Johnson bought five season passes at the end of May, totaling about $300. "We had only gotten the chance to go out to the park twice," she said. Johnson and her family were hoping to make most of their season passes towards the end of the 2013 season, but it didn't work out as planned. "Once everything happened and the park closed down, we never heard anything from the park or the owners."
The Willow Springs Water Park shut down after 12-year-old Kali Hardig contracted a rare "brain-eating" amoeba after swimming there. Johnson says she spent months trying to reach the owners and had no luck until this week. "He had told me that they spent millions of dollars with all the issues that have happened, so there's no way they're going to pay everyone back for their season passes," Johnson said.
Willow Springs owner David Ratliff said Johnson and others who got a ticket early in the season most likely won't see a refund. "Some people got all their money back, some people got half their money back, and some people got a third of their money back, based on when they purchased a pass," Ratliff said.
Johnson argues her family only went twice.
"It's $15 to swim, so the person who comes out twice and if they paid $65 well then there could be a reasonable refund there, but she would have to take that up with LuAnn," Ratliff said.
LuAnn is Ratliff's wife, who Johnson says was never referred to over the phone. She said was told she could get a free season pass in 2014 to the park's newly renovated fishing and camping park, but that's not what she said her family paid to do. "I guess to me a season pass is a season pass. Yeah there was only a month or so left to have used it, but that could've been the one month that we would've planned to come every day."
As for the eight month response time, Ratliff said they have an answering machine and try to get back to people when they can. He said the phone line was down for the last week and they're currently updating their website.