Meet me at the saloon

Designing a theme park is probably one of the most challenging things I do. For better than ten years I designed and led our team as we worked on building new themes for existing attractions at West Edmonton Mall. Occasionally we worked on new rides which was always exciting. All of that was great training for the project now in progress. I'm sure glad I have that decade of experience to draw on as we'll as another decade and a half of designing and building smaller theme parks.

Now we are on a fast track to design and build an entire medium sized theme park from scratch. Traffic flow, sight lines, staffing, ride envelopes and a hundred other things all come into play. Because some of the rides are previously owned, we also have to figure out ways to blend themes and yet keep a believeable story line with Giggle Ridge - a turn of the century (1900's) logging camp. It is all challenging.

One large area of the new park will be western in theme. A saloon building (to house a concession and washrooms) was an obvious choice of themes. Today I worked up the concept art for the building. I called on distant memories of my visits to Knott's Berry Farm and old spaghetti westerns from years ago, blending that with a little of Giggle Ridge. The name of the saloon was a nod to Giggle Ridge as were the tree posts on the front and back porch. The date '1864' is a celebration of Chris' (one of the owners) birthday but backed up a hundred years.

The old time saloon will be a great place to grab a root beer or other beverage of your choice without a doubt and the two benches out front will be prime spots to watch the gun fights at high noon. See ya there pard'ner.

-grampa dan