This roller coaster could be Nashville's next towering skyline addition - Nashville Business Journal
A Florida-based inventor wants to bring his roller coaster dreams to Nashville.
Bill Kitchen's company, ThrillCorp, recently filed an initial public offering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for his thrill-ride firm. In the SEC filing, Nashville was listed alongside Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as cities that would receive a Polercoaster if the company's IPO is successful in raising sufficient funds.
A Polercoaster is essentially a roller coaster that's built into the same volume and footprint as a skyscraper. The coaster is built along a spire, or pole. According to a news release, a Polercoaster needs only a half acre of land. Kitchen already has approval to build a Polercaster in Orlando, as part of a project set to open in 2018.
According to a news release, the public offering is based off a new SEC rule that allows companies to sell shares directly to investors. Shares went on sale for $10 each on June 22, with a maximum of $50 million worth of stock available. The attractions are expected to cost between $12 million to $15 million at each site.
"We expect our prospective investors will view these videos and say: ‘We want to make it happen!'” ThrillCorp CEO David Gust said in a news release. (One of those videos is embedded with this story.)
To be sure, Kitchen's proposal is a long way from reality. For one, investor appetite in the project is currently unclear. The there's the issue of local regulatory approvals. While tourism is certainly booming in Nashville, there's been some pushback to attractions that don't align with Nashville's Music City brand (as witnessed by the reaction of some to SoBro's planned Margaritaville hotel).
That said, for Nashville to show up on the company's shortlist is another validation of the city's recent tourism surge.
Nashville's Polercoaster would rise up to 600 feet off the ground and could include zip lines, drop rides, skywalks, an observation deck or a lounge, along with the roller coaster.
“This really changes the game,” Kitchen said in the release. “We make the best park attractions more thrilling by going taller. We put them where people can use them more frequently and at a much lower cost than a theme park. We make it a casual outing as opposed to a full day’s commitment."
As of yet, the company has no operations or revenue, according to the filing, but it certainly has big dreams.
“We believe there are 30 to 50 viable markets in the U.S. alone," Michael Kitchen, the company’s chief development officer (and Bill Kitchen's son), said in the release.
Bill Kitchen previously created iFly, an indoor skydiving company that now has 26 locations in the United States and Brazil, and Skycoaster, a giant swing company. The two ventures have generated more than $2 billion in revenue, according to the release.