NEW YORK - Amusement parks in New York are imploring Governor Andrew Cuomo to let them reopen.
Adventureland Amusement Park is eerily empty and has been that way since last October. Steven Gentile, the co-owner and president of the park says they had all intentions of reopening under New York State’s Phase Four back in July.
“We would have crowds here, people celebrating the fall season,” Gentile said. “We have almost a full 12 months where not one patron has been in the park to enjoy the rides.”
The family-operated business closed for the first time in 58 years. They tell us they are losing several million dollars as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cripple the amusement industry in New York.
“We are getting decimated by the decisions made by our leaders to stop us from opening our businesses,” he said.
They’ve gotten creative doing things they’ve never done in the past, like driving graduations, movies, concerts and even discussing driving fitness classes to generate some sort of income but as you can imagine well it helps keep staff employed, it doesn’t come close to covering expenses
“Liability insurance, we have maintenance and repairs of rides, capital improvements at the park,” Gentile said. “You’re talking millions of dollars.”
The 650 person staff typically seen during peak season has been reduced to about 25.
Governor Cuomo’s office says the amusement industry includes places of gathering with too many high-touch points. In a statement, a spokesperson says “with the threat of a second wave on the horizon, we are continuing to monitor how and when higher-risk industries like amusement parks and arcades can safely reopen.”
But Gentile whose park is primarily outside wishes he could just be given a chance. “We have the social distancing markers, we have one-way traffic, plexiglass petitions in place,” he said. Until given the green light - they have no choice but to wait.