Man chains self atop slide in bid to save New Hampshire water park

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 10, 2015 3:53 PM

By Ted Siefer

(Reuters) - The founder of an indebted New Hampshire water park has chained himself to the top of a 30 foot high slide in a last ditch effort to keep his property from being sold at auction.

The man, Kevin Dumont, said on Tuesday we would remain atop the slide at Liquid Planet Water Park for 24 hours a day until he found investors to back the venture, which is $1.5 million in debt.

"I'm trying find a way to let them know this is a great family-run business," Dumont said in a phone interview as winds buffeted the tarp enclosure he had set up on the slide’s platform. "I'm a veteran. My family and I are just trying to save my company."

A bank auction for the 44-acre site, which includes Dumont’s home, is scheduled for December 2. The bank foreclosed on the property after Dumont fell behind on loan payments.

The eight-year-old park is located in Candia, about 10 miles northeast of Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city, in a region known for short summers and fickle weather.

Dumont maintained that the park has drawn tens of thousands of attendees in recent seasons, but that it struggled due to rainy weather in its early years, something he said contributed to its heavy debt load.

"We make hundreds of thousands (of dollars) every year. But the first year was so rainy we could never get out of that hole," he said.

Dumont, 46, acknowledged that his action was a publicity stunt.

"Once you get past those words, this is a young man dedicated to saving his company, even if it means chaining himself to a slide tower," he said.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Christian Plumb)