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Long Beach Councilwoman Wants City To Bring Back ‘Cyclone Racer’

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How the Cyclone Racer looked in 1959. (credit: CycloneRacer.com)

How the Cyclone Racer looked in 1959. (credit: CycloneRacer.com)

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LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Long Beach Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske is feeling nostalgic and will ask her fellow council members to vote on a proposed new roller coaster.

The new roller coaster would actually represent the return of a popular Long Beach attraction — The Cyclone Racer — that reigned supreme from 1930 to 1968. Racer was a dual track coaster that stretched over the city’s coast. More than 30 million people took the 96-foot-high ride.

The new coaster would also stretch over the water near the Queen Mary and Aquarium of the Pacific.

Schipske will ask the council next month to consider a proposal by roller-coaster enthusiast Larry Osterhoudt.

“This would not only bring back an important part of Long Beach’s early history but would produce significant tourism dollars, not to mention a lot of fun,” Schipske said.

Osterhoudt has also proposed redeveloping the city’s “Silver Spray Pier,” which began operating in the city in 1902. In addition to Cyclone Racer, the pier included shops, food booths, arcades and games.

Osterhoudt has been pushing the idea of rebuilding the coaster for years, with costs at one time estimated around $10 million. He has a Cyclone Racer website where he notes he is searching for investors interested in making the project a reality.

“Long Beach has failed to seize many economic opportunities offered in the past years, including Port Disney, Telsa Motors and the porting of the USS Iowa,” Schipske said. “Bringing back a cyclone roller coaster could potentially revitalize the Queensway Bay development and provide additional synergy for the Aquarium, Shoreline Village and Pine Avenue establishments. We need to check this out.”

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