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Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion will not reopen next week

Spokespeople for Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion say limiting guests to 1,000 is not 'economically sustainable'

WASHINGTON — Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kings Dominion say they will not reopen when Virginia enters phase three of Governor Ralph Northam’s recovery plan.

As the Commonwealth moves forward in reopening, spokespeople for two of Virginia’s biggest attractions told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the cap at 1,000 people is not “economically sustainable.”

In a statement, spokeswoman Maggie Sellers said “It is not financially feasible for Kings Dominion to restrict attendance at 1,000.”

Busch Gardens Williamsburg president Kevin Lembke agrees.

On Tuesday, he told the James City County Board of Supervisors, “The 1,000-patron limit does keep us out of business. It is not an economically sustainable model for us” to reopen.”

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is sympathetic to the plight of Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens, but in his final regularly scheduled coronavirus briefing he stressed that they will continue to follow the data to prevent the spread of the disease.

“These decisions are tough, people have had to make a lot of sacrifices,” said Governor Northam during his briefing. “I think if we look at the reality of what’s going on, especially in the other states around us, we’re seeing surges in numbers. Those individuals are the same folks that come and enjoy our amusement parks, the ability to travel around Virginia. So, we’ve gotta be very careful as we move forward. We’ll continue to follow those numbers. As soon as we think it’s safe and responsible, then we’ll allow those numbers to increase.”

So, what can you do if you’re looking to escape somewhere to have summer fun?

In Virginia, you won’t have much luck. Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg has posted on their website that its closed through July 16. Closer to DC, the Water Mine Family Swimmin’ hole in Reston, and the Splash Down Water Park in Manassas are both closed for the rest of the summer.

You’ll have better luck in Maryland where a lot of the smaller amusement parks are already open as part of stage two Governor Larry Hogan’s recovery plan.

Adventure Park in Monrovia, and Trimper’s Rides of Ocean City reopened on June 12.

The miniature train and the carousel at Wheaton Regional Park is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, according to the Montgomery County Parks website.

The Adventure Park at Sandy Springs is open, but by reservation only.

Six Flags America in Prince George’s County remains closed, but the park’s twitter page says an announcement is coming on Friday.

Hershey Park in Pennsylvania is still closed, but has set July 3, as its scheduled date to reopen to the general public. Season pass holders will get exclusive access on July 1 and 2.

If you do go to an amusement park, expect some significant changes to ensure the health and safety of guests and employees.

You can expect temperature checks prior to entry into the park, enhanced cleaning practices, and social distancing and facial covering requirements.

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