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Shell Factory zip line set to reach milestone ride

May 29, 2019
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

In the next few weeks, the Soaring Eagle Zip Line at the Shell Factory & Nature Park will reach a very impressive milestone, one they didn't think possible when they opened it five years ago this week.

The 100,000th rider will take the trip, riding backward up to the top at the far end of the property, allowing riders to get a unique view of the park before releasing you for the trip over the waters at 30 mph and finally to the center portion of the park, a train whistle signifying the ride is over.

To make sure they reach that mark ASAP, the Shell Factory is issuing a rider challenge, featuring reduced rates and a grand prize for the 100,000th rider.

The challenge started on Memorial Day and will run through Sunday, June 16, which is Father's Day. The total number of passengers will be displayed at the ride, counting down to the momentous occasion.

The cost to ride the zip line is $10 per person for the first ride and $5 per person for their second ride.

The lucky "100K" rider will receive an annual zip line pass, a one-time family pass to the Nature Park, bumper boats, mini golf and water wars; a Hunts Pizza package and $50 in arcade cards.

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Anne Sheridan, general manager at the Shell Factory, said the exact time is hard to figure, especially this time of year.

"Some days are phenomenal. But when it rains, we don't have as many, so we're thinking around Father's Day," Sheridan said.

The idea of the zip line started when owners Tom and Pam Cronin went to a vendor show and saw a demo of the ride and thought it would be a great idea.

"It seemed like something that would fit with our summer business that would carry us through the slower months," said Rick Tupper, who was marketing director at the time.

The ride opened May 20, 2014 to great fanfare, immediately giving the historic attraction a jolt in the arm, with more than 10,000 riders by the end of that year, helping the ride to pay for itself in two years.

"It's been fantastic. We thought it would be just a novelty, but it took off. Tom and Pam had faith in it from the very beginning," Sheridan said. "It went crazy and we never thought it would be that way, but we're very happy."

For more information, call 995-2141 or go to



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