UPDATE | Adventure Crossing fun park permanently closed

Published: Nov. 8, 2016 at 3:38 PM EST
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News 12 First at Five / Nov. 9, 2016

MARTINEZ, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The fun park Adventure Crossing closes it's doors for good.

The owner of the park tells News 12 NBC 26 the news of the closing came as a surprise to the 25 workers. Eight of them were full time employees. He says it came down to a business deal between an interested buyer and the landowners, with the location and offer too good to pass up.

"It's going to be very missed and I think people will really realize what a gem it is now that it's no longer here," said Michael Brown.

Brown bought the park back in April 2015. Since then, he's poured blood, sweat and tears, not to mention money, into the business. t always easy over the years.

"Our biggest competition is not the Putt-Putt or the AirStrike. The biggest competition in our area are the free things to do," said Brown.

But, he news of the closing came as a shock to him a few weeks ago, when the landowners got an offer for the 19-acre property backing up to the interstate.

"You got to adjust to the times, you've got to ...when you find out things you've just got to adjust," said weekly Adventure Crossing visitor James Yourchak.

He stopped by, checking for himself. As someone who comes multiple times a week, he says it's a loss.

"Now we pretty much only have two locations for these arcade machines," said Yourchak, "Chuck E. Cheese, which, at best, is okay. And Putt-Putt which, while they do have laser tag, they do have the Putt-Putt and they have the batting cages - this is the only place that has the go karts, which, that's not here anymore."

While Brown says he understands, and accepts the outcome, but he says opening up a place like this from square one would prove an even bigger investment in this day and age.

"It would be cost prohibitive in today's dollars - you're probably looking at a six or seven million dollar investment," said Brown.

He says the former employees are getting help in finding work elsewhere, and says he's making sure they're paid up and paid forward.

Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The fun park 'Adventure Crossing' is no more.

The former owner of Adventure Crossing, Michael Brown, told News 12 NBC 26 that the fun park's last day was Sunday.

The owners of the land had sold the property to a different owner, which forced Adventure Crossing to close. Brown said that the news came as a surprise to him and the 30 employees who worked there since there was little notice.

Brown, who took over as owner in April 2015, released this statement:

Even though the business was turning around and had recently defended its title as "Favorite Place for Birthday Parties" as voted by readers of Parent magazine, an investor made an offer that is attractive to the whole group. We are sad to close what has become an entertainment institution for the CSRA, but the selling of the property dictated the situation. We are also sad for the 20 plus hard working employees who are now out of work. We are working hard to help them get placed elsewhere and are having a meeting tomorrow that will include plenty of laughing and reminiscing, but also quite a bit of tears due to the loss of jobs and opportunity. The sale will definitely leave a huge hole for entertainment choices that will have to be filled.

Brown said in lieu of the meeting Wednesday, he already prepared checks a week in advance, he will provide reference letters and a list of people in the community who may be hiring. Brown said he contacted the labor department to assist with unemployment claims.

Brown tells us that he worked to turn the attraction around and make it profitable. Brown said that business was going good and the park was recently named "Favorite Place for Birthday Parties" by readers of Parent magazine.

The indoor/outdoor mini-fun park started life as Funsville and operated under this name during the 1990s. The attraction was renamed Adventure Crossing in 2008. Brown said he has hired, trained, mentored and employed thousands of people in his 17 years as a small business owner in Augusta.