RUIDOSO, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico now has its first mountain coaster. It just opened in Ruidoso a few weeks ago, and it’s already a big hit.
The Village of Ruidoso has a new attraction geared toward adventure seekers. It’s called the “Screaming Eagle Roller Coaster,” and it opened at Winter Park over Memorial Day Weekend. Just under a mile long, it has a 360-degree helix with multiple dips.
“It’s very exciting for the village because it’s the first, and the only, mountain coaster in the state of New Mexico, and so it really gives us a one-of-a-kind amenity that we can offer to those who visit,” explained Kerry Gladden, Village of Ruidoso spokesperson.
Winter Park President Tom Dorgan said the coaster has already exceeded expectations. It’s already had more than 8,000 rides and helped surpass the park’s total revenue from last summer. Tickets start at $25, and riders must be at least nine years old and 4’4″ tall.
“It allows Ruidoso to garner more attention. We have now established something here, I believe, that people will talk about,” stated Dorgan.
The coaster cost more than $4 million to build. Once on the ride, drivers control the speed of their cart which can go up to 25mph. Each cart is equipped with technology to prevent riders from crashing into each other. Village officials think it’ll bring in more tourists and keep them coming back.
“I think that the more there is for people to do the more elevated the tourist experience becomes, and it just makes us a more attractive location,” said Gladden.
The longest mountain coaster ride in the world is in Austria. It runs more than two miles. According to their website, the coaster will be running on Saturdays and Sundays through October and their winter hours are Friday-Mondays from 10 a.m. to twilight.