GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Elvis Presley’s favorite roller coaster has attracted its one millionth rider in Green Bay, three years earlier than the city expected.
Ashley Jolley of Oswego Illinois was about to board a replica of the Zippin Pippin at Bay Beach Park Sunday when she got surprised by Green Bay’s mayor.
Jim Schmitt threw confetti and gave Jolley a gift basket. She then joined the mayor as the millionth-rider on the Zippin Pippin.
It was Elvis’s favorite ride when it operated for decades at a park in Memphis. Elvis died in 1977 and the park later shut down.
A few years ago, Green Bay got the idea of reviving the Zippin Pippin as a tourist attraction. The city spent $3.8 million on the replica – and they were expecting 200,000 people a year to ride it when it debuted in 2011.
At the current pace, total ridership could be double the projected figure by 2016.