(4 March 2012, Agawam, MA)
The Great Nor\’Easter is a welcome mid winter event for the ACE New England region. This year\’s Nor\’Easter was graciously hosted by Six Flags New England, and there was a robust attendance of 113 members.
We opened with a socializing game, led by none other than our own Assistant Rep Donna Piper. The object was to find other ACErs that met certain criteria, which was outlined on a handout. To succeed you collected signatures of fellow ACErs, which led to members mingling and meeting new people.
Following this icebreaker, we saw a presentation from ADC (Aquatic Development Group) and all their Alpine coaster pioneering works. They showed off their creations, and current projects. Some features of these coasters (though not officially recognized as coasters) include the ability of Ski areas to have new streams of revenue, year round.
There are several of these coasters within a short drive for most of New Englands ACErs, and new installations going in to Attatash (NH), Camelback (PA) and West Mountain Reaort (NY) will only give us more choices.
Overall the low environmental impact, system modularity, and ease of maintenance make these attractive to operators. But the real thing is that they are a fun way to spend a day of riding, in a different setting.
Canobie Lake had no new coasters or major announcements, but it is clear that they will continue to develop and improve upon their park. They expect to return the Psychodrome to the dark operation with updated effects and controls during the 2012 season.
Going forward, they expect to have the classic Yankee Cannonball operating with 2 trains if not in the 2012 season but perhaps to celebrate the Cannonball\’s 75th anniversary of operation.
The Frisbee has had all of its controls replaced and should operate more reliably and at top speeds. The Cork Screw will sport updated/refurbished cars. As for the future, there seems to be the desire and insight to see another Woodie on the distant horizon.
Six Flags Great Adventure will see no new coasters, but will add to their water arsenal with the Alpine free fall, as well as continuing the second phase of the Comet\’s track refurbishment.
Six Flags New England will open their newest addition Goliath during the 2012 season. ACE members in attendance were given a construction tour/photo op.
This new addition (formerly DeJa Vu at Six Flags MagicMountain) has certainly changed the skyline at SFNE.
Six Flags once again rolled out the red carpet for ACErs in attendance with a wonderful lunch, nothing super fancy, but all had ample choices of selections, sides and sweets. There was even several veggie selections for those who so desired. During the lunch break we were treated to Paul Coulombe videos – his ACE Video Contest entries from 2005-2011. (They all placed either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd over the years). This kept things light and fun, and still allowed some socializing.
Following lunch we had a presentation on \”Sliders, Carts and Coasters\” from Bob and Cheri Armstrong, it was both interesting and informative.
There were an abundance of Door Prizes – enough for everyone, and then some!
Throughout there were auctions in between almost every presentations. Items included coaster wheels, lift hill chain, Six Flags Great Adventure \’gift card\’ and even a lap restraint from Excalibur. There were 22 Auction items (with winning bids ranging from $15 to $160).
The Proceeds will be going to NRCMA($380.00) and Preservation Fund ($290.00 ).
We would wins to thank Everyone for their generous donations, and support.
Quassy\’s own George Frantzis was next up. He gave us updates on the success of the Wooden Warrior, as well as their next phases of expansion. In the near term, the water park will expand into the area that was formerly occupied by the Mad Mouse. This gives them enough room for a Bullet Bowl and body sliders. After that, it is on to a program of updating, replacing and renewing their existing offerings.
Deb Vanderpoel (ACE NE member) gave an update and some video about Dollywood\’s new ride Wild Eagle. There has been a lot of progress and if the simulations we saw are any indication, we all should have a treat during Coaster Con XXXIV!
Last but not least, Jerry Brick from Lake Compounce gave us an overview of their current projects. Most are focused on long range success and were more the mundane, but is is great to see that the park is making strides to pave the way to the future (literally with the road construction project that is finally nearing completion.) This will open up space the park can finally use. OK well maybe not all the Lake\’s progress is so mundane, the water park is expanding in rides, refreshes and expansion. With the popularity of the Lakes water park, it was clear that this needed to be done, so there will be a new 4 person racing slide, as well as general expansion of the area.
All in all another wonderful event, even if we did not get to ride anything. Seeing and meeting new friends as well as breaking the doldrums of the off season is always a sign that the new season is approaching.