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Helen business owner sets sights on alpine coaster
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Nestled in the Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Tenn., is a quiet little ride known as an “alpine coaster” that lets single riders cruise through the mountains and enjoy the view.

Terry Sims, owner of Cool River Tubing in Helen, hopes to bring a similar alpine coaster to Helen.

Alpine coasters are not the same as roller coasters, Sims said. They are downhill, single cars on tracks, with adjustable speeds. Riders can push to go or pull to slow, and the appeal is typically the opportunity to enjoy a natural view.

“It’s really not a roller coaster,” Sims said. “It’s very different.”

Helen Building and Zoning Administrator Larry Krul said the city has not yet received a completed proposal from Sims.

“The proposal is incomplete at this time,” Krul said. “There are no public hearings scheduled at all.”

The project would require approval for rezoning the property in question.

Sims also said the project is in the preliminary stages, and he’s “not sure what’ll happen,” but he believes the attraction would be a good addition to the area.

“There’s a lot to do there,” Sims said.