As the year comes to a close, now is the time to look back and reflect. A lot happened in the waterpark arena, with a number of big players making news. Here’s a look back at five of our most popular waterpark headlines from 2013.
Six Flags Slapped with Wrongful Death Suit In September, Dallas metroplex news outlets including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News reported that the family Linda Forbes of Allen, Texas, had filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Forbes drowned Sept. 5, 2011 at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. The family is suing the park for negligence and emotional trauma due to witnessing the accident. At least two other waterparks Calypso Waterpark, in Canada, and Cajun Lagoon, in Louisiana, were also named in lawsuits this year.
Major Waterpark Cited for Lifeguard Death The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a citation in August, to Enterprise Management, Inc. and Schlitterbahn Beach Resort Management, doing business as Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark and Resort in South Padre Island, Texas. Operators were cited and fined for six safety violations that led to the death of a lifeguard and caused severe injuries to a maintenance worker earlier in the year.
Las Vegas Waterpark a Big Hit Las Vegas’ $40 million Wet ‘n’ Wild park opened in May, to fanfare from residents who had waited more than a decade for a new public waterpark, after the last one closed. It’s will have competition when another property, Cowabunga Bay Water Park, opens next year. That opening was delayed following a series of setbacks. Long-term questions for both properties will likely center around water conservation.
Amusement Giant Reaches Class Action Agreement A settlement was announced in the industry’s second class action lawsuit. The case involved a 2008 viral outbreak at Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark, in Queensbury, N.Y., and in May, lawyers reached a $1.3 million agreement. A 2005 cryptosporidium outbreak, also in New York, sparked the first such aquatics related class action lawsuit.
Drought-Riddled Texas Town Approves Waterpark In a public hearing on October 29, voters approved a plan to bring Hawaiian Falls Water and Adventure Park to Pflugerville, Texas. They approved the park in spite of concerns over the water supply, traffic congestion and potential cost to taxpayers. It is expected to open Memorial Day 2014.
What was your favorite waterpark story of the year? Let us know here, or via Twitter @aquaticsintl.com.