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'Great Season' At Quassy Amusement Park
Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Conn., posted "a great season." The park is now looking ahead to 2013 with expansion of its waterpark.
“It was a great season,” Quassy President Eric Anderson said. “The marketing, sales and weather all aligned and we are once again up from year-to-year totals!”
Quassy officially closed on Oct. 6, but work on the upcoming year has been on the front burner for months.
“Saturation Station,” the popular waterpark which opened in 2003, will nearly double in size next year – part of a multi-year $5 million improvement plan the park embarked on in 2010.
Three new slides and a children’s splash pad area will be incorporated into the massive addition, which will occupy space where the former Allan Herschell “Monster” mouse roller coaster sat.
As for 2012, Quassy’s early season was highly successful with school-related events and the annual Revolution3 Triathlon taking center stage.
“It was a particularly strong spring and early summer thanks to numerous events,” Anderson noted. “We had rain on July 4th, which hurt, but bounced right back for the rest of the month.”
Quassy capped off the summer season in what was termed “the best Labor Day weekend” on record.
“Families really responded to what is traditionally called the last weekend of the summer season,” the park official added.
And the week prior to the holiday was also one for the books at Quassy.
“Most regional schools report back prior to Labor Day, which forces some other attractions in Connecticut to close during the week. We did exceptionally well this year as out-of-state tourists as well as families with pre-schoolers spiked our numbers,” Anderson said of the week.
The momentum continued and carried Quassy through its final few weekends.
The park president summed up the finale this way: “We had some solid corporate events and a numerous special promotions as traffic drivers. Everything came together in late August and through September to put us over the top for the year.”
New Attractions For All Ages
At the heart of the “Saturation Station” waterpark project will be will be three new waterslide elements: BulletBOWL™ tube slide and two FreeFALL™ bodyslides, all from ProSlide Technology Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Quassy will also install what it has named “Splash Away Bay,” a 2,000-square-
“’Our guests have requested a water play area just for the toddlers, and ‘Splash Away Bay’ will be just that,” noted George Frantzis II, a park owner. “’Splash Away Bay’ will fill a void, while the three larger slides will add to the overall excitement of ‘Saturation Station.’”
About The Attractions
The BulletBOWL is a two-person tunneled tube ride that will drop more than 30 feet and travel more than 210 feet. When the tube emerges from the tunnel it is sent spinning into a gigantic bowl where speed and centrifugal force keep the riders glued to the outside of the bowl. As the tube circles and slows down, it plunges into the center of the bowl and exits into a landing trough.
The ride will have a capacity of more than 300 persons per hour with a minimum height requirement of 48 inches to participate. As of February of this year, 14 BulletBOWL installations existed worldwide.
The FreeFALL slides, which will share the same loading platform with the bowl tube ride, are also known as “extreme” bodyslides.
ProSlide revolutionized speed slide design in 1991 with the advent it its narrow, u-shaped fiberglass flume profiles.
“These new slides will take Quassy’s waterpark to the next level – adding more value to the guest experience,”
For The Kids
“Splash Away Bay” will be located next to the new waterslides and has been designed as a play area strictly for younger children.
A multitude of attractions will be incorporated into the area including a rainbow spray tunnel, geysers and themed hands-on water play elements.
“We envision this being an extremely popular play area for youngsters – especially toddlers,” Frantzis said. “It will be very parent-friendly so the adults can easily keep an eye on their children. It’s not an attraction for older children, but geared toward those under 8 years old.”
M.E. O’Brien & Sons Inc. of Medfield, Mass., is the regional distributor of the Vortex products to be used at “Splash Away Bay.”
Anderson and Frantzis, owners who oversee daily operations at Quassy, said construction of the new attractions will continue throughout the fall and winter with an official opening slated for Memorial Day weekend of next year.
How It Has All Played Out
The park’s multi-year improvement plan was announced in 2009 after town zoning approved the addition of a new family drop tower, wooden roller coaster and waterpark expansion. A legal challenge held up the coaster project, so the park moved forward by purchasing a new SBF drop tower ride for the 2010 season.
Named “Free Fall ‘N,” the popular Italian-made attraction was placed near the main ticket booth and provided Quassy’s guests with a new ride while legal maneuvering continued in the background on the roller coaster project.
By late summer of 2010, the legal challenge was settled and the park was able to break ground on its new marquee attraction – a wooden coaster designed by The Gravity Group of Cincinnati, Ohio.
“When we initially looked at our long-term agenda, a new roller coaster was part of our centennial (2008) plans,” Frantzis said of the ride. “That, of course, didn’t happen and after the economy collapsed, a lot of people had to wonder if we would build it at all.”
But the park forged ahead with its plans and “Wooden Warrior” – so named by students in a contest – opened in April of 2011.
The much-ballyhooed ride exceeded the park’s expectations.
“We knew it would be a good ride,” Frantzis said of the coaster. “As it turned out, it is a great ride.”
“Wooden Warrior” has been honored on numerous occasions and is currently rated among the top 50 wooden roller coasters in the world. Earlier this year, About.com named it the “Best New Roller Coaster Of 2011” in its Readers’ Choice Awards.
The ride also draws international attention as groups from France and Germany visited Quassy in 2012 to experience “Wooden Warrior.” American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) also participate in an annual “Wooden Warrior” Day at the park. Roller coaster events are already on the books for the 2013 season at Quassy.
And much to the surprise of Quassy guests, the park added an unannounced new ride for 2012. The “Crazy Cups” made its debut this past spring in the Carousel Court area of the park. The Zamperla Rides (Italy) attraction features six colorful spinning giant cups on a rotating platform.
Quassy Amusement Park is currently booking educational school fieldtrips, birthday parties and catered outings for the 2013 season. For more information visit www.quassy.com or call 203-758-2913.
About The Park
Quassy Amusement Park was founded in 1908 and is recognized as one of the few remaining “trolley parks” in the nation. The 20-acre property features more than two-dozen rides and attractions, waterpark, beach, restaurant, redemption arcade and entertainment.