As the thread name says, this is a topic about Son of Beast. I decided to start a thread on it to kind of separate it from the KI Future thread so we can concentrate on more aspects of the park's future, and with all the things going on about the woodie, I feel it deserves its own topic.Anyways, lets run down the obvious of what we're dealing with.
Son of Beast opened in 2000 to open the new millennium for Kings Island. It was built as the world's tallest (218 ft tall, 214 ft drop), fastest (78 mph) and only looping wooden roller coaster, under the moniker to join its father among the top notch wooden roller coasters and carrying on the Beast name. It opened in all its glory, and for 5 and a half years, it ran as it should. However, as we now know through the various recent lawsuits, Kings Island had problems with it from the start, even before it was built. Then, PKI, had trouble getting someone to build it. Major wooden designers such as CCI turned it down and at long last, Premier Rides and the now defunct RCCA chose to build it. The problems were in the structure, for the supports weren't designed properly to handle the excess forces of such a record smashing ride. The structure was found to sway too much, bolts were loosened (to the point where a coaster forensics personnel could turn bolts with his fingers), and at long last, the ride had a major problem.
Midway through the 2006 season, a vertical timber bracing in the 'rose bowl' or the first helix splintered just before a train load of 27 people came rumbling down, and as the train hit the warped section, it would later send all of them to the hospital with minor to serious injuries. KI was also accused of taking a 'Band-Aid' style approach, fixing one thing on it, letting it go and watch what would happen instead of taking an all around approach to fixing it. Even with the renovations completed in 2007, it was obvious of that approach. The Gerstlauer trains seemed an odd choice, especially with some knowledge to the coaster from which it came was equally rough and it was obvious, even with the retrofitting, that they weren't designed for 78 mph or what the course entailed. I feel they spend that $30+ million on shoddy work with lack luster results, for it was closed again in 2009 for another woman's injury and many more that weren't reported for whatever reason.
The purpose of this thread is to find out what its future is. We're all aware that it could very well be torn down, but I would also like to go into other options on what to do if they decide to keep it. I don't want the thread to become a continuous posting of 'Tear it down!'. I want to go about it with a more optimistic approach. So far, I've come up with a few options. All of these would include fixing the structure
1. re-track and reprofile parts, get another set of new trains or fix up the old trains; if the old trains are kept, perhaps think about re-adding the loop (for new trains, at least give timberliners a look, Gravity Group/Gravitykraft has its HQ close to KI)
2. cut out the entire ride from the first helix up to the final brakes and make it an out and back ride with more emphesis on hills, only keep track from the station area, lift and first drop; although its been turned down before, I would be strongly for a plug n' play type track from Intamin. Their bigger coasters aren't too far off in stats.
3. this would entail a similar method to option 2, but instead of wood, give it the Iron Horse treatment, its a boring course for a steel coaster as is, another way to possibly bring back the loop
So without further ado, chat away.