Saturday, April 01, 2000

Son of Beast could be late

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Construction has been delayed by weather, the park says.
| ZOOM |
        MASON — Thrill-seekers anxiously awaiting Son of Beast's debut at Paramount's Kings Island this month may have to wait a little longer.

        It seems unlikely Kings Island's eagerly anticipated looping wooden roller coaster will open with the park April 15, park officials said. The weather is being blamed.

        “Unlike past winters, the snow we got this year stayed with us for a while and didn't melt as quickly, which really limited the amount of work we could do on this project,” said park spokesman Jeff Siebert. “Right now, the coaster is about 93 percent complete.”

        Construction crews completed the final section of Son of Beast's wooden support structure Wednesday. Mr. Siebert said all that remains is the laying of the steel track and wiring of the coaster's electrical system, which includes hundreds of remote sensor devices that gauge the cars' speed and location.

        “We are still hoping to have it done as close to opening day as possible,” Mr. Siebert said. “In fact, we still haven't completely given up on the possibility of opening it on April 15.”

        Because of the potential delay, park officials have had to reschedule event days for season pass-holders and other groups.

        Son of Beast, Kings Island's 13th roller coaster, will be the world's only looping wooden roller coaster.

        It is expected to rival its predecessor, The Beast, which at 7,392 feet is the world's longest wooden roller coaster.

        At an estimated $15 million, Son of Beast is the single largest investment in Kings Island's history.


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