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Great Escape plans to reopen May 1

This photo provided by Six Flags Great Escape shows the social distancing that will be required through leaving some cars on rides vacant. The park on Friday announced its plans for its reopening on May 1. (Provided photo)

QUEENSBURY — Six Flags Great Escape on Friday announced its reopening plan for resuming operations on May 1.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday gave the green light for amusement parks to reopen. Attendance for outdoor parks is capped at 33% of capacity.

Great Escape will be open on weekends and select dates, beginning May 1 and daily, starting June 24. Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark will be back to full operation beginning on March 26.

“We are pleased with the governor’s announcement this week, and we are ready to welcome our guests back to The Great Escape,” said Six Flags Great Escape Resort Park President Rebecca Wood in a news release. “The health and safety of our guests, team members and community remains our top priority and we are implementing extensive sanitization and safety measures to deliver a safe and entertaining experience for our guests.”

One of the new attractions this year is the Adirondack Outlaw ride, a 165-foot-tall thrill ride that will accelerate up to 50 mph and whirl guests through the air with several 360-degree rotations.

The park was closed during 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among some of the changes are contactless thermal imaging temperature scans of guests and employees before entry. People will be asked if they are healthy and will be required to acknowledge the sarety policies.

All employees and guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear face masks. Any guest without a mask will be able to buy one at the front gate.

Social distancing markers will be added at all entry points, ride lines, restrooms, retail shops and dining locations. Dining areas will be reconfigured to allow ample space between parties, according to a news release.

Capacity at indoor venues will be reduced to meet social distancing requirements, and outdoor entertainment venues will also have seating separated by at least 6 feet.

In addition, guests will be separated by empty rows and/or seats on all roller coasters, rides and attractions. Six-foot viewing areas will be marked for guests to observe game play, and arcade games will be reconfigured or deactivated to comply with social distancing requirements.

Extensive cleaning

There will be extensive cleaning protocols implemented, including frequent sanitation and disinfecting of high-touch points like public seating, tabletops, counters, doors and trash cans. Rides, restraints and handrails will be cleaned throughout the day.

Restroom staff will be stationed to disinfect each stall and sink area on a frequent basis. Multiple hand-washing and sanitizer stations will be located throughout the park. Employee work areas will be regularly sanitized and disinfected.

The park has also modified menus and implemented a mobile food ordering system. Self-service buffets and salad bars will be reconfigured to eliminate guest contact with food.

Condiments, self-serve cutlery and napkins will be provided to guests with their meals as required. Beverages will be served by attendants, and guests will receive any drink bottle refills in a paper cup each time they refill.

Signs will be posted throughout the park reminding people of the protocols, and distance markers and indicators will be in place.

Reservations required

Reservations are required in order to keep the park’s attendance below the cap. Guests need to visit www.sixflags.com/reserve to make a reservation.

After purchasing a ticket, guests will enter their online order number or season pass number; select the day and approximate time they want to visit; acknowledge their understanding of the company’s health policy; order prepaid parking if they do not already have a parking pass; and watch a brief video describing new social distancing and sanitization procedures.

The guests will be contacted the day before the scheduled visit to confirm their intent to visit and continued healthy status. Guests may cancel their reservation without penalty any time before 8 a.m. on the day of their scheduled visit. Members and season pass holders will receive booking priority over single-day and group ticket buyers.

Hiring staff

Great Escape is looking to hire 1,500 employees in all positions, including admissions, food and beverage services, ride operations, housekeeping, games, lifeguards, park services, security, marketing and retail.

If people are interested, they must apply online at sixflagsjobs.com and select “Lake George, Great Escape.”

The first virtual hiring event will take place on March 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone needing assistance with the application process should contact Human Resources at 518-792-3500, ext. 3369.

Park spokesman Jason Lee anticipates that people will be anxious to get back to the park.

“We expect guests will be excited to enjoy the thrills and family fun our theme park has to offer, while also keeping their safety as our top priority with the implementation of our new health and sanitation procedures,” he said in an email.

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