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Public hearing is Tuesday on proposed alpine coaster in Helen
Vehicle meant for scenic views, not thrills
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Helen City Commission

What: Proposed rezoning to allow for alpine coaster

When: 10 a.m. Tuesday

Where: City Hall, 25 Alpenrosen Strasse

A proposed amusement ride focused more on views than stomach-dropping thrills is set to go before the Helen City Commission Tuesday for a public hearing and possible final vote.

Terry Sims, owner of Cool River Tubing in Helen, is looking to bring the “alpine coaster” to the popular North Georgia tourist town.

Alpine coasters are not the same as roller coasters, Sims has said.

They travel downhill, with single cars on tracks and 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.”

To move forward, the project would require approval for rezoning from residential to commercial on property at 8409 S. Main St. — a lot near City Hall and just east of the dense downtown development around the Chattahoochee River.

“The proposed development will not affect the adjacent properties, environmentally and financially,” according to a narrative that’s attached to Sims’ rezoning application.

“The majority of the development will be located where there has been previous development on the property,” the document further states. “The majority of the property will be left undisturbed and wooded.”

The coaster “will be used one person at a time and has minimal noise,” the document says. “The public would gain a family-friendly place for outdoor activity.”

Sims said this week that if he gets the city’s approval, the coaster could open in the fall or winter.