May 25, 2013 in City

New spin on excitement

$2 million SpinCycle attraction is the first of its kind in the U.S.
By The Spokesman-Review
Kathy Plonka photoBuy this photo

Bailey Andrews, an aquatic lifeguard supervisor for Silverwood Theme Park, films the SpinCycle at the amusement park near Athol on Friday. The Spin Cycle is Silverwood’s newest ride attraction.
(Full-size photo)

Pendulum swings

The ride holds 20 people on a pendulum. When it gets enough momentum, over the top it swings.

It’s the first of its kind in the country.

Silverwood Theme Park’s newest ride, SpinCycle, has the nauseating – er, thrilling – trifecta: It goes backward, upside down and it spins.

Sometimes it does all three at once, and sometimes it does all three at once more than 100 feet in the air.

“Expletives came out of my mouth a couple of times,” the park’s training manager, Nicole Walker, said after a test run on Friday. “But I liked it.”

The $2 million thrill ride is the park’s first new ride since 2008.

Marketing Director Nancy DiGiammarco said the ride is part of a push to boost the number of visitors by 5 percent. Last year, 659,000 people went through the gates of the North Idaho amusement park. Silverwood tries to bring in new attractions every year even when rides aren’t built, she said.

SpinCycle joins a family-friendly ride named Barnstormer as this year’s new feature attractions.

DiGiammarco said the thrill ride will appeal to everyone, not just those with iron stomachs.

“Even if you don’t ride it, it’s a hoot just to sit here and watch the other people ride it,” DiGiammarco said.

The ride holds 20 people on a pendulum. And when it gets enough momentum, over the top it swings.

It’s the first of its kind in the country. Similar rides don’t hurl their riders a full 360 degrees.

Daily operation at Silverwood starts today with American Heroes Weekend: Police officers, firefighters and military members get in for free and their family members’ tickets are discounted.

SpinCycle also debuts today. The first 200 park entrants will receive SpinCycle-themed gifts.

“It’s the perfect time to open this ride,” DiGiammarco said.

After adding new attractions each year, DiGiammarco said, the park is the most attended attraction in Idaho.

Attendance in the past 15 years has tripled, she said. Of the 659,000 visitors last year, 450,000 were tourists.

DiGiammarco added that the park adds about $80 million to the regional economy each year.

“This is like the Northwest theme park now,” she said.

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