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Silverwood, Boulder Beach, & Indiana Beach Amusement Parks Splash into Openings

Silverwood Theme Park & Boulder Beach Water Park Re-Open

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From the California coast to an Indiana lakefront resort and an Idaho waterpark, having closed for the coronavirus crisis, these fun destinations are riding the wave of reopening.

In Athol, Idaho, Boulder Beach waterpark and Silverwood amusement park are both reopened. Daily operation began this weekend; and while guests can now splash away, the park has created social distancing and cleaning regimens to reduce safety risks. Complimentary masks are provided for both staff and guests; staff are issued a copper safemask, utilizing components of copper as a natural self-sanitizing material.

Visitors will be limited in capacity and online tickets will be allowed only with specific dates specified for admission. However, season passes and tickets purchased prior to May 23rd can be used any operating day of the 2020 season. Park owner Gary Norton notes “We have changed the configuration of our queue lines to allow for social distancing between families. As our overall queue capacity will be reduced, lines for our attractions may appear to be longer than normal.”

Higher capacity and more popular attractions, will feature Silverwood staff members assisting with ride vehicle loading for “proper spacing.”

Frequent cleaning between ride cycles may increase wait times at rides, Norton warns, but may be necessary to control virus transmission. Hand sanitizing stations have been placed throughout the park; and water park chlorine and ph levels “will continue to be constantly inspected.” Citing the CDC guidelines that there is no evidence COVID-19 can spread through use of pools and hot tubs, to keep things safer on land the resort park will be using cashless purchasing procedures within the park, although cash will be accepted at the front gate. Dining tables have been removed and rearranged and dividing panels put in at food areas.

At Silverwood, guests will find open door entrances, single use products instead of reusable condiment dispensers or cooking utensils, and upgraded building air handling systems. Norton describes this upgrade as utilizing “hospital-grade HEPA filtration…capable of removing over 99% of particles the size of the Coronavirus in a single pass.”

He notes that “Determining whether or not to open the park during these unprecedented times was a difficult task.”
To boost ticket sales, the park promoted a “Rollover Ticket Sale” that allowed purchasers pre May 22, 2020 to use a ticket any day the park is open; if not used in 2020, it would be automatically rolled over to 2021. 

Meanwhile, in California, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk amusement park is opening gradually to welcome guests to the seaside location. Food and shopping experiences are now available, as are sea-breeze infused boardwalk strolls, although the rides and other attractions are not yet open according to the Santa Cruz Seaside Company.

While rides, arcades, and mini-golf has to wait a bit longer, retailers such as Carousel Cones, saltwater taffy purveyors, and the iconic Barbaray Coast Restaurant are now open. Boardwalk spokesperson Kris Reyes terms it a “very good first step.”

Reyes pointed out a variety of health and safety efforts now in place to reduce risk for guests. These include plexi shields at food and shopping spots, the requirement of masks and gloves for staff, and cashless-only transactions. Hand sanitizing stations are located all around the boardwalk.

The boardwalk is currently preparing to reopen the arcade, the bowling alley and the miniature golf course under the state's new coronavirus operating guidelines. Tentiatvely, those attractions are scheduled to open soon are June the 12th.

Indiana Beach

Indiana's waterfront resort Indiana Beach park has been resurrected from permanent closure, and reopened to the public on Friday June 26 at 50% capacity as per the states phase four regulations. The park reached out to fans to assist with the bumpy road to reopening. “As we approach our 100 Year Anniversary, we are kicking off our, ‘Road to 100 Years' Project.  This years' fundraising efforts will be our Brick Paver Campaign,” the park's website asserts.

The fundraiser will provide assistance for a park initiative to render it safe during the pandemic times, and infrastructure improvements in both park and campgrounds. 

Prior to the grand re-opening was a planned VIP Grand Re-opening, with attendees limited to those who contribute to the Brick Paver Campaign.  The limited space VIP event offered two attendee tickets, and the ability to see the park before the general public. Along with the rides and a walk on the boardwalk guests/contributors to the Indiana Beach legacy campaign will see their brick installed at the beach, marking them as contributors and members of this community support effort as the park marks 100 years of operation despite many ownership shifts.

The water park and boardwalk is currently selling season passes online and offering a trivia contest and giveaways until opening day.

Indiana was preparing to move to phase five of the states re-opening plan, however, the Governor announced this week that it will instead move to phase 4.5 and re-evaulate moving to a full phase 5 in several weeks.  Phase 4 allows for amusement parks, fairs, carnivals, and festivals to operate at 50% while phase 5 would allow 100% capacity.

Many Texas waterpark resorts both private and public, are also reoping per the state's guidelines; at a reduced capacity and requires continual disinfection of regularly touched surfaces. According to the aquatics manager for the waterpark at the City of Round Rock, Texas, Nicole Bohner “…the CDC says chlorine is known to kill COVID so when you're in the water we're in good shape. It's more about staying apart from each other in the water.”

Masks are not advised while in the water; but social distancing is always recommended.
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