Fun Spot founder spreads anti-mask conspiracy theories, son and current CEO insists they're meeting guidelines

Posted | Contributed by BrettV

In emails provided to Orlando Weekly, Fun Spot founder John Arie downplayed the pandemic, which has now killed more than a million and a half people worldwide, comparing it a bad flu season. Arie has posted on Facebook that, "We don’t need to wear masks on airplanes, grocery stores, Costco, amusement parks or church!"

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Either way, Porn > Rip Ride Rockit

OhioStater's avatar

Dr. First Lady > Lesbian Bondage Porn First Lady

Promoter of fog.

Definitely will never visit there. Even some amusement parks are owned by evil selfish greedy people

sirloindude's avatar

Did you have plans to come to Orlando sometime soon in the first place? And you really will never, ever visit there in your life?

Look, I get wanting to stay away from the place until the pandemic passes if they’re not taking precautionary measures seriously. My wife and I are the same way about things. I’m just saying that while I’m a fan of hyperbole, and forgive me if you aren’t being hyperbolic, it just doesn’t come off well in areas of virtue. It’s like the moving-to-Canada-if-your-candidate-doesn’t-get-elected schtick.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

Bakeman31092's avatar

I think if you believe that a business owner behaves immorally then refusing to patronize that business is a reasonable course of action.

Jeff's avatar

I live here and I have no desire to go there, and the sentiment of the owner does the opposite of talk me into it.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog

sirloindude's avatar

I get that, and I think it’s a perfectly understandable position to take right now. I’m not in any hurry to go back myself, and I also live here. I’m not going somewhere where they’re going to act callously about the pandemic. I’m also not, however, going to say a hard no to ever going there again, because as much as it would be nice if the world wasn’t this way, it just throws open the door for a bunch of backlash down the road when circumstances inevitably change. It’s like everybody who said they wouldn’t visit Chick-fil-A after that controversy years ago and were inevitably scarfing down those chicken sandwiches several months later. Some may be holding strong to their lifelong boycott, but a lot of people didn’t.

I respect the decision of people to not patronize businesses who make decisions they deem irresponsible, inappropriate, or just plain wrong. I’m just saying that one has to be careful how one expresses it, because if you do it wrong, you find yourself in a no-win situation trying to justify yourself when you change your mind to a bunch of people throwing your supposed permanent boycott back in your face.

Look, if I’m in the wrong here, I’m sorry.

Last edited by sirloindude,

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Bakeman31092's avatar

That all makes sense. It's funny you brought up Chick-fil-A because that's what I thought about immediately when I read the last few posts.

At the risk of launching into another multi-page tangent, I'll say that this is a fascinating topic to me, and it all falls under the umbrella of what changes you make to your consuming habits when the creators of the things that you consume are found to be morally questionable. This can apply to literally anything, be it food (Chick-fil-A), merchandise and consumer products (Nike, Apple), entertainment (Michael Jackson, Louis CK), or leisure (Fun Spot). There's a big difference between a personal boycott and calling for a boycott, or calling for the business to be shut down completely or so and so to be fired. On one side, you have the market (i.e. the consumers within the market) reacting naturally to an event that leads to negative consequences for the individual(s) at the center of the controversy, and on the other side you have people in charge submitting to the loudest complainers, even if they represent a small minority. In other words, cancel culture. I hate cancel culture. If someone is to lose their livelihood, I would rather it happen organically than because of a Twitter mob calling for them to be fired and to never be allowed to work again.

In the case of Fun Spot, it's reasonable to me that someone would decided to never visit again, barring a) a change of ownership, b) ownership changing its mind and/or policy, or c) ownership doing something so great that it counterbalances how one feels about the other issue. Picketing outside the gates of Fun Spot, on the other hand, would be a stretch too far.

Last edited by Bakeman31092,
sirloindude's avatar

Your last paragraph summed up what I was trying to get at. As I said, I’m in no hurry to go to Fun Spot if I’m going to be in an environment that disregards safety measures that have been deemed effective. It’s not worth the risk. I’m just not going to say right now that I’ll never, ever go again.

Also, even if I believed that and acted in accordance with it, I’d be loathe to broadcast it. It’s admirable to take such stances, but it backs you into a corner: you either have to follow through or you lose your credibility.

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OhioStater's avatar

sirloindude said:

I’m just saying that while I’m a fan of hyperbole, and forgive me if you aren’t being hyperbolic, it just doesn’t come off well in areas of virtue. It’s like the moving-to-Canada-if-your-candidate-doesn’t-get-elected schtick.

To be fair, many people actually did follow through with that.

Promoter of fog.

Add the Pillow Guy to my list of never-agains.
Which leaves me with a quandary. What do I do with the four we already have in the bed? Throw em out? Like the baby with the bath water? He’s already spent my money.
But I’d hate to look like someone who had initial outrage but finally caved...
Not to worry. I’m trying those new bamboo sheets, really like em, and come to find out they make pillows too. So eventually I’ll be giving My Hate Pillows the heave-ho.

I think this issue operates on a slider. Bingo only apply to Disney/covid tome of a thread?

The more you like a given place/product/service, the less likely you are to go with the lifetime ban. More other available options make it more likely you go with the lifetime ban.

But ultimately, never is a very long time.

And I’m willing to wait forever before I give the likes of Chick fil A another dime.
My favorite quote regarding the subject.

“Straight people:
If a restaurant was taking the money they make and giving it to organizations trying to dissolve your marriage and take your kids away from you, you wouldn’t give a S if they “have really good lemonade”. You wouldn’t eat there.
Don’t eat at Chick fil A.”

This is why we protest, purse first, and we’re not about to change our mind.

sirloindude's avatar

OhioStater said:

sirloindude said:

I’m just saying that while I’m a fan of hyperbole, and forgive me if you aren’t being hyperbolic, it just doesn’t come off well in areas of virtue. It’s like the moving-to-Canada-if-your-candidate-doesn’t-get-elected schtick.

To be fair, many people actually did follow through with that.

Reading that article, it also said that a lot of them ended up not taking the plunge when given the chance. There was a quote near the end where one of the sources said that people had that initial emotional response, but ended up staying where they were when decision time came.

Look, I can totally appreciate people making the decision to stay away from businesses, and I’m sorry, super7*, for going after you specifically. It just seemed to me to be a bit extreme of a reaction from my perspective, but it’s not my place to attack your response to the situation.

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

Tommytheduck's avatar

RE: Fun Spot boycott... Yeah, it's a hard one. On one hand, I think what the guy is doing is purely a business move. Have you seen the Fun Spot crowd? These are exactly the people who eat up all the anti-mask stuff to begin with. He's like any other business that still hasn't taken down their Trump flag. "There are people who will support this and that's all I need to stay afloat."

It's easy (but true) for me to say I won't support Fun Spot *today.* I live in Ohio after all. But I do travel to Orlando often for work and did have a season pass for a year. So yeah, I will not be supporting them in the near term because I don't want to get sick either. Long term? Who knows. I don't need to go back for that POS credit they recently added, but if another coaster along the likes of Mine Blower comes along, well who knows?

OhioStater's avatar

^^ I posted the article out of humor, as I have always considered the move-to-Canada statements nothing more than hyperbole. I suppose some people actually take it seriously.

I said earlier how I will never understand why business owners do this sort of thing. If people that would rally behind such a statement really do make up his customer base and it honestly makes no difference to him or the employees he has a responsibility to, so be it. I get the "showman" comparison and the idea of rallying one's base, but that just got the current lame duck fired, and while it does ignite some to become loyal customers based on the rhetoric it undeniably alienates others.

Reckless showmanship.

Promoter of fog.

Depends on whether his statements draw more people in or keep more people out. If he gets a net gain because people want to support The 'Merican Way then he wins.

And while the lame duck may have been fired, he is not going away any time soon, and neither are his millions and millions of supporters. I had hoped that once he moves out of the big house that the country can start to come back together. Unfortunately I fear that hope, once again, is not a good strategy as I see the divisiveness continuing for a long time. Just today I saw an "LGBT" bumper sticker, "Liberty - Guns - Beer - Trump". That sentiment is not simply going to disappear on January 20. With that type of support the lame duck is just going to keep fanning the flames.

Had the lame duck rode quietly off into the sunset, the divide would still exist. It predates him. Expecting the country to come back together any time soon (without or without him on the scene) is to ignore decades of US politics.

And not sure about the overlap of a presidential race with an amusement park (in a state the lame duck won no less) but the less overlap the less valid the comparison.

I saw on the news where after some covid policy meeting, anti-mask and anti-lockdown protesters blocked the news vehicle from moving, and it got tense for a minute.
No one’s sure if the protesters realized that Florida is currently not under any lockdown or that there isn’t any mask regulation in place.

eightdotthree's avatar

Some individual counties still have their own mandates.

Last edited by eightdotthree,

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