In an effort to get Kings Island reopened to guests, the park’s parent company Cedar Fair is suing the Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton and the Warren County Health District.
UPDATE – 06/08/20: Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has said that the state’s amusement parks and casinos, including Kings Island, can reopen as soon as June 19, per USA Today.
DeWine insists that the lawsuits filed by Cedar Fair, as well as the move by Ohio lawmakers to speed up the reopening dates, played no role in his decision.
Kings Island has yet to set a reopening date as a result of this decision, but has shared an update on the park’s official website.
As reported by Blooloop, on Thursday, June 4, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that some entertainment facilities could reopen in the state, including zoos, aquariums, and museums, starting June 10.
Theme parks and water parks, however, were left off that list, as the government is still developing health and safety guidelines for them.
In response, Kings Island filed a lawsuit against Acton, in her official capacity, along with the Warren County Health District, to reopen the theme park. Action’s latest order would require that the parks stay closed through July 1.
This lawsuit was filed after a group of Republican state lawmakers made a move to try and reopen the parks in Ohio.
Kings Island also shared a statement on its website from Richard Zimmerman, CEO of Cedar Fair, supporting a bill that would allow for theme parks and water parks in Ohio to immediately reopen.
“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.”
Zimmerman continued by stating that as “professional amusement park operators with an exemplary safety record, we are experts at managing risks and following protocols.”
The statement also claims that the protocols developed to reopen Cedar Fair’s parks are “in accordance with governmental and CDC directives, Erie County and Warren County Health Departments, medical professionals, Ohio’s Development Services Agency (DSA) and industry best practices” and are “specifically responsive to the COVID-19 crisis.”
Zimmerman concluded his statement by saying that the “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.”
Stay tuned for more updates as this story develops.