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Carowinds tentative reopening date disclosed. Unclear yet whether NC will approve


Carowinds, the popular amusement park on the North Carolina-South Carolina line, is tentatively scheduled to reopen July 27, North Carolina Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said Tuesday.

The park has been closed during the COVID-19 government stay-at-home orders.

During a Council of State meeting, Berry asked Gov. Roy Cooper about the park’s planned opening, and cited its tentative date.

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“Are you in favor of that?” Berry, a Republican, asked the Democratic governor. “Because our guys do inspections there.”

Cooper did not give her a specific answer but said, “Decisions will be made about reigniting the economy.”

He said his administration is getting input from health care professionals and businesses about reopening plans.

“It’s too early to predict whether that can occur,” Cooper said.

A Carowinds spokeswoman told The Charlotte Observer later Tuesday that the park has no reopening date to announce. Carowinds will post the date on its website “when it’s been confirmed,” spokeswoman Lisa Stryker said in an email.

Carowinds is owned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. of Sandusky, Ohio. A spokeswoman referred a request for comment from the Observer to Stryker.

North Carolina is in the middle of a phased reopening of the state. South Carolina allowed amusement parks and other attractions to reopen ahead of Memorial Day.

Carowinds, the popular theme park on the North Carolina-South Carolina line, is tentatively scheduled to reopen July 27, North Carolina Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said Tuesday. David T. Foster, III Observer file photo

Changes at the park

Carowinds has been a Carolinas fixture since 1973.

The park claims two of the tallest steel roller coasters in North America, including the 325-foot-tall Fury 325, according to its website. Its 14 roller coasters rank Carowinds fifth in the world for most roller coasters in one park.

Carowinds also features family splash areas, entertainment shows and tamer rides for children.

In mid-March, Carowinds said it was delaying its opening from March 21 to April 3. It has remained closed throughout the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Cedar Fair said in May that it plans to increase the use of its mobile apps at its parks when they reopen to promote a healthy experience. Changes will allow the parks to open with capacity limitations and processes in compliance with state and local health guidelines.

All guests entering the parks will be required to complete an initial health check, and people with the park’s mobile app can complete most aspects of the health questionnaire online prior to visiting.

Targeted messages delivered through the mobile app will remind guests of new procedures. And the app will provide real time alerts regarding any capacity constraints that may affect their visit.

Enhanced cashless payment methods are being introduced to reduce touchpoints and expenses, as well as improve efficiency.

“The safety of our guests and associates has always been, and will always be, our highest priority,” Cedar Fair CEO Richard Zimmerman said in a statement last month. He said the robust mobile apps not only strengthens the safety measures recommended by health officials, but also could enhance the overall guest experience for the long term.

The company owns and operates 11 amusement parks in several states and Canada. It also operates an additional theme park in California under a management contract.

Staff writer Adam Bell contributed

This story was originally published June 02, 2020 12:58 PM.

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