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Mesa water park sues Gov. Doug Ducey over virus-related closures

(Facebook Photo/Golfland Sunsplash)

PHOENIX – A Phoenix-area water park/family fun center has sued Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey over its continued closure during the coronavirus pandemic.

Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa filed the lawsuit Monday, noting COVID-19 cases in the state were trending downward and the park remained closed.

Golfland is alleging that other Arizona water parks have opened since the closure order and the state has done nothing to stop them.

The park has been closed since Ducey’s executive order was issued June 29.

“This is the option we felt we were left with,” general manager Steve Carlston said to KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.

Mountainside Fitness and EOS Fitness have been enmeshed in a similar legal wrangling against Ducey over the closure order.

“The benchmarks had nothing to do with the decision to file the lawsuit,” Carlston said, adding they had planned to file Friday but weren’t quite ready.

The suit was filed the same day the state announced data-driven benchmarks to determine when water parks, indoor fitness centers and bars and nightclubs will be allowed to apply for permission to reopen.

The benchmarks, which vary by industry, are based on county conditions and posted on a data dashboard.

A county must meet benchmarks for each of the three data points in the dashboard to reach the required ranges for phased reopening.

Once conditions in the county meet the specified thresholds and a business submits an attestation form that it is meeting all mitigation requirements, the business can reopen.

“Rather than a five-hour notice of closure, we would have rather have had some communications and some assistance, at least a visit from someone to verify that we were doing everything the right way and keeping everybody safe,” Carlston said.

The park’s season is essentially over, he said.

“Us being closed during summer season is a very tough pill to swallow. Let’s say the benchmarks are met in two to three weeks from now,” Carlston said.

“It does not really help me. We’re past the point of the season being able to start back up again.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gabriel Gamino contributed to this report.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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