Plans finalized to send Zippin Pippin to Green Bay

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis' loss became Green Bay's gain Wednesday when the mayor of the Wisconsin city signed contracts to buy the Zippin Pippin roller coaster.

After 75 years at Libertyland, the historic roller coaster that Elvis Presley once rode will now be the key attraction at Bay Beach Amusement park in Green Bay.

The contract signing was done through a teleconference involving the mayor of Green Bay and Shelby County Commissioner Steve Mulroy.  

Mulroy said saying goodbye to the coaster was bittersweet.

"Obviously, I would have preferred that we save the Pippin here in Memphis, Tennessee," Mulroy said, "but that just wasn't working out.  And then up pops Green Bay at the last minute to the rescue."

The coaster will be reassembled in Green Bay, taking a big piece of Memphis history more than 700 miles to the north.

Greg Erickson, a supporter of the Zippin Pippin, said he was pleased that the coaster found a home.

"It's just a good thing that this didn't end up in the city dumps," Erickson said.

Mulroy said he looked forward to riding the coaster in a new city.

"In ... two years at the most, we will be able to go up to Green Bay to a great amusement park called Bay Beach and ride the revitalized, resurrected Zippin Pippin," Mulroy said.

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