Memphians will soon be able to get a free ride on the Zippin Pippin. The only catch is: They'll have to go to Green Bay, Wisconsin, to do so.
The city of Green Bay became interested in buying the former Libertyland ride, the country's second-oldest wooden roller coaster and Elvis' favorite, in January. And like the Zippin Pippin itself in its prime, things are moving quickly.
The purchase proposal will go before the Green Bay City Council March 2nd.
"We would like to have everything in the next 60 days," said Green Bay mayor Jim Schmitt. Green Bay reportedly will pay a five-figure sum for the coaster.
After Libertyland closed in 2005, a group called Save Libertyland formed, and, to make a long story short, the Pippin was subsequently donated to the group.
"The important thing is that the coaster is not demolished," said Save Libertyland vice president Mike McCarthy. "We'd rather see something relocated than bulldozed."
Last week, the city started dismantling the roller coaster. Though there was some question over who exactly owned the coaster — whether it was Save Libertyland or the city of Memphis — the city has no intention of keeping the Zippin Pippin.
"The city is in the process of clean-cutting the wood to preserve it," said Save Libertyland president and county commissioner Steve Mulroy. "Once dismantling is complete, the city of Memphis will relinquish all claims to the coaster."
In Green Bay, the coaster will still be called the Zippin Pippin.
"One of the reasons we're so interested in it is because of its rich history," Schmitt said. "The Elvis connection is special to us as well."
As for that free ride?
"We understand that people from Memphis have a lot of love for the Zippin Pippin," Schmitt says.