SANDUSKY, Ohio– Tourism certainly plays a big role in Sandusky and Erie counties.
But Sandusky Police Chief John Orzech said in his 22 years at the department, he hasn’t seen the amount of traffic that forced Cedar Point to turn away guests as they neared capacity.
“This was an anomaly. No traffic issues like that that could come close to what happened Saturday,” Orzech said.
A park spokesperson attributed the volume primarily to the popularity of HalloWeekends and the fortunate weather. Though some guests speculated the 150th Anniversary Gold Passes played a part.
“Everyone wants to get the Gold Pass before the season ends,” Andrew Holcepl said.
Additional Sandusky officers were called in for support as the main roads to the park closed temporarily.
“We had an abnormal amount of fender benders that day. We had a couple of injury accidents,” Orzech said.
Hotels in the area telling us their phones were ringing nonstop.
“We booked properties as far out as for Vermillion and Cleveland to get people a room,” said Todd Riesterer, Holiday Inn Express and Suites general manager.
“It sucks when you’ve paid ahead of time, and you can’t get in and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Holcepl said.
The park told guests on Facebook that passes would be honored Sunday and the following weekend as the season comes to a close. Many did come back on Sunday.
“We ended up still going because we thought it was a Sunday we’d be alright. It was still completely packed though. It was a good time though,” said park guest Mason Hart.
The park told us they will work with guests individually for those who can’t make it by the season’s end.
“They’ve been a very good neighbor and will be responsive to people’s concerns going forward,” Orzech said.
He said they work closely with the park every year on the off seasons to address concerns.
“Will be working closely with the team at Cedar Point to try and improve the guests getting in and out next year.”
The park echoing his statement, saying, “They are committed to providing a quality experience for guests and will work internally and with community partners to improve park access on an ongoing basis.”
“We count on the tourism ,and we want guests and, you know, people who are traveling through our community to have the best experience that they can,” Orzech said.