Friday, June 26, 2009

Colombia Park Promises World Record-Breaking Thrills

I stumble across a LOT of industry headlines on a daily basis. And there is only so much time in a day, so I have to choose my battles wisely. I honestly have no idea what compelled me to click on a link to this story yesterday, and even less of an idea what compelled me to read it all the way to the end. But it's a good thing I did, because if all the plans outlined in this article come to fruition, "Vertigo Theme Parks-Buga" is destined to become a household name in the enthusiast community.

Allow me to introduce you to Vertigo Theme Parks, Inc. Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, this "theme park company featuring Adrenaline Rush Adventures" has big plans. So big, in fact, that I'm filing this one in the "I'll believe it when I see it" category. Their goal is to build seven "state-of-the-art" theme parks over a seven-year period, with the first already under development in the municipality of Buga, Colombia.

The big idea behind Vertigo Theme Parks is to combine "many diverse elements in a synergetic fusion". Oh la la! In layman's terms, that translates into "destination" theme parks which feature everything from shopping areas to animal attractions. The Buga park alone will feature (supposedly) a shopping center with 70+ retail stores, a 90,000 square foot casino and gaming space, a performing arts center, an equestrian center, bird shows, concerts, and reality shows. It will also be the first theme park to go cashless, with guests using E-Monee "wallet cards" for all monetary transactions within the park.

Oh, and they plan to throw in a double world record-breaking roller coaster too. Just for good measure.

The video above is supposed to be a simulation of Vertigo Force, slated to become "the fastest launch coaster in the world" and Vertigo Theme Parks-Buga's star attraction. (And if you're wondering why I say "supposed to be", just watch it. Color me confused.) According to the press release, Vertigo Force will feature a 100+ mph launch up a 320-foot hill and will then "accelerate down the mountain side at over 130 mph". It will also be more than 8500 feet long, making it the longest coaster on the planet.

Vertigo Force was custom designed by Interactive Rides, Inc. If built, it will actually be a terrain coaster, which would certainly make it unique among other coasters of its type. It will also feature at least one inversion. I took a peek at the Interactive Rides web site and I believe this is our guy.

But the "adrenaline rush" doesn't end there. Vertigo Theme Parks-Buga also has plans to add a 150-foot high "family coaster" (huh??) as well as a Frequent Faller from Interactive Rides. If you'll recall, the latter model was originally scheduled to make its debut at Hersheypark a few years back but the project got canceled due to rising steel costs. So if built, this would be a first of its kind.

If and when Vertigo Theme Parks-Buga finally opens, it will do so with a total of 17 rides. The development plan was approved by the Municipal Government of the City of Guadalajara De Buga back in July 2007, but since then it seems that the target opening date keeps getting pushed back further and further. At the moment it is hovering around late 2009 or early 2010. But based on the press release, it does appear that the company has done its homework in terms of feasibility studies, and another article I found also mentions that they recently secured a $75 million line of credit from venture capital fund Gutmen Investment Corp.

So will it all happen? Your guess is as good as mine. The whole plan sounds pretty darn ambitious to me, so I'd like to see some footers before I put any stock in this one.


Tori Simba Finn Esquire said...

I like how suddenly, after a 4 year hiatus, we have THREE coasters promising to break the fastest record. I wonder if Kingda Ka will remain the tallest. Hm.