SANDUSKY, Ohio — Cedar Fair Entertainment Company and Kalahari Resorts and Conventions have both provided updates on reopening following the approval from the state to reopen under specific guidelines beginning June 19.
Cedar Point and Kings Island will reopen after Cedar Fair Entertainment Company confirms details with Gov. Mike DeWine, the company said.
The specific date and safety measures taken to ensure social distancing and COVID-19 protocols can be achieved will be announced soon.
“We plan to continue conversations with the governor and lieutenant governor that have helped reach a positive resolution for all parties. We also owe a big thank you to our local city, county and state officials who have assisted us throughout this process,” said Richard Zimmerman, CEO, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. “The reopening of our parks is crucial to the economic viability of Erie County and Warren County, and we look forward to getting back to business and hope that other states will follow Ohio’s lead in reopening parks around the country.”
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions announced that it will begin partially reopening on June 12 with a full reopening on June 19.
Kalahari’s outdoor pools and the Safari Animal Park will be open to guests beginning June 12 and on June 19 the indoor and outdoor waterparks will reopen, according to the company.
“It is important to reopen the resort as soon as possible to offer families a safe place to come together for summer fun,” said Travis Nelson, spokesperson, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. “We’re excited to get our associates back to work and restart Ohio’s tourism economy.”
Eric Wobser, City Manager of Sandusky, said Cedar Point's delayed opening caused millions of dollars in projected losses for the city.
“We’re dependent on those visitors to create jobs to support our small businesses for tax revenue for the city,” Wobser said. “We have done projections for Cedar Point and other attractions opening late or Cedar Point and other attractions not opening at all and we start to lose about twice as much or nearly 40% of our general fund."
Wobser said the city has been working with and has had daily conversations with Cedar Point about those safety plans. According to him, the park will begin welcoming smaller crowds. He said social distancing protocols will be in place for all rides, which will also be wiped down after each use. In addition, the park announced it will require guests to complete initial health checks prior to entry.
"We feel comfortable that they’re going to do everything they can to make sure that their guests, their employees and our community is safe as we welcome visitors back into the area," Wobser said.
The announcement of plans for the amusement and water parks to reopen comes on the heels of the three filing a lawsuit against the Ohio Department of Health claiming a May 29 order singled out amusement parks and water parks from opening while other businesses were permitted to operate.