Action Point based on Action Park opens tomorrow

     I really wish Johnny Knoxville would have come to Vernon to make this movie.  The movie was actually made in South Africa.  Action Park in Vernon opened in 1978. I came to Sussex County to work at WSUS for the first time in 1983.  At that time WSUS did would sponsor a promotion with Action Park every year. Our WSUS "Listener Appreciation Day" was the day every Sussex County resident with a valid drivers license got free admission to Action Park. 

    Listener Appreciation Day was usually at the beginning or at the end of the season. As a young broadcaster it was amazing to me that our radio station could do something like this.  All of the DJ's would be out in front of the old Hexagon Lounge broadcasting live. It was a very long day for us. Back then there was no digital technology. We had to run phone lines out into the park.  If it was a nice day 10 thousand people would come. So many families would come over to our WSUS table and say "Thank You."  Their money was tight and this was the only way they could bring their kids to Action Park. 

     Of course, on summer weekends Action Park would attract up to 12 thousand people from all over the area. I lived in Hamburg at the time. Route 23 would be bumper to bumper on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Some people complained about the traffic but I never did. Those tourism dollars were a big benefit to Sussex County. 

     As far as Action Park itself goes.  I always had a great time there. It was very unique for its time. A water park and activity park built into the mountains.  Going down the Alpine Slide for the first time was amazing. 

     The Colorado River ride is one of my favorites to this day. When Intrawest took over in 1998 I was invited to tour the water park and see the safety improvements they were making. Many of the rough dips and curves of the Colorado River ride were being filled in. By then the park was called Mountain Creek. It's still a great ride.

     The sad legacy of Action Park is that 6 people died there and many others were hurt. Two people drowned in the wave pool. Back then we just didn't know how dangerous a wave pool could be to an inexperienced swimmer. I nearly drowned at the water park in Hershey in a wave pool with my stepson in 1988.  Since I was a strong swimmer I was able to get us out of trouble but it was scary. 

     Action Point is a comedic look at places like Action Park in the 70's and 80's. It will be fun to laugh at the stunts and pranks.  Millions of people enjoyed Action Park in Vernon over it's 18 year history. It was nicknamed "Reaction Park" and "Traction Park." back then. Even today what we should always remember about water parks and amusement parks is go to them, have fun but be careful. Look at the slide or ride before you try it and pay attention when you are on it. No one can guarantee your safety. 

     I posted the latest trailer for Action Point for you to watch. 

Source: You Tube

Steve Andrews

Steve Andrews

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