Orange County Commissioners Approve Skyplex, World's Tallest Roller Coaster
The Orange County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously tonight to approve zoning on International Drive for what is slated to be the world’s tallest roller coaster. Skyplex, the 570-foot "Skyscraper coaster" will feature a drop more than 400 feet.
Fifty-six members of the public spoke at a final hearing that lasted about three hours. Long-time Tangelo Park resident Sam Butler presented petitions of support from his neighbors.
“We’re going to have a complex over there that I’m told is going to have an excess of 3,700 jobs," he said. "And those jobs are going to be within walking distance from my community, so I don’t see anything but a win-win situation.”
Opponents of the $500 million project, such as competitor Universal Orlando, say the coaster will hurt the tourism landscape on International Drive. Others cited traffic and light pollution as major concerns.
Proponents of the project, from businessmen and lawyers to residents and realtors, said in their testimonies that Skyplex will serve as an anchor for the north corridor of International Drive. The say the area is in need of an economic revival and will bring jobs.
:A rising tide rises all boats," said Skyplex developer Joshua Wallace. "We’re only a few years away from the great recession where nobody could find a job, and now finally we’re on our way up. We’re moving. Banks are loaning to good people. We have no right to stop good projects."
Wallace welcomes competition from Universal Orlando and others, adding “The whole world is waiting for this project to be built.”
He expects the roller coaster to open in summer of 2018.