Lagoon ride project enjoys height variance

Saturday , August 16, 2014 - 9:45 AM

Standard-Examiner staff

FARMINGTON — The ride under construction at the Lagoon amusement park is so tall, 208 feet, that it required a variance from Farmington city officials.

In comparison, Lagoon’s “The Rocket” ride is 200 feet tall, making the new attraction under construction either the tallest, or certainly one of the tallest, attractions on the park grounds.

According to public meeting records shared by City Administrator Dave Millheim, the variance for the taller ride was granted in 2012. Otherwise, there is scant information on the public record about the ride.

Construction work on the new ride at the north end of the amusement park is easily visible from both Clark Lane and Interstate 15. But Lagoon officials have been noticeably silent when it comes to releasing any information about their latest, much-anticipated attraction, in hopes of keeping some of its elements “a surprise.”

“It’s obvious we are doing something exciting in the field,” Lagoon spokesman Adam Leishman said, referring to the ongoing construction. “We’ve got something planned. It is planned for next year.”

As far as providing details, Leishman remains cautious, wanting park officials to have the pleasure of revealing certain surprises on their own timetable.

“We’re not trying to be secretive,” said Leishman, who anticipates some type of announcement coming from the park later this year.

But a website claiming it is dedicated to the amusement park, but not managed by the park,, speculates what is under construction is a multimillion-dollar custom-designed steel roller coaster. The site says it is a ride, with an estimated cost of $10 million, that is to feature a track design offering a variety of twist and turns, and even a loop, with trains reaching speeds of 60 mph or better.

Lagoon officials said what is on the website is merely speculative.

According to Millheim, Lagoon park officials were anything but secretive when they approached the city in July and August of 2012, requesting a variance for a new ride the park wanted to construct.

The current entertainment zone in which Lagoon is located does not allow buildings to exceed 85 feet in height, or other structures to exceed 150 feet in height, without approval of the city, he said. The variance the city granted to the park allows for this specific ride to reach a height of 208 feet, Millheim said.

The approval of the variance was “totally in order,” Millheim said. “They came through the front door,” he said of Lagoon officials.

Millheim said city officials do not have any details or specifics of the ride, and did not request that particular information at the time Lagoon made its request for a variance.

“We wish them success with it,” Millheim said.

Lagoon officials have indicated in previous stories that their hope is to have the attraction, which has been in the works for several years, open for the 2015 season.

Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or Follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.

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