|Press Release: |
MONTREAL, May 16 /CNW/ - Aaaaaah! Wow! and Oh! Those familiar sounds heard at La Ronde - Quebec's number one summer destination - will be louder than ever this summer. La Ronde's 36th season, opening May 18, 2002, featuresthe most exhilarating program in its history. It will be highlighted by abreathtaking and unique new ride : The Vampire, the one and only intense high-tech suspended looping roller coaster of its kind in Quebec.
Other novelties include a new diving and comedy show that will run all summer long; a new character who will be performing prestidigitation tricks among the crowd; new decors and, in general, an improved atmosphere stemming from major investments that have been made during the winter months. La Ronde is the most important amusement park in Quebec and Montreal's "symbole par excellence" of the start of summer.
"As for the Vampire, it is THE definitive knockout of the 2002 summer tourism season in Montreal", said Len Turtora, Vice-President and General Manager of La Ronde, at the inaugural press conference, today. "The Vampire" is indeed the ultimate thrill experience. This coaster represents an all new generation of rides. It is very different from what La Ronde visitors have ever experienced in the past. Reaching a speed of 80.5 km/hr, over a length of nearly one kilometre (823 m), "The Vampire" features five inversions. Unlike traditional coasters, the ski lift like carriages circle the outer face of the track, providing an exceptionally thrilling experience.
I'm sure people will come from far away to visit us this summer," said Mr. Turtora, "considering all that has been added to La Ronde in 2002. We promise them a thrill of a lifetime. The new ride and shows will confirm La Ronde's position as Quebec's leading entertainment site for the entire family - small children, teens and parents altogether."
The Vampire will add to the thrills of La Ronde, that already has its star in action with "Le Monstre", the world's tallest twin track wooden coaster. La Ronde also features "Le Cobra", "Le Boomerang", "Le Super Manège" and many more rides, including those for toddlers at "La Petite Ronde". The alignment of titillation this summer will be absolutely tremendous.
"We have just completed the most ambitious and sweeping capital expansion plan ever", said Mr. Turtora. Indeed, the $30 million development is one of the largest single year investments ever made at La Ronde. It is Phase I of a comprehensive $90 million investment program announced in May of last year, when Six Flags Inc. acquired La Ronde.
"I would like to congratulate you on respecting the investment plan of the Amusement Park, as you celebrate your first year as proprietor. The major improvements will benefit all Montrealers, as well as an important number of local and international visitors who will be impressed by your many attractions." said Mr. Cosmo Maciocia, member of the Executive Commitee, responsible for Sports, Recreation and Parks of the City of Montréal at today's press event.
Apart from The Vampire, one of the most noticeable additions to La Ronde is its pristine new front entry plaza and the Village entrance, located at the extreme eastern edge of the park. "Often, the first impression visitors get sets the tone for the rest of their visit" said Pierre Bélanger, the park's Marketing and Promotion Director. "The revamped entrances will give our guests a lasting impression of their visit".
La Ronde will also introduce new shows to its entertainment package. For instance, "Les Productions Haut-Vol", a cast of highly talented athletes-acrobats-divers-comedians will stage a new, original and crazy comedy skit in and around The Castle, a giant diving platform set over a deep pool. Special characters always end up in the water, in some cases, after a 90-foot jump. "Numerous special effects, wonderful costumes and accessories add to the comedy and the great execution of these multitalented performers", said Mr. Bélanger.
La Ronde's Fort Edmonton, is also the perfect frontier town set where the infamous cowboy "Mains Rapides" (quick hands magic show), wise guy poker player will repeatedly, all summer long, stir up a crowd for a little card game in front of the Saloon. Beware! This little rascal's hands are faster than the eye can catch. Cards mysteriously disappear and reappear and objects transform in all sorts of other things. Thankfully, in the end, nobody loses anything. Rather, everybody will have had a fair share of laughter and amazement from this new character at La Ronde.
"Finally", mentioned Mr. Bélanger, "this summer, the general atmosphere and comfort of the park, its decor, the convenience of such services as restaurants and other commercial counters will be better than ever. Multiple details such as signalling, restrooms, street furniture and tidiness make much of a difference."
Up to 1000 people, mainly students on vacation, have started working on the site. For them, a summer job at La Ronde is a great experience. Often, it is a first experience in the labour market and a means for paying off tuition fees.
La Ronde is owned and operated by Six Flags, Inc., the world's largest regional theme park company with a total of 38 parks in North America, Europe and Latin America. Six Flags parks serve 40 of the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. The parks annually host more than 50 million guests worldwide. Six Flags is a publicly held corporation with corporate offices in New York City and Oklahoma City. The Company's stock trades on the NYSE under the symbol: PKS. America Online Keyword: Six Flags.