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Zippin Pippin Zippin Pippin at Libertyland Location Bay Beach Amusement Park Coordinates 35°07′10″N 89°58′57″W / 35.119543°N 89.982630°W / 35.119543; -89.982630Coordinates: 35°07′10″N 89°58′57″W / 35.119543°N 89.982630°W / 35.119543; -89.982630 Status Operating Opened 1912 Cost $28,000,000 Type Wood - Undertunnel - Two Chains Manufacturer National Amusement Device Company Designer John A. Miller Model Wooden Coaster Track layout Dinn Coppration Lift/launch system Chains Height 70 ft (21 m) Drop 70 ft (21 m) Length 2,865 ft (873 m) Max speed 40 mph (64 km/h) Capacity 1700 Riders Per Hour riders per hour Max G force 5.10 Height restriction 4 ft 0 in (122 cm) Zippin Pippin at RCDB Pictures of Zippin Pippin at RCDB Amusement Parks Portal The Zippin Pippin, formerly called the Pippin, is one of the oldest existing wooden roller coasters in the United States.[citation needed] It was initially constructed in the former East End Park in Memphis, Tennessee in 1912 by John A. Miller and Harry Baker of National Amusement Devices. The construction material was pine wood. As the park declined in popularity, the coaster was dismantled and relocated adjacent to the horse track in Montgomery Park, now known as the Mid-South Fairgrounds. It has been purchased by the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin and installed at the Bay Beach Amusement Park.[1] You can view the construction process on this webcam. It is once again in operation. Contents 1 History 2 Relocation 3 References 4 External links History According to a 4/27/1993 Commercial Appeal (CA) article, the Zippin Pippin was built in 1912 in East End Park but, a 1/8/33 CA article claims that East End, "had charge of the 'Figure Eight,' predecessor of the Fairgrounds, 'Pippin.'" A 4/17/1966 CA article claims the coaster was built in 1915 and another, (CA 12/26/1974) dates construction in 1917. The Zippin Pippin is recorded to have been rebuilt once, "higher and longer," after severe damage from a tornado in April 1928 (CA 4/27/1928). The reconstruction was completed by July of the same year at a cost of $45,000 (CA 7/3/2003). In the 1970s, the city of Memphis made plans to build a theme park around the Pippin and the Grand Carousel, also on the grounds. [2] Called Libertyland, the park opened in 1976. Renamed the Zippin Pippin, the coaster was billed as the most prominent and historic ride at Libertyland, and was reportedly Elvis Presley's favorite roller coaster. Elvis would rent the entire park on occasion just to ride it without constant fan interference.[3] Just a week before his death, Elvis rented the park from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. to entertain a small number of guests and he rode the Zippin Pippin for hours without stopping. On October 29, 2005, citing persistent loss of money, Libertyland closed its gates for good. The Zippin Pippin stood without operating for four years in the Libertyland Amusement Park at the Mid-South Fairgrounds (a 125-acre (0.51 km2) tract of land purchased in 1912 and "Dedicated to the Citizens of Memphis for recreation, athletic fields, fairs." This public land is slowly being sold off to private developers. The Zippin Pippin was taken down between January 28, 2010, and February 11, 2010. The Libertyland website stated: "One of the oldest operating wooden roller coasters in North America, the Zippin Pippin is as popular today as it was in the early 20th century. It is 2,865 feet (873 m) long, travels 20.8 mph (33.5 km/h), increasing to 40 mph (64 km/h) at the maximum drop of 70 feet (21 m). Ride duration is 90 seconds. Great care is taken to replace its wood regularly to preserve its structure. Manufacturer is Amusement Device Co."[4] Relocation On June 21, 2006, the Zippin Pippin was sold at auction by Norton Auctioneers of Coldwater, Michigan. Robert Reynolds, former bassist with country band The Mavericks, and Stephen Shutts [partners in a traveling museum called the Honky Tonk Hall of Fame & Rock-N-Roll Roadshow] purchased the Pippin for $2,500, having initially planned to bid only on one of the roller coaster cars. The sale agreement required the buyer to remove the ride within 30 days. Reynolds and Shutts consulted with a coaster expert to determine the practicality of moving the entire coaster to another location. "It's not in anybody's best interest just to come in and knock it down," Shutts said.[5] On September 17, 2006, Dollywood sent out an attraction survey, with the Zippin Pippin listed as a possible new attraction in the next few years. On October 29, 2006, it was announced that the Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Tourism Bureau had bought the Zippin Pippin from Reynolds and Shutts and were bringing the coaster to a new tourist development under construction named Carolina Crossroads. It will be a 1,000 acre (4 km²) music park, including the 1,500 seat Roanoke Rapids theatre, outdoor amphitheatre, waterpark, and outlet shopping center.[6] Construction in Green Bay in December 2010 On November 16, 2009, a section of the Pippin's track was torn out to determine the salvageability of the materials.[7] On January 28, 2010, crews began dismantling the Zippin Pippin with the hopes of preserving as much of the coaster as possible. The coaster had not been maintained since 2005.[8] On February 7, 2010, the dismantlement was put on hold as Green Bay, Wisconsin Mayor Jim Schmitt and Green Bay's parks director Bill Landvatter visited Memphis to examine the Zippin Pippin as a candidate for inclusion in the expansion of Bay Beach Amusement Park.[9] On February 11, 2010, The Zippin Pippin partially collapsed during dismantlement. The deal was not affected as most of the materials were understood to be unsalvageable.[10] On February 22, 2010, The Green Bay Parks and Recreation Committee voted to approve the project 4-0, and sent the measure to the city council.[11] On March 2, 2010, The Green Bay City Council approved plans to purchase the Zippin Pippin by a 7-4 vote.[12] The official groundbreaking for the Zippin Pippin's new location in Green Bay happened on August 25, 2010.[13] Media day was held on May 17, 2011 to promote the grand opening. It opened to the public on the following weekend on May 21, 2011. After operating for one month, the park saw a 45% increase in revenue compared to the previous year.[14] The $1 ride had about 110,000 passengers in the month.[14] References Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pippin Roller Coaster ^ Smith, Matt (March 2, 2010). "City Council Approves Zippin Pippin Roller-coaster for Bay Beach". WBAY. Retrieved 3 March 2010.  ^ "Photo of the Zippin Pippin in 1975". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2009-07-15.  ^ Emery, Theo. End of a Park Fit for the King. Washington Post. 7 August 2006. ^ "The Zippin Pippin". Internet Archive. Archived from the original on 2004-12-07. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  ^ Williams, David (2006-07-11). "Pippin owners seek expert view on moving coaster". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Archived from the original on 2006-07-28.,2845,MCA_25340_4834789,00.html. Retrieved 2007-11-28.  ^ "Elvis' favorite roller coaster, Zippin Pippin, moving to Carolina Crossroads". Carolina Newswire. Retrieved 2008-01-21.  ^ Callahan, Jody (2009-11-17). "Libertyland demolition begins; salvageability of Zippin Pippin tested". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2010-03-05.  ^ Maki, Amos (2010-01-28). "Derailed: Crews begin dismantling Libertyland's Zippin Pippin roller coaster". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2010-01-28.  ^ "Elvis's Favorite Coaster Could Roll Into Green Bay". WISC-TV. 2010-02-08. Retrieved 2010-02-09.  ^ Maki, Amos (2010-02-11). "Zippin Pippin's roller-coaster ride in Memphis comes to end with dismantling". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2010-03-05.  ^ Callahan, Jody (2010-02-24). "Green Bay gives initial OK to purchase Zippin Pippin". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2010-03-05.  ^ Conley, Chris (2010-03-03). "Green Bay council OKs purchase of Zippin Pippin". Memphis Commercial Appeal. Retrieved 2010-03-05.  ^ Williams, Scott (2010-08-25). "Ground broken for Zippin Pippin roller coaster in Green Bay". Green Bay Press Gazette. Retrieved 2010-08-25. [dead link] ^ a b "Zippin Pippin helping to post big numbers in first month of Bay Beach". WTAQ. Retrieved 24 June 2011.  External links Zippin' Pippin - Elvis' Favorite Ride Donated To Save Libertyland- Elvis Australia News - July 6, 2008 Zippin Pippin Remembered - The history of the ride and photos of its last week standing -