Dear OFMA Members,
Having had the experience with COVID-19 this present year, as have all the other fairs, has been very trying. I have been extremely frustrated, to say the least, at the position the Governor of Ohio has taken regarding our industry, which includes carnivals, fairs, festivals and any other associated business such as the food and games.
There needs to be a remedy to this situation and I have a plan that I am going to propose to OFMA (Ohio Fair Managers Assn.) and GOSA (Gtr. Ohio Showmen's Assn.). The problem came to light as 2020 developed and the Governor shut down our industry. He originally shut down both the portable amusement rides and the amusement parks. Eventually Cedar Fair, aka Cedar Point, and Kings Island, filed a lawsuit against the State of Ohio, and it was determined that the parks could open with regulatory guidance. However, the portable rides were not allowed to operate.
The inequality is what infuriates me. After being in business for 53 years, I have enough experience to handle the problems that may arise. The Governor, on the other hand, made the decision that I did not have the ability to do what Cedar Fair could do and would not allow our industry to open. I know there is nothing Cedar Fair is doing that I could not do and it’s unfathomable that the Governor would not allow us to open without an explanation of what we could not do. This is totally unacceptable.
My proposed plan would be as follows:
Come January 1, 2021 I am going to try to open at the mall in Steubenville, Ohio, and request that the rides be inspected by the State; we will at that time know if the “new norm” is what it was last year. If that be the case, our organizations need to be pro-active and be in position to file a lawsuit against the State of Ohio as was done in the past by Cedar Fair. I have been in contact with a couple of law firms at this time but I have not made any commitments to hire an attorney. Going forward we need to get commitments for funding from any and every party associated with the industry.
I am reaching out to all parties to make a commitment to assist in the financial cost in this endeavor. At this time the cost is undetermined. I fully understand the hardship of not working this year has created for our companies. We are not able to sustain another year of not being able to operate. You won’t have to worry about 2022, our industry will be dissolved.
Looking for support, comments and constructive criticism that might help our issue. Below is my contact information.
Bates Brothers Amusement Co.
Cell – 740-412-916-9210