Kings Dominion says "no thanks" to a 1,000-customer max.
A spokesperson for Kings Dominion says that Virginia's Phase 3 reopening restrictions don't take into account how large the park is and that, under the current allowance, the park will not open.
Under Phase 3, which is slated to begin on Wednesday, July 1, amusement parks can open at 50-percent capacity, with a maximum count of 1,000 people. But according to The Park Database, Kings Dominion—spread over 400 acres—has an official capacity of 50,000 people. There's a big difference between 50 percent of their normal capacity and 1,000.
"Kings Dominion is disappointed to hear as part of the Phase 3 announcement that the restrictions applied to smaller indoor attractions and venues are being improperly applied to large amusement parks, such as Kings Dominion," their official statement says. "Although we respect the decisions of our state officials, the restriction of limiting our park to just 1,000 guests does not reflect the large volume of space available to accommodate recommended social distancing protocols, and essentially suggests the state will only allow us to have 5 people per operating acre.
"As professional amusement park operators with an exemplary safety record, we are experts at managing risks and following protocols. We have developed protocols to safely reopen our parks in accordance with governmental and CDC directives, Virginia Department of Health, medical professionals, and industry standards that are specifically responsive to the COVID-19 crisis. Many amusement parks across the United States have already successfully reopened with similar protocols.
"Our capacity controlled, family-friendly experience, coupled with the operational expertise of our seasoned park professionals, provides for an environment where predictable observance and enforcement of social distancing and COVID-19 protocols can be achieved. We are hopeful that our plan for re-opening will receive serious consideration and that a separate decision will be made in short order for amusement parks in Virginia."
For Kings Dominion, it's not economically viable to open until they can admit larger crowds. They will wait until Virginia changes or revises their reopening restrictions.
What do you think? Should Virginia take another look at Phase 3 restrictions on large amusement parks? Would you go to Kings Dominion if it opened now? Tell us in the comments!