BRISTOL – Lake Compounce is set to open to the public July 6, but the experience will be a whole lot different due to COVID-19.
General Manager Larry Gorneault said the health and safety of guests and team members “continues to be our number one priority. We will continue working with our local leaders, health experts and industry colleagues to ensure best practices are in place at Lake Compounce.”
Upon arrival at Lake Compounce, guests will find signage reminding them of the importance of social distancing, as well as distancing markers placed on the ground throughout the park, parking lots and entrance areas. It will also limit capacity not only in the park, but also on each attraction and in restaurants and buildings to ensure compliance with recommended social distancing standards.
The biggest change will be all guests must RSVP for the specific day they wish to visit, in addition to having a pre-purchased ticket or season pass. The park will only sell tickets and season passes online. Walk-up sales will not be available this summer.
Yet, before you can ride the rides or even work in the park, all guests and employees will be required to have their temperature checked. Any person exhibiting a temperature at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, or displaying other symptoms related to COVID-19, will be denied entry.
Face coverings will also be required for all employees and guests, except children under 3. Guests are required to remove their face coverings while swimming and when they’re on water attractions. Employees may also wear additional personal protective equipment, including gloves and face shields, while performing select work activities.
Dozens of hand sanitizing stations will also be available throughout the park, and thorough cleaning will be conducted at regular intervals throughout the day, especially in high-traffic locations. All of these cleaning and safety measures will be reinforced through instructional signage and additional staff training, and visitors will be able to purchase face coverings and hand sanitizer at Lake Compounce’s retail locations.
“We will serve our guests safely and effectively,” Gorneault said. “As America’s oldest, continuously operating amusement park occupying more than 50 acres, we have the space to effectively distance our visitors and provide the good, clean fun Lake Compounce has been known for over the past 174 years.”
Amy Thomas, director of marketing at Lake Compounce, said the park “strives to deliver a fun, family experience while ensuring the health and safety of guests and team members.”
“Lake Compounce will build upon its longstanding commitment to cleanliness and safety by implementing a series of measures following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and best practices within the amusement and attractions industries,” she said.
Thomas also added it was great to hear Lake Compounce would be able to open this year.
“Like every other business we have been impacted,” she said. “It has not been easy for us; our business model relies on being a place that people congregate to have fun. Having the empty park this time of year just doesn’t feel right. I’m used to seeing people eating ice cream and fries. I miss the bustling activity and the screaming kids on the rollercoaster outside of the office. But I am fully confident we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe and create a fun place for the whole family to go this summer.”
Thomas said visitors to Lake Compounce will also find new sights beyond the cleaning and safety measures.
“It starts with the all new Main Gate Creamery, located right as you enter,” she said. “The shop will offer soft serve ice cream, custard and Dole Whip. Plus, guests will find plenty more places to relax, with new shade structures and brand new benches located throughout the park.”
Additionally, all 2020 season passes now include the 2021 season as well.
Given the disruptions and continuing adaptations this summer, some attractions may open later than July 1, or not open at all this year. The park will be open daily until Sunday, Aug. 23 and weekends through Sunday, Sept. 20.
Lake Compounce will begin its 2020 summer season Wednesday, July 1 with “Season Passholder Appreciation Days” through July 5, and opening to the general public on Monday, July 6.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.