After all the ups & downs, coaster named a landmark - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

After all the ups & downs, coaster named a landmark

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SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) - If you've spent time around Mission Beach's Belmont Park, chances are you've ridden it at least once. Now the 85-year-old Giant Dipper roller coaster is getting special recognition.

Eighty-five years young, just about every San Diegan has felt the Giant Dipper's delight. Now one of the oldest roller coasters in the world is about to receive a prestigious award.

"The first time I rode it, I rode it 16 times. I couldn't stop riding it," John Gerard of the American Coaster Enthusiasts said.

On Friday, Gerard will present the Giant Dipper with landmark status, one of 25 coasters worldwide to receive the honor.

"There is just something about the feel of a wooden roller coaster. It's a little rougher, it's a little scary to look at, it looks like it's going to fall down," Gerard said.

In fact, most people who ride the Giant Dipper have no idea it was built in 1925.

"We didn't know it was that old before we got on it. We might have thought twice," one rider said.

In the up and down world of roller coasters, you're only as old as you feel.

"There is no such thing as a roller coaster that is too old," one rider said.

The ceremony is scheduled to take place at 9 p.m. Friday night.

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