SACO, Maine — One of the largest amusement parks, and employer of teenage workers in Maine is not planning on opening its gates this summer, due to the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic.
After 60 consecutive years, the Funtown Splashtown USA will not operate this summer, according to the park's owner, Kevin Cormier.
The decision to remain closed was made earlier Wednesday due to evolving state COVID-19 protocols, which include the limitation on large gatherings through June - and at the national level – the impacts on hiring temporary workers through the J-1 Visa program.
For those reasons, the Funtown Splashtown would not be ready to open in time.
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The park has been a mainstay attraction in Maine since the 1960s.
The history, according to the Funtown Splashtown website, "In 1960, on a then remote stretch of U.S. Route 1 in Saco, Maine, Ken and Violet Cormier opened Marvel Drive In, a drive in restaurant. Ken’s brother-in-law, Andre Dallaire opened a mini-golf course next to Marvel Drive-In in 1959. In 1963, Andre opened a Go-kart track behind his mini golf course, and in 1964 Ken added batting cages and an archery range behind Marvel Drive In. Over the course of the next few years, Cormier and Dallaire added several kiddie and carnival-style rides including SkySlides and Swinging Gyms. A gift shop was also opened. In 1967, Cormier and Dallaire form a partnership and Funtown USA is born, adding a “Zipper”, outdoor bumper cars, Merry-Go-Round, and the “Luv Machine” (Bayun Kurve). The Zipper was located where the Cash Cube is now. The outdoor bumper cars where replaced by the bumper car building. If you look at the area around the bumper cars, you can still see the original concrete pad for the outdoor bumper cars. The “Luv Machine” was only at the park a short time, and was located where the Red Baron Planes are now."
Current owner Kevin Cormier told NEWS CENTER Maine, if the pandemic lasts into 2021, Funtown Splashtown may be forced to close for good.
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