San Antonio water parks gear up for reopening after Gov. Abbott allows them to begin operating again

Many parks in area to open by mid-June

San Antonio – Staff members at some water parks are scrambling to get grounds ready for reopening after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave the parks the green light to begin operating.

The parks can begin to open on Friday, but many of them are setting a mid-June date.

Splashtown San Antonio Vice President James Kinney said two weeks ago, he had no idea if they would even have a 2020 season, and now, he’s busy trying to hire enough staff members and get the water turned on.

Water parks, food court dining areas added to Texas’ latest wave of reopenings

Kinney said it’s about two months later than the start of the typical season. The park usually opens when Fiesta begins.

“We have no water running yet. We're still trying to fight the storms, to empty the pools, to finish painting, to refill the pools,” he said.

They’re working at 100%, and Kinney said he’s optimistic that they’ll get it done.

But Kinney needs to hire lifeguards, kitchen workers and janitors. Having to figure out a way to ensure social distancing guidelines has also made it a little more difficult for him this season.

“I'm still frantically ordering face masks and sanitizer and sanitizer stations, signage for COVID-19 protocol. It's just a lot of new things that we've got to do to get ready this year,” Kinney said.

Because parks can only operate at 25% capacity, Kinney is urging customers to purchase their tickets ahead of time to guarantee entry.

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels is aiming for a mid-June reopening date.

The River Bluff Water Experience at the JW Marriott in Hill Country is set to open June 15.

Morgan’s Wonderland is finalizing a plan and will have an announcement later this week.

Seaworld San Antonio’s Aquatica has yet to announce a reopening date. Officials sent KSAT the following statement:

"We are excited to welcome guests back to Aquatica San Antonio. We are following the CDC guidelines, and the advice of outside medical consultants to prepare to reopen and operate our park safely. We will communicate more details soon.”

Six Flags Fiesta Texas says White Water Bay will reopen when the governor gives all theme parks the green light. The park has already announced extensive safety measures, including an online reservation system to manage attendance, advance security checks and strict social distancing guidelines.

Kinney said he hopes people will adhere to the guidelines.

“Frankly, we’re going to ask that everybody be nice. It’s a different time,” he said.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.

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