HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —
We’re stepping our way into the start of summer. But, things could look very different this year because of the pandemic. Some activities we’re used to enjoying might no longer be available to us.
One popular summertime spot announced Tuesday that they will not be opening this year for the 2020 summer season. They say this was not an easy decision to make.
Nicole Belcher, Point Mallard Water Park's Marketing Director, tells us the decision wasn’t a hasty one. She says, “We spent about two weeks prior to this decision trying to figure out how many people we could let in, how many maintenance workers we would have to have to be able to come in and implement-- Having someone in restrooms, wiping down, concession workers. All of that would require extra employees on top of that.”
She adds, “We just feel like if we’re not able to offer the experience that we’re known for, it would be better for us to start that over.”
Governor Ivey has allowed many of the state’s businesses to reopen with modifications. But, water parks can sometimes come with additional challenges.
Point Mallard says there were just too many obstacles preventing the park from having a safe and profitable season. Starting with the need for staffers, who need to complete proper training. Belcher tells our reporter, “We spend most of March, April and early May bringing those employees in and training them for the summer, we have not been able to do that so that we can adhere to the 6 ft social distancing.”
There are big adjustments that come with new CDC and state guidelines regarding social distancing and other safety practices. Park officials say they had to be sure they could meet those needs before reopening.
This year would have marked the park’s 50th anniversary.
They say, they hope families understand that safety is their main concern, and they plan on using this time to ramp up the park.
Nicole Belcher says, “We’re going to do enhancements while we are closed. There are several things that it gives us the opportunity to go in and take care of.”
Point Mallard officials tell our reporter they plan to reopen in the summer of 2021, and they hope all their guests will come back to celebrate their 50th anniversary with them then.