Woodward Park City partially reopened last week, with more to come in the following months
Park City is starting to gain a sense of normalcy with the reopening of businesses, restaurants and now, outdoor recreation parks.
Woodward Park City reopened its outdoor activities on Saturday, May 23 and thus far the response has been positive according to general manager Shaydar Edelmann.
“Everyone has been really positive about us opening up our doors again. … Even though we are limited in sports and have only wheel sports, people are still coming out and enjoying it,” Edelmann said. “We are also limited in other stuff but the guests don’t seem to mind, everyone just seems more happy to be back, to be able to play and participate in something they haven’t had for a few months.”
It’s been a long process between Woodward and Summit County in order to reopen, as Edelmann said talks between the two ramped up over the following two weeks after the stay-at-home order was lifted on May 1.
Because of Woodward’s popularity and comparatively small space, it was important to get the county’s input on reopening.
“They had five or six people on their team, we had five or six people on my side and we were able to work through the plans and generally check all the boxes that the county had put out,” Edelmann said. “After going back and forth for a bit, we had to make a few adjustments that made us more comfortable. … But in the end, it was all worth it just so we could safely reopen.”
With Summit County moving to the yellow phase of Gov. Herbert’s reopening plan, it has given Woodward a little more freedom to have more guests and allow them to enjoy more of the amenities. As of now, parts of both the indoor and outdoor theme park are open — as well as limited food and retail being made available.
One unique challenge that Edelmann has faced: Woodward was open for a few months prior to its closure. This is the first summer since its opening and Woodward had big plans for the community, but a lot of those were delayed or scrapped altogether.
“It was exactly three months to the since we opened that we actually closed our doors. … And we have been grinding through contingency plans since we closed to see what we can do in the future and what to do in the meantime,” Edelmann said. “We are really fortunate for the great support from Powdr because it was a big blow being shut down. We don’t get that time back so we are now working every day to get back to resemble something like we originally targeted.”
The next two months will be vital in Woodward’s recovery.
According to Edelmann, the next step in opening more of the theme park is set to take place sometime in the middle of June. They’re currently working on plans to add the outdoor BMX jumps and downhill mountain biking courses and open up more gym space in the indoor sports hub. Due to the nature of the coronavirus still spreading, one thing that will be still on hold until July is the indoor foam pits because they haven’t quite worked out how the proper protocols for it.
“We are relatively comfortable for that other opening in June,” Edelmann said. “Everything has got a layer of uncertainty to it so have to be willing to make adjustments to certain conditions for anything.”
The many camps that Edelmann had planned are going forward beginning in July, only a month after there originally scheduled opening.
“It was important for us to open those because they’re brand new camps in the area,” Edelmann said. “With the kids being at home with their parents, this is one of the first opportunities to have someone else look after the kids. … And so far we are pretty happy with how the sales have been going for those camps.”
For more information, go to http://www.woodwardparkcity.com.
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