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Fans lead drive to save Colossus

Posted: July 21, 2014 2:14 p.m.
Updated: July 21, 2014 2:14 p.m.

A view of the mammoth Colossus roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Signal file photo

 

With the looming Aug. 16 deadline to ride Colossus before it’s shut down, some fans of the 36-year-old roller coaster are trying to save it — or at least have some say in what happens to it.

“We prefer it stay in the state it was when it was first made,” said Donald Patti, co-founder of the “Save Colossus!” campaign. “We’re hopeful that we can have enough signatures on the petition that Six Flags will keep it in its state.”

Fellow fans of the iconic 125-foot-tall wooden coaster can sign the petition on the group’s website, www.savecolossus.com. The group hopes to obtain 1,000 signatures before the ride’s Aug. 16 close date.

The drive’s member base consists of less than 200 people hailing from California, Montana, Washington D.C., and even places as far away as Russia. Patti is among the Washington, D.C., enthusiasts.

“There is an enormous amount of power in a group of people coming together for a cause,” said Patti.

“Save Colossus!” fellow co-founder and Montana resident Matt Glumac said Colossus is among the most filmed roller coasters in the world.

“It has premiered all over film and television for years, so it is easily one of the most famous,” said Glumac.

Glumac also said that wooden roller coasters like Colossus are marvels of science and engineering, and they should be preserved because of that.

Many of the group’s members have a personal connection to the ride.

“I met my girlfriend of three years so far working at Six Flags, and Colossus is a very special place to both of us,” said Valencia resident and “Save Colossus!” member Ryan Osborne. “It is an iconic roller coaster that should never be torn down. It should only be restored.”

Six Flags Magic Mountain is mindful of this effort.

“We’re thrilled that so many people are as passionate about Colossus as we are at Six Flags Magic Mountain,” said spokeswoman Sue Carpenter. “We think they’ll love what we have planned for the future.”

The firm has offered no details about what will take the place of Colossus.

One tactic that “Save Colossus!” used was “Phone-‘Em-Up Friday,” a designated day dedicated to calling influential individuals about their concerns.

According to the cause’s website, they recently called the office of L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. The website’s administrator said he spoke “at length” with field deputy Dave Perry.

While the website suggests that Perry lent a sympathetic ear to the cause, Perry deferred comment in a phone call Monday.

The group has also called the offices of Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste, Patti said, adding that he received no response. Six Flags Magic Mountain is not in the city.

“Six Flags is a private business, and that’s a matter for them to consider,” city spokesman Evan Thomason said when asked about the calls.

The protesters are also planning to target Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, and state Sen. Steve Knight, R-Lancaster.

“I’m on the side of business, and if closing Colossus means making more money, then I think they should go ahead and close it,” Knight said.

“If we’re not able to save it, we’ll have to accept whatever outcome will come of it,” Patti said.

Others, however, were not so calm.

“You can never be forgiven for closing Colossus,” said Glumac.

 

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