Admin

Posted by

Mike Dow Mike Dow
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

edge staff writer

Share

How a Florida father of six built an amusement park in his backyard

Rate this item
(3 votes)
When gyms and playgrounds closed last spring as a result of the pandemic, Scott Friga of North Fort Myers, Florida, went to work building a backyard amusement park for his six children to enjoy. Friga, owner of a construction company, has so far constructed a regulation size NBA basketball court, a gymnasium, and a 310 foot fully functional roller coaster. He's currently creating a go-cart track and says he's a little nervous at what his kids might think of next. "The next thing they ask for will be scary for sure," Friga told The Maine Edge. "It's pretty hard to top a rollercoaster and a go-cart track." When gyms and playgrounds closed last spring as a result of the pandemic, Scott Friga of North Fort Myers, Florida, went to work building a backyard amusement park for his six children to enjoy. Friga, owner of a construction company, has so far constructed a regulation size NBA basketball court, a gymnasium, and a 310 foot fully functional roller coaster. He's currently creating a go-cart track and says he's a little nervous at what his kids might think of next. "The next thing they ask for will be scary for sure," Friga told The Maine Edge. "It's pretty hard to top a rollercoaster and a go-cart track." (Photo courtesy of WFLA, CH 8, Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL.)

When the pandemic shut down basketball courts, gymnasiums and playgrounds in his state, a Florida father of six decided he would create fun for his kids by building an amusement park, including a 310-foot-long rollercoaster, in his backyard.

“My son is a basketball player, and when they shut down the courts here, we put in a full regulation NBA court,” said Scott Friga, a contractor in North Fort Myers, during an interview with The Maine Edge.

“The next week, they started shutting down gyms, so we built one right here,” Friga continued, adding “the toughest part was finding all of the gym equipment, but we did it.”

The next request came from Friga’s daughter.

“She said ‘Dad, I want a rollercoaster.’ I said ‘Great idea, let’s do it.’”

Friga says his crew at Friga Tyme Corp. has remained mostly busy throughout the shutdowns of the last 11 months, but when building departments closed, making it impossible for his company to get inspections done, he put his guys to work in his backyard.

Friga says the 310-foot rollercoaster, with a custom cart, took seven men about four days to complete.

“We drew up the plans, got a bunch of two by four lumber and some PVC pipe, and we were in business,” Friga said. “We had one guy do all of the cutting because you have to keep the track the exact same width all the way.”

Friga says his children have been enjoying the rollercoaster virtually non-stop since its completion, adding he hopes to give it a whirl soon.

“The kids have been hogging it,” he laughed, adding “But I’d like to give it a shot. I’m a bigger kid than any of them and this has been a lot of fun for me too.”

The next project Friga and the crew will undertake is the construction of a go-cart track, he said.

“We’ve already ordered the go-carts and we’re waiting for those to arrive. It shouldn’t be too long before the kids are out there enjoying that.”

As word about Friga’s home basketball court, gymnasium and rollercoaster spread throughout the area, Friga says he’s noticed a lot of people driving by to have a peek at some of the recreational fun going on in his backyard.

“We’re pretty involved in the community, so most people around here know what we’re doing,” he said. “Yeah, we’ve noticed people slowing down to have a look as they drive by.”

Do you need a special permit to have a fully operational 310-foot-long rollercoaster in your backyard, I asked Scott?

“I haven’t asked and I haven’t heard anything about it, so no news is good news,” he said with a laugh, adding “What are they going to say, your kids can’t have fun?”

He does say the city made him remove a 30 foot slide he’d constructed.

“We put in a slide going into a canal but they made us take it down because it didn’t meet their height ordinance,” he said.

Friga’s six children range in age from 12 to 28, and he says he’s a little nervous about what their next request might entail.

“They’re waiting for the go-car track to be finished, but the next thing they ask for will be scary, I’m sure, because it’s pretty hard to top a rollercoaster and a go-cart track.”

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:55

Advertisements

The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine