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Applesauce

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I don't think the general the idea is the same. They are set up as attractions within the park. I don't think the liability would be the same if BGW decided to have a walking path that guests could walk through like the gardens at Legoland or dinosaurs alive at Kings Dominion. From my understanding of liability laws there is a difference when you pay for access to something than when things are free to the general public. That's the inherent issue. It's also different than the parking lot fence because once again you have to pay to park it's not a free parking lot.

I'm sure that some of that can be mitigated by posted signs but I'm sure not enough for it to be worth it.
How is it not the same idea? It's still an attraction owned by the park. Even if its free, its owned by the park. The only difference is Cypress Gardens and Dinos were included/upcharged. Saying that the general idea is different is kinda asinine. I understand that there is likely a difference between things that are run for free and things that are run where you pay to enter. But "A Walking Path Owned By A Theme Park" is the exact same idea between the proposed idea and Cypress Gardens/Dinosaurs Alive. So telling me that they're different ideas doesn't work. A walking path is a walking path. Whether its a charged attraction or free. Whether you're looking at nature or looking at fake dinosaurs. It's still a walking path owned by a private theme park.

I'll drop the fence topic just because it's a bunch of unknowns, as what Nicole said none of us are qualified to actually know liability law. But I stand by what I said in that it's really not that different if somebody gets hurt between a parking lot fence, that most of us were on the side of "The park wouldn't be liable." and this case where if somebody god forbid left a path or got injured.
 

Zachary

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I sorta hate that this really interesting, original concept has gotten set aside for a conversation regarding legal minutiae that few, if any of us, are even the slightest bit informed about, let alone qualified to assess.

With that said, I did a little bit of quick reading and I'm pretty sure that as long as the land is being offered up for free for recreational use, VA state law provides (shockingly) wide-ranging liability protections to the owner.

Check out Code of Virginia § 29.1-509, the "Duty of care and liability for damages of landowners to hunters, fishermen, sightseers, etc" statute. Here's the key section for this discussion:

A landowner shall owe no duty of care to keep land or premises safe for entry or use by others for hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, participation in water sports, boating, hiking, rock climbing, sightseeing, hang gliding, skydiving, horseback riding, foxhunting, racing, bicycle riding or collecting, gathering, cutting or removing firewood, for any other recreational use, for ingress and egress over such premises to permit passage to other property used for recreational purposes [...] No landowner shall be required to give any warning of hazardous conditions or uses of, structures on, or activities on such land or premises to any person entering on the land or premises for such purposes, except as provided in subsection D.
 
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Jonesta6

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So not being a legal expert, I checked the section of VA code (thank you, @Zachary!) linked to and best I could come up with is the landowner is not liable for people using their land for recreation.

It did get a little confusing because one clause made it sound like the landowner is not liable nor do they have to give warning or alter their property for guest safety, but in another clause it seems that the landowner does need to give warning and/or alter their property. Then there was a whole bit about easements and non-profits though I'm not sure either are relevant here.

In either case, I think little if any of my original idea would have to change to accommodate the law. I'd guess some other parts may need to be modified to be ADA compliant too, it'd be a really good thing for those with mobility difficulties to be able to enjoy it too.
 
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Reading that it makes to distinctions. There is no liability if someone just goes on your property (section B). It does say that if they are invited on the property whether express or implied there is a duty of care (section C). So there would be liability for the park.

How is it not the same idea? It's still an attraction owned by the park. Even if its free, its owned by the park. The only difference is Cypress Gardens and Dinos were included/upcharged. Saying that the general idea is different is kinda asinine. I understand that there is likely a difference between things that are run for free and things that are run where you pay to enter. But "A Walking Path Owned By A Theme Park" is the exact same idea between the proposed idea and Cypress Gardens/Dinosaurs Alive. So telling me that they're different ideas doesn't work. A walking path is a walking path. Whether its a charged attraction or free. Whether you're looking at nature or looking at fake dinosaurs. It's still a walking path owned by a private theme park.

But they aren't you're talking about heavily developed attractions. They aren't just a collection of trails through a forest which is what is being proposed.

As far as the original proposal goes. I actually really like the idea. I think it would be really cool and I would probably go quite often. I just think that the added liability doesn't make it worth the park to do it.
 
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Jonesta6

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So everything the park does is considered a liability - I'm curious how expensive it is for the insurance to cover something like this that isn't a ride or contain any of the risks most of the park attractions likely require?

Edit: if the park were to make it key-card accessible (automatic gate system, maybe turnstile for walk-ins and bikers) only for registered locals on a limited basis (sign up with ID validation that you live in whichever localities the park considers ok), and all others would be required to sign up for tours during the park's operating calendar?

This could alleviate some of the security concerns/liability while at the same time offset some of the costs.
 
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warfelg

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So everything the park does is considered a liability - I'm curious how expensive it is for the insurance to cover something like this that isn't a ride or contain any of the risks most of the park attractions likely require?

Pulling from my sports law class, there is a such thing as 'inherent risk' that protects BGW from quite the variety of issues. And 'inherent risk' is anything that if you took it away no longer makes that thing....the thing. Like think baseball. A parent of a kid hit by pitch cannot sue for their kid being hurt because the only way to prevent that is to remove the ball from the game.

So with a park there are some 'inherent risks' throughout the park. Things that would end up liabilities from the parks standpoint include but not limited to: Items falling due to lack of maintenance, injury from disrepair of a path, escaped animals. But things this does protect the park from: Someone calling into an animal containment area (given there's no maintenance issues), someone dropping something from a ride, someone ignoring safety guidelines.

Obviously it's much more in depth, but where the 'inherent risk' of a nature trail on property helps BGW is that encounters with wildlife, going off trail and getting hurt, falling from a tree....that's all protected. Can't have the trail without all of that. Things they would still be liable for though is on trail safety (so no holes, potholes, fallen items on it), cleanliness that doesn't attract additional wildlife.

-------------------------------------

As for the actual idea, I do have some concerns:
1 - How do you prevent people from parking at the trails parking lot and walking over to the park to avoid paying for parking?
2 - Are you going to allow people to go back and forth between the two spots? If so how are you going to transport them?
3 - If there's no charge, what department's budget is going to pay for this? You do still need some staff to be part of this.

Taking this idea and making it a concept and money making venture for BGW (because I don't think they would do something without being able to make money on it):
Depending on the success of CP's new interactive theme area, I would suggest making that area and 'interactive experience'. An upcharge experience called "A New Europe: Undiscovered America". You get transported over on a boat, and it's an area themed to very early settlement America. A trail through the woods with experiences, games, and challenges. You go over with your 'guide', at 20 minute intervals, and the entire trail takes about 2 hours to complete.
 

Jonesta6

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Pulling from my sports law class, there is a such thing as 'inherent risk' that protects BGW from quite the variety of issues. And 'inherent risk' is anything that if you took it away no longer makes that thing....the thing. Like think baseball. A parent of a kid hit by pitch cannot sue for their kid being hurt because the only way to prevent that is to remove the ball from the game.

So with a park there are some 'inherent risks' throughout the park. Things that would end up liabilities from the parks standpoint include but not limited to: Items falling due to lack of maintenance, injury from disrepair of a path, escaped animals. But things this does protect the park from: Someone calling into an animal containment area (given there's no maintenance issues), someone dropping something from a ride, someone ignoring safety guidelines.

Obviously it's much more in depth, but where the 'inherent risk' of a nature trail on property helps BGW is that encounters with wildlife, going off trail and getting hurt, falling from a tree....that's all protected. Can't have the trail without all of that. Things they would still be liable for though is on trail safety (so no holes, potholes, fallen items on it), cleanliness that doesn't attract additional wildlife.

-------------------------------------

As for the actual idea, I do have some concerns:
1 - How do you prevent people from parking at the trails parking lot and walking over to the park to avoid paying for parking?
2 - Are you going to allow people to go back and forth between the two spots? If so how are you going to transport them?
3 - If there's no charge, what department's budget is going to pay for this? You do still need some staff to be part of this.

Taking this idea and making it a concept and money making venture for BGW (because I don't think they would do something without being able to make money on it):
Depending on the success of CP's new interactive theme area, I would suggest making that area and 'interactive experience'. An upcharge experience called "A New Europe: Undiscovered America". You get transported over on a boat, and it's an area themed to very early settlement America. A trail through the woods with experiences, games, and challenges. You go over with your 'guide', at 20 minute intervals, and the entire trail takes about 2 hours to complete.

1 - you can't exactly prevent it just like if they did the same and parked at McDonald's on 60 and walked - also assume there'd be a fence near the roads. The thing is it'd require people to walk a mile or two in either direction to the front gate, so unlikely anyone's that hard up to avoid paying for parking. Again, the idea is that it's a small lot for locals with a shuttle stop for the upcharge tours.

2 - the only back and forth offered is a shuttle for paid tour guests. If guests choose to leave the main parking lots and drive over to the trails then back, that's on them.

3 - this would maybe come from the zoological department? The thing is, park entrance fees are what generates revenue for rides, so none of them are technically profitable on their own. Same thought here - upcharge tours can limit costs but probably won't make an actual profit. The PR value is what this would add instead.

I like the idea of using a boat for tours, in which case the parking lot idea could become a backstage entrance... But would still want to open it to locals somehow without requiring the tour package.

However, I think the idea is to leave it as a natural space, so no games or anything else that requires trees to be cut to fit it in.
 
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Zachary

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Reading that it makes to distinctions. There is no liability if someone just goes on your property (section B). It does say that if they are invited on the property whether express or implied there is a duty of care (section C). So there would be liability for the park.

I'm pretty confident that you are misreading Section C. It expressly states the opposite...
Any landowner who gives permission, express or implied, to another person to hunt, fish, launch and retrieve boats, swim, ride, foxhunt, trap, camp, hike, bicycle, rock climb, hang glide, skydive, sightsee, engage in races, to collect, gather, cut or remove forest products upon land or premises for the personal use of such person, or for the use of an easement or license as set forth in subsection B does not thereby:

1. Impliedly or expressly represent that the premises are safe for such purposes; or

2. Constitute the person to whom such permission has been granted an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed; or

3. Assume responsibility for or incur liability for any intentional or negligent acts of such person or any other person, except as provided in subsection D.



But they aren't your talking about heavily developed attractions. They aren't just a collection of trails through a forest which is what is being proposed.

For the record, there are a lot of rough, relatively unmaintained areas in Cypress Gardens... Also, wild gators chillin' on crude walking paths through the woods around a lake.

If FL had a carbon copy of the VA law I cited, that wouldn't cover Cypress Gardens which leaves the door open to the existence of some other relatively standard legal protection for a paid-entry nature attraction like Cypress Gardens that simply has yet to be cited in this thread.

Regardless, now that we have established that there is some precedent and even almost certainly expressed legal protection, can we please move on to discussing @Jonesta6's actual creative ideas?
 
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Sep 24, 2018
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I'm pretty confident that you are misreading Section C. It expressly states the opposite...






For the record, there are a lot of rough, relatively unmaintained areas in Cypress Gardens... Also, wild gators chillin' on crude walking paths through the woods around a lake.

If FL had a carbon copy of the VA law I cited, that wouldn't cover Cypress Gardens which leaves the door open to the existence of some other relatively standard legal protection for a paid-entry nature attraction like Cypress Gardens that simply has yet to be cited in this thread.

Regardless, now that we have established that there is some precedent and even almost certainly expressed legal protection, can we please move on to discussing @Jonesta6's actual creative ideas?


1.That is fair enough. I was half asleep when reading that last night. Not exactly the best time to be reading statutes.

2.That was my point though that paid attractions have added protections to them that unpaid walking trails would have. Also just because the law provides coverage doesn't mean that people could needlessly sue the park which would cost them money proving that they weren't negligent.

3.Back to the original proposal. What if to help pay for it BGW opened up a small portion of it as a campsite? They could have it open all year if they liked and this would allow them to make some money to help pay for the rest to be free?
 

Ice

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I'm not sure why the hot debate here is the legalities, when I think there's a much more obvious flaw.

Why the hell would they spend the money to make this? Big companies, especially in the theme park industry where every cent counts, need incentive.

Don't get me wrong, I like scenic trails just as much as the next guy. I just don't see why BGW should want to front the cost.
 
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GrandpaD

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There are key points that, while it's a nice idea, don't convince me it's a feasible one.

1. Need. If there was a need in the community for something like this, I could perhaps see BGW taking the lead. However, just in James City Country there are 31 trails in the vicinity, including 27 hiking trails, 22 for walking and 31 for other activities. These trails range from 0.4 to 51.5 miles in length. The longest trail in James City County is Carters Grove Country Road a well-known trail measuring 51.5 miles in total length. This trail runs just outside the BGW boundaries.

2. Cost. Who'd foot the bill for (1) environmental studies (2) design, (3) construction, (4) maintenance, (5) security? SEAS is in the business to make money. Community programs, etc., while important in the overall company culture, don't make the registers ring.

What's the anticipated cost? Some quick Google research for building a trail (2010 figures)- ”typical construction costs for bike trails are in the neighborhood of $3-5 per foot (that’s about $15 – 25K per mile). State of Indiana posted a spread sheet showing a 5 ft wide trail would cost $25k to $88k a mile, depending on the path surface. And this is all before design, environmental studies, etc. Various sites show annual maintenance costs after building range from $2-4k.

In the argument above, it was suggested the zoological department foot the bill. Yet, in recent months, we've seen that department realize some fairly large staffing cutbacks. Also it was stated that "park entrance fees is what generates revenue for rides". This is not accurate. Parking, culinary, and merchandise are major revenue sources that far outweigh the (often discounted) entrance fees.

And we've yet to determine if, in fact, the land can be used for anything other than a natural buffer.

The PR value, I think, would be minimal. If there wasn't a lot a trails in the nearby vicinity then yes, "BGW is giving us something we need!" But with 31 existing trails in the JCC area, there's just not a need. Couple that with a huge cash outlay to design, build and maintain with zero revenue potential, I just don't see it happening.
 
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horsesboy

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One possible issue that area might be part of the old Camp Wallace site. I can't find the exact area that is effected by it but there are issues with possible unexploded ordinance and other hazards that have to be addressed. Again not sure if that particular land is part of the site but I do believe that the park owns land that is part f the site.
 

Jonesta6

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That makes sense to a point - I would think that would have been disclosed as part of the land sale and this required to have been cleared as I'm guessing at the time of sale there may not have been concrete plans on where the park and rides would exist, let alone KM properties and facilities that I believe were also part of the plans for the land Busch purchased.

However, 'forever preserving the land from development' makes for an easy way to ignore the problem. I would think that would still be too dangerous if ordinance were to corrode to the point of self ignition and thus injure/kill people, animals and destroy property.
 

horsesboy

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That makes sense to a point - I would think that would have been disclosed as part of the land sale and this required to have been cleared as I'm guessing at the time of sale there may not have been concrete plans on where the park and rides would exist, let alone KM properties and facilities that I believe were also part of the plans for the land Busch purchased.

However, 'forever preserving the land from development' makes for an easy way to ignore the problem. I would think that would still be too dangerous if ordinance were to corrode to the point of self ignition and thus injure/kill people, animals and destroy property.
There has been much debate on the cleanup I believe the current timeline is for it to be fully surveyed and a complete cleanup plan to be in place by 2026. The issues has been know for years can't say for sure if it goes back as far as the land purchase but it also effects land set aside for future Kingsmill development.
 
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Jonesta6

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There has been much debate on the cleanup I believe the current timeline is for it to be fully surveyed and a complete cleanup plan to be in place by 2026. The issues has been know for years can't say for sure if it goes back as far as the land purchase but it also effects land set aside for future Kingsmill development.

So let's assume that they go through the cleanup process and have to remove and/or detonate in the preserved park land. Would that be a big enough project that would require parts of the underbrush to be cleared and/or trails constructed anyways?
 

horsesboy

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So let's assume that they go through the cleanup process and have to remove and/or detonate in the preserved park land. Would that be a big enough project that would require parts of the underbrush to be cleared and/or trails constructed anyways?
The answer would be maybe sence the survey to determine what there hasn't been done it's only speculation. And again I don't know for sure that is the part of the land included. It's possible that the land listed as included is another part of the ml propertyml
 
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