Last year, Northgate took the plunge into the world of alpine coasters (sometimes called a mountain coaster). This is something we considered for several years, but it took a little courage to finally pull the trigger. The initial investment is high, but ultimately we believe that this attraction would align well with our camping audience and turn out to be a highly sought-after amenity.
In our 2023 camping survey, we learned that campers are very likely to also take amusement park vacations. Many also noted wanting to feel “adventurous” while camping. Coupled these stats with the fact that we are routinely finding more demand for activities and amenities that appeal to teenagers and you have a strong case for an alpine coaster.
At Northgate Resorts, we pride ourselves by investing in the most engaging and exciting attractions and amenities that the world of outdoor hospitality has to offer. We’re also dedicated to operating those amenities at the highest level in the industry. We feel like our alpine coasters have proven to be a positive example of that commitment to be on the cutting edge of outdoor fun.
Let’s delve into the benefits of these coasters and the impact they can have on your camping experience and business. But first…
What is an alpine coaster?
An alpine coaster is a unique outdoor recreational attraction that combines the exhilaration of a roller coaster with the natural beauty of alpine landscapes. Unlike traditional roller coasters, alpine coasters are often situated on mountainous terrains, winding their way through forests and meadows, providing riders with breathtaking panoramic views. These single or dual-person carts are equipped with individual braking systems, allowing riders to control their own speed as they navigate the twists, turns, and drops of the track (there is a max speed cap). The experience blends the excitement of a high-speed ride with an immersive journey through nature, making alpine coasters a fusion of adventure and scenic exploration.
Why might you consider adding an alpine coaster to your resort?
1. Unmatched Thrills and Memorable Experiences
Our commitment to providing unforgettable experiences led us to introduce alpine coasters at Camp Fimfo Texas Hill Country and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Golden Valley in North Carolina. These coasters offer an adrenaline-packed journey through breathtaking landscapes, providing an extra layer of excitement to your camping adventure. Our alpine coasters offer a truly unique camping experience.
2. Attracting a Diverse Audience
Alpine coasters appeal to a wide range of demographics, from families seeking a bonding experience to thrill-seekers hungry for excitement. This diversity in attraction broadens your campground’s audience, making it an ideal destination for various groups.
We’ve also found that the alpine coaster appeals to both older and younger children, as the brake mechanism allows riders to customize their speed and level of “adventure.” Over 30% of our campground guests purchase a coaster ride.This is up to 3x the conversion rate that we see for other activities and attractions at our park, such as gem mining, demonstrating the broad appeal of this amenity.
3. Boosting Day Use Revenue
The addition of alpine coasters adds a compelling reason for visitors to stop by your campground or resort, even if they aren’t staying with you. Guests are drawn in by the coaster itself. Campground riders at our Texas location are not camping with us, resulting in a notable rise in day use revenue. Day passes at our Camp Fimfo Texas Hill Country location are up 259% since the opening of the alpine coaster. While this can’t all be attributed to the coaster of course, this is the only significant change we have made to our day pass offerings in the past year, suggesting highly that the coaster is the cause!
4. Enhancing Campground Visibility and Brand Recognition
The introduction of the first alpine coaster in Texas and the unique installation at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Golden Valley has garnered widespread attention. The coasters have become landmarks, attracting media coverage and social media buzz, significantly elevating the visibility of our campgrounds. We have noticed this especially in Texas where there were no other alpine coasters in the area. The novelty of the first coaster in Texas has attracted a ton of great PR for the whole property.
Specifically, social media impressions related to our alpine coasters have performed exceptionally well.Coaster content tends to always outperform other content types on social media and are consistently our top-performing posts. Since opening in the spring, coaster-specific social media posts for Camp Fimfo have had 32,000+ engagements (likes, comments, shares) and reached 1.1 (1,116,539) million users on Facebook and Instagram, showcasing the power of these attractions in boosting brand recognition.
To generate further revenue and social sharing, you might consider a video solution to help capture content for riders and promote easy sharing.
Okay, So Now You’re Sold on the Idea. Anything Else to Consider?
The ideal location for building an alpine coaster is in a population dense area or near a resort with a high occupancy volume.
Access to the coaster is critical. When considering an alpine coaster parking and overflow parking should be considered. The larger the parking, the more riders that can be riding the coaster. It is also important to consider additional amenities to capture riders to make it a true destination.
Daily inspections and routine maintenance are generally easy, but having critical parts on hand will reduce potential downtime and lost revenue.
Last but not least, a strong wifi network is critical to coaster operations for additional revenue generating strategies and camera monitoring systems. Cameras will help drive down insurance costs and labor costs.
In conclusion, the strategic introduction of alpine coasters into Northgate Resorts’ campgrounds has proven to be a great investment. The impact on guest experience, campground attendance, revenue generation, and brand visibility has turned this unique attraction into a powerful asset for our properties that we are looking forward to seeing continue to grow in popularity!
Interested in learning more about this project or having Northgate assist you in the management of your campground? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.