Duluth's newest tourist attraction opens FridayThe Timber Flyer Zip Line opens to the public at 10 a.m. Friday. Test runs took place Thursday and employees and a few others were the first to give it a try.
Spirit Mountain is adding a little zip to its adventure park.
The zip comes from the newly constructed Timber Flyer Zip Line, which opens to the public at 10 a.m. Friday. Test runs took place today and employees and a few others were the first to give it a try.
“It was sweet,” said 13-year-old Sydney Hyduke after her test-ride Thursday afternoon.
Her friend Adara Zwak, 13, described the 90-second ride, starting with the burst of speed she felt in the beginning.
“It was scary at first,” she said. “Then it slows a little and then you have a surprise ending,” she said referring to what she described as a jolt that happens as riders come to the end of the line. Then riders are pulled back up the way they came allowing for views of Spirit Lake below.
Hyduke and Zwak rode at least five times while Jon Clawson, a supervisor overseeing the zip line and coaster, tweaked the operating system and a professional photographer made images for Spirit Mountain promotional materials.
The addition of the zip line comes after the Timber Twister Alpine Coaster opened last year in the same vicinity.
“It’s the adventure-park concept,” said Briana Johnson, Spirit Mountain’s marketing director.
The zip line, which will be open year-round like the coaster, is the only ride of its kind in the Midwest, Johnson said. Riders climb onto a metal gate to get into the bench-type seat, which can hold up to 450 pounds, and people can ride solo or with another rider. The seat is secured with safety belts by a Spirit Mountain employee before riders are released 700 feet down a cable at up to 30 miles per hour.
“It isn’t a free-fall zip line,” Johnson said. “We program in how fast it goes so it’s a very controlled ride much like you’d find in an amusement park.”
Opening day was delayed after the zip line was hit by lightning in a storm earlier this week and had to be repaired.
In addition to the coaster and zip line, a nine-hole mini golf course designed by Duluth architect David Salmela is slated to open this fall. A six-lane snow tubing run will open in December, and the plans don’t stop there.
“There’s no rest in sight,” Johnson said about next summer’s projects including a new chalet on Grand Avenue and possibly a new chairlift. “We’re so pleased to be in a position where we can offer guests so many new recreation opportunities in such a short amount of time.”
Tickets for the coaster and zip line are the same price: $8 for a single rider, $12 for double riders. A 10-pack of tickets can be purchased for $60.
For more information, call (218) 628-2891 or visit www.spiritmt.com.