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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, 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.



EgbertSouse4U: Posted: July 21, 2014 5:24 p.m.

They're obviously doing an upgrade on this beast, they are quite aware of its iconographic status. Everybody untwist yourselves.

bobforte: Posted: July 21, 2014 6:58 p.m.

Yes, it is getting the same treatment the wooden coaster in Texas (I believe) got. To lazy to google it.

savecolossus: Posted: July 21, 2014 9:15 p.m.

Bob & Egbert: Before we formed Save Colossus!, a number of former Magic Mountain employees talked it over on Facebook. While a few said they'll put in a steel track like Texas Giant, there were as many who saw older wooden coasters getting shut down and we knew we didn't want that.

Here's an article on about the shutdown of Cyclone roller coaster by Six Flags in New England just yesterday:

Notice that article says that "...there are no definite plans for the land..." and "...sometimes retiring older attractions is part of the process..."

So, there's reason to worry if your a Colossus fan.

craiggad: Posted: July 22, 2014 7:51 a.m.

Who cares more important things to worry about then a rollercoaster

ricketzz: Posted: July 22, 2014 9:21 a.m.

The 6 Flags in Houston is gone. I hope they recycled the wood and steel. I rode the Pacific Ocean Park roller coaster. The coaster at the Pike. And Dorney Park in Allentown (PA, where I was born).

I have issues with pressure in my eyeballs so I don't ride rides like I used to, but I can tell from the numbers the newer rides have crisper speed dynamics, scarier lateral g forces. Recycle the wood.

scv_donn: Posted: July 22, 2014 9:43 a.m.

Personally, I can't ride any of the newer, faster, upside down ones. I'm too old. When I take my grandkids to 6 flags there's only a couple I can ride. Colossus being one or Ninja. I say save Colossus. I'll sign up right now.

bobforte: Posted: July 22, 2014 9:54 a.m.

savecolossus: Former employees, huh? Why don't you talk to the current employees, especially the ones in management? You will get a different story.

Baddog1: Posted: July 22, 2014 11:24 a.m.

Its a done deal. They are refurbishing the whole thing. New track, and it will still be a "Wooden Coaster". No need to try and get involved. It will probably open under a new name.

bartman: Posted: July 22, 2014 12:25 p.m.

Good news bad news.... Good news... Six Flags will refurbish the classic roller coaster as they said initially prior to the media spin and free publicity.

Bad News the non profit organization set up to save Colossus is probably not going to receive any further donations. However, there will be a politician who will claim they saved the coaster.

Maybe someone should contact the park or visit the park so they can hear what the employees are saying (or just read the comments from those who have).

bartman: Posted: July 22, 2014 12:49 p.m.

This just in... Hundreds to lose their jobs between September and the end of October at Magic Mountain. Its very obvious from the recent events, and the lack of attention management has provided to the public, that had such a negative impact that the park plans to lay off hundreds of week day employees starting in September.

We can help save Magic Mountain from its own demise and get jobs for these poor unfortunate souls. Just send all your money to my paypal account and I will do the rest.

savecolossus: Posted: July 23, 2014 7:49 a.m.

Gee, I usually I get to play the cynic, but I guess it's Bartman's turn today. Were the shoe on the other foot, I'd be right there with him, thinking, "somebody is trying to make some money out of this," but the fact is that the car magnets cost $184 for 100 and the artwork -- used for the website, the magnet and possibly a t-shirt -- cost nearly $200. Selling them at 2 for $5 with free shipping is clearly a losing equation.

Everyone of us working at Save Colossus! has a day job and is doing this in their spare time. We do it because we love the ride for a myriad of reasons and want to see it remain, in its current state, at Magic Mountain for everyone to enjoy. It's that simple.

Thanks for keeping us honest, Bartman.

ricketzz: Posted: July 23, 2014 9:22 a.m.

Is bartman being tongue in cheek? The park hires extra for summer, lays off in the fall.

DMeyer: Posted: July 23, 2014 10:52 a.m.

No ricetzzz bartman is not being tongue in cheek. Don't forgot to send all of your money to bartmans's paypal account!

17trillion: Posted: July 23, 2014 11:39 a.m.

What some people think is important is beyond me......

cms96: Posted: July 23, 2014 3:03 p.m.

They omitted the fact that most of these people were Paul Walker stragglers that couldn't find their way out of Santa Clarita. I believe they want to rename McBean to Colossus Avenue....

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