Calaway Park officially reopens following COVID-19-related delay of season's start
CALGARY -- Despite concerns over the spread of COVID-19, Western Canada’s largest permanent outdoor amusement park will kick off its 38th season Friday.
Calaway Park is back up and running with a different look for its 2020 campaign that will see smaller crowds compared to years past and staggered entry for guests throughout the day.
The park, situated west of Calgary city limits, will reopen to season pass holders Friday and the general public the following day. All guests will be required to reserve an entry ahead of time and purchase all tickets online.
"We’ve been given ordinance to go ahead at this time, but with significant restrictions and we really want our guests to know that," said Calaway Park’s general manager, Bob Williams.
Williams adds that the park will be open to about one-third of its normal capacity of guests. Not every major attraction at the park will be open either as several rides are temporarily closed until at least Stage 3 of Alberta’s economic relaunch.
The Vortex, Chaos, Ocean Motion, Adrenaline Test Zone, Free Fallin’, and Wave Rider attractions will remain closed to guests.
"These rides are rides where somebody might be screaming or yelling out of joy and the droplets gets spread," Williams explained.
All rides will be wiped down by staff between each use. Staff members will also be screened with temperatures checks before entering the park and required to wear masks.
Guests are not required to wear a mask on the park grounds, but they will be mandated on some rides and encouraged in higher traffic areas including lineups.
The majority of food kiosks and retails stores will reopen with social distancing measures including limits on the number of customers allowed at a time. The park’s lone sit-down restaurant will remain closed.
Calaway Park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with plans to extend its hours to 7 p.m. once the province enters Stage 3.
As of Friday, Alberta has permitted the return of exhibitions, trade shows, outdoor concerts, outdoor hot tubs, and whirlpools.