How Summer Staples Faired During COVID-19

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IOWA — Monday marks the final day of summer for 2020. For many families, options for what to do this summer were few and far between. All was not lost, however, some places did decide to open up.

Adventureland in Altoona was one of those places. Financially, Adventureland attendance was down this summer, which was expected, but in terms of COVID-19 spread, it was a major success.

The park reopened in June and remained open all summer without an issue. There were no links to outbreaks. Even nationally, there hasn’t been an outbreak associated with theme parks reopening across the nation, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Adventureland closes for the season this weekend. They still have their Oktoberfest planned for the first Saturday in October.

Most local city pools that were open also saw success in the form of no COVID-19 outbreaks. The Marshalltown pool, for example, operated at only half capacity.

Temperature checks were held at the door and only a handful of folks had to be sent home for not passing. They never had to use any sort of contact tracing throughout the summer.

The pool did end up closing early this summer, but it was due to derecho damage.

“All the canopies, all the umbrellas got blown off or tossed over the fence. The chain-link fence around the lazy river was inside the lazy river, along with some lifeguard stands,” Marshalltown Parks and Recreation Director Geoff Hubbard said. “We just knew it was going to take at least a week or two to clean up and we only really have three weeks left in the season to go. So it wasn’t really worth it for us. We pretty much had to drain the pool to get it cleaned up. There was just no way to clean it without having the water out of it.”

Hubbard said deciding to open up the pool did come at a cost, but he feels it was worth it for the community to have.

“We planned for $115,000 in expenses, and we came in under $100,000. So we didn’t spend as much as we thought. But our revenues were about $50,000. So we lost about $50,000, which again in a five-week season, pools aren’t moneymakers. You’re going to lose $50-$100,000, or even even more depending on the size of your pool. So I’m very comfortable with, with that amount of loss. I think it was acceptable being able to provide that quality of life aspect that pools do for our community. It was definitely worth it this summer.”

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