BY TAYLOR HARTZ
Lake Compounce visitors will begin to see orange tracks piling up through the park’s midway this month, when construction will begin on the new roller coaster, Phobia.
The new coaster is the first of its kind in New England, with a triple launch feature and a 150-foot peak.
General Manager Jerry Brick hopes construction will be complete by the start of next season, as they prepare to lay 850 feet of track for the inversion-style coaster from Premiere Rides Inc., in Baltimore, Maryland.
Brick announced the coaster in a press conference last Friday, showing a virtual simulation of what the twisted peak ride will look like, while debuting its slogan, “What will you phear in 2016?”
The coaster is the largest capital investment in park history, beating out the $6 million Boulder Dash.
“This is an exciting thing for Bristol,” said Bristol Mayor Ken Cockaye at the reveal of the ride. “Its great for the park and its great for New England.”
The coaster will begin in a wooded area near Boulder Dash and travel through the midway, taking the place of the Enterprise, which will retire mid-August. Its triple launch mechanism uses magnetics to bring riders forward and then pulls them backward, before re-launching the car into the 55-second ride at 65 miles per hour.
The closest coaster of its kind is nearly 500 miles away at Busch Gardens in Virgina.
“It separates Lake Compounce from other parks and gives people another reason to come,” said Cockayne of the unique design.
Brick said the team at Lake Compounce hopes the new addition will “help expand our market” and bring in even more out-of-state guests, a goal they have been working toward with additions such as Bear Creek Campground.
Rus Ozana, Regional Representative for the New England Region of American Coaster Enthusiasts, said the addition will give Lake Compounce a leg up on competitors.
“This is going to be such a great addition for this park,” said Ozana, who has ridden 778 coasters.
Although Phobia will be the first triple launch coaster in New England, the model exists elsewhere, and Ozana gives the similar Superman’s Ultimate Flight at Six Flags in Valeo, Calif., his seal of approval.
“Between the speed, the height and the uniqueness of the ride” said Ozana, “this is going to draw people from all over the Northeast.”
Construction on the multi-million dollar project will begin this month and will continue through spring 2016, when guests will have the chance face their fears and take a ride on Phobia.