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Boise might get a sky ride

The sky ride planned for the Western Idaho Fairgrounds would resemble a ski lift. A company hopes to start operating it in time for the 2018 fair.
The sky ride planned for the Western Idaho Fairgrounds would resemble a ski lift. A company hopes to start operating it in time for the 2018 fair.

A Beaverton, Oregon, company hopes to build a ride resembling a ski lift that would run from the main entrance to the northern end of the Western Idaho Fairgrounds in Garden City.

That’s about a 1,300-foot trip, said Bob Batista, director of Expo Idaho, the division of Ada County government that puts on the fair. Dozens of seats, perhaps about 40, holding as many as three people each would hang from cables running between posts about 40 feet tall. The seats would be about 34 feet above ground.

The ride would move about 3 mph. Riders would get on and off at either the front gate or near the carnival area on the north side of the fairgrounds. The return trip would trace the same route as the way in, Batista said. A round trip likely would last 20-30 minutes.

No price has been set for tickets, but Batista expects them cost somewhere around $5 for a one-way trip and $7 for a round trip.

A private company, Butler Family Fun, would build, own, operate and maintain the “sky ride,” he said. It would contribute 20 percent of its ticket sales to Expo Idaho.

Batista said Butler already operates at least two other sky rides at fairs in California and Yakima, Washington, and is planning another one in Pleasanton, California. Some of the people who run Butler Family Fun are involved in Butler Amusements, which provides the carnival rides at the Western Idaho Fair and dozens of other fairs.

Ada County commissioners are scheduled to hear Butler’s proposal for the sky ride on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Batista said the company hopes to get a permit by March, start construction by April and have the ride ready for the 2018 fair, which starts Aug. 17.

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