MASON, Ohio – Kings Island’s historic Eiffel Tower will be repainted ahead of the theme park’s 50th anniversary in 2022.
The giant project is being carried out by a company in the greater Cincinnati area that is no stranger to this job.
Newport, Kentucky’s Baynum Painting has painted the 314-foot building twice already.
Founder Chris Baynum said it was an honor to take care of the makeover.
“We did this for the first time in 1989, a huge, huge learning experience at the time,” said Baynum. “But now, if you count these three times here on Kings Island and three times at sister park Kings Dominion in Richmond, Virginia, this is the sixth time the Eiffel Tower has been repainted.”
Tony Hopkins is a third generation painter from Batavia, a village near Cincinnati.
In 2005 he participated in the repainting of the Eiffel Tower.
“I did my first time out in Virginia when I was a teenager,” said Hopkins. “It was actually just before Christmas. We were actually high pressure washing, had to high pressure wash some (of) the ice from the steps before going down. That was probably one of the greatest challenges we have ever faced. ”
He said the weather is always the biggest challenge for his team.
Baynum said a solid security plan has worked flawlessly for the past 30 years.
Hopkins said that over the years it has proven invaluable to gain all of this experience.
“Yeah, it makes it a lot easier,” said Hopkins. “Having overcome most of the challenges we’ve faced, we know what to do and how to do it.”
Hopkins is one of the many men and women working to repaint the iconic Eiffel Tower on Kings Island.
“Starting in 1988, when we first spun right over your shoulder, The Beast was our first ever roller coaster. Here, 300 roller coasters around the world, we’re back to where everyone wants to be; here on Kings Island. “
An estimated 1,300 gallons of Eiffel Tower Green are applied to this structure to make it look like new; like 1972.
“Kings Island opened to the public almost 50 years ago,” said Chad Showalter, Kings Island communications director. “And what our guests were most happy about was the Eiffel Tower here in the park. It was unique in this area, not just for the park, but for the entire region. When we were preparing for our 50th anniversary in 2022, we had to apply a new coat of paint here. ”
The project itself is much more than just applying paint.
“Everything is pressure washed with 5,000 PSI of water, then it is hand scraped, and as you can see the white spots everywhere, everything is dotted with an epoxy primer,” said Baynum.
It takes about 10 weeks to complete the project.
Guests can see the progress through October if they visit Haunt during Halloween.
Baynum said it was such a unique bond that he and the Hopkins family are working on this project again.
“It was special then and it’s even more special now, believe it or not, 33 years later you are still working here doing various projects for Kings Island.”
Hopkins couldn’t agree more.
“It’s always nice to be in town and work on something my father and father painted in 1989,” said Hopkins. “There’s kind of sentimental value in building a big tower like this.”