a near-vertical lift before launching them through a twisting, diving and looping path, according to plans submitted to the Genesee County Planning Board.

Details about the town of Darien amusement park’s next addition have been vague, but the documents filed as part of a site plan review show a ride that will fit well with the park’s past investments. No name is listed for the ride, which General Manager Chris Thorpe previously told county officials would open in the 2018 season.

“The entire team at Darien Lake is committed to investing in the park and the economic development of Genesee County,” Thorpe said in a statement Thursday. “We are thrilled with the new proposed ride and anticipate being able to announce the full details in the coming weeks, once the proper approvals are received.”

According to a preliminary site plan included in the planning referral, the new ride will be a custom version of the Euro-Fighter, a “beyond vertical” design produced by German firm Gerstlauer Amusement Rides.

Gerstlauer’s marketing for the ride describes a Guiness World Record-holding initial drop that actually pulls riders well past 90-degrees. Versions of the ride are installed at the Casino Pier amusement park in New Jersey and at Dollywood in Tennessee.

While not confirming those details Thursday, Thorpe’s comments at an Oct. 6 Genesee County Economic Development Center showed excitement within the company for what he said would be a regional draw.

“It’s very hard for me to not come out of my skin in excitement, to talk about what we want to do,” Thorpe said on Oct. 6. “We believe this ride, and the investment level into its size, scope and family thrill level will entice families from all over the northeast and into southern Ontario and Canada. People will reap the rewards of visiting Darien Lake and see what Genesee County has to offer.”

According to the planning documents, the new ride will replace the Thunder Rapids log flume water ride that is among the park’s oldest attractions, and is set to be demolished. The full project was quoted to GCEDC as a $5 million investment.

County planners will review the ride’s site plan Nov. 9, along with housing subdivisions in the town of Batavia, and storage addition at a Stafford building supply business and at an Alexander tractor dealership.

By Jim Krencik, The Daily News

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