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Kings Island sues Ohio health director, demanding to reopen

Suit filed after governor refuses to OK theme park opening
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Posted at 7:40 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 20:20:46-04

Less than an hour after Ohio Governor Mike DeWine left theme parks out of his latest reopening announcement, Kings Island has filed a lawsuit in Warren County court, demanding the right to reopen.

The lawsuit, from Cincinnati attorney Chris Finney, is specifically filed against Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Heath.

It comes after DeWine issued a new executive order on Thursday afternoon, allowing hundreds of previously-shuttered businesses in Ohio to reopen next week, on June 10, but not theme parks.

Among the businesses that can reopen:

  • Aquariums
  • Art galleries
  • Country clubs
  • Ice skating rinks
  • Indoor family entertainment centers
  • Indoor sports facilities
  • Laser tag facilities
  • Movie theaters
  • Playgrounds
  • Public recreation centers
  • Roller skating rinks
  • Social clubs
  • Trampoline parks
  • Zoos (including the Cincinnati Zoo, which will reopen next week)

The list conspicuously leaves out two of Ohio's biggest tourist attractions and money makers: theme parks and casinos.

A spokesman for the governor's office, Dan Tierney, told WCPO “the administration is still working on guidance for those facilities."

Parent company posts statement on website

Earlier in the day, perhaps having advance word of the governor's order, Kings Island's parent company, Cedar Fair, published an unusual statement on the websites of its two Ohio parks, Cedar Point and Kings Island.

The statement, from Cedar Fair CEO Richard Zimmerman, states that the company supports a bill recently introduced in Ohio's House of Representatives to allow an immediate opening of theme parks.

The letter says, in part, "Cedar Fair fully supports the amendment to HB 665 that was adopted today in the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. The amendment provides for the immediate re-opening of Ohio amusement parks and water parks.

"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."

CLICK HERE to read the full Cedar Fair statement.

The lawsuit was filed in Warren County Common Pleas court several hours later, immediately after DeWine's announcement.

While Kings Island and Cedar Point have no further comment, enthusiasts on the KI Central forums wonder how trampoline parks and indoor foam pits can be allowed to open, but a theme park is still denied the right to do business.

Kings Island says it will be able to open safely, with all COVID-19 safeguards in place, as soon as it gets the go-ahead from the State of Ohio, or the courts.

Until then, park fans will just have to wait ... and enjoy their local trampoline park.

As always, don't waste your money.

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Don't Waste Your Money

8:47 PM, Oct 17, 2018

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