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Silver Dollar City announces $30 million new and improved Fire in the Hole

A sign adorning the new five story building housing Fire in the Hole.
Chris Drew
/
Ozarks Public Broadcasting
A sign adorning the new five story building housing Fire in the Hole.

The new ride will feature up-to-date effects, on-board audio, a new version of the iconic water splashdown and an updated take on the classic theme song from bluegrass duo Dailey and Vincent. It will anchor a new district of the amusement park.

Fire in the Hole will be back before you miss it.

Silver Dollar City Company President Brad Thomas announced a new version of the amusement park’s classic ride Monday, set to premier just months after the closure of the original.

In a press conference with the energy of a pep rally, Thomas championed a decade of investment in new attractions at Silver Dollar City since 2013, lauding the $30 million being spent on the new Fire in the Hole as the most the park has ever spent on a single attraction. The new ride will feature up-to-date effects, on-board audio to enhance the experience, a new version of the iconic water splashdownnd an updated take on the classic theme song from bluegrass duo Dailey and Vincent. While details were sparse, the ride will again loosely follow the story of the burning of the mining town of Marmaros on the site of what is now Silver Dollar City, with an emphasis on the need for heroic and collaborative volunteerism to put out the fire and hold the Baldknobbers responsible.

The new ride will premier with the park’s Spring 2024 season, and will be anchor to an area Silver Dollar City has branded the Fire District, expanding upon the Fireman’s Landing attractions. VP of Marketing Nick Guevel said it was a natural evolution.

“As we looked at it, with the addition of Fire in the Hole it actually doubles the area,” Guevel said, “and we thought, 'we are a city down here, what would a city do? Well, they’d incorporate it into a full blown fire district,' and so we thought it was time to make that leap.”

The Fire District and the new Fire in the Hole will build upon themes of volunteer fire fighting and volunteerism in general. Guevel connected that back to Silver Dollar City’s vision for storytelling and enrichment said he hopes it will inspire visitors.

"We want to make sure, while we’re having fun, that we’re looking at those opportunities where we can make a difference in the world," he said.

Along with the announcement of the new ride, Brad Thomas also announced the park’s acquisition of 1,000 acres of unbroken land southeast of the park’s current footprint. No details were given about plans for that land, but Thomas’s intent was clear: Silver Dollar City will continue to invest and, as it sees it, invest big.

Stephen Foutes, director of the Missouri Division of Tourism, was on hand for the event. He seemed to think that’s exactly what they should be doing. Foutes said the Branson area is one of the top two or three destinations in the state. He said investment like this will help Silver Dollar City stay competitive with the growing market of attractions in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

“As Mr. Thomas noted in his remarks, thinking about the 200 million dollars they’ve invested in the last decade,” Foutes said, “it really shows their commitment to reinvigorating, doing new things, trying new things and encouraging new and more visitation to southwest Missouri.”

And Silver Dollar City will be hoping new and returning visitors are clamoring at the gates when the new Fire in the Hole premiers next Spring.