SOUTHINGTON — Although many of the details are uncertain, Lake Compounce plans to open this summer.
Normally the park would have opened May 2, but the coronavirus pandemic shut down most businesses until at least May 20. While the governor’s office is working on a reopening phase-in plan, it’s not clear where amusement parks fit in.
Amy Thomas, director of marketing, said Lake Compounce is waiting for more guidance from state and local officials.
“We’re definitely committed to opening as soon as it’s safe to do so,” Thomas said.
In the meantime, workers are giving the park a deep clean. They’re also going through the park to determine how each feature could open in the safest way possible.
When the 170-year-old park does open, things will look different.
The operations team is working on new protocols, which will likely include increased social distancing in lines, employees wearing masks and rides running at less than full capacity.
Those that live together would be able to sit on a ride together, otherwise riders will be spread out. Thomas said rides will be disinfected often.
“Cleanliness has always been (a priority), so we just want to build upon that,” Thomas said. “All the new safety measures will be to keep both guests and employees safe.”
The park’s newest ride, the Venus Vortex water slide, was scheduled to open for the first time this summer. However, the coronavirus suspended construction work, so the opening will be delayed at least a year.
Thomas said the only attraction that likely will remain closed is the beach because social distancing would be difficult to maintain.
In terms of events, anything that promotes a large crowd will likely be canceled, including the annual Weiner Dog race and Father’s Day Flop.
Some employees were furloughed, but Thomas said they hope to be able to rehire them soon. The park is still hiring for the summer, but will conduct any virtual interviews and orientations, according to the website.
All 2020 season passes will be extended through the end of the 2021 season. See the Lake Compounce website for more information.