CHICAGO (CBS) — Although parking lots and rides are still empty at Six Flags Great America and the theme park is scheduled to remain closed under the governor’s stay-at-home order until Phase 5, management has an extensive reopening plan they hope will jumpstart the rides much sooner.
Management believes they can reopen safely today and shared their plans on how they think they can do so with CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole.
“We thrive in the summertime,” said Six Flags Great America President Hank Salemi. “It would be a very busy day at our waterpark and our theme park. Unfortunately we live in these times where you have to be cautious.”
If nothing changes in Illinois, Six Flags Great America can’t reopen until large gatherings are permitted. That’s Phase 5.
“We are actually a 300 acre facility,” said Salemi.
Salemi says that give Six Flags room to be safe, social distanced and sanitized with the right adjustments, and he is lobbying the state to reconsider.
“It’s just going to be different,” he said.
It would start with an online reservation system, limiting entrance times and capacity. Attendance could be 2,500 or even well less on a potential opening day.
“We can control the amount of people and the amount of reservations we give out just like a restaurant,” Salemi said.
A high tech touchless canopy at the entrance would scan for temperatures and metal in bags or on visitors. Staff would be wearing masks, and distance at wait lines would be enforced. Rides would run with empty seats separating parties and be sanitized after every pass. Park meals would be ordered by hands free mobile apps.
“It’s going to be less people. It going to be standing in line differently. It’s going to be eating in our restaurants differently. And it’s going to take some adjustment,” he said.
To pull it off Six Flags would need 4,500 seasonal workers, and they are already hiring just to be prepared.
“It’s going to take more labor than than we’ve ever hired before simply because you need more people for sanitation, more people to stay socially distant.”
it’s going to take more labor than ever before —more pople for sanitation more people to stay socially distant
It would take a month to open if permission were granted.
Management insists the idea is not just part of a vague plan. Every one of the measures will be in place when their park in Oklahoma City reopens to the public on June 5.