ROCKLIN -- Quarry Park Adventures suddenly closed last month after a much-delayed opening in October and the old operator is crying foul.
Their relationship ended with the operator's contract terminated after that operator, David Busch, after the city sued him for fraud and breach of contract.
While trying to create the attraction, Busch says his company, Legacy Family Adventures, which is a designer and operator of 22 adventure parks, had its plans for profit from family fun rejected.
Busch says missteps with a municipality going into an entertainment business it doesn’t fully understand led Rocklin to take over design, not complete its own plans and bring in another company for construction.
"The city and Legacy Family Adventures had a disagreement. The city retaliated by terminating, and we believe illegally," Busch said.
According to Busch, his contract was terminated once he went after Rocklin for breach of contract on Jan. 9.
"We have a park without bathrooms. We have a park without water, without gas, without electricity," he said.
Basic utilities were still not complete three months after an opening that had been delayed five times. That's when Quarry Park was closed to a surprised public and Busch and the city entered mediation.
With no resolution over the last few weeks, that process has just now moved into arbitration.
The city of Rocklin's spokesman would not provide clarification on any of those issues Tuesday night during a council meeting that approved key terms for the hiring of a new park operator.
Wednesday morning, spokesman Michael Young shared that hard-line electricity to Quarry Park was connected just before Christmas Eve 2018. The park opened to the public for regular operations on Oct. 13, 2018.
On Wednesday, Young also confirmed permanent bathrooms weren't available to the public before Jan. 9. Those facilities are now complete.
Selecting Bonsai LLC, a company in charge of construction during the failed first park roll-out, to head up the second roiled some who came to hear their city council debate.
"Put the people in charge who couldn't even meet our deadlines? Again as a citizen is this just another financial drain," questioned resident Russ Grizzly.
Bonsai has not worked with a city-owned park in its past but managing partners said they were confident Rocklin could become profitable like its other ventures.
So far, $13 million in city money has gone into all aspects of the project, with $5 million of it just in extending city infrastructure, like sewer services, to the area.
Busch maintains nothing in the last contract requires his company to pay back anything. Young, speaking for the city, said Tuesday night that no payments had been received from Busch or LFA.
When asked if any payment was actually due, Young said he didn't want to comment about the former operator.
Rocklin's looking to pay its likely new operator, Bonsai, almost $300,000 for start-up costs for the round two opening of the park.
The dollars and cents did not make sense to some.
"I've raised venture capital for different ventures and I would have been laughed out of the room with what I've seen thus far," said one man during public comment.
Still, the initial approval of terms to make Bonsai the second official operator of Quarry Park Adventures was endorsed by the council 4 to 1. Final approval could come next month.