The Ohio Attorney General’s office on May 25 filed a lawsuit against The Beach Waterpark in Mason in response to complaints over the park’s March 9 closing and failure to offer full refunds to 8,800 season pass holders. The lawsuit charges the business with failure to deliver, a violation of Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act.
Rather than offering full refunds to those who had already purchased waterpark passes, The Beach offered day passes and various discounts to other local attractions such as Kings Island and the Cincinnati Zoo, which it said was valued at “close to $200.” Season passes to The Beach had most recently been sold for $89.99.
“It’s unfortunate when a long-standing Ohio business closes,” DeWine said in a press release. “But The Beach Waterpark took money from thousands of consumers and never delivered promised services
The Beach in recent years has seen increased competition from such nearby attractions as Kings Island’s Soak City waterpark and the Great Wolf Lodge, which opened an indoor waterpark in Mason in 2006. In response to The Beach’s closing, Kings Island offered discounted rates for upgrades to its season passes and a complimentary visit to its amusement park and waterpark for Beach pass holders.
Dan Tierney, spokesman for Attorney General Mike DeWine, says companies that go out of business often refund money or provide a different product or service in place of that which was previously purchased, but it must be of equal or greater value and meet the consumer’s satisfaction.
“That has not occurred in this case,” Tierney says.
Each violation of the Consumer Sales and Practices Act is punishable by a $25,000 fine. The lawsuit asks for reimbursements for all consumers, legal and court costs, an injunction and civil penalties.
According to the lawsuit, the Beach’s operators decided to close the waterpark on March 7, two days before announcing the canceled season and lack of refunds.The attorney general’s office is encouraging other consumers who purchased passes to The Beach Waterpark to file a complaint at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov.