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Plans in works for a one-day dual zip line
Arthur Boivin of Rumford is seen finishing a zip line trip he took recently while at the Bootleg Canyon Zip Line in Las Vegas, NV.
RUMFORD -- If all goes as planned, this year's Fourth of July celebration will include a one-day dual zip line.
Envision Rumford! is a local group working to bring a zip line here as their latest venture in an effort to energize Rumford's business climate.
Having the single-day dual zip line on Hosmer Field, the location for the Fourth of July event, would be part of the committee's Thumbs Up! campaign to try to drum up support for this ambitious project.
Last week, committee members Tom Carey, Jim Rinaldo and Jim Sysko met to address the Fourth of July project. Sysko, an engineer from Newry who made his own 5,000-foot zip line, proposed dual lines running from high on the third baseman’s line banking with rigging extending from Hannaford parking lot (needing only one parking space and he having already spoken to the assistant manager who will approach upper management for approval) and a line extending down the first base line beyond the fence and anchored by a skidder with the ending point being inside the ballpark.
Rinaldo will speak to someone about the use of two skidders for anchoring purposes. Another business is being contacted for equipment including helmets and gear.
Carey said it’s felt they will need a team of six to eight people to safely operate the lines. The tentative running time would be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a spill over if necessary. He is making contacts regarding insurance and code issues.
Sysko is considering what amount to charge to cover expenses, etc. There is talk of perhaps having some raffles before the Fourth of July for people to get free tickets.
Carey stressed that this is still in the planning stages. There may be safety issues including helmets, gear, etc. The Fire Marshal's Office, which oversees zip lines, may need to be involved in this even though it's just for one day. The Code Enforcement Officer may need to weigh in any fashion that he determines appropriate.
Carey is also contacting Town Manager Carlo Puiia and Town Attorney Jennifer Kreckel to advise of liability and insurance issues. A release of liability form may be necessary for those participating in the one-day zip line.
Envision Rumford! recently began giving out promotional Thumbs Up! stickers, made by committee member Cherry Smith, and available at her business, Ink Plaza of 64 Congress St. The free removable promo logos can be used in windows in stores or on vehicles. These stickers will generate conversation about the zip lines as well as demonstrate support to entities such as Brookfield Power, NewPage and the Rumford Board of Selectmen, all of which are seen as key for the zip line project to be successful here.
Carey said the zip line project is intended to be one of a kind. There are up to six potential zip lines sites, perhaps unmatched in the world, with over 14,000 feet of zip lines, with two of them alone measuring between 3,850 and 4,000 feet.
Each of the zip lines will be within a matter of feet from Route 2, which is considered a "sweet spot" in the zip line industry, and Rumford's business district. The zip line project will be an incubator for other businesses and vendors. The consequences of the project are endless but the seed needs to be planted and cultivated. The zip line project has both destination potential and the advantage of high traffic volume on Route 2. Hotels, restaurants, clothing vendors, gas stations and many more businesses will be the beneficiaries.
He said a critical part of their plan includes expert review of the zip line sites by a professional to determine their viability and also to generate a business plan that is mutually beneficial to the developer, manager and operator of the project.
In the March meeting of Envision Rumford!, they had a substantial telephone conference with Brad Morse of Canopy Tours, one of the largest zip line companies in the world. Carey said his consultants fee for doing exactly what we need is approximately $6,000, which would include his travel, lodging and consultation for one day during which time he would be able to assess the viability of the project, the location of the zip lines and the prospect of financing and actually operating the zip lines once constructed.
"He indicated that the zip lines could employ upwards of 40 people with some reduction during the winter months," said Carey.
The committee is looking for a sponsor for these consultation costs.