Estes Park's new Mustang Mountain Coaster is almost complete.

Construction on the once-controversial coaster began last summer, and now the project is slated to be ready just in time for Estes Park's peak tourist season, which begins in just a few months

According to the Estes Park Trail-Gazette, the Mustang Mountain Coaster project, which is being headed by former Estes Park Town Board Trustee Cody Walker, is on track to open May 21 — a weekend ahead of Memorial Day.

“A project this big and of such a public nature takes time to do right,” Walker told the Estes Park Trail-Gazette.

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Getting the Mustang Mountain Coaster project to where it is today has not been a smooth ride; following a lengthy battle with various citizen groups and a court case, a Colorado Supreme Court ruling officially allowed the coaster project to proceed as planned last summer.

“The biggest challenge has been having the patience to see the project through. All of us can do with a little more patience. I personally am a much more patient man today than I was three years ago,” said Walker. “The public nature of the project really magnifies things in ways that you did not see coming and it can make days feel like months.”

On top of the past issues with public perception and certain anti-growth groups, the COVID-19 pandemic has made any future planning difficult. However, Walker says the additional time wound up being beneficial for both himself and the coaster project.

“With the pandemic and all the changes in the world, the delays were actually a blessing,” said Walker. “It’s amazing how if you just stick with your principles the truth always wins. For me, I stuck by the words of James: ‘Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.’ And it carried me through and didn’t let my lack of patience damage relationships or result in bad decisions.”

The roughly 2,000-foot-long, gravity-fed coaster will be the first and only one of its kind within about 200 miles. The closest coaster that's comparable to the Mustang Mountain Coaster is the Outlaw Mountain Coaster in Steamboat Springs.

As of Wednesday (Mar. 17), the coaster itself is fully operational and the rest of the infrastructure is just days away from completion.

Single-ride passes for the new coaster are $20, three-ride passes are $35, and the all-day passes are $65. All passes are currently available for pre-purchase at MustangMountainCoaster.com.

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