Lake Chelan waterpark ordered to close by Monday, worried it may not reopen

CHELAN CO., Wash. — A Lake Chelan waterpark will close its doors Monday, days after a federal judge threw out its lawsuit challenging the legality of Governor Inslee’s stay-home order. 

In a letter addressed to customers and staff, Slidewaters said it was issued a Notice of Immediate Restraint, as well as a citation and Notice of Assessment from L&I. If the family-owned waterpark does not close by Monday, its owners could face more crippling fines and possible imprisonment.  

“This is because of extraordinary and unfair harm and suffering being brought upon us from the actions of Governor Jay Inslee and the Department of Labor and Industries,” it reads in the letter.  

Slidewaters filed the lawsuit against the governor and the Department of Labor and Industries. It argued that the governor does not have the power to decide which businesses are more expendable than others.

Judge Thomas Rice of the Eastern District Court of Washington threw out the lawsuit, saying the decision is justified based on the current public health emergency stemming from COVID-19. 

READ: Spokane judge tosses waterpark’s lawsuit challenging legality of Inslee’s stay-home order

The waterpark has been open and operating for the past month. In that time, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 traced back to it, Slidewaters said. 

“For four weeks we have offered a safe place for families to escape the stress of 2020 and live, laugh and enjoy life again,” the letter reads. “It is with tremendous sadness that we face the reality that after 38 years of offering a place for family recreation, Sunday could be our last operational day ever.”   

The legal battle is not over yet, the park’s owners said. It continues with an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court and a case pending in the Chelan Superior Court.

RELATED: Lake Chelan water parking taking state to court over stay home order

READ: Chelan judge declines to move suit against stay-home order

READ: Spokane judge denies Lake Chelan water park’s motion to reopen despite stay home order