He said amusement parks, water parks, casinos, and racinos can reopen in two weeks. The same goes for outdoor theaters once they submit plans to the state.
“In each one of these cases, they have come up with plans, that in many cases, dramatically reduce the number of people, provide for sanitation, in some cases provide for one way traffic. They are quite elaborate plans that we believe are consistent with protecting the public,” DeWine said.
The company who owns Cedar Point and Kings Island has been vocal about the need to reopen and expressed frustration with the state’s delay, even offering support for legislation that would allow them to reopen immediately.
On Friday, it was reported that they had joined Kalahari resorts in a suit filed against Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton. They allege she does not have the authority to keep them closed.
“There is no factor inherent in the operation of an amusement or water park that provides a unique threat of spreading any particular pandemic above and beyond factors inherent in the operation of any other permitted business,” according to the suit.
Governor DeWine did not address the lawsuit or the legislation during his latest press conference. However, he did say the state is working to reopen all businesses here in Ohio.
Cedar Point issued the following statement about the reopening:
As a result of ongoing discussions with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. John Husted, we are very pleased to announce that our Ohio parks, including Cedar Point and Kings Island, have been cleared to reopen. We will provide specific opening dates just as soon as we confirm details with the governor. We appreciate the cooperation and support of all those that are working hard to help us and the state of Ohio reopen.
We plan to continue conversations with the governor and lieutenant governor that have helped reach a positive resolution for all parties. We also owe a big thank you to our local city, county and state officials who have assisted us throughout this process. The reopening of our parks is crucial to the economic viability of Erie County and Warren County, and we look forward to getting back to business and hope that other states will follow Ohio’s lead in reopening parks around the country.
We are taking every necessary precaution to keep our guests and associates safe in accordance with governmental and CDC directives, Erie County and Warren County health departments, medical professionals, Ohio’s Development Services Agency (DSA) and industry best practices. Cedar Fair’s capacity-controlled, family-friendly properties at Cedar Point and Kings Island, coupled with the operational expertise of our seasoned park professionals, ensures an environment where predictable observance and enforcement of social distancing and COVID-19 protocols can be achieved. More details about our safety measures and what to expect when visiting our Ohio parks will be released closer to the opening date.
We cannot wait to welcome back our loyal guests to Ohio’s treasured amusement parks, which have brought fun and happiness to generations of families.
JACK Entertainment also provided a statement to FOX 8:
We are excited to learn that JACK Entertainment will be able to re-open operations at JACK Thistledown Racino and JACK Cleveland Casino beginning Friday, June 19. We are thrilled to welcome back our guests and team members and understand it is imperative that we remain committed to the health and safety of all those who enter our doors. To ensure a safe space for those who come to work and play we will be instituting new practices in compliance with public health orders and recommendations as well as additional safety protocols determined essential by our company. We will be releasing more details on our reopening plans in the coming weeks. We have been preparing for this exciting news and are dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for our guests and team members to enjoy as we welcome everyone back to JACK.” – Attributable to Chad Barnhill, Chief Operating Officer of JACK Entertainment
Kalahari resorts issued a statement on reopening as well:
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, the ultimate family destination with something fun for every age, will partially reopen to guests on Friday, June 12, with a full reopening on June 19. Located in Sandusky, Ohio, the resort is a close-to-home getaway option for Ohio residents and features many dining, entertainment, spa and retail options that will be available on June 12. While the waterparks remain closed until June 19, admission to Kalahari’s outdoor pools and the Safari Animal Park will be included with overnight stays prior to that date.
The indoor and outdoor waterparks will reopen to guests on Friday, June 19. To celebrate the reopening, Kalahari is offering 20% off summer stays. Guests who reserve before June 30, 2020 receive 20% off overnight stays before September 6, 2020. For full offer details and to book visit KalahariResorts.com.
“It is important to reopen the resort as soon as possible to offer families a safe place to come together for summer fun,” said Travis Nelson, spokesperson, Kalahari Resorts and Conventions. “We’re excited to get our associates back to work and restart Ohio’s tourism economy.“