DARIEN, N.Y. (WIVB) - Officials have applied new rules at Darien Lake, beginning with Friday night's Def Leppard concert, and police were out to enforce them.
Darien Lake is changing how visitors coming to a concert can park. There are two major changes: 1.) The only place to park is Darien Lake premises - no parking in lots across the street and walking to the venue, and 2.) Instead of multiple access points, now only the main gate will be used to allow traffic to come in and out.
"Beginning tonight, concertgoers can only enter through the main theme park entrance off of Route 77, coming into the venue. There will be no pedestrian access allowed," said Steve Hallowell, Marketing Director for Darien Lake.
More on previous issues at Darien Lake:
In the past, some concertgoers chose to park in private, off-site lots on Sumner Road and walk over to the pavilion. But according to law enforcement and park management, that practice contributed to post-concert traffic gridlock, created a danger to pedestrians, and made it easier for underage tailgaters to drink.
Hallowell said, "Lots of underage drinking and other things that were happening. And those people would be crossing Sumner Road, which is a pretty busy road, creating a safety hazard as well as coming into the venue not in a condition to enjoy the show."
Concertgoer Michael Skelly said, "I like it. It's close to the exits. Hopefully we'll be able to get out of here on time."
"It's hard to get out. Lot of congestion. Very smooth coming in," said concertgoer Wendy Calorusso.
Her husband, Chris, added, "It's always been hard to get out in the past. Very organized so far."
Most everyone News 4 encountered in the parking lot before the Def Leopard/Poison show began were okay with the changes, even the people who used to park off-site.
Michael Winiecki said, "I think it's fine and I actually think it's better because they monitor the drinking here. And they monitor the underage drinking, so I think it's really good."
All of the on-site parking for Darien Lake concerts is free.
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