SANDUSKY, Ohio (WJW) — An Erie County judge issued an order Friday allowing Kalahari Resorts Sandusky to move forward with its plan to reopen early.
According to Finney Law Firm, who was representing Kalahari in the lawsuit against the state of Ohio arguing that they should be allowed to reopen early, the resort can now do so without penalty from the state.
Kalahari says they have reopened their retail shops, hotel, dining, entertainment options, spa, outdoor pools and animal park to the public on Friday, June 12.
They intend to reopen their outdoor water park on Saturday, June 13 and the indoor water park on Friday, June 19.
Last Friday, Governor Mike DeWine announced that amusement parks, water parks, casinos, and racinos could reopen on June 19.
However, Kalahari wanted to do a phased reopening and the ruling issued Friday, June 12, allows the resort to do so without penalty from the state of Ohio.
The ruling states that Kalahari has an approved, responsible safety plan for reopening early and the resort is willing to comply with the safety requirements of Ohio’s health leaders.
The judge ruled that “there appears to be no reason [Kalahari] should remain closed at this juncture” but explicitly states that this decision is exclusive to Kalahari Resorts Sandusky and does not apply to all water parks.
Click here to read the ruling in its entirety.
This decision comes after Kalahari Resorts already reopened its Wisconsin Dells facility, utilizing the same plans, and has had no known health issues related to the coronavirus.
***Click here for a look at the changes Kalahari has made to keep their resorts clean and prevent the spread of COVID-19.***
Meanwhile, Kalahari Resorts Sandusky says they have begun taking reservations for their spa and salon.
They are also accepting stays June 12 through 18, but will not have the indoor and outdoor water parks open. However, weather pending, they will have the Outdoor Lagoon Pool and Outdoor Sands Pool open during this time, among other amenities.
“We’re here to serve our guests, team members and those within the communities we live,” Kalahari officials wrote online. “Your safety is, and always has been, our top priority. We have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and following the CDC and U.S. public health recommendations as they evolve.”
Kalahari issued the following statement about their reopening to FOX 8:
Kalahari is ready to reopen, and we’re excited to offer guests a safe place for summer fun. We’re very grateful to be able to bring our associates back to work and restart Ohio’s tourism economy.
Click here for more on Kalahari Resorts reopening plans.