SANDUSKY, Ohio – Ohio’s most popular amusement park was closed through the weekend after a water main break in the city of Sandusky disrupted its primary water supply, putting a damper on thousands of summer vacations.
Park officials closed Cedar Point and three hotels on its northern Ohio property on a picture-perfect Saturday and didn’t expect to reopen until Monday, saying a lack of reliable water posed a safety risk.
Many visitors to the roller coaster Mecca didn’t know about the closure until after they arrived, some after driving hundreds of miles.
Roger and Debbie Balderas of South Bend, Indiana, their daughter and their daughter’s friend drove four hours to Cedar Point early Saturday and snagged a good parking spot before they were told the park was closed.
“This was our vacation,” Roger Balderas told The Sandusky Register.
Debbie Balderas said she waited in line for an hour to get a refund of their tickets, which start at $50 for adults and $35 for children. The family then got stuck for an hour-and-a-half in traffic as visitors poured out of the park.
The Balderas family said that although they got a refund for their tickets, they still had to pay for their hotel in nearby Port Clinton.
In a statement on its website, Cedar Point apologized to guests and said that any unused tickets would be good for the rest of the year.
“We recognize that this situation has caused many of our guests to be disappointed,” the statement said. “We are sorry that this has happened.”
Cedar Point sees more than 3 million visitors a year, making it the most visited amusement park in Ohio.
According to the website of owner Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., Cedar Point is believed to be the largest seasonal amusement park in the U.S. That’s measured by the number of rides and attractions and the hourly ride capacity.
Cedar Fair owns more than a dozen amusement parks and water parks around the country, along with a handful of hotels. Net revenues for the company reached $1.14 billion last year.