Skip to main content


Summer means it's time for roller coaster enthusiasts to hit the amusement parks.

News Channel 34's Melinda Zosh shows us how one thrill seeker is expanding his hobby into a business and a part time job. Ira Gordon loves riding roller coasters, and as a teen he started realizing that a one day admissions pass wasn't good enough.

President and Owner of ThrillCoaster Tours Ira Gordon says, "I'd always get mad, because we wanted to ride the roller coasters all the time and so I said when I got older I wanted to be able to have the opportunity to build something like this."

Gordon is an accountant for most of the year, but during the summer he runs a roller coaster camp for teens called ThrillCoaster Tours.

Gordon says, "If you're into roller coasters and if you're into thrill seeking, we are the answer. There's no other camp that does what we do on a day by day basis."

Teens from as far away as Hawaii are signing up to ride the fastest and most popular coasters. 15-year old Jacob Hogan is experiencing his fourth year as a Thrill Coaster camper.

Jacob Hogan says, "Initially you come for the roller coasters, but you make great friends and you come to make new friends and hang out with all of them."

New and old friends are starting their journey at Knoebel's Amusement Park near Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. It's the largest free admission amusement park in the country and is best known for its family friendly environment.

Knoebel's Spokesman Joe Muscato says, "This is a place where mom, dad, the kids, grandma, grandpa can all come. We're not going to charge a big gate fee for grandma and grandpa to come enjoy the kids and have a good time."

Melinda Zosh Stand up: And Binghamton residents would find this carousel interesting. It's one of the few in the country where you can still grab a brass ring.

But today, teen campers are here to ride the Phoenix wooden roller coaster. It only reaches a top speed of 45 miles per hour, but that doesn't matter to Hogan. He says it's all about the sensation of floating out his seat when the coaster drops down hills.

Thrill Coaster Camper Jacob Hogan says, "Every coaster is a new adventure, and it's always bigger and better and you're trying to see what you can go on next."

And the campers didn't seem to mind riding in the front row on their first roller coaster adventure. At Knoebel's Amusement Park, Melinda Zosh, News Channel 34.

Gordon says it's not too late to sign up for one of his two remaining camps. For more information go to  Knoebel's is open seven days a week.  It offers everything from a haunted mansion to kiddie roller coasters, a campground and a golf course.