Ohio Attorney General sues Beach Waterpark over season pass refunds

MASON, Ohio - The Ohio Attorney General announced Friday that he is suing the Beach Waterpark for taking money from thousands of customers who purchased season passes before park representatives announced its closing in March.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is suing the Mason park's owners and operators for failure to deliver — a violation of Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act.

"It's unfortunate when a long-standing Ohio business closes," DeWine said in a news release. "But the Beach Waterpark took money from thousands of consumers and never delivered promised services. That's unacceptable."

The Beach Waterpark was open for more than 27 years before representatives announced its closing on March 9, 2012. Park representatives said the closure came because of the challenging economic climate and changing patron entertainment habits. The water park, which sits on 35 acres in Mason, operated at a loss during the past several years, according to officials.

Before the 2012 season began, the waterpark sold approximately 8,800 passes for the 2012 season. The park offered deals instead of a refund to its season pass holders who paid by debit card or check. Only pass holders who paid by credit card could dispute the fees.

The now-closed park teamed up with eight Cincinnati-area attractions to offer $200 worth of goodies . Season passes to The Beach Waterpark most recently retailed for $89.99.

The Beach offered all of its season pass holders:

  • One free day at Kings Island and its water park.
  • A discounted Kings Island Gold Pass.
  • Two free Coney Island/Sunlite Pool tickets (in addition to Kings Island.)
  • Discounts to the Cincinnati Zoo, Morgan's Canoeing, and Ozone Zipline adventures.
  • A one-week YMCA pass.

After the announcement, hundreds of consumers filed complaints with the Ohio Attorney General's Office saying they wanted refunds — not the discounts and deals offered through the company. According to the Attorney General's lawsuit, the offers were not adequate substitutions, because they were not similar goods or services and they were not of equal or greater value to what the consumers ordered. Substitute offers must be acceptable to consumers.

The lawsuit, filed in the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas, charges the waterpark's owners and operators — The Beach at Mason Limited Partnership, Water Parks, Inc., and Cabana Equities, Inc. — with violating the Failure to Deliver Rule under the Consumer Sales Practices Act. The lawsuit seeks consumer restitution, a permanent injunction and civil penalties.

If you purchased 2012 passes to The Beach Waterpark, keep all documentation related to the purchase and file a complaint with DeWine's office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515.

To view the lawsuit paperwork, go to http://media2.wcpo.com/pdfs/The-Beach.pdf .

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.

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