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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Roller coaster sold; ride will be rehabbed and installed in Florida

Delaware's eye-catching 1,700-foot steel roller coaster, a defining feature of the sprawling former Blue Diamond Park near New Castle for the past several years, is being dismantled this week, packed up and hauled off to Florida.
The amusement ride is expected to rise again by summer at the Daytona Beach Boardwalk at Daytona Lagoon.
Park owner Nick Ferrara Jr. of Greggo & Ferrara construction sold the roller coaster a month ago.

The negotiated price was not disclosed, although it is believed to be between $150,000 and $160,000, according to Alan DeCarlo, son of the park's general manager.

Eighteen months ago, when Ferrara put the used roller coaster up for sale on eBay, the asking price was $225,000.

Joe Cadmus, president of Ride Werks Amusement Ride Services of Palmetto, Fla., said a crew of seven should have the ride dismantled and off the property in 10 days. They started the dismantling process a week and a half ago, but some inclement weather slowed them down, he said.

"It's going to my shop in Palmetto, and I'm going to make it new again," Cadmus said. "Then it's headed to Daytona Lagoon. We're aiming for Memorial Day, although it may be a tight push."

The coaster, which has a 55-foot drop, was sold by a dealer in New Jersey. The Florida company hired Ride Werks to take it apart and deliver it to Daytona Beach, DeCarlo said.

Two amusement rides remain on the property and will be sold. Cadmus said he has expressed interest in them, but a price has not been worked out.

Ferrara could not be reached for comment.

The amusement park ceased operation in 2008, after four years in business on 400 acres at U.S. 13 and Del. 1, near the Tybouts Corner intersection.

The motocross and radio- control racing areas continue to operate.

Cadmus said he still has his eye on the park's Mack Matterhorn, a Himalayas-type ride that was at the original Miracle Strip amusement park in Panama City Beach, Fla., in the early 1960s.

"That's especially attractive to me," he said.

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