Advertisement

Pool’s out? Las Vegas pools, water parks await OK to open

Bookmark this
May 19, 2020 By John Przybys

Swimming pools are part of Southern Nevada’s summer routine for Kimberley McGee and her family.

McGee and her 10-year-old twins typically meet friends at area YMCA pools every week or so. This year, they were ready to take the plunge and buy season passes to a local water park.

Problem is, nobody is sure when, or even if, water parks and pools might open, after aquatic facilities were shut down several weeks ago because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And if they don’t open — as they won’t in at least a few cities across the country — summer here won’t be the same.

McGee, CEO of Vegas Kids Zone, an online magazine for parents, said her children have “already asked about the pool and pretty much resigned themselves to: We’re not going to be able to go.”

If they can’t go, McGee said, “our whole summer has shrunk.”

Public aquatic facilities — including city and county pools and commercial water parks — typically are open full time by Memorial Day weekend. That’s unlikely this year, as operators and water fans alike await word from Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Representatives of Clark County, Las Vegas and Henderson said there are no firm opening dates for aquatic activities. “We follow what the governor’s recommendations are,” said Kathy Blaha, senior marketing information officer for the city of Henderson. “So we have to wait and see what they open in the next phase.”

Pools operated by homeowner associations also are closed.

Water parks wait

Water parks have at least delayed their opening dates. Cowabunga Bay Water Park also is awaiting word from Sisolak, said co-owner Shane Huish, but “we’d like to have the park open somewhere between Memorial Day weekend or June 1.”

Justin LuCore, general manager of Wet ’n’ Wild Las Vegas, said he hopes that park can open around June 15, but determining an opening date has been “a bit of a moving target.”

Another moving target has been determining the procedures and guidelines that pools and parks will follow when they do open.

“It’s been rapidly evolving over the course of the last few weeks,” said LuCore, who added that the World Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Southern Nevada Health District all “are coming up with guidelines and issuing those guidelines even now.”

Soaking in a chlorinated pool is, at least in theory, not a bad thing to do during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the CDC, there is “no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas or water play areas.”

Guidance available

The health district notes on its website that if an aquatic venue is disinfected properly, the COVID-19 virus “cannot survive in the water.”

The health district — which inspects and regulates public pools and aquatic facilities, water parks, and hotel, apartment and community pools — has posted guidance for reopening pools that covers such areas as social distancing, cleaning and disinfection of surfaces.

It also urges operators and swimmers to follow social distancing guidelines, environmental health supervisor Jacquelyn Raiche-Curl said. Operators will need to “maneuver people through their facility” in ways that don’t create groups.

A common question Raiche-Curl hears is “Do you want people to wear masks?” she said. While that may be practical for guests and some employees, it wouldn’t be for a lifeguard for whom a mask can become a hazard, she said.

Smaller crowds likely

The most visible change that swimmers are likely to see are smaller crowds. Henderson’s Blaha said reduced capacity is likely at city pools. Huish suspects maximum capacities at Cowabunga also will drop, although it’s too early to say by how much.

“It’s all going to depend on what happens when we open, if people decide they want to come to the park or if they decide to stay home,” Huish said. “It may end up self-deciding.”

Cowabunga and Wet ’n’ Wild will screen guests’ temperatures when they enter. Both plan to have full-time crews sanitizing common surfaces and touch points, from snack counters to handrails on slides. Alex Barilla, Cowabunga Bay general manager, expects to double the attraction’s janitorial staff “so we can adequately disinfect on a regular schedule.”

LuCore said even dispensers for sunscreen, hand soap and sanitizer will be automatic “so we can reduce the need for guests to touch things.”

A more subtle change at Wet ’n’ Wild will be the absence of company picnics, youth sports outings and group parties.

“One hundred percent of our group business that was previously scheduled has been canceled at the request of the people who scheduled it,” LuCore said. “Out of an abundance of caution, we are not targeting group business at this time.”


Recent Articles

Fremont Street Experience to count down reopening

Fremont Street Experience to count down reopening

in News

Fremont Street Experience is ready for a walk, reopening its pedestrian mall at 8 a.m. Wednesday. FSE’s Viva Vision video screen will display a 144-hour countdown leading to the moment, at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.

May 29, 2020 By John Katsilometes

Updating: Which Las Vegas casinos, restaurants will reopen and when

Updating: Which Las Vegas casinos, restaurants will reopen and when

in News

More than two months into a state-mandated shutdown, several Las Vegas hotel-casinos and restaurants are planning to reopen their doors to the public June 4.

May 29, 2020 By Bailey Schulz

Derek Stevens’ team ‘overwhelmed’ in 2,000-flight giveaway

Derek Stevens’ team ‘overwhelmed’ in 2,000-flight giveaway

Derek Stevens hadn’t expected such an aerial assault. Within two hours after offering 1,000 free, one-way flights to Las Vegas, the owner of the D Las Vegas and Golden Gate was summoning the reserves.

May 29, 2020 By John Katsilometes

Bellagio fountains to mark casino reopening with 3 water shows

Bellagio fountains to mark casino reopening with 3 water shows

in News

The iconic Fountains of Bellagio will celebrate the return of Las Vegas casinos on June 4 with three water shows.

May 29, 2020 By Bailey Schulz

Advertisement

Must Read Articles

Some restaurants have announced reopening dates

Some restaurants have announced reopening dates

in News

Following is a list of restaurants that have announced their reopenings after the coronavirus shutdown, following procedures including social distancing, masks worn by employees, mandatory reservations and heightened sanitation measures.

May 11, 2020 By Heidi Knapp Rinella and Madelon Hynes

More Las Vegas Valley restaurants are scheduled to reopen

More Las Vegas Valley restaurants are scheduled to reopen

in News

The following is a list of restaurants that have announced their reopenings after the coronavirus shutdown, following procedures including social distancing, masks worn by employees, mandatory reservations and heightened sanitation measures.

May 14, 2020 By Madelon Hynes

More Las Vegas Valley restaurants announce reopening dates

More Las Vegas Valley restaurants announce reopening dates

in News

The following is a list of restaurants that have announced their reopenings after the coronavirus shutdown, following procedures including social distancing, masks worn by employees, mandatory reservations and heightened sanitation measures.

May 11, 2020 By Madelon Hynes and Heidi Knapp Rinella

Casino owner giving away 1,000 flights to Las Vegas

Casino owner giving away 1,000 flights to Las Vegas

in News

Derek Stevens is cleared for takeoff. The D Las Vegas and Golden Gate co-owner is heralding his resorts’ June 4 reopening by giving away 1,000, one-way flights to Las Vegas from 24 U.S. cities.

May 27, 2020 By John Katsilometes

Advertisement