Elvis Presley considered the Zippin Pippin his favorite roller coaster. He used to the shut down the Memphis amusement park where it was located so he and his friends could enjoy the ride. The city of Green Bay has approved buying the ride and moving it Bay Beach Park. Mayor Jim Schmitt expects Elvis fans will make a special trip to his city.

“I’ve had more people call saying ‘look I do a great Elvis impersonation, can I be there for the dedication? ‘ I think Elvis has an unbelievable following,” says Schmitt.

Built in 1923, the Zippin Pippin is the second oldest wooden roller coaster in the United States, which Schmitt says will fit well with the inexpensive, old world style of Bay Beach.

City Council members who voted against the purchase say it is the wrong move in a down economy. Schmitt understands the concern but says the attraction will be “a great revenue source.” The total cost is $3 million but the mayor estimates with ridership and private donations it will be paid off in ten years.

Schmitt says they hope to unveil the Zippin Pippin in spring of 2011.

Brian Moon reports (:65)


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