Closing Dragster for season might be option

Friday, 27 June 2003

If Top Thrill Dragster isn't repaired by mid-July, Cedar Point will officially close the coaster for the season and reopen it next year, according to Cedar Fair, L.P. CEO Dick Kinzel, the Sandusky Register reported. At this time, the option is only being considered as a last resort.

"We can't just keep telling the public, 'it's going to open,'" Kinzel told the Register. "If you are honest with the public, they are going to be forgiving. People plan their vacations around this."

If Top Thrill Dragster closed, Kinzel said the entire hydraulic system would be reworked.

Cedar Point is optimistic that Top Thrill Dragster may be running by the July 4 weekend, park spokeswoman Janice Witherow told the Register.

"We have talked about many scenarios, but it is our goal to have it operating for 2003," Witherow said. "Closing the ride for the season is definitely the last call."

The latest problem with Top Thrill Dragster involves contaminated oil in the hydraulic system.

"We always have problems with new rides, but we are able to take care of them," Kinzel said.

Witherow stressed closing the ride is "one of many scenarios and the park isn't focusing on that."

"All of our efforts are to get the ride up and operating," she said.

Closing the ride could have an effect on Cedar Point's future plans. Kinzel noted to the Register that the park's expansion plans are pivotal to what happens with Top Thrill Dragster this year.