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Lagoon adding beach-themed coaster as it turns 125
Ups and downs • Attendance at the park plummeted but is on the rebound.

By Cathy Mckitrick The Salt Lake Tribune

Published February 23, 2011 3:54 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
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Lagoon, the state's signature amusement park in Davis County, turns 125 years old this year, but at least one of its offerings will be brand new.

Bombora, a family-friendly roller coaster, is nearing completion, said Dick Andrew, the park's executive vice president of marketing.

"It's beach-themed," Andrew said of the new 50-foot-tall ride that will be located near Lagoon-a-Beach.

"It's not a blockbuster coaster like Wicked, but it's a very good ride," Andrew said, "kind of like the Bat on steroids."

Rollicking coaster rides have fared well at Lagoon, with its first "giant coaster" debuting in 1921. The Wild Mouse began thrilling parkgoers in 1965, a beefed up version opened in 1973 and another upgrade followed in 1998.

The $3 million Bat — a suspended coaster with a 10-car train — opened in 2005 followed by the taller, faster and more extreme Wicked that launched in 2007.

The 125-acre fun park in Farmington ranks as Davis County's fourth largest employer, although many of its 2,200 to 2,400 openings are aimed at 14- to 18-year-olds who seek seasonal work between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

This year, Lagoon is taking all applications online at tinyurl.com/lagoonjobs.

The park opens on weekends April through May, then daily June through August. Lagoon ends each season with Frightmares, running weekends mid-September through the end of October.

Three years ago, Lagoon attracted about 1.35 million visitors, Andrew said, then the recession hit and the park suffered a dismal season that he described as "tough duty."

Last year's numbers began to rise, hitting 1.2 million, Andrew said.

This season, the park's front-gate price increases by $1 to $43.95, but Andrew said that a surprisingly small percentage of patrons actually pay that much to gain access to the rides, Lagoon-a-Beach, Pioneer Village and more.

"There are many ways to get a [corporate or group] discount," Andrew said. Coupons also cut the cost, he said.

Parking will remain the same — at $8 per vehicle, $12 if it's oversized and $16 for prime spots near the ticket windows.

Season passports — $89.95 each when bought in lots of four — provide the best economy for families who live nearby, Andrew said.

The fact that Disneyland advertises year-round in Utah makes Andrew grin.

"They view us as a significant competitor," Andrew said, noting that families here think nothing of loading up the van and heading to Anaheim, Calif.

"That's who we're compared to," he said. As discretionary income begins to rebound, he hopes those families will opt for more economical "staycations" that involve several visits to Lagoon.

cmckitrick@sltrib.com

Lagoon's newest coaster: Bombora

Footprint • 100 x 165 feet

Height • 50 feet

Speed • Up to 31 mph

Track • 1,040 feet

Seats • Two trains that accommodate 16 riders

Restrictions • No riders under 3 feet tall; riders 3-4 feet tall must be accompanied by an adult; and expectant mothers and the elderly are advised not to ride.



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