New Daytona Beach rollercoaster opening delayed

By Justin Warmoth, Reporter, jwarmoth@wkmg.com
Published On: Jul 30 2013 07:03:49 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 31 2013 06:43:29 PM EDT

The Sand Blaster, Daytona Beach's first ever 85-foot-tall coaster, has been in the works for roughly 18 months and is almost ready to be turned over to state inspectors.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -

Visitors young and old, hoping to ride the Sand Blaster on Wednesday were turned around.

State inspectors are concerned about lighting, and have delayed the opening of the new roller coaster on Daytona Beach. Currently, there are no lights on the coaster.

Co-owner Ed Kennedy says if there were, the coaster would be too bright on the beach, and he'd be breaking state laws that protect sea turtles.

"We're totally aware of the lighting issues, and we really feel that we're okay, we have plenty of ambient light in the area that will take care of the coaster," he said.

State inspectors want to make sure there is enough light for riders to safely get on and off the coaster when it's dark.

"You want to make sure that, you can see the people in the car and no ones doing something they shouldn't; keeping hands in cars, legs in cars," said Kennedy.

Workers spent the day adjusting the emergency break system and installing a second emergency stop button to the 85-foot tall coaster.

Inspectors will re-visit the coaster on Wednesday night, to see what it looks like in the dark.

"I think they can work the lights so they don't bother anybody, I mean they've done it on the boardwalk," said Ron Lichten, a Daytona resident.

90 seconds of twists, turns, drops, and stops -- all while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. 

The Sand Blaster, Daytona Beach's first ever 85-foot-tall coaster, has been in the works for roughly 18 months.

"We see a lot of closed eyes, a lot of white knuckles, and a lot of scream," said Kennedy.

Kennedy bought the used roller coaster from a closed-down amusement park in Delaware.

The ride was supposed to open up more than a year ago, but Kennedy ran into some problems with the purchasing of special parts.

The Cavallaros are visiting from Cocoa Beach and they say the location is what makes the Sand Blaster cool.

"Now kids can come and ride this coaster and go to the beach for just a little bit of money, you can't beat that," said Mike Cavallaro.

After investing over a million dollars, Kennedy said he is excited to show off his newest addition to the Daytona Beach Boardwalk.

"Everybody is asking us. They want to buy rides to it. So, it looks like it's going to be pretty good," Kennedy said.

The Sand Blaster will be open year round and will cost $6 to ride.

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