SANDUSKY, Ohio — After struggling to operate smoothly during its opening day weekend, Cedar Point announced Friday that the amusement park will be closed select days in June due to staffing shortages.
"It’s actually really sad that they have to shut down especially because of what happened last year with COVID," resident Samantha Staugh said. "They never even really got a chance to open."
Last weekend when the park opened for the season, guests reported long lines and ride closures, which Cedar Point said was a result of hiring challenges.
"Like businesses in our area, in Ohio and across the country, Cedar Point is not immune to hiring challenges. However, we’ve increased wages, enhanced employment incentives like a $500 sign-on bonus and introduced dozens of new full-time, year-round positions. We continue to recruit all year, just as we have in the past, and we will open more park locations as our workforce increases.
With new health guidelines coming out just this week and consumer confidence rising, visitation trends continue to evolve, and we will adjust our operation accordingly. We are committed to providing our guests the experience they expect from Cedar Point. We acknowledge that some guests may not have had the visit they hoped for, and we will work with them individually to make it right."
In the statement, the park said it would open things up and be able to operate normally as it continued to recruit more employees—but those efforts are still underway and Cedar Point is still struggling to staff the park, it said.
"We want to be sure we are delivering fun and memorable experiences to our guests. As we're seeing across a wide range of industries, the availability of labor continues to be a challenge," Cedar Point said in its latest statement.
"We've added more than 300 full-time, year-round positions - with benefits - to our food & beverage team, we've introduced a $500 seasonal sign-on bonus for associates and we're now increasing the 2021 seasonal and part-time wage for all positions to $20/hr, a 100% increase over 2020 wage rates. Associates enjoy the one-of-a-kind 'office' of Cedar Point as their workplace, complimentary tickets for family and friends, special events throughout the summer, the chance to forge friendships and learn new skills that extend beyond a summer job, all in effort to carry out Cedar Point's mission of making people happy," the statement continued.
The new hiring incentives come in hopes of recruiting enough staff to allow the park to run its normal operations, but as they continue those efforts, the park will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for the first four weeks of June.
"I think it’s just a sign of the times because of where we are with the COVID," Bridget Seavers said. "By them having to close a couple of days of the week, that’s okay too because people had the opportunities to finally become a family again."
With select dates now closed, Cedar Point said it will contact guests who have booked an overnight stay or have made ticket reservations on the days that the park will be closed and provide further information.
But some people who have planned summer vacations to Cedar Point in June with some booking overnight stays at the park's lodging will have to make new plans, causing further frustration with the park.
Awesome. I had a trip planned in 10 days and Cedar Point just now announced they’d be closed the two days we’d be there— kevbo9 is in the transfer portal (@kevbo9) May 21, 2021
Way to go guys. Bang up job https://t.co/JtvT227UwL
So happy two of our four days at cedar point the park will be closed!!! Can’t wait! https://t.co/zlhyFJQ74U— Casey Szczublewski (@Caseyski5) May 21, 2021
As a guy that has flights booked, hotel booked, rental car booked, frontier festival sampler tickets bought, the decision to announce the park will be closed on the dates of my visit in 2.5 weeks isn't cool Cedar Point https://t.co/2PsB6Wq0Rw— The Legend (@InTheLoopLegend) May 21, 2021
"I’ve lived here for a year and I still haven’t been. I’ve never actually had the opportunity to go to Cedar Point so I’m hoping at some point I’m going," Maurice Leeper said. "That’s gotta be disappointing especially if you’re traveling so far from home just to have your dreams crushed and you can’t go to the amusement park."
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