Water park closure sparks reaction on campus

Brandon Bounds

Wildwater Kingdom, Northeast Ohio’s notorious water park, made its final splash in early September.

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company made an announcement about the closure of the water park in a news release.

“After examining its long-range plans, Cedar Fair has determined that the time is right to begin this transition and will continue to work together with community leadership in the positive future development of the property,” the press release stated.

Wildwater Kingdom transformed into an water park in 2005 after being the SeaWorld equivalent to the Geauga Lake Amusement Park.

In 2007, Geauga Lake was announced to be shut down in 2008.

Since the closing, the property has operated solely as a water park under the name Wildwater Kingdom for eight years.

Freshman pre-nursing major Genna Cimoroni worked in the foods department at Wildwater Kingdom for two years.

“I was in the foods department and got promoted after my first year from associate to location supervisor,” Cimoroni said. “I absolutely loved my job and the people I worked with.”

Cimoroni was devastated when she heard the water park’s closure.

“It deeply saddens me as both a worker and a former patron of the park to hear the announcement of the park closing,” Cimoroni said. “I went when I was younger almost everyday in the summer and had some of the best times of my life.”

Laura Kotula, a sophomore digital media production major, expressed her views of the closure.

“I think it’s not just to me, but for families, camps and workers,” Kotula said. It was a great place to go for trips and I know so many people have great memories there. Not just the guests, but also employees.”

Kotula mentioned enjoying to work with the guests and their co-workers.

“My co-workers became some of my best friends so work was fun and it didn’t feel like work,” Kotula said.

Cimoroni talked about her favorite memories while working at the water park.

“My favorite memory was probably the busiest day of the year – Labor Day,” Cimoroni said. “It was incredibly busy and it seemed like everything was wrong. But the support from my always laughing co-workers and customers made it all better.”

Cedar Fair also wrote in their release they “would like to thank the residents of Northeast Ohio for supporting Wildwater Kingdom each summer.”

Thousands of people, including Cimoroni, have signed a petition that is circulating around the internet. The purpose of it is to gather 2,500 signatures from those who disagrees with the park’s closing.

Once the goai is reached, the petition will be delivered to Cedar Fair, Bainbridge Township officials and the mayor of Aurora, Ohio.