Extreme Engineering, one of the nation's leading developers of zipline and other high adventure attractions, is gearing up for the world debut Tuesday of its new Cloud Coaster at the International Association of Adventure Parks and Attractions trade show in Orlando.
The cloud coaster marries the concepts of roller coasters with ziplines to create a thrill ride that can be built anywhere.
"It's probably the best product we've built in 20 years," said Philip Wilson, executive vice president of Extreme Engineering.
That's coming from the company that created the first mobile rock climbing walls and the Auto-Belay systems that transformed ziplines into a family-friendly activity.
"It's a cartless roller coaster and it's fully scalable," Wilson told GrowthSpotter. "We can go uphill – we can go down steep terrain. We can put a lot of people on at the same time, and it's all on a steel track."
The riders wear harnesses and click into lanyards, just like they would for a zipline, but that's where the similarity ends. Instead of a cable, the trolley attaches to a steel coaster frame and uses magnetic brakes and linear motors to control the speeds. The track can be free-standing, cable mounted from the ceiling or mounted on an existing building or tower.
"Nobody in coaster industry can truly take a track and build it around a 100-year-old structure," Wilson said. "We can go on existing site and build around things."
He said the company is already in discussions with water park supplier Proslide Technology, and with designers who work with Disney and Universal theme parks. Whether it's a fit for resorts remains to be seen.
"This is something very new. On Tuesday, time will tell who we'll be talking to," he said.
Extreme Engineering is currently building one of its High-Action Adventure parks, which combines rock climbing, ziplining and extreme air jumping, at Orange Lake Resort and has completed projects at Summer Bay Resort and Westgate River Ranch Resort.