Track Star: The Heart and Soul Behind The City's Iconic Coasters

Last Updated:March 08, 2024
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Track Star: The Heart and Soul Behind The City's Iconic Coasters Track Star: The Heart and Soul Behind The City's Iconic Coasters
Heart & Soul

Don’t you dare let Rob Eutsler tell you he’s not a good story.

The truth is, he’s a great story. The heart and soul of our Maintenance & Construction team for more than four decades was a baby-faced boy when he joined our family as a welder at 17. He was working on a water park the company owned in Texas when he got a bit homesick. His boss called Silver Dollar City to see if it needed a welder.

“There was one job that was only for one month helping build the park’s new Echo Hollow Amphitheatre,” he recalls. “I took it! Who would have thought those 30 days would turn into 44 years? Landing a full-time job here was a big deal back then.

It’s also a big deal to reflect on his career that’s spanned four decades and has seen Silver Dollar City “grow up” in front of his eyes.

“We’ve still got that sense of family I felt all those years ago, but I’m starting to feel old,” he chuckles. “I’ve outlived some of the rides I helped build. Things like that remind me how long I’ve been here.”

While he’s proud to play a part in past icons like Lost River of the Ozarks and the Wilderness Waterboggan, Fire In The Hole has a special place in his heart. For more than a decade, he was the fix-it guy on a ride that carried more than 25 million guests in its 51 years.

“I can’t lie, it was really sad to see it go,” he smiles. “This new one, though, is going to be something else!”

Rob Eutsler Rob Eutsler

For Rob, the new $30 million Fire In The Hole represents months of work and countless hours with his crew making sure everything is perfect for guests. The track itself was made by Rocky Mountain Construction, but the rest of the ride was created by Silver Dollar City’s own team.

“Our folks were in there swinging hammers and putting this all together,” he says. “We know that all of our time and headaches will turn into lots of smiles. Building something like this from the ground up and getting through all of the trials and tribulations will be worth it when we see riders enjoy what we’ve made.”

Rob, who doesn’t like to talk about himself, always pushes praise towards his crew.

“I appreciate these guys a bunch—a whole bunch,” he smiles. “They are go-getters who just keep going until the job gets done. We’ll all be ready for a nice relaxing break once this ride is opened. We’ve been at it around the clock for so long now.”

Rob says building roller coasters is like a childhood dream, tinkering with a giant-scale erector set.

“When I started working on the rides all those years ago, I never thought I’d see the day that I’d outlast them,” he says with a pause. “I know for certain the new Fire In The Hole will outlast me! But, what a joy to be part of a project generations will enjoy long after I’m gone.”

It’s hard to tie a bow on such a stellar journey. He made his best friends here. He met his bride here—visuals manager Kelly Eutsler, the creative mind behind our festivals. You might say Rob is the quieter one in Silver Dollar City’s “power couple.”

“Kelly keeps me going,” he smiles. “It works because she understands the long hours I pour in here because she works them too. You don’t mind working hard for a place like this. It truly is family, and I’ve still got work to do!”

Rob always said he’d retire at 62. That’s only two years away.

“I’m not going to be one of those guys who says I’m going to retire and then slacks off during the countdown,” he laughs. “I want to be helpful even on my very last day. And then? Well, then I’m going fishing!”

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Meet Brandei Clifton

As Public Relations Manager for the Silver Dollar City Company, she is eager to tap into her journalism background to hunt down “heart tugs” to write about—those stories that celebrate…

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