Darien, N.Y.—The crowd of 6,500 attending Wednesday night’s Slayer concert had nothing to worry about. But the guests who come to Darien Lake’s concert center starting August 17 will have to cope with a new parking rule.
“The only way to get into the concert venue is in a vehicle, to park onsite,” said Steve Hallowell, Darien Lake Marketing Director.
Authorities have arrested 400 people this season for underage drinking and others for related issues, according to Chief Gordon Dibble of the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s a very difficult situation, a very dangerous situation,” added Dibble.
The main access road and gate for Darien Lake’s concert venue is off Route 21, but there are private lots where concert goers can park on Sumner Road.
“They walk down there along the shoulders—the very narrow shoulders—both when they are coming and then at the end of the concert,” said Dibble.
Private parking lot operators say the move puts them out of business.
“It does, it shuts us down,” said Todd Mack of Parking Kings, a parking lot that operates on concert nights.
Mack said his company spoke with a Darien Lake representative in an effort to find a resolution--to no avail.
His lot is located on the same side of the street as Darien Lake’s employee lot.
“Our people never see the road, so the safety concerns don’t have to do with us,” said Mack.
Sheriff’s deputies and park workers recently began checking vehicles for alcohol and drugs as drivers prepare to park. This new change, like the parking rule, is being put in place primarily to stop underage drinking and the problems that result from it, according to a park spokesman and police.
“We really can’t tolerate an unsafe situation and that’s what we’ve been under,” said Hallowell.