MASON, Oh. — One of the most popular attractions at Kings Island's Soak City water park is closed for good.
General Manager Mike Koontz has confirmed that "Pipeline Paradise" will not open for the 2023 season, and will soon be dismantled.
In a letter to the Tsunami Surf Club and other Midwestern surfing groups, the GM explained that "after 24 years, a decision was made to decommission Pipeline Paradise because it has reached the end of its service life."
Pipeline Paradise was one of the last of a kind in the world, a surf simulator that made it feel as if you were riding a real ocean wave.
Surf groups throughout the region would regularly meet there.
Fan Mike Maynard is among those disappointed by the news.
He told WCPO that "many Cincinnati surfers have purchased their own custom boogie boards to ride this wave. The Retro, the most challenging of the two rides, is unique, and is one of the last Retro flowriders in the world as other parks have removed it (such as Hurricane Harbor in Texas). Many families purchase boards and season passes at KI just for this one ride, and riders have flown to Cincinnati from Texas just to ride the Retro."
The park's GM says "it was a hard decision," similar to the 2018 decision to close Vortex, a favorite looping roller coaster.
But he says reliability issues and maintenance costs forced them to decide to retire Pipeline Paradise.
Unfortunately fans will not have a chance to have any farewell rides on the surf simulator, as they did for weeks on Vortex.
Pipeline Paradise will not be opening at all this season, leaving riders with just their photos and memories.
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