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.
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.