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Kings Island parent company Cedar Fair sues Ohio to reopen

kings island cedar fair

Kings Island’s parent company Cedar Fair is suing Ohio Department of Health Director Dr Amy Acton and the Warren County Health District in a bid to reopen amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

On Thursday (June 4), Governor Mike DeWine announced that some entertainment facilities could reopen in Ohio, including zoos, aquariums and museums, on June 10.

However, theme parks and water parks were left off the list, because the government is still developing health and safety guidelines for them (via Cincinnati Enquirer).

In response to this decision, Kings Island filed a lawsuit against Acton, in her official capacity, as well as the Warren County Health District, to reopen the park.

Theme parks, water parks unable to reopen in Ohio

“Through various orders and fiat, the director of the Ohio Department of Health has arbitrarily criminalized all safe amusement and water park operations, without providing any process, venue or judicial review to determine whether these Ohioans’ businesses are, in fact, safe enough to warrant operation,” according to the complaint filed in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Kings Island also released a statement from Richard Zimmerman, CEO of Cedar Fair, supporting a bill that would allow for the immediate reopening of theme parks and water parks in Ohio.

“The amendment provides for the immediate reopening of Ohio amusement parks and water parks,” said Zimmerman.

“We fully anticipate and expect having the same opportunity granted to other businesses in Ohio to operate our business in a safe and manageable environment.”

Cedar Fair CEO releases statement on reopening

Zimmerman added that amusement park operators “are experts at managing risks and following protocols”.

He said the capacity-controlled attractions at Cedar Point and Kings Island provide for a safe environment during the coronavirus pandemic.

“This legislation not only benefits Cedar Point, Kings Island, and their guests, but also the economic viability of the local citizenry and surrounding Ohio communities.

“We look forward to welcoming back our loyal guests to Ohio’s treasured amusement parks, which have brought fun and happiness to generations of families.”

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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