Sunday, April 14, 2013

From The Vault: Riverside The Thrill Park 1999 Brochure + Map

Riverside became Six Flags New England in 2000, but the park dates back long before the modern thrill and water ride mecca we're familiar with.  The park's location along the Connecticut River has made it popular with visitor since starting as a small park in 1870.

Premier Parks, which eventually absorbed Six Flags, purchased Riverside for the 1997 season and started expanding right away.  This brochure is from 1999 - the third year of new rides and attractions and many tens of millions of dollars later.  Well, actually look at that - the cover of the brochure points out that they'd put $80 million into the park since purchasing it.

Definitely click on the larger image here to see all that they added in 1999.  The level of expansion that Premier did when they bought parks was incredible... perhaps not incredibly smart business-wise and as such I doubt we shall ever see something like that happen again.

The 1999 expansion represented $30 million alone in new goodies.  Blizzard River, a rapids ride, took up a section of the North end of the park.  This brochure also shows that Hellevator, an S&S Turbo Drop that was expanded to three towers and now known as Scream, as new, but methinks that was added the year before.

Crack Axle Canyon was a whole new Western themed area, including Houdini The Great Escape (check out that logo!) along with a few other new rides.  New flat rides also dotted the park, including Double Trouble, Stampede, and the Tomahawk.

And as if that wasn't enough the water park, called Island Kingdom, was doubled in size with new slides and attractions.

The park didn't forget the kids during all that building.  Startoon Studios featured plenty of kiddie rides and Paul Bunyan's Buzzsaw Co. where they could burn off tons of energy running around.

I'm not going to detail the history of each ride added during this year, but off the top of my head it seems that quite a few of them aren't even still around today.  Sort of like what happened at Great Adventure, but on a smaller scale.

Here's the park's map that was sent to me.  It had a serious case of the blues.  Two color printing is much cheaper than full color, right!  This is pretty much actually the 1998 map with arrows pointing to where the new rides would eventually go.  I guess that's why it wasn't a nicely printed document, perhaps it was planned to be temporary - though the postmark from when this was sent was July 20, 1999!  That's well into the Summer season.