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California's Great America set to open wooden roller coaster in 2013

California's Great America coaster artwork

Strong rumors have emerged online that Cedar Fair will attempt to revive California's Great America by installing a major new wooden roller coaster at the park in 2013.

The rumors, reported by Screamscape and supported by a number of sources, suggest that the wooden coaster will be based on previous plans submitted several years ago. Cedar Fair is said to be pushing ahead with the construction of the ride in order to improve attendance at California's Great America, with a $70 million sale of the park having fallen through late last year.

The new attraction is set to be built by Great Coasters International, Inc., a specialist in wooden roller coaster design and manufacturing. If it is based on the original plans, then it will hit a top speed of 50 miles per hour as it traverses a 3,100-feet-long circuit packed with "airtime" hills. Plans for the wooden coaster have been resubmitted to the city of Santa Clara, and are set to be discussed by planning authorities on March 7, 2012.

Cedar Fair announced in September 2011 that it would sell California's Great America to real estate investment group JMA Ventures. However, the prospective new owner subsequently pulled out of the deal, leaving Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet to proclaim that it would "build the park’s customer base through new marketing initiatives and capital investments."

California's Great America was originally opened in 1976 by hotel operator Marriott Corp., and was known as Marriott's Great America. The chain also operated another Great America near Chicago, which was taken over by Six Flags in 1985 and became Six Flags Great America.The California park subsequently changed hands a number of times, being acquired by Cedar Fair when it took over the former Paramount Parks properties in May 2006.

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