Lake Grove, NY (February 10, 2021) — Urban Air Lake Grove, the only indoor adventure park of its kind on Long Island, is one of dozens of family entertainment centers (FECs) from across New York that has filed a lawsuit against the State of New York for what they allege is the arbitrary way Governor Andrew Cuomo has allowed some businesses to reopen after the March 2020 COVID-19 shutdown, and ignoring them as their businesses crumble. The suit seeks immediate injunctive and declaratory relief, allowing the FECs to reopen under the same COVID-19 guidelines that have been applied to other similar businesses.
The FEC plaintiffs, which include indoor adventure parks, trampoline parks, arcades, laser tag centers and other indoor family amusements, claim the ongoing pandemic restrictions imposed on their businesses are unfair as compared to gyms, casinos, bowling alleys, indoor recreation venues and many other indoor businesses that have reopened. They claim the lack of guidance on reopened has caused immense harm by forcing them to close indefinitely. The suit also charges that the shutdown ordered in March 2020 has not been based on data or analysis of the business’ ability to put CDC-endorsed COVID-19 protocols in place.
“Governor Cuomo continues to make random and arbitrary decisions as to which businesses can open, none of which are based on science or data,” said James G. Mermigis, Esq., attorney for the plaintiffs who filed the suit. “Governor Cuomo and his team tasked with reopening our economy have ignored these family businesses, which have provided extensive evidence of how they can operate safely. The Governor is destroying these family businesses, some of which may never recover.”
The lawsuit also points out inconsistencies between businesses that have been allowed to reopen while others have not. Indoor recreation centers are open to published guidance, yet FECs remain closed by order of the Governor. Video game arcades, for example, have been ordered closed while gambling casinos and gaming machines at Off-Track Betting (OTB) locations are permitted to operate.
“We have created an extensive plan to operate safely and provided that several times to the State, but they’re ignoring us,” said David Wolmetz, owner of Urban Air Lake Grove, the only indoor adventure park of its kind on Long Island. The park reopened briefly in the fall, operating at 25 percent capacity, enforcing temperature checks, face coverings and hourly cleaning of all surfaces. Not a single case of COVID-19 was traced back to the park.”
When it opened in November 2019, Urban Air Lake Grove employed more than 150 full-time and part-time team members and provided a unique destination for Lake Grove and the surrounding residents of Smithtown, Centereach, Stony Brook, St. James, Setauket, Port Jeff, and Mt. Sinai. As a 40,000 sq ft indoor facility, it includes wall-to-wall trampoline adventures; High Ropes, an obstacle course in the sky; Spin Zone Bumper Cars, where you can bump into your friends and send them into an uncontrolled spin; The Drop Zone, an enormous inflatable landing pad perched below a series of trampolines; The Runway Tumble Track, a unique attraction for flips, handsprings and cartwheels; The Slam Dunk Zone, which allows guests to emulate their favorite basketball heroes with a trampoline-induced slam dunk of their own; and Urban Air’s exclusive Urban Warrior Course™ and Battle Beam. Urban Air also features the Urban Café, with food, drinks and snacks available for purchase. The location is available for birthday parties, corporate retreats, team building and private events.
“It shouldn’t take a lawsuit to get the attention of the people who are charged with getting the economy of the state moving again. We can serve our guests as safely if not more safely than similar types of businesses that have successfully reopened under published guidance,” said Wolmetz. “Over the last 11 months we have tried to engage NYS with publishing guidance for FEC to reopen safely. Even in July, when New York State was at a sub-1% transmission rate, we were mandated to be closed with no published guidance to reopen. The time is now for Governor Cuomo to make things right and allow FECs to operate.”
Urban Air Lake Grove has also created a Change.org petition to ask the support of the public to reach the Governor and ask him to act.
A full copy of the lawsuit is available at: https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/DocumentList?docketId=ha8EMeJoo7xVo6OhTg3pFA==&display=all&courtType=Onondaga%20County%20Supreme%20Court&resultsPageNum=1
ABOUT URBAN AIR LAKE GROVE
Urban Air is the Nation’s #1 destination for family fun, featuring a variety of attractions perfect for all ages. Urban Air Adventure Park is the perfect venue for birthday parties for kids, youth groups, church gatherings, corporate events or a day out for some family fun. For more information on the company and franchising opportunities, visit www.UrbanAirParks.com. Urban Air has won numerous awards and accolades that have made them the number one choice by families.
- Best Gym In America For Kids by SHAPE Magazine
- Best Kids Birthday Parties by About.com
- Voted Best Entertainment Venue by Indulge Luxury Lifestyle Magazine