KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Crown Center made an announcement Tuesday that will affect children and adults all across the Kansas City Metro area: Effective immediately, the fountains at Crown Center will be off-limits for playing and cooling off.
Officials said the fountains were never designed to be a public pool.
The news release said that an increase in visitors to the center has also increased the potential for accidents or for exposure to waterborne health issues.
"I think the main thing that we want people to know is that we hate disappointing people this," said Chris Ronan of Crown Center. "This is something we thought long and hard about, and we really tried to really think about any alternative that we could."
Parents like Kathy Tapp say that they were shocked by the announcement.
"It's been open for a really long time," said Tapp. "You would think that if that were a problem, they would have addressed it before now."
In April, the Sea Life Aquarium and Legoland opened at Crown Center.
Complete News Release on Crown Center Square Fountain policy
"This summer we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of visitors to Crown Center. There are now more family-oriented things to see and do at Crown Center and other nearby attractions than ever before. As a result, this area is now a true hub for families from throughout Kansas City and the region to spend time together, and we couldn’t be happier about that.
With the larger crowds, however, has come a growing concern about the safety of adults and children playing in the Crown Center Square Fountain. The increase in visitors also increases the potential for accidents, or for exposure to water-borne health issues in a facility that was never designed or intended to be a public pool.
That’s why, effective immediately, people will no longer be allowed in the Crown Center Square Fountain. We know this will disappoint many people who have enjoyed a run through the fountains on a hot summer day, but guest safety is our utmost concern. Crown Center Security will ask anyone stepping into the fountains to move to nearby dry areas.
The fountains will continue to operate, and will continue to offer periodic programmed water displays with music recorded by the Kansas City Symphony, so visitors can still enjoy the fountains – just not run through them any more."