OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) — While many businesses have begun to reopen in Ocean City, amusements parks on the boardwalk are still awaiting the green light. Brian Hartley, Vice President of Playland’s Castaway Cove, joined CBS3 Tuesday to discuss the pandemic’s impact on the business.
Amusement parks have been in talks with Gov. Phil Murphy’s Office and Hartley says he hopes they will have some updated guidance soon.
Playland’s Castaway Cove has already started gearing up the rides and also bringing employees in for training. This way they are ready for new health and safety guidelines when they get the green light to reopen.
Training, and hiring, employees has been a big part of preparing for the reopening. Hartley says they have lost a lot of staff due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the amusement park has not been able to set a reopening date, many employees have found jobs elsewhere.
“The hiring has become a big crush, trying to get kids in here and get training going,” Hartley said.
But, they have also been getting the rides ready and preparing for new health and safety guidelines that will have to be followed.
Castaway Cove also has mini-golf and go-karts, which were allowed to open about two weeks ago. Hartley says they’ve been busy.
“They have been very busy due to no amusement parks, water parks, arcades,” Hartley said. “They seem to have gone down to the golf carts, not just our mini-golf and go-karts, but all of the ones on the boardwalk.”
Hartley says that has been good for business, helping the retail stores and restaurants on the boardwalk.
He says the biggest challenge moving forward is going to be getting the guidelines from health officials and definitely the limited capacity.
“Capacity issues for us will be big,” Hartley said. “We see large crowds. It’s going to be hard trying to figure out how many people do we let in and we have a large line of people waiting to get in as people leave. It will be difficult, but we will figure it out.”
Hartley hopes guests will be mindful the amusement park is following guidelines from the state to ensure their safety.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW.