First reopened California amusement park closes back down after only one weekend – Orange County Register

First reopened California amusement park closes back down after only one weekend – Orange County Register

The first California amusement park to reopen under the state’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines has been forced to reclose after only one weekend of operation following a rise in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the surrounding area.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk will reclose after Santa Cruz County moved back to the red/substantial tier 2 risk level under Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The Beach Boardwalk reopened roller coasters and thrill rides on Nov. 7 and 8 after the county moved into the orange/moderate tier 3 risk level.

“While we are disappointed to close rides and attractions, we anticipated the likelihood Santa Cruz County might move back and forth within the tiers and have prepared to adjust our operations accordingly,” Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk spokesperson Kris Reyes said in a statement. “The health and safety of our guests and employees is of the utmost importance during these challenging times and this will remain our priority in the weeks and months ahead.”

SEE ALSO: Theme park group says state guidelines ‘sentence’ laid off and furloughed workers to ‘poverty’

Large California theme parks such as Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood remain closed and are unlikely to return until early 2021 or next summer under COVID-19 health and safety reopening guidelines issued by the state.

California issued separate reopening guidelines for small and large theme parks. Small theme parks with a capacity of fewer than 15,000 visitors can reopen in the orange/moderate tier 3 while large theme parks can return in the yellow/minimal tier 4.

SEE ALSO: Disneyland announces additional furloughs as state guidelines leave theme park ‘in limbo’

The reopening of California’s oldest amusement park meant that the 1907 Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk was briefly home to the first operating roller coasters in the state after more than seven months of amusement park closures.

The seaside park’s two-day reopening featured a limited number of 8 to 10 rides — including the 1924 Giant Dipper wooden coaster and the 2013 Undertow spinning steel coaster.

SEE ALSO: The wait for Disneyland corn dogs is almost over. Better get in line now

Under state guidelines, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk limited reservations to a pair of 300-visitor sessions each day for county residents only. That means just over 1,000 Santa Clara County residents were lucky enough to enjoy amusement park rides again for the first time since mid-March.

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk shops and restaurants remain open with limited capacity despite the reclosure of the amusement rides.

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