Legoland offers all-expenses paid trip to retiree rejected over admission policy
Andy Johnson, CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, July 17, 2013 1:56PM EDT
A 63-year-old Lego fanatic is getting a second chance to live out his dream, after his first attempt to visit a Toronto-area Legoland was dashed because he did not have a child with him.
John St-Onge and his adult daughter Nicole recently made the four-hour trip from Windsor, Ont. to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Vaughan so that John, who has been a Lego fanatic since his kids were young, could take pictures of the Toronto skyline exhibit, purchase some items from the gift shop, and tour the facility.
They left in disappointment and dismay, however, after being told by staff that all visitors must be accompanied by a child, and there was no way around the rule.
John even said he felt discriminated against as an adult whose hobby is playing with Lego.
Now, Legoland has offered the pair compensation for their expenses, including dinner and gas, and is providing them with complimentary passes to the next adults-only Lego night taking place in August.
"My dad is pretty excited that we get to go back, we get to have our father-daughter day that was kind of ruined before it started," Nicole told CTVNews.ca.
Earlier, Legoland's marketing manager Lara Hannaford apologized for the mix-up, but said the company stood by its policy which was instituted to protect children and families who visit the attraction. Legoland is primarily geared towards kids, she said.
Hannaford said the centre hosts monthly adults-only nights in order to accommodate grown-up fans of the iconic building blocks, but said she was sorry the St-Onges had an unpleasant experience during their visit.
While the adult visitor policy is posted on the Legoland website, it takes several clicks to find the details of who is permitted to attend.
The St-Onges had learned about Legoland from a brochure which they said made no mention of the requirement.
Hannaford told CTVNews.ca the company is looking at ways to improve its marketing to ensure others don't make the same mistake.
Nicole said her dad is still upset about the original experience, but is excited to finally get the chance to realize his dream and get the information he needs to begin work on his own model of the Toronto skyline.
"It still shouldn't have happened in the first place... but he's happy they're trying to make it better for us and we're not out all the money we wasted on a lost vacation," she said.
CTVNews.ca contacted Legoland for comment on the compensation offered to the St-Onges, but has not received a response.