Grand Strand attractions prepare for reopening after McMaster lifts restrictions

Published: May. 20, 2020 at 11:22 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced Wednesday that attractions will be permitted to open throughout South Carolina beginning Friday, May 22.

The “Response” component of AccelerateSC has established exhaustive safety guidelines for businesses that have been allowed to reopen. Guidelines for attraction facilities can be found here and on the AccelerateSC website, along with guidelines for all recently re-opened businesses.

Examples of attraction facilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Zoos
  • Museums
  • Aquariums
  • Planetariums
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Waterparks
  • Amusement park rides
  • Go-Kart tracks
  • Bingo facilities (specific guidelines can be found here)
  • Miniature golf facilities

WMBF News reached out to several attraction businesses following the announcement and some said they weren’t expecting the governor to lift the restrictions ahead of the busy Memorial Day weekend.

Wonderworks General Manager Robert Stinnett said they’re preparing to reopen their zip line attraction for guests on Friday, but the amusement park won’t reopen until Tuesday in order to give staff more time to safely prepare for tourists.

“With the governor’s announcement coming so late today, we try to give all of our staff at least two to three days to get ready,” Stinnett said. “We’re doing a lot of COVID training for all our employees and that’s our first priority.”

Mark Lazarus, the owner of Lazarus Entertainment Group, said this is a day that all amusement businesses have been waiting for after being closed for nearly two months.

“I think we’re all prepared and ready to have our guests. Of course, safety for our guests and employees is most important for us and I think we’re all prepared for that,” Lazarus said.

Stinnett said his team his excited to get the doors back open.

“We’ve got a lot of people ready to get back to work. The number one word for us is just ‘excited,’” Stinnett said.

McMaster also announced that youth and adult sports leagues will be allowed to begin practicing on May 30, with competitive play resuming on June 15. Specific guidelines, created by the “Response” component of AccelerateSC, can be found here.

According to a press release, while McMaster never took any action prohibiting day camps, which are popular for children during the summer months, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Health and Environmental Control have established guidelines for those planning to hold camps this summer. Those guidelines can be found here.

The announcement was made during a press briefing.

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