Six Flags Great America has announced that is has purchased the classic wooden rollercoaster, Little Dipper, from the closed Kiddieland amusement park.
Six Flags paid $33,000 for the family coaster at an auction of Kiddieland's attractions on November 24. It hopes to reopen the ride, under the same name, in time for the 2010 season.
The Little Dipper is older than its new home, having originally opened in 1950, some 26 years before Six Flags Great America. Featuring a 28-foot tall lift-hill and 700-foot long figure eight circuit, it will be the fourteenth rollercoaster at the Six Flags park.
NBC Chicago quotes Hank Salemi, Six Flags Great American's park president, as saying "“The Little Dipper has been a fond family tradition for over 50 years. We wanted to preserve this important piece of Chicago history for families to experience for many more years to come.”
Kiddieland, located close to Chicago in Melrose Park, Illinois, had been open since 1929 but closed in September after the owners of the site declined to extend the park's lease. The move followed a long-running dispute between the owners of the park itself and the landowners, who hope to see the park replaced by a CostCo warehouse.
A deal to sell Kiddieland's rides to a new owner who planned to move them to a new location nearby fell through, forcing the owners to sell the rides as individual lots at this week's auction.
The park's carousel was sold for $355,000 to a Westmont businessman. Unlike Little Dipper, there are no immediate plans to reopen the ride although it may be refurbished and sold on.