Rockford Attraction’s Bad Decision Cost Millions
Between numerous injuries and millions of dollars, it's pretty accurate to say this water ride was a bonehead decision.
In 2000 Magic Waters unveiled a new "thrill" ride called Splash Blaster, a ride in which involved guests riding in an inflatable bloat sending them up and down bumps, twists, and turns. According to reports, the ride cost $3 million dollars to build, but that's just a small amount Rockford Park District would end up paying for the ride.
I, personally, did not like the ride. Something wasn't right. I only went on it a few times because during the ride I would always seem to lift up off the raft and crash my tail bone back into the hard tubing. It did not feel well. Many of us were lucky enough to not be seriously injured, but others weren't.
People were getting legit injuries while riding Splash Blaster. I'm not talking about hypochondriac injuries or bump and bruises, I'm talking injuries requiring surgery(s). Guess what? Twelve people sued Magic Waters in 2015.
According to this chart by Rockford Register Star, the settlements totaled over $2.5 million dollars.
Name City of Residence Status Amount Cilicia Gibson Lansing Settled $35,000 Jason Kirk Sharon, Wisconsin Settled $16,500 Julie Erickson Byron Settled $200,000 Ted Wierbowski Hoffman Estates Settled $55,000 Angela Samuelson Cortland Settled $700,000 Angela Ceasario Belvidere Settled $38,500 Maricela Garza Bensenville Settled $925,000 Mary Tucknott Rockford Settled $300,000 Stephanie Milloro Rockford Settled $40,000 Joann Stewart Rockford Settled $100,000 Edwin White Roscoe Settled $56,000 Maria LC Parrish Rockford Settled $70,000 Total: $2,536,000
So the Splash Blaster initially cost $3 million, plus the $2.5 million in lawsuits, but the money isn't done adding up yet. RRstar.com says tearing down the Splash Blaster cost just over $160,000 and their new safer ride, SCREAMING LIZARD, cost $3.1 million to build. The money is starting to add up.
Splash Blaster + Lawsuit settlements + Teardown + Rebuild of new ride= $8.8 million. (For comparison, the estimated cost of the entire 2017 season at Magic Waters is about $2.6 million. Yikes.)
The new ride, SCREAMING LIZARD, is said to be safer and more thrilling. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited for it to open. Driving by the water park every day and seeing progress is a tease, let's just hope there are sunnier days ahead when it comes to new attractions at Magic Waters.
(H/T Rockford Register Star)