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California's Great America revives plans for Gold Striker coaster

After a decade of difficulty and uncertainty, California's Great America has dusted off plans for an oft-delayed wooden roller coaster in hopes of reversing the Santa Clara amusement park's declining fortunes.

PHOTOS: New wooden coaster at California's Great America

Scheduled to debut in 2013, the Gold Striker wooden coaster would send riders whirling into a one-of-a-kind twist around the Star Tower observation deck near the park's entrance, officials confirmed.

The 3,100-foot-long Great Coasters International wooden coaster would include a terrain-hugging S-turn, a high-speed station fly-by and a series of zero-G camelbacks and bunny hops at speeds topping 50 mph aboard Millennium Flyer trains.

Originally scheduled to open in 2009, the 108-foot-tall cloverleaf-shaped coaster was repeatedly delayed over noise concerns, a contentious football stadium proposal and the pending sale of the Bay Area amusement park.

In December, parent company Cedar Fair announced plans to remain as the long-term owner of California's Great America after the sale of the park fell through. A month later, Cedar Fair signed an agreement allowing construction of the San Francisco 49ers' new football stadium in the amusement park's overflow parking lot.

That leaves the noise concerns of neighbors, which could resurface on March 7 when city officials begin reviewing plans for the proposed coaster. Last year, the park received an extension of a previously approved height variance for the ride, according to Screamscape.

California's Great America has removed three coasters in the past decade, a period when the park added no new coasters, according to Roller Coaster Database.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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