RMC Releases Statement For The Delay Of Dollywood’s New Lightning Rod Coaster
Many theme park enthusiasts are extremely bummed that Dollywood’s new record breaking roller coaster is still not open. We kept fans updated through out the construction process.. So why isn’t Lightning Rod open?!?!…. and more importantly when will It open?… The answer might just be that there is no definitive answer…
Lightning Rod is the world’s first wooden launch coaster that is being manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction also known as RMC. They have designed, re-designed, and installed many world class coasters such as Iron Rattler, Goliath, and Twisted Colossus, just to name a few. Usually their coasters open on time, but this particular build is a bit tricky as it is using a third party launch system. According to a statement released today by RMC, the launch system is the reason this thing isn’t open yet.
The world record-breaking wooden coaster’s manufacturer, Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC), released the following statement regarding the Lightning Rod delay:
We take the highest level of pride in every attraction we create. RMC is equally disappointed that Lightning Rod will not be opening as originally planned. We have been working with the launch system subcontractor on-site to bring it up to speed and working as intended.
As is often the case with prototype attractions and especially with launched coasters, delays are an ever-present possibility. During the course of testing, we determined that the third-party launch system would not be able to perform at the level required for proper operation.
While we strive to meet all of our deadlines, we cannot and will not sacrifice safety or ride quality in the name of saving time. RMC never has nor ever will open any new attraction until it has passed our rigorous standards.
At this time, we cannot speculate as to when the attraction will open to the general public. That date is ultimately decided upon by the customer, therefore all questions regarding an opening should be directed to Dollywood.
On behalf of all the employees at Rocky Mountain Construction, I want to personally thank the management team at Dollywood, the fans of the park as well as our fans for their patience and understanding as we work to bring you Lightning Rod.
— RMC founder Fred Grubbs
Dollywood is sticking to their marketing stating the coaster would open “Spring 2016”, which is still realistic, especially since Summer dosen’t officially start until June 20. Dollywood was also the host location for a coaster enthusiast event held by Coaster Crew at the park last week. Since the event was focused around Lightning Rod ert, things had to be changed. Many of the registered attendees were angry and upset that the new coaster was not ready, with some fans even lashing out demanding hotel refunds. They were upset because the event was a pre-pay, so once the news broke of it being delayed, there was no refunds. Of course the scheduled ERT took place on another ride, but that’s not what the Dr. ordered!
Prior to opening day, Dollywood sent out the following:
“Lightning Rod will not be open for Grand Opening weekend. Lightning Rod is an innovative ride featuring new technology never used on a wooden coaster. The ride manufacturer asked for additional time to commission the ride. Progress is being made daily. Please check Dollywood.com for future updates.”
Here’s a little tease of what the ride will be like once it opens.
What are your thoughts on Lightning Rod’s delay? Discuss in the comments below or on our socials. For tickets, and more information about Dollywood, visit the official website by clicking here.
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