With a very well kept secret, Nick Laskaris presented an updating of Hades, the first wooden coaster to have a 90 degree turn and a bidirectional tunnel. He admits that "I always have to be different, and for me, too much is not enough." Nick also said "I didn't let Son of Beast deter me from fulfilling this passion of owning great wooden roller coasters." Hades 360 will feature a fully upside down roll element along with a new 135 degree banked turn.
That is a very wide smile for someone about to spend $1.5 million to change what was already a very good roller coaster. The crew is hard at work in Wisconsin Dells taking the section of Hades in the parking lot down to the ground. There will also be a large amount of retracking on the rest of the layout and, of course, some new Timberliners on Hades 360.
The Laskaris family joins members of the Gravity Group behind the new nose cone for Hades 360. It would be interesting to hear the dinner conversation one night when Nick tells his wife, Eva, "I think I'm going to spend lots of money to redo Hades, and by the way, we're buying a new train for the ride also."
According to Nick, "I am a very lucky man because Eva supports me in everything I do." Eva is looking forward to the first ride next summer.
Kory Keipert explains how "We did have calculations left over from the previous Custom Coaster days, but we didn't use any of them. We have been constantly improving our design tools because we are curious about the limits of wooden roller coasters. We are using 12 layers of 1 x width wood because we can make tighter twists without splitting. That technique is another new tool we started using recently." What a fun job, sitting around thinking of ways to improve roller coasters.
Here is a link to a virtual ride:
Summer of 2013 is going to be epic, because this is just a couple of the exciting announcements so far. Stay tuned for further details.