Buckle Up: $138 Million Polercoaster Coming To Atlantic City

A new roller coaster is coming to Atlantic City; cue the puns about ups and downs.

ABC Ownership will build a 350-foot-high roller coaster named the “Polercoaster” on the grounds where the Sands casino once stood. The project’s approval was contingent upon the New Jersey Economic Development Authority pitching in roughly 28 percent of the construction costs, which happened on April 13.

The Press of Atlantic City had the details, reporting:

“ABC Ownership, LLC asked the state Economic Development Authority to chip in $38.4 million of the project’s total cost of $138,000,000. The money will go toward reimbursing certain taxes, according to the authority’s agenda.”

The build-up theory of thrill rides

According to U.S. Thrill Rides, the Polercoaster’s designer, the ride will be oriented upward instead of spread out across a wide swath of land.

“Turning the roller coaster on its end” is one of the Polercoaster’s tag lines, and USTR goes on to say that the coaster has the same length of track as a horizontally-oriented coaster, but with a “very small footprint.”

Another nuance to the coaster is that riders board at the top of the track and gravity pulls it down through a series of twists, turns, and loops.

If the coast in Atlantic City is the same as what’s touted on USTR’s site, then there will be retail and restaurant space at the top of the coaster’s tower, along with an observation deck.

Coaster development another win for A.C.

The approval of ABC’s application for the coaster is another indication the once-floundering city is experiencing the early stages of an economic comeback.

Hard Rock comes to town

Other wins in the past year include Hard Rock International’s purchase of the Trump Taj Mahal. The buying company will renovate the casino and hotel into one of its world-renowned Hard Rock properties.

Hard Rock is investing $375 million in the renovation and creating 3,000 jobs that, according to the most recent reports, will in some part be filled by workers from the UNITE HERE Local 54 labor union.

Borgata tax debt settled

In addition to investments from Hard Rock and ABC Ownership, Atlantic City was also able to settle its $165 million outstanding tax debt with Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

All of these wins have come in the wake of the state’s takeover of Atlantic City’s finances. Therefore, upcoming mayoral elections will be interesting.

Current Mayor Don Guardian will run for re-election, and it remains to be seen if voters will associate the city’s perceived turnaround with Guardian’s leadership or with the state. If Guardian can ride the momentum, re-election is a possibility.

Image c/o USthrillrides.com