"The Hill" plans to stay open; Darien Lake's plan to fence near it may increase pre-concert DWI's
Darien Lake recently announced it's plan to build a fence along Sumner Road, which would close off access to the concert venue from Cherry Hill Campground, better known as "The Hill" and other nearby parking lots.
As of Aug. 17, pedestrian access to the Performing Arts Center will be restricted to passenger drop-off at a designated area near the main gate, or parking in the Darien Lake parking lots. According to a Darien Lake press release this prior week, General Manager Bob Montgomery stated that the plan, which would prohibit concer goers from walking into the venue, was designed to decrease the risk and eliminate those that are walking along the roadway, as well as decrease pre-and post-show alcohol consumption and traffic jams.
Although Darien Lake has stated that they have plenty of parking for all concert goers even on a sold out night, that doesn't seem to fit well for the hundreds of people that have been taking to "The Hill" for the past years and it was no different tonight as it was packed as patrons parked there for the Toby Keith concert.
"Nothing is going to change, we are just going to have to figure a way to get over there (to the venue) but we're still planning on parking up here" stated one concert goer. "We'll figure something out, none of my friends plan on parking anywhere else" stated another. "If anything we just won't go into the concert and we will just hang out up here." he added.
The presumed manager of "The Hill" stated that "we will still be open for camping and people will still park up here. They will all just have to bring a DD (designated driver) to drive up there (to the main entrance)." When asked whether they had any plans to set up a shuttle service or bus rides to curb driving she walked away without any comment.
The Hill, which a former employee disclosed makes an estimate of $6,000+ per concert, would presumably continue to market itself as a concert parking lot to avoid the high loss of revenue. It would be up to all those parking at "The Hill" to be responsible to find sober transportation from the location, to the main entrance of the concert venue, less than a mile away. Although some probably would make the right decision, we can only assume that there will be those that would take the risk driving under the influence given the extremely short distance required to drive.