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Theme park's closure angers some patrons

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Source - Poststar

 

Theme park's closure angers some patrons

By Megin Potter

mpotter@poststar.com

Published: Thursday, October 02, 2008

 

 

QUEENSBURY - Fun-seekers hoping to have one last fling Saturday at The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom instead had to turn around and go home, when, upon arrival, they found the park closed for the day.

 

Saturday was a special giveaway day at the Great Escape, with every season ticket holder allowed to bring a friend at no cost.

 

"One family from Montreal that called me had four season ticket holders and four friends, and they drove all the way down and checked the Web site before, I think, and then found the park closed and had to turn around and go back home," said John Aretakis.

 

Aretakis, a lawyer, said he had received at least a dozen phone calls by Sunday afternoon from ticket holders upset by the unplanned closure.

 

Visitors were told the park was closed because of an expectation of inclement weather.

 

Forecasts late Friday night indicating the potential for 1 to 3 inches of heavy rain were a determining factor behind the decision to close the park, according to Great Escape spokesman and former NewsChannel 13 meteorologist Tim Drawbridge.

 

"Even though I'm a former weather guy, I don't make that call," Drawbridge said.

 

"It was kind of a cloudy morning, but the sun came up by late afternoon," said meteorologist Brian Whitley with the North Country Weather Service.

 

There were light showers, accumulating to 1/100th of an inch of precipitation, with low winds averaging 2 mph, Whitley said.

 

"Overall, it was not that bad of a day," he said. "A little bit more shower activity was predicted, but it was not expected to be a wash-out. I certainly wouldn't have expected an amusement park to be closed based on the forecast from the day before."

 

Drawbridge said the weather was not the only consideration in the decision to close.

 

"When you look at this time of year, you've got a number of different things to look at," he said.

 

For instance, students in area schools are participating in extracurricular activities this time of year, so there were budgetary considerations as well, Drawbridge said.

 

"They decided to save a boatload of money and close the park," Aretakis said. "I just think it's unconscionable to do that. It's really sad and unfortunate."

 

Aretakis is the lawyer handling the lawsuits of about 65 clients affected by the norovirus that struck many visitors to the Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark earlier this year.

 

When asked if this latest incident would result in further litigation against the park, Aretakis was noncommittal.

 

"I think some people have legitimate beefs, and not everything should end up in a lawsuit, but we'll see."

 

It was unclear as of Wednesday whether the Great Escape would reschedule its special giveaway day.

 

 

Filing a lawsuit because the park closed early? Where does it end? :angry:

 

I was going to go to TGE on Saturday. If I did and the park was closed the LAST thing I would think about doing is contacting a lawyer.

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I think that is simply the sign of the times where so many people feel like anything that happens to them that is not how they felt it should be deserves a lawsuit. They will claim the park falsely advertised the event, failed to notify patrons of a closure, cause irreparable damage to their vehicles for unnecessary wear and tear, acted irresponsibly, violated a contract with those ticket holders, and so many other things it isn't funny. Today's legal system is so full of junk like this clogging it up its amazing any cases get solved.

 

To be honest, while I was pretty heated about Family Fun Night, I'm almost shocked there wasn't someone who tried to sue over getting there to find a closed park before the website indicated.

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"It was kind of a cloudy morning, but the sun came up by late afternoon," said meteorologist Brian Whitley with the North Country Weather Service.

 

There were light showers, accumulating to 1/100th of an inch of precipitation, with low winds averaging 2 mph, Whitley said.

 

"Overall, it was not that bad of a day," he said.

 

If I was to drive several hours to a theme and find it closed due to inclement weather, when the weather is by no means inclement, I would be slightly annoyed, possibly angry. Although, not nearly angry enough to go through the motions of filing a lawsuit.

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I can understand that they are angry about the park closing early, ever notice SF likes to close down early for events like this? Again I think SF did fail to handle this right but suing them is not the way to go. What they should do is just complain to SF about this so hopefully they will use better judgment when weather forecasts don't look good.

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I think they should just have allowed people to use the bring a free option for another day. However in the guest's defense, they really need to update ahead of time for early closings or closing for the day (for all SF parks)

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Legally, as long as there is a disclaimer on their passes about weather, they are still not legally entitled to any compensation as far as I can tell. Could the park do something to appease those people, yes, but legally they owe them nothing.

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I say sue em! You know how much gas costs??? Class action style . My feelings were hurt your honor. About 10 mil may make me feel better but I will have to carry this emotional scar with me for the rest of my life. My lawyer says we have us a hellava case !

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