May 10, 2012

SandBoxBlogs: Grand Junction Daily Sentinel "Job of relocating coaster to Glenwood filled with twists, turns"

(See related story and local public commentary here)

A 'well done' shout out goes to the area's avatars in commentary who not only were strong enough to raise their voices in protest of the 'free pass' style that Garfield County Commissioners gave to Steve Beckley and Glenwood Adventure Park's latest expansion; they have been courageous enough to go direct to source and express concerns about safety.

From their comments, most then opted to give Beckley another chance.  See what he would do. 

Buy a deeply discounted roller coaster, haul it in and install it  without engaging all the channels of government entities that have authority over that kind of endeavor?  Or be the Steve Beckley they all know and respect and do things the right way.

Looks like Steve stepped up. 

Leaving, after another estimated million dollars out of pocket,  the need to meet his obligations to answer the concerns over wildlife, vibration related to rock slides over the canyon highway and noise impact with a roller coaster that pumps out an "80-second, 1,600-foot-long trip with speeds up to 34 mph".  

Dennis Webb:
"....Glenwood Caverns started out with cave tours in 1999......

.....But its biggest addition is the former Windstorm coaster, which it is renaming the Cliffhanger because of its location. Perched near the top of Iron Mountain and on the edge of Glenwood Canyon, it will offer breathtaking views of the canyon and the Roaring Fork and Colorado river valleys as riders experience thrilling drop-offs and tight curves during an 80-second, 1,600-foot-long trip with speeds up to 34 mph. At 7,160 feet high, it’s the highest-elevation adult roller coaster in the world, Heard said.

Getting the coaster to the mountains first involved shipping the coaster cars to Florida to be tested, and their wheels and bearings replaced. The disassembled track likewise has undergone testing, refurbishing and sandblasting and will be repainted......

.....Now the parts and pieces are being shipped to Glenwood Springs in what is expected to take about a dozen trips by semi trucks.....

...Although the coaster came with operating and maintenance manuals, that wasn’t the case when it came to assembly instructions. And that’s where Litts comes in.....

“The ability to find someone like that is huge,” she said.....

.....Heard said the coaster purchase and installation probably will cost about $1 million when all is said and done.

“We’ll probably spend $50,000 just in bolts, in hardware,” she said.

Old bolts and fasteners—about 2,000 of them—must be replaced with new ones in order to properly meet specifications for torque, or tightness.....

....Glenwood Caverns had a concrete base installed for the coaster, but included drains into underlying gravel. That way, the concrete won’t keep precipitation from feeding into the extensive caverns system beneath Iron Mountain and continuing to contribute to the underground ecosystem and growth of other-worldly formations...."
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hotmama said...

Nanny, I don't think I can be as gracious but can be as pointed as you are in your post.

In America, we have laws and rules. Because we are good people most of us believe in some things called ethics and accountability. If we lead others or take a significant enough piece of the pie that we are put in trust by the people then we have obligations. Before finding out there wasn't even a connect the dots manual for the cliffhanger and having to scramble to find someone to help put the thing together, Steve should have done the steps to make sure he was going to be allowed to keep the coaster at all. Vibration impacts to the chronic rock slide problem in that area, high noise levels to the wildlife and community, especially the wildlife like nesting eagles that are up there and overall environtmental impact do matter. From everywhere I've looked this morning there haven't been any of those re-done impact evals filed anywhere. Looks like Steve is just still relying on the blind eyes of our county commissioners and his crony cohorts.

You're right. Our house is one that quietly spoke up direct to source on install and safety concerns.

Unfortunately it looks like step #2 is in order and that's to finish going direct to sources on the really big concerns. I still have no problem with expansion up there as long as it's not ridiculous expansion like this monstrosity parked up on top of the mountain. We can't fix the things that I just talked about if they go wrong, we lose forever on those big ticket items. Just so Steve and this insane power abuse from county and city can be kept quiet in the crony club?

Sorry, we're not buying at our house.

gws44 said...

Ditto from our house, hm.

Maybe just voting in new people isn't the answer.

Maybe just eliminating having a BOCC is the lobbying that needs to be done. Save the money for salaries, elections and all the cost of the things they "overlook".

hammerandnails said...

at least this one's a trusted reporter and balanced article. sure would've rather had those busy little glenwood springs tourism marketing fingers and award winning vicky nash canning up all those promo press releases that've been coming in to the gals for weeks instead push to find out why steve didn't go backward enough to clean up the enviro, noise and vibration problems.granted, an extra and unpredicted million bucks in cash flow outgo had to hit hard. seems to me that his bigger concern would've been on how to not damage what can't be fixed. the reason there's nothing filed is because there's nothing new added. those 4 and 5 liner emails that garco planning let beckley skate on are it. concur, 44. ditto from my house as well.

sent from my verizon blackberry

mack said...

Sounds to me like Steve's pulling the same dance he did when he couldn't get original financing for the tram. Notify BLM, MSHA, Parks and Wildlife, USFS and CDOT of vibration and noise and he's done. Never go in first and then retrofit a government agency. No good guy's club bails you out of a permanent red tag. My house too.