American Coaster Enthusiasts Test the Coasters at Beech Bend

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Hundreds of roller coaster enthusiasts were in Bowling Green on Saturday at Beech Bend Park for the end of the group's national convention.

The convention, known as Coaster Con XXX, is the organization's flagship event.

Nearly 8,000 people make up the American Coaster Enthusiasts and represent all fifty states and twelve countries.

The group is the oldest and largest amusement park enthusiast club in the world, and requires one thing.

"We need you to love roller coasters pretty much, because that's what we're all about", says the groups Events Director, Yvonne Janik.

On Saturday around 534 members were at Beech Bend to test out their roller coasters. They represented 31 states, along with Spain, Australia, and Canada.

"I'm having a great time. The weather's not gonna stop us. We'll be here!", said Martin Puller of Fort Worth, Texas.

Puller says he's traveled to amusement parks all over the country to ride roller coasters, and even to Australia and Canada.

"I don't travel alot just to go to the amusement parks, but when I go anywhere else on business, I always try to ride a roller coaster if I can", says Puller.

Two other riders making the trip to Beech Bend on Saturday were Ohio residents, such as Taylor Maple and Ryan Turner.

"Every year we go to Cedar Point and stuff. It's definitely a big part of our vacations every year", says Maple and Turner.

The group's Event Coordinator, Yvonne Janik, also stopped at Kentucky Kingdom on Saturday before arriving at Beech Bend, where she says Thursday's accident on the Superman Tower of Power didn't stop people from going to the amusement park this weekend.

"When you think about how many millions of people all over the world go to all different parks all day long and ride all different rides, and there are very few accidents, and anything can have a mechanical failure, be it a train, plane, or amusement ride, I would say the industry is very safe", says Janik.

The rain kept the group from being able to ride for much of the day, but they were going to have exclusive ride time after the park closed to the public.

Founded in 1978, the American Coaster Enthusiasts is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to the preservation, education, appreciation, and safe enjoyment of roller coasters.

Prior to the visit in Bowling Green, the Convention of thrill seekers started at Kings Island and Stricker's Grover in southwestern Ohio and Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana.

For more on the American Coaster Enthusiasts, click on the following link: