Adrenaline junkies, get ready to celebrate. There’s a new ride going in at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, and you won’t want to miss it. The Haunted Mine Drop sends thrill seekers plummeting 110 feet into the ground, the first ride of its type in the world.
After spotting this new addition to the Colorado family-owned adventure park on USA Today’s list of the “12 Most Anticipated Thrill Rides of 2017”, the OutThere Colorado crew stopped by during our visit to Glenwood Springs to get an up-close look at the build.
We sat down with Heather Austin, the Marketing Manager for Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, to get all of the details.
There are tons of drop rides around the world, but none that go underground. Why did you decide on the underground drop?
“We didn’t want to hurt the topography of our mountain scene,” said Austin, “We want to make sure that [the adventure park is] aesthetically pleasing [because it’s so visible] on top of a mountain, so we decided instead of doing a drop tower as most are – above the ground – we would do one under the mountain.”
What’s the inspiration behind making it haunted?
“Our story is that this is an old mine that closed down with miners underground that never came out. […] We’re reopening the mine, and we’re looking for people to work in the mine.”
Is the Glenwood Springs area known for mining?
“Oh yeah! This mountain, it’s called Iron Mountain, it was mined for coal. […] It’s a well-known fact that people came here to Glenwood to mine coal.”
Your alpine coaster was also the first ride of its type in the country. Do you always strive to create something new and different?
“We do. I don’t know if that was the intention to begin with. We started with the caves, with just a tour and a bus. It was very popular so the owners decided to put the tram in to get people up the mountain easier. So then we got people up the mountain, but they were waiting for two hours to go into the caves. Steve [the owner] said, ‘I’ve got to do something for them to do while they’re waiting, so we built the restaurant and started building all of the other rides. First was the alpine coaster, the first one in the United States. We put in the Cliffhanger Roller Coaster and that was the highest elevation roller coaster in the United States. We have our canyon swing, which swings you over a cliff and you see the Colorado River 1,300 feet below you. A lot of other parks have a swing, but no one has a cliff like that one. We’re known as America’s only mountain top theme park.”
As your rides continue to get more intense, do you expect to see a shift away from the family-friendly audience and more so towards the thrill-seeker?
“No, [the owners] are very family-oriented themselves and they want to keep the park that way. Of course, we do have a lot of thrill seekers that seek out our park. Just two weeks ago, we had the Travel Channel here. They have a new show coming up in October so they did a bunch of filming on our alpine coaster and our giant canyon swing.”
The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park expects to open the Haunted Mine Drop sometime mid-July, 2017.