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Michigan amusement parks wait to reopen: Here’s what changes to expect

Clinton Township amusement park gives us look at changes amid pandemic

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Amusement parks in Michigan are waiting for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer give the OK for reopening amid the pandemic.

In Clinton Township, C.J. Barrymore’s is giving us a look at what the amusement park will have changed once it does reopen. Nothing will be normal.

David Dalpizzol, who runs the park, said social distancing will be key. For instance, people will have to stand 6 feet apart while in line for a ride.

“It will appear that the lines are long, however the amount of people that are in line for the ride is relatively short,” he said.

In fact, spacing is the biggest change.

“The roller coaster will have empty rows. The drop tower will have empty seats. If you are not together in party, we’re going to try to separate you. So in a game of laser tag you may have two people in it instead of 20 people,” said Dalpizzol.

While you’re enjoying the mini golf course, putters and golf balls will be soaking in disinfectant. The ferris wheel has built-in social distancing and it will be sanitized after every ride.

All rides will be sanitized, including the go-carts.

“Steering wheels, seatbelts, are also high-point touch areas,” said Dalpizzol.

The food service at C.J. Barrymore’s also will be changed, of course. There won’t be any dine-in service. It’s going to be a carry out only experience, much like a food truck. Dining areas will be outside.

Tables will be sprayed with disinfectant after every use.

Other high-risk games and attractions may remain closed for longer.

With all the precautions and changes, Dalpizzol feels the park will be cleaner than a grocery store.

“You don’t see the (grocery) staff going through and wiping down the groceries after each use. We will be doing that. After each use of our rides and attractions, we will be sanitizing them,” he said.

More stories: Reopening Michigan -- what’s open, and how, amid pandemic


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