Playground Closed Amidst Safety Concerns

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – Carly Foster is a fan of the Crockett Sonic®. She once had a birthday party there and held one for her son, too, enjoying the playground area and the tasty food. When she recently took her two-year-old daughter for a treat, she knew the fenced-in area with its amusements would be a fun time to spend with her little girl. 

As she began to take a closer look, however, she saw the playground wasn’t what she remembered. Time, as time does, had taken its toll, with exposed bolts and rusted metal, along with a bent slide and other hazards. As much disappointed as worried, Foster took to social media to point out the condition of the playground, in order to make sure other parents wouldn’t send their little ones in there, without checking it out, first. 

The post went a little viral, with dozens of worried parents agreeing the playground was in dire need of a makeover. Several people claiming to be former employees of the location contacted Foster and said they had received complaints, too, but that nothing had been done to improve conditions. 

As of press time, a small, hand-written note sits on the locked gate of the playground, letting people know the area is temporarily closed. Foster’s post had more of an impact than she may have anticipated, and The Messenger was curious as to what “temporary” meant for the little kids’ area. 

The local manager was able to put us in contact with a representative of the franchisee, who asked to remain anonymous, due to press regulations from the corporate office. He agreed the playground needed to be looked at, saying they are working on a plan for renovations and the playground will remain closed in the meantime. Unfortunately, there was no concrete word on what might be done and in what timeframe, so for now, the kids will have to enjoy their treats without the slides and bridges and all the rest. 

Foster said she didn’t mean to cause anyone any problems with her post, but did want to let people and the restaurant’s representatives know about and correct the problems so the area can be enjoyed by another generation of fans. 

The Messenger heard from Good Shepherd Pastor Leon Wallace who said he had reached out to the restaurant and offer his services, along with his group, Standing With Crockett, to help with manpower, financial resources and whatever was needed to get the place back in shape. He said several people had reached out to him offering to support the business in remodeling the playground. 

Foster’s post and similar posts warning of dangers in the area – especially to kids – can often be seen as a headache or unwanted publicity by business owners. Often, however, people who post online or reach out to the newspaper, bring about needed improvements. Many business owners fight to actually hear from their customers, without the filters of managers and employees who may soften or avoid bad reviews.

“I would willingly volunteer my time and money to fix it, because I had so much fun on that playground as a kid – it holds a lot of memories,” Foster said. “I’m not bashing Sonic®, I would just like to see it get fixed. It’s a great spot.”

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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