Tips for Reopening an Attraction
Once attractions receive the green light to open the gates again, how much time is needed to prepare?
“Most parks will require two weeks to a month,” says Daan Duijm, who specializes in set up and operations. “If a park is very quick, maybe it can do it in one to two weeks.” Attractions that were forced to close abruptly will likely need longer than those that had some time to prepare for the shutdown. Whether attractions have kept in touch with their staff will also come into play.
“We don’t know what the job market will be like,” says Duijm. “If the economy restarts all at once, will we be competing with every other industry? Some of our staff may have also changed professions in the interim.”
Once a team is assembled, even if it’s largely composed of returning employees, there may be a need to retrain staff members and refresh their skills.
Here are eight steps to take before reopening:
Stock up on face masks, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting agents.
Develop new pandemic protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to address communicable diseases. Solicit input from medical or public health experts to ensure the plans are adequate.
Enhance in-park disinfection and cleaning measures, such as applying disinfectant coating on rides and attractions, as well as in catering facilities to reduce the risk of cross infection.
Consider installing body temperature scanners at guest and staff entrances.
Retrain staff members by reviewing existing and new SOPs, practicing emergency evacuations, and recertifying staff operating rides.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on restarting rides and attractions after an extended closure.
Consider reopening in phases to allow staff members and guests to acclimatize to the new conditions.
Ensure clear communication with all stakeholders regarding new rules and safety procedures.
Prepare and publicize new promotions
in key markets.
In addition to highlighting safety, remind guests what they’ve been missing. While some may be a bit wary at first, after being cooped up at home, many people will be hungry for the entertainment provided by attractions.