Build-A-Bear Workshops close lines for first-ever Pay Your Age Day

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People lined up at Build-a-Bear on Thursday morning at SanTan Village in Gilbert. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) People lined up at Build-a-Bear on Thursday morning at SanTan Village in Gilbert. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5/Build-A-Bear Workshop) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5/Build-A-Bear Workshop)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Build-A-Bear Workshops had to start turning people away at their U.S. locations Thursday morning during its first-ever Pay Your Age Day. 

According to the company's website, the crowd sizes were too large, posing a safety concern.

[READ MORE: UNBEARABLE: Build-A-Bear shuts down lines amid 'Pay Your Age' day chaos]

This the company's first Pay Your Age Day where customers will pay their age with the bare minimum price being $1. Older customers don't have to pay their full age, with the maximum price being $29. 

[VIDEO: People across the country line up for Build-A-Bear's Pay Your Age Day]

The Build-A-Bear Workshop at San Tan Village in Gilbert had a line that wrapped around the entire shopping center with people waiting at least an hour and a half. 

[RELATED: Pay Your Age for a stuffed animal at Build-A-Bear Workshop Thursday]

The website said local authorities helped them make the decision to close lines in all U.S. stores. 

On Thursday afternoon, Build-a-Bear released this statement:

Build-A-Bear Workshop’s Pay Your Age Day event generated an overwhelming response, resulting in long lines, extensive waits and disappointed Guests. We feel it is important to share that, based on the information available to us before the day began, we could not have predicted this reaction to our Pay Your Age Day event. We understand that many Guests were turned away as, due to safety concerns created by the crowds, authorities in certain locations closed Build-A-Bear stores and, in other locations, we were forced to limit the line. Unfortunately, given these circumstances, we were unable to serve all of our Guests for the Pay Your Age Day event.

In response, we distributed vouchers to Guests, who were present in lines, to be redeemed for a future purchase. We are now making vouchers available to our Build-A-Bear Bonus Club members in the U.S. and Canada who log into their account by midnight on July 15, 2018. Vouchers related to this event will be honored through August 31, 2018.

It is our sincere desire for all of our Guests to enjoy the best Build-A-Bear experience possible. As such, our goal with the voucher extension is to enable us to better flow traffic to the stores over the next several weeks to avoid long lines and wait times as much as possible. Therefore, we strongly encourage Guests to consider delaying their trip to Build-A-Bear, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience in this matter.

Build-A-Bear Workshop takes seriously the privilege of providing our valued Guests with an opportunity to make a furry friend. It is with that spirit that we created our Pay Your Age Day event and the new, year-long Count Your Candles birthday program, where kids 14 and under can “pay their age” for our new Birthday Treat Bear during their birthday month. 

Thank you for your passion and continued support.

The company also had released a statement earlier in the day.

The response to our Pay Your Age Day event has been overwhelming and unprecedented in our 21-year history, and the safety of our Guests and associates is our top priority. The crowds have greatly exceeded our expectations and, per local authorities, U.S. stores cannot accept any additional Guests for this event and are limiting lines due to extreme crowds and safety concerns. We understand our affected Guests may be disappointed, and we are working to address the situation. We will reach out directly to our valued Guests as soon as possible.

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