Theme park operator Plopsa Group has announced its plans to open an €8 million (approx $10.9 million) launch coaster in its Holiday Park property in Hassloch, Germany.
The Belgium-based group has decided to entrust the project to Premier Rides which will be in charge of designing and manufacturing the yet-to-be named ride for an opening scheduled in July 2014. Plopsa hasn't ordered a custom-built track but has opted instead for a copy of an existing ride that the manufacturer of Baltimore originally designed for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in California: Superman Ultimate Flight (opened in 2012).
Just like its US counterpart, the attraction will feature a 46-meter / 150-feet high heartline roll inversion, ranking alongside the tallest roller coaster inversion holders in the world. The ride will be equipped with a highly-sophisticated multi-directional magnetic launch system, accelerating the single train back and forward to a maximum speed of 100 kph / 62 mph. In addition to the first inversion, the 12 passengers - who will be seated two by two in two separate cars - will also experience another upside-down twist and two vertical rolls on a 263-meter / 863-feet long track, all in about 60 seconds.
"We are very excited to be building this signature coaster for Holiday Park," said Jim Seay, President of Premier Rides. "Plopsa is one of those park groups that everybody within the industry is watching at the moment. We are impressed by their growth and their dedication to the quality of product and theming. They are an organization that we are honored to be working with."
Commenting on their choice of Premier Rides, Plopsa Group CEO Steve Van den Kerkhof explained: "Premier Rides offers the attraction that meets our expectations and our requirements. Quality is also a significant key point in our choice."
Plopsa has invested massively in Holiday Park since the purchase of the property in 2010 from the Schneider Family, spending more than €25 million in a 4-year development plan, firstly introducing Studio 100's family of characters including 'Maya the Bee', 'Vic the Viking' and 'Tabaluga'. In 2012, the group dramatically changed the main entrance area of the park while creating a brand new themed zone 'Mayaland' with several new family rides. A Maya-the-Bee themed restaurant was added to the latter this season along with other improvements in the existing attractions and facilities.
The new roller coaster will thus mark the last step of Plopsa's ambitious investment plan. "We noted after the acquisition of Holiday Park that it has its own community of loyal fans who particularly like thrills and most especially the GeForce coaster," said Steve Van den Kerkhof. "We have developed the family side of the park through the addition of a dozen Maya the Bee themed attractions, so it was time for us to continue to satisfy the demand of our visitors looking for more thrills. With the investments we made, we focus our strategy on fostering customer loyalty while at the same time attracting first-time visitors who have not yet had the opportunity to discover Holiday Park."
Premier Rides has recently completed several major coaster projects in Asia and in the United-States, including this year at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California for which it has built the world's tallest and fastest looping roller coaster: 'Full Throttle'. The manufacturer has been more discreet in Europe in recent years but is keeping a watchful eye on market developments as confirmed Jim Seay: "We've had good experience in Europe, supplying a water coaster for Linnanm�ki in Finland, working with Movie Park Germany on their wood coaster and doing some service work for several parks."
He added: "Europe is an important part of our ability to be a globally representative business and we think that Holiday Park will be a great way of showing our capabilities and our dedication to this market. The European economy is not only coming back, but it is impressing people all around the world how strong it is getting. And Germany is a leader in the recovery here in Europe, they are setting high standards for the other countries so we are excited to be part of that success."
Holiday Park expects to welcome over 550,000 visitors at the end of this season, mostly German guests given the park's regional reputation. Plopsa plans to reach 600,000 visits in 2014 with the opening of the new launch coaster.