Jerry Helms, Carowinds' Vice President of Operations, Shares Some of His Park Favorites!« Go Back Friday, June 1st, 2012
How many of you think you know all there is to know about Carowinds? Jerry Helms, Vice President of Operations, has been with Carowinds since 1973 – the year the park opened. He has walked every inch of the park, seen all there is to see and knows the best kept secrets of Carowinds!
While we won’t tell you just how old Jerry is, we can say that he started his Carowinds career as a seasonal security office while in college and grad school and began full-time with the park in 1976. Jerry has had a position in every department under operations, so he knows what he is talking about. We asked him to share some of his favorites around the park.
His favorite ride is Carolina SkyTower because it is a great opportunity to survey the entire park. “It’s peaceful, quiet and helps me do my job,” says Helms. The SkyTower also holds a special place in his heart because it is one of four original rides remaining in the park and it’s the first thing he saw when he was driving to his job interview here.
Of all the delicious treats offered in the park, guess what Jerry’s favorite is? The new pizza at Papa Luigi’s! “I was the guinea pig and got to try out the new pizza and I knew when I tasted it would be the winner – it’s outstanding,” explains Helms.
When Jerry wants to go a little off the beaten path of midways, he loves to relax under the Magnolia tree by toll plaza. From that spot he can see traffic flow and guests getting into the park all while enjoying the shade of the tree.
Inside the park, Helms loves the spot between Country Kitchen and Carolina Candy in Carolina RFD because the trees provide great shade. “I remember when I started at Carowinds in 1973, the trees were only 10 feet tall and now they are big and beautiful.”
When you have little ones with you, Jerry suggests Snoopy’s Junction, Character Carousel and Snoopy vs. Red Baron. “Those rides remind me of a time when my kids were small and bring back good memories,” says Helms.
What about a thrill ride? Do you think Jerry loves the new WindSeeker or the Intimidator or maybe the classic Carolina Cyclone? His favorite is the Intimidator because Carowinds waited forever to get it and he is proud of where it is placed in the park. “The Intimidator is visually impressive for guests traveling the highway,” says Helms.
Jerry also has some helpful hints for when planning your trip to Carowinds! He says to make sure to drink plenty of water not only the day you are at the park, but also the day before so that you are hydrated. Another suggestion Jerry has is enjoy the shows. “They are a great way to have fun and a chance to take break and cool-off,” says Helms. One more thing, if you lose your park map there are maps in all merchandise locations.
Next time you come to Carowinds be sure to visit some of Jerry’s favorites!
We look forward to seeing you at the park,