Specific Type: Suspended Looping Coaster
Back in the late 1990s, space at the original Elitch Gardens was becoming scarce, so the owners, the Gurtler family, purchased a plot of land near downtown Denver to relocate much of the park. They spent millions of dollars in relocating many of the parks rides, and reconstructed a new version of Mr. Twister, which could not be moved with the park. Opening in 1995, the “new” park opened up to much lower crowds than expected. As a result, the Gurtler family sold the park to Premier Parks for $65 million in 1996.
Under its new ownership, the park continued to see lower figures than expected, so the company rushed in some new additions for their third season, including an Intamin freefall ride called Tower of Doom, a 700-seat theater, and the Mind Eraser roller coaster.
Built by Vekoma, the Mind Eraser is a Suspended Looping Coaster (SLC) model (689 m Standard) clone, seen at many parks throughout the world. The one that Premier added to Elitch Gardens was the fourth of four “Mind Erasers” that the company added at its parks. The other parks that received these clones are Six Flags America (1995),Six Flags New England (1997), and Darien Lake (1997). The Mind Eraser at Elitch Gardens was added stands on the land formerly occupied by the powered coaster,Runaway Mine Train, which was closed closed after two seasons when it was found that the ride's “hot rail” was badly damaged.
Shortly after opening, in 1999, the coaster got caught up in a lawsuit, when a woman filed suit against Six Flags Elitch Gardens over injuries she allegedly received from riding the Mind Eraser. The woman claimed that her shoulder harness did not properly hold her head in place, causing her to strike her head multiple times during the duration in the ride, resulting in a bloody eye, vision problems, headaches, nausea, cramps, slurred speech, and memory loss. During its first few years of operation, 21 other people also claimed injuries from the ride, and numerous others filed similar claims from the other Mind Eraser clones.
The ride starts off with a 115-foot climb up the rides lift hill, at which point the train banks to the right and swoops down in a curving drop towards the ground. Just feet above the ground, and reaching speeds of nearly 50 mph, the train ends its highly banked and swooping first drop, straightening out and then pulling up into a double-inversion called a Roll Over. The inversion essentially consists of a half-loop, followed by a reversed in-line roll (starting and ending upside down), and finishes with a half loop that runs parallel to the entrance of the inversion. From here, the track rises and banks almost completely sideways, putting the train nearly perpendicular to the ground before the train dives down to the left into a shallow trench parallel to the station.
Pulling out of the trench, the train enters its third inversion, the Sidewinder, also called an Immelman Loop. Exiting this inversion, the train twists to the right and pulls through a tight, 270-degree rightward helix that flows straight into a Double In-Line Twist, the last two inversions on the coaster. The train then rises slightly and banks heavily to the right again, dropping to the ground again before twisting and rising slightly into the final break run, ending the 2,260-foot long ride.
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