'Keep this bag'

Silverwood planning new thrill ride

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COEUR d'ALENE - A vomit bag with a press release? Is this some kind of sick joke?

Not if you're Silverwood Theme Park.

Sure, it's a good promotional gimmick, but they're not entirely kidding, either. You might need that small white bag next time you visit the park and give its new ride a whirl.

It's going to be a doozy.

"It is highly recommended you keep this bag," it reads under the word, "WARNING."

Silverwood will soon announce the details of a 102-foot thrill ride that will be part of its lineup this season.

"This is very, very exciting for us," said Nancy DiGiammarco, Silverwood spokeswoman.

She declined to give specifics on the new thrill ride, but did say it cost several million dollars and it will be unique. The company building it is doing so for the first time in the U.S.

The ride will stand a shade taller than rollercoasters Tremors at 100 feet and Timber Terror at 85 feet, but shorter than Aftershock at 191 feet, or Panic Plunge at 140 feet. But rest assured it's going to be one terrific trip.

A family fun ride will also be announced at the Jan. 22 press conference set for 10 a.m. at the Best Western Coeur d'Alene Inn.

The two are expected to have an immediate impact.

"I think we're going to see a nice boost in attendance with these two rides," DiGiammarco said.

Silverwood, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary, has more than 65 rides and attractions and employs more than 1,000 in the summer. It attracted more than 650,000 visitors last year, up slightly from the previous year. Revenue was also up.

DiGiammarco said it was an unusual season that got off to a strong start in May, up about 15 percent, then faltered due to heavy June rains, before guests returned in large numbers in July and August.

Season pass sales for this season are off to a strong start.

"We expect them to go up even more with the new rides, which will fill more hotel rooms," she said.

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