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Aquaboggan Water Park closes for the season amid 'cease and desist'

The water park received a cease and desist order from the Saco Police Department for violating the Governor's executive orders amid COVID-19

SACO, Maine — Aquaboggan Water Park in Saco is shutting down for the season, effective immediately. This, after local law enforcement issued the park a cease and desist order over violations of the Governor's executive orders. 

The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development issued the following statement in regards to the park's closure: 

"The Department of Economic and Community Development, Department of Health and Human Services Health Inspectors, and Saco City Officials engaged in several discussions with Aquaboggan in an attempt to assist them in complying with the State’s public health protocols – the same protocols that are required of other outdoor amusement venues. Ultimately, after multiple warnings, Aquaboggan failed to comply and was issued a cease and desist by local law enforcement."

The Saco Police Department issued the cease and desist order on Friday, August 28. The violation detailed in the cease and desist order is over Governor Mills' executive order limiting gatherings to "5 people per 1,000 square feet or 100 persons, whichever is less."

Saco Chief of Police Jack Clements writes within the cease and desist order, "Aquaboggon routinely has more than 100 customers at its facility. Indeed, on at least one occasion, the facility had over 1,200 customers."

Clements writes, "As the federal court recognized, the COVID-19 virus is deadly, and it can be readily spread through large gatherings. You may be aware from news reports that at least 60 COVID-19 cases have been linked to a single wedding reception in Millinocket attended by 65 people. Having 1,200 persons gathering at a waterpark poses a significant public health danger, and I trust that you do not want to see Aquaboggan be the source of an outbreak. In order to protect the safety of your customers, staff members, and the community, and avoid potential criminal penalties, I urge you to comply with this order and cease allowing more than 100 persons together at your facility." 

Clements says Aquaboggon is "plainly in violation" of the Governor's orders and could face significant criminal penalties of the violation were to continue. We now know that won't happen because the park is shutting down for the season. 

In a post on Facebook, the water park sited "strict and inconsistent state regulations" as the reason it's shutting down early.

The park posted the following: 

"It is with great disappointment that Aquaboggan Water Park will be closing for the season effective immediately. Due to strict and inconsistent state regulations, it is no longer possible for us to remain open while remaining in compliance with the changes in guidelines. While we firmly disagree that some of these regulations should apply to Aquaboggan, staff and guest safety has always been the number one priority and we will always place public health above profit. We plan to confront the inconsistency of the guidelines by working to create policy change rather than operate against them, but unfortunately this takes time.

To all our guests: Thank you for a wonderful season this year. We are so grateful for the opportunity to safely provide you and your family summer entertainment in a turbulent part of not only the state's, but the world's history.

To our staff: Thank you for all of your hard work and time you put in this summer to take every precaution to keep our community safe. You have all done an excellent job and we couldn't be more proud to call you a part of our team.

For those of you with unused passes purchased for this year, we will honor them in 2021. For season pass holders, thank you for your continued loyal support, we will be discounting your renewals for next year. Please reach out to info@aquabogganwaterpark.com for more information.

Stay well and we will see you in 2021."

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