Talk of the mountain coaster at Snowbird has been going on for quite some time. The debate is over though, Snowbird recently gained approval to move forward with the amusement park like attraction. Since then, design plans have been released to the public.
History of Snowbird’s Mountain Coaster
- Several years ago Snowbird considered a coaster in the Wilbur area – Denied
- About a year ago Snowbird proposed the coaster at the base of the iconic peak Mt. Superior – Overwhelmingly Denied
- Snowbird began lobbying to have County Ordinances rewritten to allow development of more summer activities – This could help to allow much needed mountain biking trails
- April 2012, Snowbird announces a new location for the mountain coaster in the Peruvian Gulch – Typical, start big then downsize to gain approval
- In early May 2012, Snowbird gains approval to build the mountain coaster – Although still with minimal approval from Environmental groups, better than on Mt. Superior though
The following design plans were obtained from the Salt Lake County Planning Commission on May 10th, 2012
- Overall vertical gain of the Coaster will be 160 feet
- The downhill track will be 2,120 feet with 1000 feet of up-hill track
- The average downhill slope will be 11.5% with a maximum of 20% (SO SCARY!!!)
- The track will contain 3 bridges over cat-tracks and access roads and 1 tunnel under the cat-tracks and access roads.
- The entire coaster will be built on Snowbird’s Privately owned land, not Forest Service Land.
The way the coaster is designed and will be built would allow in the future, depending on its success, for the coaster to be extended uphill to make for a steeper and longer ride. Although not set in stone, the coaster may also be used in the winter depending on daily weather conditions.
The base area of the coaster will be located directly behind the existing Peruvian Express lift shack.
Instead of concrete footings, the majority of the track will be installed using minimal impact soil stakes driven deep into the ground.
One of the major controversies was the public did not want to have a large visual impact from the Little Cottonwood Canyon Highway, which is a Scenic Byway. This appears to be solved since the coaster is almost entirely in the “shadow” of the Cliff Lodge. Construction is set to begin either this fall or the spring of 2013 provided the world doesn’t end before then.
With all the controversy over, and the coaster facts set in stone, what is your final opinion? Would riding the coaster change your opinion?