Businesses, amusement park and police prepare for Spring Break crowds

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Monday marks the first day of Spring Break for tens of thousands of students across the metro, and Six Flags Over Georgia is preparing for larger crowds.

“It means a lot of children coming,” said Roy McCoughtry.

McCoughtry just moved his ice cream and snow cone shop to the Epicenter outside of the park. This will be his first Spring Break season at that location.

“Here, it’s excellent right by Six Flags, a wonderful opportunity for great business,” said McCoughtry.

Six Flags is extending park hours this week from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Visitors should expect longer lines.

“I think they’ll be booming,” said Robert Mayer.

Mayer was visiting with family Sunday and noticed police patrolling inside and outside the gates. So did another visitor, Jalesa Taylor.

“There’s like cops at every corner. They’re walking through the park, and everything is pretty safe,” said Taylor.

Earlier this month, Six Flags announced plans to enhance security after opening weekend included gunfire. Police said they had to push hundreds of teens out of the park for fighting inside.

In a parking lot near the park, investigators said a 15-year-old shot at police, and a Cobb County Police Officer shot back at him. The teen was hospitalized and no one else was hurt.

Park staff said it would add to its safety team by paying officers from multiple agencies to patrol the park this season.

“While the disruption that took place on a road near Six Flags Over Georgia earlier this month was an isolated incident for us, this is an opportunity to remind everyone that we have a strict code of conduct and will not tolerate inappropriate behavior on Six Flags property. On that weekend, in addition to our own robust Public Safety department, Six Flags paid law enforcement details from multiple agencies were on property. Guests can expect to see that throughout the season as we continually review and enhance our security protocols, making adjustments where indicated,” a Six Flags spokesperson wrote in a statement.

McCoughtry said neighboring businesses told him to expect a big turnout, so he’s fully staffed.

“They’ve said you better be ready because they’re coming like crazy,” said McCaughtry. “So, I’m like okay! Let’s do it!”

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