The Mountain Coaster at [R304R, Okemo Mountain Resort] in Ludlow, Vt., is open for business at the Jackson Gore base area.

Okemo and Alpine Recreation Ventures worked together to install the roller-coaster ride, manufactured by Wiegland.

Okemo's Bonnie MacPherson said the sled-like cars are designed to carry two passengers in comfort but can be handled easily by one alone. The riders are in control of the speed of the cars, which are firmly attached to the sturdy stainless steel tubular rails.

The supporting structure sits directly on the ground without foundations and is held firmly in position with steel stakes.

Visitors, age 7 and older, will load and unload the Okemo Mountain Coaster in the Jackson Gore base area, near the bottom of the Coleman Brook Express lift.

Statistics? The ride will start with a 1,600-foot climb lasting about five minutes. Then passengers will descend 375 vertical feet along 3,100 feet of track that follows the contours of the mountain  at speeds up to 25 mph. At peak, the mountain coaster will accommodate nearly 500 riders per hour and operate year-round in most weather conditions. Package and group rates are still to be determined.

Rides cost $13 for driver and $9 for rider.

There are currently six similar mountain coaster rides located in North America. The nearest is [R193R, Jiminy Peak], in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.

More information. Or call 802-228-1600.