Rocky Mountain high brings on new meaning for the Royal Gorge region spring of 2012 as the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, Cañon City, Colo., home to one of the world’s highest suspension bridges hosting over 25 million visitors since 1929, installs its newest thrill-seeker attraction. The Soaring Eagle Zip Line will race 1,400 feet over granite walls one thousand feet high.
According to Vice-President and General Manager Mike Bandera, The Soaring Eagle is currently under construction and will be ready for the public as early as the end of April 2012. “We can hardly wait,” said Bandera. “We found the perfect thrill ride that enhances the great experiences of the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park, and it’s family-friendly.”
Sitting on the North side of the Royal Gorge Bridge, the Soaring Eagle Zip Line will be perched on a 1,000-foot granite wall. Two lines carrying two riders each will zip 700 feet over canyon walls with heights ranging from 1,000 to 800 feet above the Arkansas River then zip back at approximately 35 miles-per hour. Unlike a typical canopy-type zip line tour, riders are secured into a “chair” that gives their arms and legs freedom of movement.
“It’s sister attraction, the Royal Rush Skycoaster, has had tremendous success at the park and has not only been a good business decision, but an extremely popular venue with our guests, and the Soaring Eagle will be just as thrilling and popular,” said Bandera. The Royal Rush has proven to be an internationally acclaimed thrill ride. Guests swing out from a 100-foot tower over the Royal Gorge, about 1,200 feet below. The Royal Rush and the Soaring Eagle are both additional fee attractions inside the park.
Stan Checketts, Soaring Eagle attraction designer, Logan, Utah, has created many rides for the attractions industry safely thrilling over 1 billion patrons worldwide. He said, “the beauty of this ride is the fact that it’s 1,000 feet up in the air, that in itself gives you a different perspective.” Checketts, also creator of the Big Shot on top of the Stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas, said “it’s the same principle as that ride, it’s a great ride on the ground, but you put it 1,000 feet in the air, and you’ve got a whole new dimension. The beautiful thing about the Soaring Eagle is you can ride with your date, or your grandchild side by side.” Checketts has installed several Soaring Eagles, this will be his ninth in the world. “There is no doubt in my mind that this is the world’s highest Soaring Eagle!”
The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is a natural attraction, with the Royal Gorge Bridge, the Incline Railway, one of the world’s steepest, and the Aerial Tram, one of the world’s longest single-span, open year round. The park adds a dozen more rides, shows and attractions for the tourist season beginning April 28, 2012. For more information visit www.royalgorgebridge.com or call 888-333-5597.