The dream of opening an alpine coaster along Flathead Lake finally came to fruition Tuesday morning when Torsten and Jessica Wedel, of Stevensville, sent the first riders down the tracks at Flathead Lake Alpine Coaster.
The project in Lakeside had been underway since 2021, when the couple unsuccessfully sought to build the attraction in Rollins.
“We feel really good,” Jessica Wedel said on Tuesday. “Obviously, it’s been a long road.”
Construction crews affiliated with Flathead Lake Alpine Coaster worked on a section of the project in April.
ANTONIO IBARRA OLIVARES, Missoulian
Opposition to the coaster dogged the project for months. The Upper West Shore Alliance in Lakeside raised safety and traffic concerns, and members also worried about the general impact of an alpine coaster in a predominantly residential neighborhood.
But after the Montana Department of Transportation reviewed final construction plans in May, the Wedels got the green light to modify U.S. Highway 93 and open their attraction.
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Jessica said about 30 rides had been completed on the new coaster by