Well, that didn’t take long.
Less than 3 weeks after its grand opening, Snowcat Ridge, Florida’s first snow park, located in the west coast town of Dade City, was closed down by local authorities due to multiple safety violations.
Pasco County officials confirmed that the park had to be temporarily shut down due to multiple permit violations: “During several recent site visits, Fire Rescue and Building Construction Services discovered fire, building, electrical and plumbing violations that pose a significant threat to public health and safety. The park will remain closed until all life-safety violations are corrected.”
The county claimed that Snowcat Ridge was operating in unsafe structures that had undergone no inspections and had no certificate of occupancy (COO). Since July, multiple permits had been pulled for the project, but only one had been closed (a permit is “closed” when a final inspection from the county demonstrates that all permit requirements have been satisfied). The park had never requested inspections for the other outstanding permits.
Violations included non-permitted plumbing and electrical setups, exposed electrical boxes, extension cords sitting in puddles, and unsafe use/stacking of shipping containers, among other gross safety issues. Pasco County released 48 photos of unsafe conditions their inspectors found. You can see them all here, but these are some of the photos that make me say, “I know nothing about permits and even know not to do this!”
The county forced the park to close on December 10th. After fixing the worst of the safety issues, it was allowed to reopen on the 11th, after receiving a temporary COO from the county. That COO expires in 7 days, at which time they’ll receive another inspection to ensure the other issues have also been addressed. If they haven’t, the park will be closed down again.
A representative from Pasco County suggested that with all the permit violations, along with the lack of a COO, the attraction should never have opened in the first place.
As a result of this incident, the county is now looking into creating a position where someone would work full-time with business owners of “complex projects.” This person would ensure they obtain all the required paperwork and inspections before they open, so a situation like this doesn’t happen again.
Snowcat Ridge was originally announced in the fall of 2019, with much more info announced in the fall of 2020 (here’s what we wrote about it). The company that was building it, Point Summit, Inc., already had at least other “outdoor” activities under their belt, including a paintball field and a zipline attraction, as well as two seasonal haunted houses. So it’s not as if they’re brand new to the “let’s build an attraction” game. So how they wound up in this mess this time around is beyond me.
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#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary