|Gallery||Updated: November 10, 2010|
Coaster Thrill Ride
The following photos were taken of the wooden Coaster at Playland in Vancouver, BC, at a regional ACE (American Coaster Enthusiasts) event.
Before Playland was built, the PNE had another amusement park called Happyland. This park operated from 1926 to 1957. Due to low patronage and dwindling revenues, PNE decided to close Happyland after its 1957 season. The fair board also wanted to see something more modern built that would suit future patrons needs. So, a new park was constructed.
Playland was built in 1958 by Burrard Amusements Ltd. which was founded and co-owned by Robert Bollinger, Denver Burtenshaw and Gerald Mackey. According to Bollinger's widow, Diane Bollinger, "Originally, there were to be five partners; however, the two Canadian Businessmen were unable to get financial backing for the venture. One of these men did accept a management position with Playland."
Carl Phare designed the wooden coaster and Walker LeRoy, Bollinger's ride superintendent, was in charge of its construction. In 1978, Bollinger sold Playland to the PNE. After this, Burrard Amusements Ltd. was no more.
In the last 30 years, Playland has remained an important and popular staple as the Northwest's last operating city amusement park with a running wooden roller coaster. In fact, many coaster fans from all over the world will make a trek to Canada to just to ride Coaster. Some have told me that though it's not as big as other classic coaster such as the Coney Island Cyclone, it's much more intense and thrilling to ride. This says a lot about the park, the coaster, the man who designed it and the men who helped built it.
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