After 26 years of travelling, it has been announced that Olympia Looping will spend the majority of the 2016 season permanently based at Wiener Prater, an amusement park in Austria.
Olympia Looping is arguably the most iconic rollercoaster in the world. Show your non-coaster friends a picture of it and chances are they will have heard of it already – some of them may have even ridden it.
The ride made it’s debut on 17th September 1989 at the Munich Oktoberfest, holding the record as the largest portable rollercoaster in the world. Occupying a plot of 85 metres wide by 36 metres deep, the monstrous structure weighs in at over 900 tonnes.
It was back in 2014 that rumours began to circulate suggesting the uncertainty over the future of the ride. Rapidly increasing operational and transport costs have left owner Rudolf Barth feeling that it is not feasible to continue travelling the ride.
“[In 2013], when we went from the Oktoberbest to the Bremer Freimarkt, the transport alone cost us 80,000 euro.” Says Barth in an interview with Aachener Zeitung. “After 16 days, we were left with only 20,000 euro. It’s not worth it anymore”
26 years have passed since the ride first opened, and yet the ride remains as popular as ever. The news of the ride entering semi-retirement has left fans questioning – will we ever see a ride like Olympia Looping on the travelling circuit again?
Quite simply – no. Probably not. In today’s money, a new Olympia looping would be worth approximately 25 million Euros – an investment that you just wouldn’t be able to earn back in the current climate.
It’s not all bad news
But, we must remain positive. Olympia Looping is still in Europe, and still under the ownership of Barth. The ride will be open from March – August 2016 at Wiener Prater and will then be travelled to Munich for Oktoberfest. What Barth has planned for the coaster post-2016 remains to be seen, but we can hope!
Check out this great on-ride footage from our friends at UKRides.info