Red alert to Dick's Drive-In. They're coming for you next.
The center used to be a place for everybody. That included the mugwumps who like their hydros loud, the Blue Angels louder, and their Dick's Deluxe with fries.
The Times says the Fun Forest shows declining revenue and it's all very sad, but the city just can't subsidize a marginal business, unless, ahem, its employees are seven feet tall and skillful with a basketball.
OK, the operator owes the city $763,890 in back rent, and business is business, when it's only about that. But it isn't. Nearly every other piece of Seattle Center has a constituency, and nobody gets a no in city politics. The skateboarders get attention and, you bet, a replacement for their lost park. The opera people get their hall and needed subsidies. The Irish get their freckle contest, along with the city's other ethnic groups. Even Channel 9, which has nothing to do with recreation, got a piece on that contested ground. And that's how it should be, our center, our gathering place. Come one, come all.
But I like roller coasters and kiddie rides. It's been a while, but I loved it, especially with kids in tow.
Months ago, when news first broke that the Fun Forest was threatened, I called their operator's offices and they wouldn't talk. That's typical. They had no idea how to play the game, much less make the case that they served a community that deserved a spot, at least somewhere.
So out they go by the end of 2009, that silly collection of metal and grease, squealing kids and other unauthorized noise, yet another discarded remnant of blue collar Seattle.
Is there a roller coaster left in this town?