Arizona Watch has a great post today about our state government's foray into amusement park regulation after several folks were stuck on a local ride for a couple of hours.
There are no major amusement parks in Arizona, although two large
ventures are apparently planned. Currently, inspections are handled by
insurance companies, who have a serious financial stake in maintaining
the safety of the rides. Insurers can't afford to have unsafe rides at
their client's amusement park. Compare that to the state, that has
exactly what at stake?
As an aside, Phoenix is an awful place for a roller-coaster and amusement park fan like myself to live. Basically, we have no real amusement parks (though there are some great ones about a 6-hour drive away in LA). I have sat and pondered this a lot - why does a city this large with such a strong tourist economy not have a Six Flags type attraction?
The answer I guess is that our season is wrong. Our season is November-April, when the weather is nice. Unfortunately, the kiddies are in school then. During summer vacation months, Phoenix is a bit, uh, toasty (but its dry heat, as we tell our Thanksgiving turkey each year). This answer is not totally satisfying, as uncomfortable summer cities like San Antonio and Houston have major theme parks. Also, Phoenix has no real world class water parks (just a couple of places with 2 slides and a pool). Maybe its because all the developpers here have golf courses on the brain.
Where do Phoenix people go for fun in the summer? Well, if you are ever in San Diego or LA during the summer, check the license plates. Then you will know where we are.