Central Albertans can experience the province’s first alpine coaster starting this Friday.
The Canyon Coaster at Canyon Ski Resort, located just east of Red Deer, will officially be open as of 11 a.m.
“We’re really excited and have been working hard to get this open for everybody,” said Robin Martel, Canyon Ski Resort co-owner.
“We certainly hope they enjoy it as much as we have testing and inspecting it this last week.”
The Canyon Coaster is more than 1,300 metres in length and features a total vertical drop of 440 feet. Using their own brake, riders control their own speed, with the ability to safely reach 40 kilometres per hour.
The original plan was to open the coaster in July, but the opening date was pushed back due to shipping issues. The coaster will remain open every day, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., until the end of the season “to make up for a little bit of lost time,” Martel said.
“Realistically it’s been a two-year process to get this alpine coaster here,” said Robin Martel.
Sunkid, an Austrian company, came to Red Deer last fall to plan and set the course with the team at Canyon Ski Resort.
When items were shipped to Canyon this spring, three of the four shipping containers arrived with all of the equipment and tools. But the fourth was held up in customs for about 10 weeks.
After riders buy a ticket to the coaster, they will go on an eight- to 10-minute nature walk to get to the ride.
“We want everybody to come out and enjoy the beautiful, scenic nature,” said Martel.
“Many people know Canyon, but for some maybe it’s been a few years since they’ve been out. We want to give them an opportunity to come back, not for just winter with skiing, snowboarding and tubing, but also for the summer coaster.”
Martel said the coaster is a closed-loop system, so when riders reach the bottom of the hill, they will get a lift right back to the top without having to exit their seat.
“We’re super excited to open it up for everybody in, not just Central Alberta, but all around Alberta to enjoy the rest of the summer.”
A soft opening for the Canyon Coaster was held Thursday evening for community partners.
For more information, visit www.canyonski.ca.