Timber Tower Remains Closed
Dollywood has just recently announced that its Timber Tower attraction will remain closed for the remainder of the 2011 season due to a contract dispute. Though the ride has not operated at all since the fall of 2010, the park has only now given any insight into why the ride is closed. Dollywood spokesman Pete Owens told news sources, such as WBIR, that "[The park] is in a contract dispute with the manufacturer of this ride and until this dispute is settled, the ride will remain idle."
The first clue that the ride would not likely operate occurred at the beginning of the season, in which the ride was completely left off of the park's maps, despite the fact that the ride is still standing there (much like Son of Beast at Kings Island). The 65-foot ride was built in 2005 by Huss Rides, a German-based amusement ride manufacturer. Despite being designed by the company in the 1990's, Dollywood's Topple tower, Timber Tower, wasn't built until 2005.
An incident on the ride back in mid-2007, in which 44 passengers got stranded on the ride at the beginning of its cycle, caused the ride to close down for a period of time. For unknown reasons, the rotating carriage became stuck at the top of the tower, causing the ride's emergency safety system to shut the ride town, stranding riders for nearly three hours. Since then, the ride has experienced a number of extended closures, culminating in late 2010, where the ride has been SBNO ever since.
Other than stating that the issues involved the operation of the ride, no other details have been given at this time. The park is hoping to resolve these issues as quickly as possible however, so that they might reopen what's been an operationally challenged ride thus far.