Owners of shuttered Fort Rapids water park fined $1,000 per day for repeat code violations

·2 min read

The owners of the shuttered Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort on Columbus' East Side will be required to pay $1,000 per day until their property is brought into full compliance with city code.

Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Stephanie Mingo ordered the fines after a hearing Monday.

“Compliance with health, safety and fire codes isn’t optional, it’s essential to protect public safety — regardless of whether the property you own is in use to the general public,” City Attorney Zach Klein said in a news release. “I am grateful for the persistent work of City Code Enforcement and Fire Prevention Bureau personnel who have helped us build this case to hold property owners accountable for the dangerous and deteriorating conditions at this site.”

Fort Rapids resort declared public nuisance last year

According to Franklin County property records, California investor Juzi Cui purchased 4560 Hilton Corporate Lane in 2017 for $2.5 million. The city of Columbus had ordered the water park closed the year before due to fire code violations, bug infestations and improper food handling. It never reopened.

The Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort on the East Side closed in 2016 under police order.
The Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort on the East Side closed in 2016 under police order.

According to the city attorney's office, the property off South Hamilton Road was found to be in violation of city code after being inspected in 2019, the same year the 16.5 acre site was put up for sale in hopes that it would be redeveloped into one- or two-bedroom apartments.

Six subsequent inspections found a host of violations, including unsecure doors and windows, overgrown grass and weeds, damage to the building’s facade, abandoned or inoperable vehicles on the premises and inoperable fire suppression and alarm systems. The property was declared a public nuisance in August 2021.

Fines of $1,000 per day will continue until the property's fire suppression and fire alarm systems are functional; its doors and windows are securely boarded; grass and weeds are no higher than one foot tall; and contracts for onsite security and weekly landscape maintenance have been agreed to.

A burst water pipe in 2018 caused ice to form on the outside of Fort Rapids Water Park.
A burst water pipe in 2018 caused ice to form on the outside of Fort Rapids Water Park.

A compliance hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 8.

The complex at 4650 Hilton Corporate Dr. opened in 2006 and had struggled ever since Dublin-based developer Platinum Lodging spent about $40 million to convert the former Holiday Inn into a water park and resort.

Monroe Trombly covers breaking and trending news.

mtrombly@dispatch.com

@MonroeTrombly

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Owners of shuttered Fort Rapids water park fined $1,000 per day