Hersheypark has announced that Wildcat will close forever on July 31st this summer on social media. The coaster world immediately started speculating what will become of this once loved, but well worn ride. Wildcat has a sentimental place for more than Hersheypark as it was Great Coaster International's, or GCI for short, first coaster. GCI's very own Clair Hain Jr. recently gave an interview to news radio WKOK. He had this to say about Wildcat, "There was competition with myself and another competitor on redoing what they have with a new type of track, the steel track. I felt pretty positive I was going to get the project but I was told I did not get the job. It’s sad. These are part of my children the way I look at it. But this isn’t the first time this has happened to me.”
Titan Track is a new maintenance product from GCI that can replace wooden track with a weld-less steel track. It has been used on White Lightning at FunSpot, The Predator at Darien Lake, and Wolverine Wildcat at Michigan's Adventure. It's use is limited so far, however It was designed to refurbish or redesign entire layouts. GCI claimed that the Titan Track and Infinity Flyer could be paired to add inversions and element not possible before.
Reflecting on Mr. Hain's quote about losing out to a competitor, and it not being the first time this happened could be a reference to Rocky Mountain Construction, RMC, getting the green light to redesign old GCI wood coasters. Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa, and Roar at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom had both previously been converted into steel coasters by RMC. This seems like a logical jump since Hersheypark mused with a tease, "Any suggestions on what we could do with 3,100 feet of wooden track?" This teasing statement at the end of their message led their fans to believe the track would go away but not the structure, a hint that it will be redesigned into something new. Not to miss a beat RMC responded to their message with, "We have a few ideas..."
Whatever happens to Wildcat based on what we know so far, I'm interested.