Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Roller Coaster Centerpiece of Frontier City Expansion

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Roller Coaster Centerpiece of Frontier City Expansion

Article excerpt

Journal Record Staff Reporter The chance to strike scintillating terror in the hearts of Oklahoma's white-knuckled, air-gulping roller coaster enthusiasts proved too great a temptation to the executives at Frontier City.

The temptation came last year in the form of an opportunity to buy a wooden-track roller coaster hibernating in Kansas City.

Frontier City had the all-steel Silver Bullet, but according to Tom Hall, Frontier City's assistant general manager, steel roller coasters have a smooth ride, without any bending or swaying.

"Wooden roller coasters are so much more exciting than steel," Hall said. "With wooden coasters you have that lateral movement.

"Plus, you hear that great sound, that click, click, click as you go up."

The wooden roller coaster has become the centerpiece of the Oklahoma City western theme park's $3.1 million expansion, said Gary Story, the park's general manager.

By next season, the southwestern corner of the park will be transformed into a pavilion with a small lake, fountains and food and retail areas, Story said. The park is doubling its childrens' rides while also increasing group meeting areas, its picnic grove and softball and volleyball complex, he said.

Buying and disassembling the Kansas City roller coaster, then reassembling it on new cement supports and replacing the 2,400-foot wooden track, will eat up more than $2 million of the expansion budget, Hall said. Frontier City isn't saving any money by using that roller coaster instead of building a new one, he said.

"In essence, we're buying a historical piece of coaster," Hall said.

Frontier City bought the roller coaster, called the "Wildcat," from Nate Brancato, owner of the Fairyland Park in Kansas City. …

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