Proposal for roller coaster in Long Beach

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Long Beach Register newsstand on Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Long Beach Register newsstand on Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

LONG BEACH (CNS) – A Long Beach councilwoman will ask her colleagues next month to consider bringing back a dual-track roller coaster like the one that stretched over the city’s coast and thrilled millions of riders from the 1930s to 1960s.

Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske said she will ask the council to consider a proposal by roller-coaster enthusiast Larry Osterhoudt to build another dual- track coaster that would again stretch over the water off the city’s coast — this time near the Queen Mary and Aquarium of the Pacific.

“This would not only bring back an important part of Long Beach’s early history but would produce significant tourism dollars, not to mention a lot of fun,” Schipske said.

Osterhoudt has proposed reconstructing the city’s “Silver Spray Pier,” which began operating in the city in 1902 and included shops, food booths, arcades and games. The pier was eventually highlighted by the Cyclone Racer, a wooden dual-track roller coaster that stretched over the ocean. The coaster operated from 1930 to 1968, and was ridden by an estimated 30 million people.

Osterhoudt has been pushing the idea of rebuilding the coaster for years, with costs at one time estimated around $10 million. He has a website, http://www.cycloneracer.com, on which he notes he is searching for investors interested in making the project a reality.

Schipske said she has asked that the issue be discussed during the council’s Oct. 1 meeting.

“Long Beach has failed to seize many economic opportunities offered in the past years, including Port Disney, Telsa Motors and the porting of the USS Iowa,” she said. “Bringing back a cyclone roller coaster could potentially revitalize the Queensway Bay development and provide additional synergy for the Aquarium, Shoreline Village and Pine Avenue establishments. We need to check this out.”

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