MASON, Ohio – The historic Eiffel Tower on Kings Island is being repainted ahead of the theme park’s 50th anniversary in 2022.
The giant project will be managed by a Greater Cincinnati company that is no stranger to labor.
Newport, Kentucky’s Baynum Painting has painted the 314-foot structure twice previously.
Founder Chris Baynum said it was an honor to be able to take on the makeover.
“In 1989 we did it for the first time, a huge, huge learning experience for us then,” Baynum said. “But now, counting those three times here at Kings Island and three times at their sister park at Kings Dominion in Richmond, Virginia, this is the sixth time I’ve done the Eiffel Tower revetment.”
Tony Hopkins is a third generation painter from Batavia, a village near Cincinnati.
He participated in the work of repainting the Eiffel Tower in 2005.
“My first thing I did was back when I was a teenager in Virginia,” Hopkins said. “It was actually just before Christmas. We were actually power washing, we had to pressure wash some of the ice from the steps before going down. That was probably one of the biggest challenges. that we had.
He said the weather is still the biggest challenge facing his team.
Baynum said a solid security plan has worked perfectly for the past 30 years.
Hopkins said gaining all the experience has proven invaluable over the years.
“Yeah, it makes it a lot easier,” Hopkins said. “Once we’ve gone through most of the challenges we’ve encountered, we kind of know what to do and how to do it.”
Hopkins is one of many men and women working to put a fresh coat of paint on the iconic Eiffel Tower at Kings Island.
“Started in 1988, where we first did, just over your shoulder, The Beast, was our very first coaster. Here, 300 roller coasters around the world, we’re back home where everyone wants to be; here on Kings Island.”
It is estimated that 1,300 gallons of Tour Eiffel Green will be applied to this structure to make it look like new; like in 1972.
“Almost 50 years ago, Kings Island opened its doors to the public,” said Kings Island communications director Chad Showalter. “And one of the things our guests were most excited about was seeing the Eiffel Tower here at the park. It was unique to this region, not just for the park, but for the whole region. As we prepare for our 50th anniversary in 2022, we had to put a fresh coat of paint on it.
The project itself is so much more than just applying paint.
“Everything is pressure washed with water at 5,000 PSI, then hand scraped, and since you can see the white spots everywhere, everything is primed with an epoxy primer,” Baynum said.
It takes about 10 weeks to complete the project.
Guests can view progress through October if they visit during Halloween Haunt.
Baynum said it was such a unique connection 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 I was still working here doing various projects for Kings Island.”
Hopkins couldn’t agree more.
“It’s always nice to be in town working on something that my dad and his dad once painted in 1989,” Hopkins said. “It kind of has sentimental value to make a tall tower like this.”