Made in the Shade
Darien Lake’s Shelter and Cabana Program

When Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE) took over management of Darien Lake Theme Park Resort in 2011, one of the first things that stood out to them was the severe lack of shade. “We did have some trees and small umbrellas, but at times we could have up to 5,000 people in the park at once and that little bit of shade was nowhere enough for our crowds,” said Bob Montgomery, general manager. Finally, brand new for the summer of 2013, a shade and cabana program was unveiled, to the delight of guests and staff.
Visitors to Darien Lake can now escape the direct sunlight by relaxing underneath one of the five new Funbrellas, which are giant, permanent umbrella shade structures. The addition of the Funbrellas cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $60,000 and was well worth the expense, according to Montgomery. “The reaction of our guests was immediate,” he said. “Everyone is very appreciative of our efforts to create these shaded spots. We have even gotten letters from our season pass holders, thanking us for adding this amenity.”
In addition to the extra shade available from the Funbrellas, guests of the park may also pay a fee for the use of new, refurbished cabanas, which was a project that cost $15,000 to implement. “There is quite a demand for the cabanas, especially on a really warm day, so advance booking for cabanas is available,” Montgomery said. For $99.99 during the week, and $129.99 on weekends, guests of the park can reserve a cabana, which provides a fun, secluded area for the family to relax. “It is a great perk for our visitors. With the cabana rental comes a locked trunk for belongings, a personal attendant, lounge chairs and tubes for attractions that require them. It’s real VIP treatment,” said Montgomery. “Everyone is so thankful for these added amenities and we are excited to have been able to bring them to the park.” -A.L.

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