Small theme park attractions like FunSpot, Gatorland, ICON Park want to reopen this week

The Bringing Back Tourism working group of the Orange County Economic Recovery Task Force on Monday heard from small attractions wishing to reopen soon.

Representatives from ICON Park, Gatorland, and Fun Spot America joined the group call to state their case. All three attractions have developed operating guidelines and protocols of their own and presented those in an effort to demonstrate that they could reopen safely.

“Those of us in the hospitality industry are uniquely qualified to handle this well,” Chris Jaskiewicz, the President and CEO of ICON Park, said. “We are already trained for excellence. We’re in the world’s most competitive hospitality market. To succeed in Orlando, we all have to be excellent at safety, fast at adaptability. And with a disciplined process, that is what we do and that is what we’ll continue to do in the face of this challenge.”

The Wheel at ICON PARK (FOX 35 Orlando)

The working group will spend the next two days compiling a list of reopening guidelines for these and other smaller attractions to present to the larger task force on Thursday. The group is also expected to vote Thursday on the recommendation that Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings give these attractions his endorsement to reopen.

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Chuck Whittall, a member of the recovery task force, said if the guidelines are acceptable, the group will recommend to Mayor Demings "that he allows them to open, as early as Friday of this week, with those recommended guidelines.”

The opening recommendations must first be approved by the larger task force before going to Mayor Demings. According to the governor's executive order, the attractions would need to submit reopening plans to the State, with the mayor's endorsement, for final approval. The timeline on when the attractions could reopen would then be in the governor's hands.

Fun Spot America hopes to open on Friday, May 22, and Gatorland wishes to open on Saturday, May 23. ICON Park has not set a desired reopening date.

Gatorland (Photo by Visit Orlando)


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