GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — They're coming from Texas. They're coming from California. They are coming from Washington, Alabama, Alaska … and, well, from all across the country. Members of American Coaster Enthusiasts will be arriving from 22 states and Canada. These roller coaster experts will descend upon Indiana and Michigan from Aug 3 - 5 at the 2018 ACE Preservation Conference. One of the main focuses of this national event is acknowledging wooden roller coasters still operating throughout the country.
"Keeping awareness about great wooden roller coasters is at the forefront of this annual conference," said ACE President Jerry Willard. "Newer steel coasters can often overshadow the classic wooden roller coaster, but we feel it is so engrained into the essence of a great amusement park, we never want to see that piece of Americana go away."
The group will spend part of Saturday, August 4, and Sunday, August 5 at Michigan's Adventure in Muskegon. Attendees will enjoy exclusive ride time after the park closes and before opening hours. The conference begins at Indiana Beach on Friday, August 3.
"Michigan's Adventure has three wooden coasters, and each one is unique," said Tim Baldwin, ACE communications director. "Wolverine Wildcat has a bit of a claim to fame. It was the first roller coaster built by a company that helped wooden coasters have a resurgence in the 1980s and '90s. And then, Shivering Timbers … that ride's a legend."
"ACE is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year," said Willard. "Since 1978 we have grown into the world's largest club dedicated to roller coasters. In the past four decades, we've unfortunately seen many amusement parks lost forever. Parks like these with wooden coasters are so important to families and the fun of summer. It's really a treat for us to return."
About ACE: Founded in 1978, American Coaster Enthusiasts is a nonprofit, volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation, promotion, appreciation and safe enjoyment of roller coasters. With more than 5,000 members worldwide, ACE is the largest and longest-running enthusiast organization in the world. Members of ACE receive exclusive park benefits, newsletters, magazines and the opportunity to attend national, local and even international tours at parks. ACE has been prominently featured on various news programs and many cable networks such as the Travel Channel.