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Thursday, November 27, 2014
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Published: Tuesday, 6/10/2014 - Updated: 5 months ago

Cedar Point water break will not hurt bottom line

Company may recoup funds from insurance

BY MAYA AVERBUCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Sign announcing that Cedar Point in Sandusky was closed for the day because of a water main break. Sign announcing that Cedar Point in Sandusky was closed for the day because of a water main break.
TWITTER PHOTO BY JIGGY @JAYLEETREY Enlarge

SANDUSKY — Lost ticket sales from the weekend shutdown at Cedar Point will have little impact in its annual revenue, according to Cedar Fair LP, the amusement park’‍s parent company.

“The impact to us for the year is immaterial,” said Stacy Frole, a Cedar Fair spokesman.

Sandusky city employees replaced the cracked portion of the pipe that disrupted water flow to the park on Saturday, allowing the park to reopen on Monday. A broken valve on the back-up water line and the depletion of the park’‍s water tower supplies forced the closure, city engineer Aaron Klein said.

The park will probably not recoup costs from the city, Mrs. Frole said. Instead, it is currently reviewing its business interruption insurance to determine whether it might be eligible for some reimbursement, and it is also offering a $20 discount on the usual $59.99 one-day pass to attract customers.

The last time Cedar Point closed unexpectedly was in 2003, during a blackout that affected large swaths of the Northeast nationally. Then, the park only closed for an evening, said Bryan Edwards, another Cedar Point spokesman.

Cedar Fair declined to provide information about ticket sales, but the park had more than 3.3 million visitors in 2013, according to a report by the Themed Entertainment Association.

Saturday’‍s sunshine would have been a crowd-pleaser, especially for children who just finished school, according to Tim Baldwin, the editor of Roller Coaster Magazine, who planned to visit over the weekend.

However, natural disasters and freak weather have caused other amusement parks to close in recent years, and Cedar Point has time to make up for lost revenue.

“They have the whole summer for people to come back,” he said.

The city plans to assess the back-up pipe systems to ensure that water flow is not disrupted in the future. The 55-year-old water main has broken four times since 2003, but not during the park’‍s operational hours. Most of the previous leaks were from small holes, which city workers repaired quickly with a metal sleeve, Mr. Klein said.

“We're going to talk to Cedar Point and see how jointly the two sides can proceed to make sure that this doesn't happen again,” Mr. Klein said.

About 500 homes near the park remained without potable water through Monday evening while city crews tested water samples for bacteria content.

Contact Maya Averbuch at: maverbuch@theblade.com or 419-724-6522



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