Massive coaster thrill ride being built at Cypress Mountain
Cypress Mountain Resort is diversifying its suite of attraction options with the addition of a new major Mountain Coaster ride.
The gravity-fed coaster ride’s track will be 1.7 km long, with a vertical drop of 900 ft and reaching speeds of up to 40 km per hour through forested vistas and exciting bends. Riders will board from the station at the top of the Eagle Express Quad Chair on Black Mountain.
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The new ride is suitable for all ages and physical abilities, including young toddlers who can experience the ride on the lap of an adult. The low-to-the-ground single-track design by Austrian manufacturer Sunkid uses backrest carts equipped with a hand break, allowing each rider to control their own speed.
“This activity positions perfectly within our planned vision for enhancing year round accessibility to our world class public recreation facilities,” said Russell Chamberlain, president of Cypress Mountain Resort, in a statement.
“The Mountain Coaster is the perfect centrepiece to build family focused recreational summer activity.”
The first phase of construction is underway, and the second phase will occur after the upcoming winter season. The ride is scheduled to open in Summer 2021.
Unlike roller coasters commonly found in amusement parks, these coasters depend on downhill gravity for their movement, do not have any mechanical moving parts, and have a small footprint. For these reasons, there is a minimal impact on the environment.
Sunkid has built over 50 gravity-fed coasters around the world.
In 2016, Revelstoke Mountain Resort opened a similar gravity-fed coaster ride that runs along a single, 1.4-km-long track from Revelation Lodge to the Village Plaza.
Shortly before being acquired by Vail Resorts in 2016, Whistler Blackcomb had planned a $345-million expansion that would have added a gravity-fed year-round mountain coaster, a tree-top ropes course, improved snowmaking, night skiing, and a 163,000-sq-ft indoor water park with a wave pool, water slides, deep water surf simulator, bowling, and cliff jumping and rock climbing experiences.
Only select components of the expansion plan, such as the suspension bridge and viewing platforms atop Whistler Mountain, and new real estate development, went ahead under new ownership.
But with a warming climate and increasing competition, these attractions are all part of the shifting strategy in the ski resort industry of growing their year-round destinations, especially during the summer months.
Other recent upgrades to Cypress Mountain include an expansion of their snowmaking coverage, the conversion to LED lighting for enhanced night skiing, and the new “Lights to Lodge” snowshoe experience.
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