BRISTOL - When Lake Compounce opens for its 170th season on Saturday, the oldest continuously-operating amusement park in North America will be debuting a brand new roller coaster.
The Phobia Phear coaster is the first triple launch coaster in New England and features the tallest inversion in the Northeast. It stands 15 stories high, reaches speeds of 65 mph, and takes riders upside down, slowly, at 150 feet in the air.
“The coaster has been in the works for a couple of years now, and it`s great to see it finally done,” said Jerry Brick, general manager at Lake Compounce.
The ride was open to a small group of media and roller coaster enthusiasts on Friday night, but opens to the public on Saturday.
The first 12 riders were chosen through an online contest based on their own fears. Their phobias included clowns, butterflies, chainsaws, and of course, roller coasters. After they ride, the public will be invited to ride Phobia Phear themselves.
Brick said, “If you know you did a good job, it's when the guests come off smiling and they get back in line.”
It’s the first new roller coaster at Lake Compounce since Boulder Dash debuted in 2000. It also marks the largest financial investment in park history.
The ribbon cutting and first ride is on Saturday, May 7 at 11 a.m.