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Ready to roll: Area amusement parks work to bring back summer fun

Pandemic threw parks for a loop in 2020 season

Local amusement parks, including Lakemont Park, are planning on opening for business this summer with special efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Mirror file photo

Local amusement parks are looking forward to the 2021 season.

DelGrosso’s Park was completely shut down last year because of the coronavirus pandemic while Lakemont Park opened on a limited basis.

DelGrosso’s Park plans to open for the season on May 29.

“We are anxious and excited to open for the summer season,” spokeswoman Amy Mearkle said. “We understand, as we have seen this past year, there will be some differences as they relate to COVID-19 mitigation efforts and guidelines. However, our team is developing a sound plan for guests to come and have fun.”

For example, all guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear a face mask except when dining or in water attractions. Physical distancing of 6 feet between groups of patrons will be reinforced through recorded messages, signage, group markings and reconfigured communal and attraction spaces.

Local amusement parks, including DelGrosso’s Park, are planning on opening for business this summer with special efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Mirror file photo

Lakemont Park, which was able to open July 3 for the Skyliner and Leap the Dips roller coasters and other attractions, plans to open its batting cages and miniature golf on April 6. All attractions will be open weekends starting May 8, General Manager Melanie Shildt said.

“Lakemont Park will be open Tuesday through Sunday this summer and we are planning exciting events and activities that can be enjoyed safely by all,” she said. “A determination regarding the waterpark opening will be announced in the coming weeks. We are currently taking reservations for pavilion rentals, basketball court rentals, batting cage rentals, volleyball court rentals and special events.”

“In light of the ongoing pandemic and restrictions, the current park schedule may be subject to change. Lakemont Park will continue to follow the most current state and (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines with regard to COVID-19 mitigation efforts,” Shildt said.

Both parks took a major financial hit due to the pandemic but neither park will release any figures.

To bring in some revenue, DelGrosso’s Park expanded its off-season DG2Go Food Program to last all summer, and on weekends, DelGrosso’s opened some of its food stands for guests to enjoy their favorite park foods.

Park-goers ride the lazy river at DelGrosso’s Park’s Laguna Splash. The park, closed for the entirety of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, plans to open for the summer season with special health and safety measures in place. Mirror file photo

Mearkle said the popular Spaghetti Wednesday is being planned for the summer season.

“Our safety and wellness team, along with our food service team, are looking at scenarios that will keep Spaghetti Wednesday safe and efficient for guests who attend, “ Mearkle said.

Both parks are hiring employees for the upcoming season.

“We would like to have 750 employees on our team, Mearkle said. “We have roughly 200-300 returning each year, so we are actively recruiting approximately 450. This is the same number we have used for recruitment goals for the last several years.

“We have positions in numerous departments and numerous positions within each department. We are seeking lifeguards, ride operators, food service workers, First Aid (EMT’s), ticket sales, warehousing and security.”

Lakemont Park also plans to hire seasonal workers.

“We are looking to hire approximately 75 employees. We are currently hiring for all seasonal positions including lifeguards, cashiers, ride operators, food service and grounds/janitorial,” Shildt said.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 814-946-7467.

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