Village Addresses Venue Violations

Village Addresses Local Entertainment Venue Violations
Posted on 12/18/2020

 

Orland Park, IL (December 18, 2020) –

After a September 12, 2020 incident at Sky Zone Orland Park that required police intervention, the Village of Orland Park conducted a hearing to review evidence and determine possible revocation or suspension of the license held by the local indoor entertainment venue.

“We take very seriously the safety of residents and guest of Orland Park,” said Orland Park Police Chief Joseph Mitchell. “The incident that occurred in September presented a clear and present danger to the health, safety and welfare of those present.”

The hearing, which took place on September 30, October 6 and October 16, 2020, included the testimony of 10 Village-called witnesses as well as two witnesses who were called by Sky Zone.

Within said testimony was consistent and repeated reporting of incidents of concern regarding the safety and welfare of attendees at the Sky Zone location on the evening of September 12, 2020.

“An entertainment business whose sole business model is to attract children into its indoor park is particularly responsible because children at this young age are not able to protect themselves from harm,” said Village Manager George Koczwara.  “It is a nuisance in fact and a blatant disregard for the safety of these children for Sky Zone to first create a dangerous environment outside of the business (for them and for the first responders), then take their money and allow them to come into an overcrowded facility, abruptly close the facility down without notice due to safety concerns, have a floor plan that has obstacles to egress in the event of an emergency, close exiting staircases and create a stampede potential, usher them into a small tight part of the building all at the same time and then summarily release 1,000 children into the dark night without following its own business evacuation plan to make sure the children are gathered outside safety and get a ride home.”

Reflecting on the events of that night, the regional manager of Sky Zone testified that it is her opinion that Sky Zone and its employees did everything correctly and followed the correct protocol to keep the patrons and the employees safe.

“That is an alarming and dangerous corporate perspective,” said Koczwara. “The fact that Sky Zone does not understand or appreciate the serious jeopardy that it put these young children in and the hazardous conditions that it created for the children, the first responders and the general public, is inconceivable to me. It leads me to conclude that the same situation could and will likely occur again, with perhaps more dire consequences.”

“After considering the testimony, exhibits, credibility of witnesses and arguments offered at the hearing, I find that the Village Prosecutor has established, by clear and reliable evidence, each of the alleged violations of the Village Code set forth in the hearing notice provided to Sky Zone,” said Koczwara.

After careful review and deliberation, the Village Manager ordered that Sky Zone Orland Park’s business license be revoked pursuant to Section 7-1-16 of the Village Code. Sky Zone may petition the Village for reinstatement of its business license 90 days after the effective date of the revocation and the business being closed.

Sky Zone Orland Park has the right of appeal to the Village Board of Trustees.  Such appeal shall be taken by filing with the Board of Trustees, within 10 days after notice of the revocation, a written statement under oath setting forth specifically the grounds for appeal.  The Board of Trustees shall thereupon set the time and place for a hearing on such appeal.

If a request for a hearing is not received within 10 days, the Village Manager’s decision shall become final and the revocation shall become effective.